Tight-Passive Opponents

Tight-passive players include anyone with scores of 1-3 on both dimensions of tightness-aggression (scale 1-10). Many of these principles and examples refer primarily to rocks (1,1). The lower a player’s scores, the more likely he is to act, think, and feel like a rock.

Most rocks are heavily influenced by their inherent conservatism, but they are not as dominated by their emotions as maniacs and calling stations. Those loose players’ emotions make them choose a self-defeating style, while the tight-passive style can often lead to success, especially in smaller limit games which have many weak players. This is not true in higher stakes games where such players have predictable and transparent betting patterns for observant players who will exploit their style without mercy.

Like the maniacs and calling stations (in fact more than them), rocks are rigid and predictable. You know that they are going to fold hand after hand, call with only premium cards, and raise only with excellent ones.

Less extreme tight passive players have more self-control and flexibility. When dealing with a 3,3, you must be more cautious in applying these principles. You still have to make the same sorts of adjustments, but you must use more judgment and expect a more effective and unpredictable opponent. You must constantly look for variations in his style and adjust to how he is playing now.

Rocks have half of a winning style, and, if they choose their games carefully, it is enough to win a little. If they do not choose well, they will lose, but they may not lose much. Less extreme tight-passive players will win more, and they can beat more games.

If either score is 4 or more, a player is outside of the corner labeled “tight-passive,” and some of these principles may not apply to him. Since tight passive players share passivity and tightness with the adjacent “corners,” some parts of this section will overlap with the sections on loose-passive and tight-aggressive players.

In summary spot these tight-passive players early and know how to read them like books. And make sure to not play this way, this is not the way to make money playing poker.

Online poker is tough

For some people, online poker seems easy. For other people, it seems hard. Where do you belong?

When I started to play online poker, I found it hard to be profitable. Then I studied the game more, I read more and I tried to discover why I was losing in order to remedy that.

If you are losing at online poker but would like to win, one key thought that can help you dramatically is the following. All players are human beings, and intelligence is not the main reason to lose or win. The main reason is our psychological tendencies. So if we have leaks, and we correct them, then we will improve our results.

Online poker is a lot about automatic actions and the first step it to at least play correctly and avoid obvious “mistakes”. If some players can be profitable, so why not you?

After a few months of playing online poker, I noticed that I had a tendency not to fold when facing huge bets in an already large pot. Somehow I was in denial, wondering and doubting why my opponent would be making such large bets is he really had such a great hand. It turned out that often he had a great hand. My inability to fold in big pot led to big lost pots, and this is probably why I was a losing player while I could have been a winning player otherwise.

I learned to fold. I learned to almost never feel committed whatever the amount of chips already in the pot. Feeling committed is a leak as it leads to adding to your loss. I learned to focus on who was the player making the big bets, and depending on my profiling of him, I would decide to fold or not. For example it was quite obvious when a solid shark-rock type player was attacking the pot aggressively that he had a monster hand, so why feed his children?

Another important element is to not turn out to become predictable. If you start to systematically fold against large bets, then some observant players will notice and use that against you and bluff you. So mixing up your game is the second key.

Learn to fold and to it mix up, and you will shine at the poker table.