One of the most common styles in poker is that of loose players. A loose poker player is somebody who plays a large number of hands preflop. There is an even greater distinction here because there are both loose-aggressive and loose-passive grinders.
A loose-aggressive (LAG) player not only plays lots of hands, but they enter pots with a big raise. Loose-passive players normally limp into pots and frequently call bets. It’s important to know the difference because each type of loose opponent requires a different strategy. That said, here’s a look at some general strategy for dealing with both types of loose players.
Playing Loose-Passive Opponents
The key to beating your loose-passive opponents is to see cards cheaply and keep players in the pot when you hit a strong hand. Since loose-passive players are defined by their willingness to call, you simply need a good knowledge of what bet sizes will keep them in the pot.
So you can enter a lot more pots with limps and small raises while hoping to hit sets, flushes and straights. Once the flop hits, you can use your pot odds and implied odds to continue chasing drawing hands. Value betting becomes your friend if you do get a strong hand, and previous observations of opponents will be really important here too.
Also remember that the pots will be much smaller when competing against a number of loose-passive players, so don’t expect to collect huge winnings.
Playing Loose-Aggressive Opponents
When pitted against LAG’s, you shouldn’t be playing too many hands. The reason why is because the majority of these grinders bet big and thin out the field. So it’s best if you can gain a preflop advantage and make large bets.
After the flop, many LAG’s will continue betting big, whether their hand connects or not. The idea here is to either force an opponent out of the pot, or build the pot if their hand does hit. Because of the nature in which these games go, you won’t have an opportunity to see many free cards.
However, you can often take control of hands by betting first when you feel that opponents are on a draw. By wagering enough, you’ll give these players bad odds to call, which is positive expected value for you.
Both kinds of loose grinders can put you up to some difficult situations. But with enough practice and observation, you have a solid shot at beating these players and making some money.