Poker is not just a game of cards, luck and skill. It’s a game of psychology and reading other people, the cards in your hand can be inconsequential. This sets poker apart from other forms of gambling.
Understanding different players is very important. Most poker players fall into one of four categories, and once you’re experienced enough, you’ll be able to place your opponents into particular groups very quickly. You should try to pick up as much information as you can about a player to accurately place them into a category. But remember the boundaries of the different types of poker players are not clearly defined and the good pokers players can change their style of play very quickly to mislead the rest of the table.
A tight-passive player is one that won’t raise or call unless they have a very strong hand. This type of player will seldom take a risk on their hand. If a tight passive player calls your raise you’d better have the courage to backup your bet.
Loose passive players are also known as “calling stations”. They call any bet you place and it’s best to avoid bluffing these players. They’ll very seldom fold once they’ve seen the flop.
These players will only bluff occasionally. They only play good hands and once they’ve got that hand they’ll bet aggressively. Beware, when this player raises he could end up taking a huge portion of your stack.
Some of the most famous poker players are loose aggressive. These players have no problem going “All-in”, but the best loose-aggressive players will mix up their aggressive and passive play, it’s hard to read their hands.
The best style of play is tight-aggressive (the winner). These players do not make many mistakes but when they get chances to attack they go for it and try to force errors. They are combining the ability to make few errors themselves and force errors in their opponents.