Playing Tight Players

When you find yourself up against a table of tight poker players, you’ll want to adjust your own poker play accordingly. Using the right poker strategy against specific opponent types will increase your profit potential in ring games, and ensure longevity in tournament play.

Playing tight players is one of the most difficult situations to overcome. Tight poker players are quite common, but it takes an extreme level of patience and discipline to properly maintain a tight poker strategy. Most professional poker players prefer a tight poker game.

So how do you overcome the strict strategies of tight players? By applying an exact opposite poker strategy of your own. You’ll need to loosen up your own game. Loose poker play is not generally recommended by poker strategists, but in this case, it’s a great way to earn a lot of free blinds.

When your opponents are playing tight, they will be folding most of their hands. The only time they’ll want to move on is with a great starting hand. Most of the time they are dealt marginal hands at best, and can easily be swayed to fold by a loose/aggressive player.

When you have a decent hand to work with – preferably one with a decent number of outs – go ahead and drop about 4x the big blind bet into the pot. Any tight player without an excellent hand is going to give you the pot without contention. This is easily done from late position, when you already know that these previously betting tight players have little or nothing to go on.

Be careful when a tight player shows aggression. They usually mean business. The only time a tight player might toss chips into the pot without a great starting hand is from late position, themselves. They may be looking to steal the blinds here, so if you have a good enough hand to work with, and you’re confident they are simply attempting to steal the blinds, go ahead and call them for a shot at the big win.

Don’t play a strictly loose game, or tight players will eventually bust you out. That’s why they play a tight game to begin with – they know over time loose players will falter. Mix things up a bit, from loose/aggressive to loose/passive and the occasional tight play. You don’t want to risk everything just to play loose, but you do want to take advantage of the tightness of your competitors when you can.

Another key element of most tight poker players is their keen ability to read opponents. Know that they are likely trying to pick up on poker tells and betting patterns at all times, so don’t give them anything to peg you with. As we said above, mix things up and never maintain a strict pattern of situational betting.

When dealt a premium starting hand, don’t change up your game play. If you’ve never slow-played a hand, don’t slow-play this one. The perpetual observance of your opponents will give you away. Don’t go all-in as they will surely fold, but don’t play it too cheaply either.

If you can keep your opponents guessing, rake in frequent blinds, and make the most of your premium starting hands, playing tight players can be a highly profitable experience.

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