You can categorize your opponents into distinct player types by analyzing their playing style. Doing so will help you to narrow down their ranges. In this video you will learn about the five most prevalent player types and their fundamental characteristics.
The five player types
In this video, you will get acquainted with the five most common player types You will learn how to identify them and how to play against them
Dividing your opponents into categories… is the first step when reading hands. Attributing a certain playing style to your opponent will already help you to estimate his range. This information will help you to adjust your playing style to your opponent.
In order to be able to categorize your opponents' into different playing types, you need to analyse their playing style for the following properties: Card selection: does he play few or many hands? Aggression: does he have an aggressive or a passive approach? Table number: what amount of tables does he play? Stack size: does his stack size vary or is he always playing with at least a full stack? Betting behaviour: are their specificities like open-limps, min-bets or min-raises? These characteristics allow you to differentiate between the 5 player types.
The 5 player types are: Calling station Maniac Nit TAG And LAG
Let's first take a look at the calling station
The calling station is very loose and passive You recognize this kind of player because he plays a lot of hands... but usually in a passive way Calling stations usually only play 1-2 tables... and often have inconsistent stack sizes below 100BB. This is often the case because they are sitting at the table with their entire bankroll.
Calling stations often show typical batting patterns, like preflop open-limps
They like to min-raise when raising preflop or like to min-3-bet. This is often an indication of a monster and they are afraid that they could scare off their opponents
It's also possible to induce bluffs from them on the river They play the flop passively... and call a lot. The same is true for the turn. This often leaves them with nothing on the river, as they were chasing after weak draws. If you check to them now you will often be able to induce a bluff and you will be able to call with marginal hands. In spite of their passive playing style, calling stations tend to bluff their hopeless hands on the river.
Calling stations play very wide and thus weak ranges. This information can help you when adjusting your playing style: Never bluff Calling stations don't fold often enough to make this worthwhile Bet medium and strong hands yourself and don't go for check-raises You exploit the fact that they call too much and let them pay you off with weaker hands. Only try to induce bluffs on the river. Calling stations might be passive, but they tend to bluff their busted draws on the river. Play draws passively. You exploit their passive approach and speculate on free cards.
The maniac is the most aggressive player type. His playing style is dominated by variance, and it's not profitable. He plays very many hands... and will often play even the weakest ones aggressively. Just like the calling station, you will usually find him on just 1 or 2 tables... and he also often has inconsistent stack sizes because he's sitting on the table with his entire bankroll.
Maniacs like to cold-call for instance against open-raises with weak hands like T7s
Maniacs like playing big pots Just one more... A 3-bet against their open-raise often prompts them to go looking for the conflict... and they will 4-bet a very wide range, including hands like 65s.
Maniacs are usually not afraid to risk their entire stack in a hand. When they are confronted with an all-in they call with a wide range... which can include hands like 55.
Most maniacs also don't care… about the size of the pot. They like betting very big postflop, often even more than pot-size.
In order to move the money from the maniac's pocket into your own, you should follow these simple rules: No close open-raises You will be confronted with a 3-bet very often, so you should avoid open-raising hands against a maniac that you can't play against a 3-bet. Use bluff inducing as your weapon of choice Maniacs love to bluff. Be sure to give them the opportunity. On the other hand, you should not bluff... because maniacs call too often. You can also reduce the standards for your own hands and go broke slightly more loosely. Maniacs will go all-in with such a wide range that hands like 99 and AQ preflop and top pair top kicker postflop are profitable all-ins.
The nit can be described as the opposite of the maniac
The nit is a player type that plays very few hands and is extremely tight. When a nit plays aggressively, you can almost always expect a strong hand or at least a very strong draw. You will often find them on several tables at once... and you will usually find a full stack in front of them.
As nits are very tight, you will not find yourself confronting them in many hands. Whenever you face them, you should follow these tips: Attack their blinds Exploit the fact that they are very tight and open-raise a wide range from late position in order to attack their big blind Be careful with what you might consider strong hands Against a maniac, top pair top kicker is usually a good hand to go broke, but against a nit, you should rather fold without further information. When a nit goes all-in, you are usually behind too often and you will often run into a set or an overpair. Speculative hands like pocket pairs gain in value against nits. As nits will usually have a strong hand when they enter a pot, you will be able to be paid off more often when you hit a set. Your implied odds increase against this kind of opponent.
TAG stands for tight aggressive. You are very likely to recognize yourself in this player type.
You can identify a TAG because he... plays only few hands... but plays them with controlled aggression. He often plays regularly, usually on several tables... and always with a complete stack
It's not easy to play against a TAG TAGs rarely bluff. If they don't have a made hand, they usually have at least a strong draw. They thus are more likely to semi-bluff. You have only one option against TAGs: playing a tight game. You should play moderately aggressive against them. Strong hands should be played straight forward and tricky moves should be avoided. TAGs tend to be good players where it's hard to really turn a profit. This means you should try to avoid TAGs and focus on the other players on the table.
The fifth and final player type is the LAG. LAG stands for loose aggressive.
LAGs play more hands than TAGs, but they are not as loose as maniacs. They are very aggressive, but not as overly aggressive as maniacs, either. Like TAGs and nits, they will usually be playing several tables and prefer to play with full stacks.
LAGs on the lower limits are often losing players. You should just play your normal game against them and pay attention to avoid the following pitfalls: Don't turn loose!!! A lot of players think that they can open up their range if the other player is lose. This is a mistake and the opposite is true. In order to be profitable against LAGs, you should stick to your tight style. In certain situations like blind steals, you should even tend to be tighter. The most common mistake against LAGs is to get yourself into marginal situations with bad playability. LAGs are rarely successful on the lower limits. You will usually win money on average by simple staying tight, as your stronger range will still give you the stronger hand more often.
The five player types can be summarized as follows: Calling stations are very loose and passive. The play very many hands few tables are very passive and usually play with small stacks maniacs are loose, too, but they are extremely aggressive just like calling stations, they play very many hands and few tables They play their hands in an overly aggressive way and will often be on the table with inconsistent stack sizes Nits are very tight and rather aggressive They play very few hands and many tables They play their strong range aggressively and will usually be found with a 100BB stack. TAG stands for tight aggressive [click TAGs play few starting hands and numerous tables. They are selectively aggressive and always have a full stack. LAG stands for loose aggressive. LAGs play significantly more hands than TAGs, but they are not quite as loose as calling stations or maniacs. They play more tables and play their hands as aggressively as TAGs. They always have a full stack, too.