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How to play versus tight players

How different types of tight players play the game

In the previous lesson, we've covered different types of aggressive players and playing against them. In this lesson, we'll switch to how different types of tight players play the game. As you remember, tight players are very selective about their starting cards. They are often very predictable, and the question is how aggressive they can be.

Poker school will consider two basic types of tight players and the game against them.

TIGHT-PASSIVE PLAYER

How to identify

  • don’t play too many pots, call pre-flop rather often
  • if they raised pre-flop and didn't catch the flop, they will cbet on rare occasions
  • often min-raise not to lose too many chips
  • often fold at a dangerous board
  • stay in the pot only with a strong hand

How to play against them:

  • if they didn’t show aggression post flop, a bluff on your part is possible
  • if they limped preflop, you can raise with a wider hands’ range
  • if they showed aggression, and your hand isn’t strong enough, the best decision will be to fold
  • bet to check the ace presence in the hand of such a rival if getting ace on the flop
  • make big bets if you want to make a rival fold
  • if you are in the blinds, and such a player limps in late position, then you should raise pre-flop and cbet on almost any flop
  • be unpredictable when playing against such rivals. Make sure they can’t read your game.

TIGHT AGGRESSIVE PLAYER (TAG)

How to identify:

  • play a few hands and only having good cards. Play aggressively

How to play against them:

  • don’t play too many pots with such a player. Play when having a position
  • bluff cautiously on a low board; yet, it’s recommended just to play your cards

Example of a game. Call and playing the flop

No Limit Hold'em Tournament
Blinds: 100/200
You and your opponent hold 4500 chips each

PLAYER INFORMATION. There are four players between the villain and you, he doesn't play every hand. In one of the hands, he bets and takes the blinds, in two other hands he raises pre-flop, and someone calls him, on the flop, turn and the river he checks having collected no combination with  and . Your image is quite tight, and there are no reasons to believe you're playing aggressively.

PREFLOP. Your opp is in late position and raises to 600. You know he is a tight player and raises rarely. The button and the small blind fold, and you are in the big blind holding XX (XX = any two cards). Should you act?

(picture 2)

It may seem that the answer is negative. Why enter the game with someone who starts playing only with premium cards? But let's take a look at the hands. There's a tight player, who prefers a passive style. We can use his passivity to successfully bluff. The fact that he raised doesn’t mean he holds  AA or KK. He is in late position, so he might also have AT - AK, KQ (possibly KJ) or pairs: 66 – AA.

If you choose to play this hand, should you raise or call? 3-bet will provide an image of a strong hand, but our stack is not so big to just spend your chips. On the other hand, it's not so small to push pre-flop (big risk for a small pot - risking all of our stack for 900 chips). Better save the chips for the flop. In such a situation, the call is a rather good decision, as we know that our rival is happy with his cards. He will not play the flop passively, which will enable us to take the pot using the bluff.

FLOP. The flop came . After you've called, the pot makes up 1300, and your rival's stack is 3900. Demonstrate you've got an ace when playing against such an opp.

(picture 3)

Since we are demonstrating being a tight player, it’s easy to believe we hold an ace. And we can easily understand whether a villain has an ace depending on his game on the flop. We recommend betting about 800-1000 chips. This will make an opp worry as it’s 25% of his stack. He can't afford to bet on the turn, so he'll have to play the game. Your goal is to make him part with his chips. So, just make bet. Bet 900, and he will fold showing .

In addition to tight and aggressive players, there are also weak players, and you should know how to play against them as well. In our next lesson, we'll learn how to beat a novice.

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