To win in poker, you need to know your enemies well so you can pick fights only with those you know you can beat. Player profiles help you identify the different types of players you are up against. There are four main categories of players. Even though each person is unique, they tend to fall into one of these categories. Get to know your opponents. Once you can classify them, you can adjust your game to make the most of the situation.

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First, the terms:

Loose  A loose player is one who will use any two hole cards. They don't seem to care about the winnability of their hand, or else they don't know the value of folding junk hands.

Tight  This is the opposite of a loose player. They are selective with the hands they play; the tighter they are, the more selective they are.

Aggressive  An aggressive player raises quite often. They like to control the game or else they are just there to gamble.

Passive A passive player seldom raises a bet. They are not competitive or else they like to save money.

Poker Player Profiles

Loose/Passive (LP) – Also known as a calling station. This player plays just about every starting hand they are dealt. But they don't play them aggressively. Instead of raising or re-raising, they just call. This type of player is often just sitting there, relying on the luck of the draw to give them the pot. Play tight against these players. If they bet to you, it's usually safe to call them. If you play against them only with the best hands, you will win often. But don't bluff them; bluffs don't work here.

Loose/Aggressive (LAG) – This is the maniac type. Nothing looks more stupid than a maniac raising, re-raising and finally showing down with a hand like 9s-2d. When they lose, they need to rebuy because they've lost all their money. But when they win, they win big. These players will reward you with a big pot when you make your monster.

Tight/Passive (TP) – This player is a rock. They are the patient and cautious type, playing only really good hands. A person like this hates to gamble. They play poker not to spend money but to win it. So you can be sure when they do play a hand, it must be really worth playing. However, even when they play they are still careful. They will not raise until late in the game, if at all. They like to slow play and make money the slow way. Sometimes you might not even notice they are at your table.

Tight/Aggressive (TAG) – This player profile describes a shark who knows which hands to play and how to play them. Like the tight/passive profile, this type plays few hands. But when they get the hands they like, they will raise, re-raise and go all-in with them. Respect this player most of all.

Both the tight player profiles can be bluffed since they are cautious and only continue when they have a strong holding. But when they are the ones who bet into you, it probably is time to fold. Except if it's late in a tournament. If a tight player starts to play more hands in that situation, they may be bluffing. Bluffing is necessary in tournaments when the blinds get big.

Our advice is to find US online poker tables full of loose players that are happy to pay you off to see your cards, so you can take them to value town. Tight players are educated folks who play their hands intelligently. It is not that you can’t make money off of tight players, however, you should target those who know the game even less than you: i.e. loose players who are just there to pass away the time. Good luck.

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