Nothing is in stone – table dynamics may change everything, then watch for tells

Play 15-20% hands (4 hands an hour)

Strong $20



Aces –

Kings –

Queens –

Suited AK –

Balancing Hands:

Suited Broadway –

Suited A5 –

Suited A4 –

Med. $15



JJ –

TT –

99 –


Balancing Hands:

AX Suited –

9-T Suited –

7-8 Suited –

5-6 Suited –

Weak $10

CO – Button


88 –

77 –

66 –

55 –

44 –

33 –

22 –

AJ – A10

KQ – KJ – QJ

Suited Connectors

If facing the right opponent (or a strong hand) keep bettering C- BET 50% pot – T-BET 75% – River 100%

Common Poker Tells

Watch to see if they are interested in the cards after first seeing hole cards. Interested perks up, watches action, leans in or close to the table, protects cards, pressing down on cards, brings them close means a strong hand. Looks away, pushes them away, is distracted means weak cards.

Do they take a long look at the cards? A long look means weak cards marginal hands *mostly* pay attention

After flop watch eyes when they see the flop or T/R cards if they look at the pot or their own chips means strong hands.

Are they comfortable, closer to they table, paying attention to action – means strong hands

Do they call quickly? This means a low drawing hand or small pair as long as they have not had time to consider their action, as is last to act so they already made their plan.

Defensive chip handling by the player on your left – suggesting he is going to bet, is usually a weak hand, pausing when putting the chips over the line is a sign of a weak hand

Player Types – Know who you are playing…

Tight Aggressive (TAG)

The tight-aggressive player generally doesn’t play many pots. They are selective and generally only play the best starting hands. Unlike the tight-passive players, a tight-aggressive player will play their cards strongly. They are patient and wait for the best opportunities to strike but they are not afraid of betting. The best tight-aggressive players are often labelled as ‘sharks’ because a tight-aggressive style is frequently effective, regardless of the game variation or betting structure.

Loose Aggressive (LAG)

The loose-aggressive player tends to raise or re-raise a wide variety of hands pre-flop and will often bet on most flops. They can be extremely difficult to read because they play such a wide range of hands. In no-limit hold’em there are some very skilled players who employ a loose-aggressive style of play to great effect. They use their chips as weapons and are constantly applying pressure on their opponents. They will bluff a high percentage of the time and are hard to play against. However, at the extreme end of the loose-aggressive scale is the ‘maniac’ who seemingly raises without rhyme or reason. The maniac’s tendency to overplay his hands means you will almost surely show a profit in the long run against this type of player.


A typical tight-passive player generally doesn’t play many pots and will often just call pre-flop when they find a hand they like. They will play so tight that when they do play, everyone else folds. So, when they have a good hand they can’t make any money. This type of player is sometimes labelled as a ‘rock’ or a ‘nit’ and the general style of play can also be referred to as ‘weak-passive’. They are easy to bluff and will frequently fold to scary board cards, such as an Ace. The really timid players can also be paralyzed with fear and won’t take shots. This is because they tend to play with a fear of losing. Observant players who have identified a weak, predictable player will always be on the lookout for situations that can be exploited simply because the tight-passive player folds too frequently to aggression.

Loose Passive

Loose-passive players like to limp into lots of pots. They will call raises “just to see a flop” and will remain in the hand whenever they hit any of it, however marginal. They seldom take chances or become aggressive in their plays and they tend to be “calling stations” when they do. Their whole approach to playing poker is to watch and let others do the risking. Many beginners or even players who’ve played for a long time can fall into the trap of just calling, calling and calling. This is especially true in low buy-in games. They are very obvious to spot and are easy targets. Unlike the tight-passive players, you’re not going to be able to bluff them – you never want to bluff a calling station! But when you do pick up a hand that is fairly strong, you should bet for value and milk as much out of them as you possibly can.