No Limit Poker
Once your feeling comfortable with Limit Poker you might feel like trying your hand of the thrill ride that is No Limit Poker.
Just like we talked about with Limit Poker the lower limits are often full of reckless and loose play. The possibility of losing your entire stack in one hand makes it of vital importance that you steer well clear of loose play. Tight aggressive play is the key to successful poker.
This is the player you want be, you want to be selective with the hands you play and aggressive when you play hands. With the shackles of limit poker removed, you can now make strong raises with premium hands pre-flop, taking hands down without going to a showdown. When you come up against a tight aggressive player, the best poker strategy is to stay out of their way. They are generally experienced players making calculated risks, your chips are at risk every time you get into a hand together.
The loose aggressive player is the player most likely to destroy your stack, but they are also very likely to do the same to their own chip stack. They have watched Tight Aggressive players on TV, and haven't realized that TV shows are edited, so they play almost every single hand the way a Tight Aggressive player plays their premium hands. Going into hands with these players is a catch 22 situation, they often make moves with less than premium hands, so waiting for the big hands can put you in a great position. The catch is while you will often start a hand ahead of these players, their loose play means that you will be occasionally outdrawn by them when their junk hands come good. Strong bets won't necessarily push these players off hands like a flopped low pair, which can lead to them catching a miracle on the river, you have to be observant and be aware if your opponent just can't throw away a hand. The way to make money from this player is to catch them in a bluff and take them down with the best hand.
The tight passive player is an absolute rock. Never expect to win any big pots from this player, but realize that you can take away a lot of little pots. If this player suddenly gets very excited about a hand, get out of the way, its a monster, but other times bluff at this player and you can take down a lot of smaller pots without seeing flops. This player is often easily spotted because they fold so many hands that when they finally raise they can't get a caller.
This player is a calling station, you are not going to get this player to lay down any hand, no matter how bad it is. The great thing about this situation is that you can make a lot of money, all you need to do is take your best hand to the showdown, and collect your chips. Your fancy moves won't work here, you are going to have to keep it real simple, only play when you have the best hand, and get as many chips as you can into the pot on your way to the river. Just like the loose aggressive players, the loose passive will over-value their hand, the difference is that while the loose passive will lead the betting, the tight passive won't, it will be up to you to work out how much money you can extract from this player. Value betting is key against this player, make bets at every opportunity that you feel your opponent will call, all the way to the river.
Once you have a player figured out, and you know the type of player they are, to take full advantage of them you should look to isolate them in a hand. If several different types of players are in a hand with you its hard to know which poker strategy to use, if you isolate a player you can use your strategy to greater effect. For instance look to isolate a tight passive player by re-raising their raise when you have premium hands. Other players will get out of the way when they see the raise re-raised, but the tight passive will most likely call your re-raise and then you have them heads up in a hand.
With the hands to play, and the players you are up against all sorted you can now start to play your opponent rather than your cards. Knowing the type of player you are up against, means you can make a better decision about when to bluff a player, for instance pushing in a lot of chips when your up against a tight passive player will usually evoke a fold no matter what cards you are holding.