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StrategyFixed Limit

Opponent Profiles: Maniacs


In this article
  • Don't bluff
  • Be aggressive with good made hands
  • Be passive with weak made hands and draws

Almost everyone has had this type of opponent at a table. He plays most of his hands and usually bets/raises before (and after) the flop. He will overplay his made hands and bluff when he has nothing. Some players don't know what to do, but you can play profitably against him by making a few adjustments to your game. This article will teach you how to avoid mistakes and maximize your profit when playing against a maniac.

What kind of maniacs are out there?

It's always important to know exactly what type of opponent you are facing. True maniacs tend to take the cake - they stick to their 'strategy' like glue and overplay every hand. They are also pretty hard to find.

You will usually be dealing with a 'temporary' maniac, meaning your opponent is only adopting this style for a short time. Tilt is one of the main causes of this temporary madness: A lot of players can't handle a bad beat and start overplaying and bluffing. This can take a quick end - they either go broke or end up winning a big pot and settling down.

Some opponents have a wide range of styles they can adapt. Whether they are a rock or a maniac or somewhere in between can depend on their mood, the time of day or even the amount of alcohol they have in their system.

If you think you might have a maniac at the table, pay very close attention to his play and determine exactly how aggressive he is. An opponent might tilt and show extreme aggression 5 hands in a row, but he will probably start slowing down after 6 or 7. You could be making a big mistake capping with middle pair in the 8th hand of his tilt.

Part of maniac's game involves bluffing and overplaying in strange spots.

Don't confuse this with a thinking LAG's style. They will often be very aggressive and make loose raises before the flop. Just looking at their stats might make you think you've found a maniac. The truth, however, is that you are dealing with a good opponent who knows exactly what kind of image he is creating in order to exploit the other players who aren't able to adapt to his style (or do so incorrectly).

They bluff a lot, but they choose the right spots and can also play hard ball for value. This opponent can be beaten, but it's not easy. You'll have to adjust your game and be willing to accept higher variance when you play against such LAGs.

Most of the players that fall in to the maniac category are 'semi-maniacs,' meaning they are poor players who are much too loose and very aggressive. There is no method to their madness; they are pretty much brain dead. Playing against them can be very profitable.


That's not the entire article...

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