Today this article will cover some Texas Holdem strategies that are related to position, the cards in the player’s hand, and the types of opponents that will be in the game. Depending on where the opponent is situated at the table, the player will determine if the play is worth its risk. Let’s begins with the opponent types.
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There are really only two opponent types in Texas Holdem: Aggressive and Passive. These categories are broken down based on hand range, which are tight or loose. Both tight and loose passive players are less likely to bet on pots, and are more likely to call their chips to win. A tight passive player remaining in the pot means that they have a strong hand. A loose passive player remaining means that they are drawing to build a stronger hand. A tight passive will slow down the game if they stay, while a loose passive allows the game to bet on if that player will make their hand.
Then there are the tight aggressive and loose aggressive players. Both of these opponents love to place bets when they have good hands, even if it is only a draw that they are hoping for. The do not like their opponents to be in control, and prefer to bet themselves. If there are either of these aggressive players betting, the previous hands must be used as a base line for what they may be holding. Once the range is placed, it is easier to know when to raise, call, or fold.
Based on the cards currently being held, hand group one would have strong hands (Ace King: How to Play Ace-King, Pocket Pairs). When these cards are held, raise the pot regardless of position and the player on the left. Opponent types do not come into play with these types of hands. Raising big to eliminate the competition is desired. It doesn’t matter if they are loose or tight, passive or aggressive, because otherwise the game has been set-up for disaster.
As for the position played, the types of opponents who have entered the pot will need to be looked at. If everyone on the right has folded, and the player is in the middle to late position, they can steal blinds from opponents, as long as they are passive or tight aggressive. If the opponent is loose aggressive, directly the the left, a blind steal is not an option. If the opponent is loose passive and to the left, they will call, pre-flop, but are also likely to fold on the flop. In both cases, the tight player is more likely to fold to a raise unless they have a hand that they believe will win them the game.
Paying attention to the opponents at the table when playing, as well as their positions, can help identify pots that can be stolen. If there are a lot of loose passive opponents on the right, and tight aggressives to the left, this can be an amazing opportunity for a steal. The tight players will fold most of the time due to a raise. If not, then they are holding a good hand, which tells the player to slow down on betting. In some cases, a player may be called, but unless that player sees a straight or a flush, it is safe to bet again to get them to fold.
Unfortunately, these strategies will not work against new loose passive opponents due to them not knowing how to play. With these new players, cards must be played, and if there is nothing to play, there can be no bets played.