During your poker career, you will find yourself playing against a wide range of different players. Each with its specificities and with completely distinct strategies, even if all have one and the same objective: to win. The beauty of this game is that there are so many different ways to play, and each of these ways can win the jackpot if mastered well. This is why it is important to discuss the different types of poker players, in order to be able to identify them very quickly around the table. But also in order to know to which class one belongs.
First of all, it should be noted that in poker there are two clear distinctions between two ways of playing. The first is between the players tight and amplethat it suffices to translate into French to understand its meaning. Tight are the players who weigh their every action and are very careful with each of their chips and only participate in a small number of hands, while ample refers to players with a much more flexible style who do not hesitate to participate in a large number of hands and bet repeatedly. The second distinction is between aggressive and passive players. The former know how to put pressure on their opponents while the latter never take the initiative in the game on their own.
And among all these strategies, which is the most effective? Well, books, experts and textbooks agree that the ideal to hope to become an authentic poker crack is to be both tight and aggressive. These players in poker jargon are known as “shark”. They are real sharks waiting to see their prey fall into their set trap to seize it and not let go until it is defeated. They are extremely dangerous players who know all the techniques and strategies of poker and who almost never lose their temper in the rush of the game. They are, a priori, the best prepared for victory.
Analyzing this type of player is the best we could do in an attempt to bring our readers closer to success, always handling these concepts as broadly as possible and with the necessary perspective. No one has a manual that can win every time, any more than mathematics can ensure an exact result in this game where there is and always will be an element of chance. Similarly, a beginner may not want to be a “shark” and prefer to follow another path. This does not mean that it is lost in advance, because with a good foundation, anything is possible.
Become a “shark”
The player tight aggressive, also designated by the acronym TAG, is a player who plays few hands and for whom pre-flop play is decisive. If he has a good hand in his personal cards and he decides to bet, then he will bet very strongly. This can cause the TAG to re-raise or even re-re-raise, without knowing any of the cards on the flop, if, for example, he has in his hand a combination between an Ace and a figure. This is why the pre-flop game is so important, as is analyzing the hand as a whole and especially its position on the table.
However, this kind of strategy involves the risk of becoming predictable, and our opponents could then take advantage of it to easily counter us. The best way to avoid the inclination for “sharks” is don’t be afraid to bluff and to alternate often between slow game and raises. Misleading the opponent will be paramount to controlling the size of the pot. But once you are committed, you will have to be as aggressive as possible to force the others to fold, otherwise you run a great risk of having your opponents follow you to the end.
Confront a “shark”
Knowing how to play against the best player in theory of the Texas Hold’em variant will be useful to you just as much if you are a TAG yourself as if you have to fight one or more during a tournament. Some classic techniques for fighting an aggressive player will be useful to us, but here we are going to present you with others that are a little more specific.
The main thing to keep in mind is that, as long as a player has made several strong raises pre-flop, then it is likely that this will be their strategy throughout the game. In this case, it will be necessary to adjust its strategy and know how to be more selective with your hands. And this observation will always be relevant after the flop, because if a “shark” is involved in the hand then we know that he will do everything to go after it. So don’t be afraid to go to bed.
Finally, what is the kryptonite of the “shark”? Well, it’s the cards that aren’t helping him complete his project. Sharks can turn out to be vulnerable if an unexpected card appears which will upset all their plans. It will then be time to give them a taste of their own medicine with a nice pile of chips that they will have to follow if they want to stay in the game. But be careful, because with this kind of players, the trap is never far away.