If you can work out what type of players you are playing against at a cash game, you are halfway to making money. By identifying what each players style is, you can exploit them in any given situation.
There are several different types of player we will discuss.
Loose players love action. They cannot bear to stay out of more then a few hands consecutively, which means they often play weak hands and donate to the pot. On average, loose players lose the most money at poker.
These players like to call before the flop with weak hands and will very rarely raise. They are often known as “calling stations” due to their tendency to call a high percentage of hands. A large raise on the flop or even pre-flop will usually get them off their hand.
These players are often the biggest losers at a poker table. They love to call with weak hands, like the above, but will show aggression in their betting throughout the hand. You will often find them over-betting, playing out of position and making desperate bluffs.
These players are the perfect opponent and will donate the most money to your bankroll. Just be patient, wait for the monster hand and let them do the work. They will more often then not pay you off, without you having to make a bet.
Tight players, often known as rocks, pick and choose their hands depending on their position. They are generally the more skilful poker players, and most make a profit at cash games. You will find the tightest players at full ring games rather then 6 max.
These players are incredibly tight and will only play premium hands. They will often have VPIP percentages around 10 and do not like facing aggressive plays. You can often bet them out the pot with large raises and bets, but be careful when they show any sort of aggression, as it is highly likely they are holding the nuts or close to it.
The best way to approach these players is to be the aggressor and bully them, but be cautious when they show strength.
Tight aggressive is the best strategy for poker cash games. It is the style many professional poke players have obtained, and the biggest online winners play using this style.
Tight Aggressive players do not play a large amount of hands, but when they do they show great aggression and often get paid off by the looser players. They do not like to commit chips when out of position, so don’t be surprised if they do not get involved UTG without a top 5 hand. The best way to play these players is to generally avoid them unless you are strong. If you are facing a raise from these players, you can almost be certain they have a strong hand, which they believe to be in front.
These players are often experienced and very skilful. They have polished their poker skills and have good bankroll management and hand selection.
These players are different to loose-aggressive players as they often mix up there play and generally have more skill. You will be hard stretched to get a good read on these players, as they will very rarely have a hand which leads to a showdown, they will have already taken down the pot or not been involved in the hand.
Overly aggressive players are often the most talkative at tables. They will be trying to wind over players up and causing them to tilt. They will also target the weak players and those with smaller chip stacks.
To beat this sort of player requires patience whilst playing them. Just sit back and wait for that killer hand to take their stack away from them.