The reason why poker is a massively popular game all over the world because of the sheer variety of approaches, playing style, variants, and players with unique analytical mindsets. Whenever you play poker, it is quintessential to examine your approach and how it is helping you to proceed further in the gameplay.
Even before the game starts, many players decide their approach beforehand and stick to it throughout the game. Changing gears at the right time and switching to a different approach is the real deal to win poker.
Let’s understand the different approaches to learn how to play poker and become a winning player in every session:
- Tight Approach: Tight approach means that a poker player is playing with a tight range of hands. Players with this approach tend to play very few hands and avoid taking risks. They play with the best hands only.
- Loose Approach: It is the complete opposite of a tight approach. Loose poker players play a lot of hands (you can also say a variety of hands) with a greater willingness to gamble.
When playing poker online, the first step is to understand whether your opponents are playing tight or loose. If your opponents are folding most of their hands, you can label them as tight players. In case they are playing many hands, label them as loose players. Once you are done with this, the next step is to determine whether they are playing passively or aggressively. Let’s understand what is aggressive and passive in poker.
- Aggressive Approach: This is a widely used approach in poker that involves a lot of betting, raising, and bluffing to put other players under pressure and make them fold. The objective is to provide the impression that you are having the best possible hands and close to winning the pot. The simple point is – aggressive poker players tend to raise more than call.
- Passive Approach: Poker players who play passively call more often than bet. These players usually avoid confrontation and play with a fear of losing.
If your opponent is checking and calling more often than raising and betting, then they are playing passively. If they are betting and raising a lot, it indicates that they are playing aggressively.
Use an Approach Combination
As mentioned above, playing any style too rigidly can make your game predictable to your fellow opponents and make you lose the game. It is advised to all the players to focus on an approach combination to bring an element of versatility in your gameplay and make your style unpredictable to your rivals. For example, mediocre players can adopt a ‘tight-aggressive’ combination and kick it up a notch at the poker table. This style can make them comfortable with aggressive betting which is essential for long-term success. New players can start playing with good hands at preflop to dodge the difficult situations. The more you practice, the more you can experiment with different styles.
Master the pros and cons of each approach in a particular situation to understand the ‘approach combinations’ adopted by seasoned players.