Characteristics of Rocks in Poker Games
When sitting at a poker table, it is important to be able to spot the different types of poker players at the table. Many people have discussed how to play rocks, maniacs, etc, there isn’t nearly as much out there in identifying potential players as they show up to the table and as they play. Let’s take a look at some common characteristics of different players at the table. I will present this in a series of articles and the first type of player we will review are rocks.
Rocks are typically easy to figure out after sitting at the table for a while and watching play, but there are many times common characteristics that many rocks hold. First, many rocks tend to be older players. While this sounds like a bit of age discrimination, this is just observation. I am typically somewhat of a tight player, but when I sit down at a Holdem table where the average age is 50, I tend to loosen up my game. Some of this is due to the fact that many older players are used to the old school type of poker where aggression was not focused on as much as solid play.
Another telling characteristic of a rock may be a person that is extremely quiet. They may not speak at all or they may hold a minimum of conversation. Raise, call, and nice hand may be the only words you hear from them for an hour at a time. Some of this may be that they don’t want to give off any tells. Some are just incredibly shy.
Rocks will usually sit down with the exact buy-in or with a pre-determined set of chips. If the game is a $60 buy-in, they may sit down with the exact amount of money. Granted, this is not always a reliable read but at lower stakes, it tends to hold much more weight.
At least in Limit poker, I have found that the better dressed a person is can sometimes correlate to how tight or how loose they are. For example, someone in a t-shirt and jeans is going to usually be looser than a person in a 3 piece suit. Sometimes it is an image they are trying to uphold. For some, it is their personality. No-Limit Holdem can vary in this due to the fact that some people will emulate certain players, such as the DevilFish and they may dress up fancy to look good.
If a player sits down with a book, regardless of type, expect that person to be somewhat rocky. They are sitting down for the long haul and don’t mind waiting for strong hands.
A lot of the above characteristics are to be used in conjunction with watching the play of a particular person. People will deviate from the above patterns so don’t automatically put someone in a category due to an above recommendation. For example, I am usually somewhat quiet at Holdem tables and am relatively rocky. However, I am very chatty during stud and Omaha regardless of how I am playing. I also almost always dress in an t-shirt and jeans. I dress up a little better for certain tournaments when I want a tight image. It works too a surprising amount of the time.
The next article in this series will the characteristics of Loose-Passive players. Good luck to you at the tables.