Playing Against Loose Aggressive Players
There are many types of players that you will encounter at the poker table. One skill that you need to start developing as a beginning Holdem player is the ability to recognize the different types of players and how to counteract their plays. The next few articles will cover the different types of players that you will encounter at the table and ways to beat them while in games. To start, let’s examine the loose aggressive player at the table, also known as the maniac.
The loose aggressive player is the action player at the table. This player will give a lot more action than any other player at the table. You can’t miss this player, and in many games, you can spot them coming. They are typically very outgoing and boisterous. Some are the type of player that will chatter non-stop at the table. Maniac players are also very active in pots. They tend to play many pots and will raise frequently. Getting a read on a maniac player can be difficult as they play so many hands, but there are some things you can do to adjust your play to counteract them.
First, you need to need to improve your starting hand selection. This is the type of player where consistently playing stronger hands against will pay off. The maniac will usually play an “any two cards” strategy. Pick your hands carefully and you will put yourself in the best spot to combat him.
Next, be more aggressive after the flop. I am not telling you to go crazy with garbage hands, but when you do have a decent hand, make him pay with his inferior holding or when he is chasing a draw.
Moves such as check-raising and slow playing should be used more frequently. The maniac will typically bet into you if you check to them. They are always looking to exploit any weakness and a check to them will be perceived as weakness.
Also, bluff less against this type of player. The maniac sometimes has tendencies to call down bets with inferior holdings. Adversely, you should try and induce them to bluff you. If they think they can take the pot with a bluff, they will try this move often. Let them bluff their chips off to you.
Take note of the tells that this player gives off. Many times a maniac player will have noticeable betting patterns. They also have a tendency to wear their emotions on their sleeve. You can exploit these tells and take advantage of their weaknesses.
When you have a hand that you want to play against this player, try and isolate them. Re-raise them to try and force the action heads up.
You may also want to consider calling down bets in spots that you wouldn’t against other players. With this type of player, they will bluff a lot and bet into your with draws, busted draws, and even hands as weak as bottom pair. Go ahead and call down on occasion with your middle pair or other hands, such as a pocket pair with overcards on the board.
When you play a maniac player you want to be at the players left. This gives you position on the player and you can see him act before each hand that he plays. Afterwards you will have position on each street of the hand when you do play the maniac, keeping the advantage in your court.
There are a couple of things you should be aware of when playing maniacs. Since they do play a wide range of hands, they will suck out on you much more often. When this happens, do not fall into the trap of playing hands similar to their holdings. Sometimes a player will start to play weaker holdings due to the fact that the maniac is playing them. What happens then is the non-maniac player begins to bleed off chips and just feeds them to the other players at the table.
Next, the maniac will also try to use other tactics to get you off your game such as excessive chatter, needling, or even ridicule. You cannot allow his antics to get you off your game. Play your game and let him continue his antics with other players. Of course, if he is being abusive, report him to the floor staff and they will handle him. Otherwise, ignore him and take his money.
Maniac players can bring a lot of excitement and action to a poker game. Many players get outside of their comfort zone when this type of player sits down and will let them just bully the table. Take some of the tactics discussed in this article and apply them to your next game. You will soon find that the maniac is not that difficult of a player to deal with and is actually the source of great profit potential.