How to Beat Tight Poker Players

Posted on: November 12, 2016

The game of poker is a game of psychology and the best poker players will tell you that much of their success derives from their ability to read people and learn their style of play.

Poker players are often characterized as being loose, or tight, in terms of their style of play and how choosy they are with their hand selection. As a poker player yourself, you’ve no doubt faced a tight poker player before and as such you are probably familiar with some of the tell-tale signs of a tight poker player: rock-like exterior, complete reluctance to commit, plays few hands and folds frequently.

But while you may know the giveaway signs of a tight poker player, it is often difficult to totally understand the way they play the game and thus to beat them at it.

So how and why exactly does a poker player evolve a ‘tight’ style of play when it comes to their hand and bet selection?

Well for starters, the common wisdom around many poker circles is that the best thing for an amateur poker play to do when first approaching the game is simply to survive.

Beginning poker players are often taught to play tight, move up the ladder by playing tight and being patient and as a result, many poker players end up maintaining a tight style of play for their entire poker-playing career. And while tight poker players will win their fair share of hands, it is definitely possible to learn how to beat them with the right approach. To show you how to go about beating a tight poker player, below are 6 ways or strategies to use to your advantage the next time you find yourself around a table with a tight poker player.

To show you how to go about beating a tight poker player, below are 6 ways or strategies to use to your advantage the next time you find yourself around a table with a tight poker player.

Monitor their hands and find out what they are holding

Tight poker players are much easier to deal with once you know what they are holding, so if you really want to beat one, then you need to looking for the player’s range right from the get- go. Remember that a loose player will play practically anything, while a tight player will choose only the more premium cards. If you suspect a player of being tight, you should respect their re-raises and moves out of position, as this is an indication that they are indeed holding something worthwhile.

Take the opposite perspective to gain insight

A tight poker player can either take a more passive, or a more aggressive approach when it comes to how much risk they are willing to tolerate, how many confrontations they are willing to take on, and how often they raise or call. While passive players tend to avoid confrontation and play with a fear of losing, players with an aggressive style of play will usually raise more than they call, as they play with less fear of putting chips at risk. So if you notice a tight player, as they are playing either noticeably passive or aggressive, try to take the opposite stance going into the hand.

Keep an eye out for the warning signals

While tight poker players can be predictable at times, there are instances when they will take you by surprise when you least expect it, which is why you should always be on the lookout for giveaway signs that something is up. Just when you might be expecting a tight player to fold, for instance, could be the exact hand they tricked you into believing they wanted nothing to do with when in fact they did! Make sure also that you don’t over commit your chips on a bluff, as tight players don’t need to see the same percent of the pot every time in order to get them to fold; likewise, watch out for re-raises with tight poker players as that’s a situation that could get you in trouble every time.

Take advantage of the weaknesses of the game of tight poker players

One of the best ways to capitalize when playing against a tight poker player is to know when to use their tight style against them at the best times; for example, if you have observed a tight poker player who is passive and willing to fold on big pots then plan accordingly for which hands to call, raise, etc. It’s also important to pay attention to how a tight player acts when they are on the pot, as they will most likely panic, resulting in an opportunity for you to capitalize on their weakness even further.

Try and use their tight style against them

After closely observing a player for a good deal of time and getting an idea of what their styles and tendencies are, you can start to actually use their own moves against them simply by anticipating their tight moves before they make them. In other words, once they show their passivity, you play aggressively until they change their style and if they do display aggressive moves like a river raise for example, respond by being passive to their aggression as they are unlikely to be bluffing.

Now with some practice and patience, you can use this knowledge to your advantage the next time you are around a poker table at Capitol Casino! Come visit us today!