Player Types

Types of Poker Players: How to use your Opponents Style to Beat them

Something you should familiarise yourself with to improve your game is the different types of poker players. This is an important skill so that you can recognise what categories your opponents fall into and then use that information to decide how you are going to act.

If you fail to make this connection with your opponents you will find yourself making moves that are good moves against certain opponents but really bad moves against others.

So lets take a look at the four main categories of poker player:


This type of player will constantly be raising before and after the flop and playing a lot of hands. They are not very selective about their starting hands and play way too many hands. The way they compensate for not holding good cards, and a lot of the times not holding the winning hand is to be aggressive and put pressure on their opponents to fold the winning hands.

The way to play against these types of players is to tighten up and wait for your best hands. When you do hit your premium hands, then you will get paid off well by this type of player, so its worth while passing up your marginal hands and letting him win 10 small pots and then taking a big pot off him with your premium hand.

The problem with this type of player is they will go broke very quickly. The better online players love to play against this type of player, as they know a big pay day is coming up. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of good Loose-Aggressive players, but the vast majority are weaker players who are trying to play Tight-Aggressive but are getting it wrong, playing too many starting hands, and playing aggressively at the wrong times.


This is the category that a lot of you will know by the term “Fish”. This is a very weak category of player and over time they will be losing players. This type of player will play too many hands and then will continue to call bets even when the correct play would be to either fold or raise. This why they are sometimes also called “Calling Stations”.

These types of players rely on luck, and without it they are unlikely to have a good poker session. They will disregard (or just not be aware) of pot odds and will call down bets when they simply haven’t got the odds to do so.

This is why over time this category of player will be a losing player – after all, you can’t be lucky all the time!


This type of player knows what starting hands to play and what not to play, this means that they play very well before the flop. Where this type of player sometimes fails is that they don’t always protect their hands. They are more inclined to check and call rather than raise and that sometimes gives chasing players the correct odds to try and hit their draw.

The other real drawback to this style of play is that you can easily read the player. If they are betting it usually means they have a hand, very rarely will you see this type of player bluff.

This type of player can quite often be profitable due to the number of bad players on the internet, but against good players they will suffer.


Here at Poker Professor we believe that this is the most successful and profitable category of poker player. That’s not to say that some other types of players haven’t got their benefits, or that you shouldn’t adapt your style to sometimes play like a player in a different category, but we feel that the basis of your strategy should be this style of play. This is why we teach this style of play in our University.

This type of player knows the starting hand strengths and only plays with the correct starting hands in the correct positions. This player however is aggressive when in the pot and will bet and raise when it is the right time to do so, putting pressure on opponents.

This style is very effective against passive players, and can also be very effective against loose players as the chances are they are holding the better hand having played the starting hands correctly.

These types of players play with the odds in their favour by playing better starting hands and then protecting their hands and playing aggressively after the flop at the correct times. Over the long run this type of player will be a profitable poker player.


Its not correct for you to just play one style all the time. Each of the above styles can have their benefits when played at the correct times, and you should always be adapting your style to the situation at the table you are playing at.

But the important thing is being able to recognise and tag your opponents as one of the above types in order to be able to adapt your style to play against them.