Poker, as you know, is a game that can be safely called a game of logic and reserved emotions. Each player tries to fit their temperament into the basic rules of behaviour. Participants learn to hide their joy from good combinations and control the frustration caused by trash cards.
But the styles or manners of playing online poker can be divided into two main types – this is the tight style, which we spoke about before and the loose style, which will be discussed in detail in today’s article. Let us remind you that tight players do not like risks and play only reliable, strong hands, and if there are none, they prefer to fold. They almost never bluff.
But loose players have a freer manner of play and take part in a much larger number of card draws.
Those who choose this style at the table play more starting hands, have ambiguous cards and thus create ambiguous situations in the game. Good quality loose poker must rely on good knowledge and enough experience.
Freestyle play can be divided into two main categories or two types. Namely – the loose-aggressive style of play and loose-passive. Let’s discuss them in more detail.
Loose-aggressive is the most difficult style of online poker. It will require you to understand the rules of the game and the situation at the table fully and conduct an assessment of your own position and the position of your opponents. You will have to make a lot of complex decisions.
The pros who master the loose-aggressive style and apply it correctly play quite a dynamic, exciting game, winning the pot, which was increased during the betting process.
Remember that these tactics become useless if you play with completely inexperienced opponents, they still do not know how to fully evaluate the poker table and most likely will not be able to enter into a thoughtful draw.
The second type, which is the complete opposite of the example above, is the loose-passive play style. It can be called the style of an absolute beginner, who does not understand which cards are worth entering the draw with and which ones have no chance at all. Such a game manner is completely useless and incorrect.
Loose-passive players may decide to call or raise with trash hole cards. As a result, they lose a lot and often empty their stacks. The only, so to speak, advantage of playing with such players is the profit from them received by more experienced participants.
Like any technique, strategy or trick in online poker, loose poker has its pros and cons. There are a lot of both, so this game style is considered reasonably complex and is fully accessible only to professional players.
The positive aspects primarily include the frequent winnings of the pot, even if these pots are not of the largest size. Most poker players may decide not to take risks because of a small pot, but loose style players will not only jump in and take it without difficulty but will also do it quite often.
The second advantage is the difficulty in reading the player. Since a loose player plays not only the strongest hands but also medium and sometimes weak cards, it becomes difficult to understand what the opponent enters into a draw with.
This also includes large rewards for strong combinations. Because opponents do not always believe in the strength of the loose player’s hand and allow the possibility of a bluff. The player, though, has the opportunity to get a very large pot if they have a powerful combination.
As for the disadvantages or cons of the loose style of play, we first of all point out its complexity and difficulty of use. As has been repeatedly mentioned above – this style of play requires thorough knowledge and experience. So it’s not an option for beginners.
Difficult gaming situations are also a disadvantage of the loose style. The game, in which fans of this style participate, obliges opponents to do similar actions. And this, in the end, can lead to a huge loss for one of them. So, the risks are very high. Here it’s all about the speed of making the right decision so as not to lose your stake.
Loose style cannot be called universal. In a situation where there is a loose participant at the table, the rest have a hard time, and they are cautious, remembering that it is better to fold their cards from time to time and wait for the next hand. And once again, we remind you that this style of play becomes completely useless when playing against inexperienced, novice opponents.
Loose play in poker is not invincible, skilled opponents can often dominate loose poker players. Most good players use a tight-aggressive style of play. Loose players, on the other hand, play a much wider range of hands. This means that it will not be difficult to defeat such a player since often they will not have the strongest hands.
However, why do so many players have difficulty playing against loose poker players? There is no single answer to this question, there are a number of factors for this. However, an accurate assessment of the situation, the right bet sizing and the choice of the optimal strategy will help you beat LAG.
It can be concluded that the typical reasons for losing to loose opponents are:
Most of the micro limit players are loose players. Many experienced ones play these hands too casually without calculating the correct bet size. However, for a stable, profitable game, it is necessary for the poker player to correctly assesses bet size, its ratio to the pot and ante. The value of the money contributed should not play a major role for the player. With a good game, the principles of bet sizing should be the same for all limits – for $0.5/1, for $50/100 and for $500/1000.
You just need to abstract away from the idea that the call will cost not one dollar but a thousand. The probability of winning remains the same, so the game actions must remain the same. So when inexperienced players call because it’s “only a dollar”, it’s not loose play, it’s just bad play.
It is well known that as the number of players in the hand increases, the chances of winning even with a strong starting hand decrease. But, on the other hand, the victory will bring more profit in this case. Very often, tight players complain about banal bad beats when a set beats flush made on the river. Some, after a series of such losses, begin to believe that loose play in poker has more prospects and also begin to expand the range of hands. However, this tactic is absolutely wrong, it will demonstrate the weakness of the player who believed in the invincibility of the LAGs.
In a loose game, the criterion for hands is different – a playable hand or an unplayable one. But to think that LAG will play all starting hands would be wrong. Compared to the TAG’s range, connectors, low pairs, and offsuit top connectors are of lesser importance.
Often tight players try to play “perfectly” so they can be predictable. In the case when you are a participant in a loose hand and have reached the last streets, get ready for ambiguous and non-standard situations. LAGs are less predictable than TAGs, so it’s harder to predict what they’ll do next.
Playing techniques such as bluffing and floating can sometimes bring the pot without a showdown, or they can end in a loss. LAGs, on the other hand, are great at reading tight opponents, often successfully using blind stealing and bluffing.