A Spring Refresher on Dealing with Bad Poker Players

// Published by Luke

Can we rant for a second before teaching you something else? Good, thank you. We wanted to rant about all of the players that are whining about the weaker players underneath them. Never mind the fact that we all started as fish — the reality is that fish can be profitable. We can hunt fish. We can profit from fishy players. As fishy players grow in their skills, they will turn around and hunt their former fishy brethren. Cue the “Circle of Life” song, because that’s what this is. As you get better at online poker, you’re going to be hunting fish. Most of your profits are going to come from fish, as long as you learn how to beat them. Sure, you might get your morals involved temporarily, but that will change over time. You just need to figure out what to do first.

That’s where we come in with this guide. YOU see, there’s really two types of bad players — the aggressive type sand the passive types. The passives are what you’ll run into the most time. You will find the aggressive types are the ones that think they’re calling the shots by bluffing you big time. Once you see through their bluffing nonsense, you’re going to be able to nail ’em and take their chips. They deserve it for trying to run on bluffs. Bluffing will only get you so far. Unfortunately, new players think that poker is all about bluffing. It’s what they see in movies and it’s what they think they’re seeing when it comes to the World Poker Tour or the World Series of Poker. A few broadcasts of the final table doesn’t make the entire body of poker, people! But that’s another rant for another guide.

Bad Poker PlayersMoving along, you need to figure out how to profit off of the fish. Identifying the aggressive fish is pretty easy. You want to look at the VPIP — which is the % of hands played as well as the PFR — preflop raise percentage. You could see an 80/75 — this would mean they play 80% of the hands preflop and they also raise over 75% of them. That’s a VERY aggressive player. However, they’re betting without really thinking about the strength of their hand. You need to be able to take advantage of that by betting back. You’ll be able to call them out and win pots that others would just assume are the domain of the aggressive fish. They’re not. 🙂

There’s also the passive fish. Some poker players ignore passive players, but we love them. For one, they will call a LOT — this means that they will be receptive to small bets. This is a great way to go because you can bleed them slowly and become profitable over time.

People try to bluff passive players but this is not a good idea. They’re going to go into any pot that they can. That’s something that you need to be aware of, so you can avoid it.

Another point is that you don’t want to just slowplay those big monster hands. Play them hard and make the calling stations commit. That’ll add to your profit stash as well.

As always, you need to review your hand history when you know you’ve played some fishy players. This will help you tighten up your game and make even more money over time. Good luck!