You can play poker loose or tight. Both have their advantages and weaknesses. But what is really the difference between playing poker loose or tight?
The first thing you need to know is the rank of cards that you will play pre-flop. Playing too loose and too tight will just get you into trouble. Choose either Ace or King or a deck of lower cards.
The difference between playing too loose and playing too tight is not just a matter of what cards you play but the position you are playing in. Loose players normally play a lot of hands, especially from late positions. Tight players only usually play hands from early or middle positions.
Playing too tight also prevents you from taking down pots. Since most of the time, both players will have similar hands, the chance of you both having a really strong hand is very low. You need to take chances though, and hope you flop a big hand.
The next big difference between playing too tight and playing too loose is post-flop play. Here you can play either too tight or too loose depending on how you want to play. Obviously, playing too tight is not very successful since you will never make a big hand. But of course, playing too loose can be a lot more profitable because you can get lots of small pots. Some of the skill comes into playing small pots, especially in online poker.
The hardest thing to remember about poker is the division between hands. When you are playing pre-flop, you really don’t know who is holding what. You could be holding 2,6 against a ridonkulous Flop, and you don’t know much after that. But when you see the Flop you’ll be able to quickly figure out whether you have a good hand or not, whether someone else is playing a bigger Hand, or whether you are the one who has just hit big.
When you start to play loose, at least until the Flop, you need to be taking more chances. Though statistically, waiting for the Flop is not the greatest idea either. One reason is that you give your opponents a free card, and getting two extra cards in your Hand, especially when you don’t have a very strong hand, is often outside of your control.
While tight play is the best possible pokerbo strategy, that’siceicat example. Its not the raison d’etre of the game for you to sit and wait for a monster. You want to take some chances and win by taking some small pots. If you stay in, you’ll win some eventually, but its vitally important that you mix up your play, or else you’ll be taken for a ride by a more experienced player.
This is also true for tournament play. Its absolutely crucial to your success that you’re able to switch gears, to play aggressively when the pressure’s on, and to play conservatively when you’re not in such a pressure situation. In a tournament, many players refer to playing tight early in the tournament, and conservative later on. The idea is that when the pressure is on, you have to make a chance on taking the blinds. If you don’t act, the blinds will slowly eat away at your stack. However, you don’t necessarily have to take chances, playing conservatively will allow you to make the necessary preparations to take your team to the Final Table.
In cash games, you’re better off not going all-in every hand, unless you have a monster. If you think you have a good hand, an all-in could knockout the majority of the field. You don’t have to make a crazy all-in every hand, an all-in is better than a semi-bluff. If you want to vary your style of play, you should start playing less hands, better, and be more aggressive.