Playing Poker with Loose Players

A loose player can benefit you.

If you’re a tight player and you find yourself in a loose game, then you’re in poker heaven. A loose game is one where a large percentage of the players are playing a majority of their hands. Many of these hands are marginal and some are just simply weak.

In this article, we’re going to consider how to recognize a loose game and how to take advantage of the players in it. In order for this strategy to work, you’re going to have to be a disciplined tight player, switching back-and-forth from being aggressive to being passive.

Recognizing Loose Games

The most telling sign that you’re in a loose game is that over a series of hands a large number of players tend to stay in through the flop. Often you’ll immediately notice this tendency during the first hand, and then after three to five hands, the loose players are confirmed.

Some players will play these cards consistently.

Try to recognize the truly loose players—those who will play hands just for the sake of playing hands. These are people who think they aren’t in the game unless they are betting and raising. There are two ways to identify these players consistently.

The first is their tendency to be in every hand. No matter what, that player is in and stays until the flop and often through to the river. They may fold at that point but by then a chunk of their cash is in the pot.

The second way is when loose players reveal their cards at the end of a round. Even if they win, they often win with a weak pair. You really get to know a loose player by the hole cards they keep.

In order to take full advantage of loose games, you must pay attention to every part of the game. It doesn’t matter if you’re in or out of a hand, stay in the ebb and flow of the contest.

Position and the Loose Player

Hopefully, you are to the left of the loosest aggressive player at the table. If you are, you’ll be able to control your game much more effectively as you can read their wager first and get out before the hand gets out of control.

What about loose passive players?

Your poker hand to win.

They tend to be what are often referred to as “slow bleeders.” The loose passive player will be in almost all the time and as soon as raises start to multiply, they are out. Position is useful but not as important when playing against them.

Loose Games and Winning

To win in an average game against loose players, you’re going to see the flop in about 30% of your hands. Overall, if you play only with strong to moderately strong hole cards and manage the flop well, you’re going to set yourself up to beat loose players.

Stay in hands where you have two suited face cards, an A-K unsuited and any pair from 7s through As. You will also want to stay for the flop if you have unsuited K-Q Q-J, and J-10. Don’t stay for anything else. You’ll be short stacked in no time.

Once you see the flop, determine if it’s worth staying in the hand. If you’ve got the hand won at that point, then take full advantage of the loose aggressive players, raising their raises. If you’re on the edge with 10 or more outs and two cards to go, try to stay for the turn.

After the turn, if you’re being pushed to the limit, carefully read the cards and the players. If the percentages are in your favor, then stay. After the river, the same holds true. If you’ve been paying attention and analyzing each player properly, you’ll know exactly where you stand.

Loose Game and Big Winnings

If you’re a smart, knowledgeable player who can read the table and take advantage of situations, then loose aggressive players are your prey. They can be your cash cow. However, never underestimate any player at your table. Always be mindful of each and every player’s move and decision. Doing so will enable you to stay in the game and be the last player at the table.

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