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Types of players

Playing styles

Types of players

In the introductory lesson, we’ve mentioned that poker is not just a card game; it's playing with other people using cards. Learning to play poker and working on improving the game will let you understand how true this phrase is. Our lessons have been devoted to cards so far, but this one will focus on people and the psychological aspects of poker.

Certainly, each person, as well as each player, is unique, but the fact is that most poker players can be divided into four types. In this article we will teach you to play poker watching your opponents, understanding what type they are and building your strategy based on these data.

Basic types of players

Each poker player can be evaluated according to two parameters.

Firstly, players are divided by types depending on which starting hands they play. Novices usually try to play almost any cards (loose play) dealt by the dealer, while more experienced players choose their starting hands (tight play).

Secondly, there are passive players and aggressive players. Being passive will never lead to the desired result. You will often win small pots and lose big ones. Passive players tend to fold when facing any strong aggression. And how about aggressive players? They are usually the first to bet and raise, but not always when having a good combination. Such a game often leads to losing large banks. Is there a golden mean? We'll focus on it a bit later in one of the following lessons of our poker school.

In varying degrees, these traits will show up at all players. Based on this, the following types of poker players can be distinguished:



Type of a player

How to identify this type of a player


  • Plays a few cards, rarely raises pre-flop
  • Often folds being afraid of certain cards on the board (for example, an ace)
  • Plays with the fear of losing chips
  • Remains in the hand when having a good combination


  • Plays many cards, often just calls someone else's bets
  • Calls big raises to see the flop
  • Calls on the flop and turn even when having a weak combination


  •  Plays a few cards in a very aggressive manner


  • Plays many cards, often raises and re-raises having weak hands
  • Having raised pre-flop, the player will bet on almost any flop to knock opponents out and take the pot (cbet)
  • Bluffs often


Which style is better

The best poker players choose their poker style based on the opponents they have at the table. Sometimes it's better to play with premium cards only, and sometimes - with a wider range. Most often, it's recommended to play more tightly at a loose table and more loosely - at a tight table. In general, all well-known poker players will tell you that the best play is aggressive play.

To learn more about how and when aggression is used in the game, watch the video by our MTT coach Leo DonLeon.

Don't try to copy famous players' actions, you won't benefit from it. With practice, you will understand which style is yours and will be able to choose tables, which you will feel comfortable at.


In this lesson, we've mentioned the main psychological types of players. In order not to confuse you we've started with the basics of the basics. When you reach the next training level, we will cover this topic in more detail and provide a more thorough typology.

In the next lesson, you will learn about bets for beginners. Raise or call: when it's better to raise, call, or fold.

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