Player Types

Before I talk about anything else I need to break down the different player types. And I want to add the disclaimer that since this book is about online poker at the lowest stakes, the player types listed below refer to the ones that you will find at those levels. At higher stakes players get quite a bit more aggressive and you will encounter the loose and aggressive (LAG) player type a lot more often as well. There aren’t nearly as many LAG’s at the micros however so I decided not to include them.

As I mentioned before, adapting to your opponent is the heart of this game in my opinion. So almost every decision that you make at the poker table will be dependent on what kind of player you are up against. And as mentioned, this is why having a good HUD setup is so important. But luckily there are only a few different player types to remember. I generally lump players into three different categories with a couple sub units.

Nits

There are two different types of regulars (regs) that you will encounter at the micros, nits and tight and aggressive (TAGs). They can often be found playing several tables at once, are usually breakeven or winning players and play fairly tight overall.

Nits are on the tighter end of this scale. They will often have stats such as 10/8 or even tighter with the 10 being the VPIP and the 8 being the PFR. They pretty much only play very good hands preflop and usually only get involved in big pots postflop with big hands.

They don’t give away much easy money but they can also be exploited quite a bit due to their overly tight play. They also leave a fair amount of money on the table by choosing not to play some speculative hands. You should ruthlessly steal their blinds and cbet against them a lot.

I am going to outline the general tendencies of each player type according to the eight main HUD stats that I talked about before.

VPIP: Very low
PFR: Low
AF: Low
Number of Hands: n/a Cbet: Average

Fold to Cbet: Very high 3bet: Low
Fold to 3bet: Average

Here is an example of what a nit might look like using my HUD setup.

TAGs

The other kind of reg is the TAG. TAGs are much more difficult to play against than nits. This is the optimal play style in my opinion for the micros or any level of poker for that matter. These players have more speculative hands in their range than nits and are willing to give a little more action postflop with non-nut hands. These kinds of players generally have stats like 15/12 and are winning players. I would simply try to avoid playing pots with them as much as possible.

VPIP: Low
PFR: Average
AF: High
Number of Hands: n/a Cbet: High
Fold to Cbet: High 3bet: High
Fold to 3bet: Average

A typical TAG might look like this on your HUD.

SLPs

Semi-loose passives are a fairly large group of players who don’t take the game very seriously but aren’t completely oblivious either. While they aren’t splashing around in every single pot, they are playing more hands than is optimal. They are often weak or passive type players who call too much.

You should value bet frequently and with a fairly wide range against them. These types of players will often call with pretty meagre holdings and will call anything with a draw.

SLP’s will often run stats that look something like 24/6. While you can certainly make money off of them, they still aren’t the main reason that you should be at the table. They are giving away far more money that TAGs and nits but they aren’t giving it away by the wheelbarrow full either.

VPIP: Average
PFR: Low
AF: Low
Number of Hands: n/a Cbet: Average
Fold to Cbet: Average 3bet: Low
Fold to 3bet: Low

A typical SLP might look like this on your HUD.

Fish

These types of players are the reason that we play poker. It is so vital to always keep this in mind. As a good exercise to remind myself of this I will often go back over my biggest winning hands from the past couple days and count how many of them involved this type of player. It is usually the vast majority.

These players play poker purely for entertainment or recreation. They play any hand that looks good to them. They are not trying to learn, play optimally or really even win.

They will sometimes deliver incredible bad beats which can easily put people on tilt. It is very important not to lash out at them when this happens. They are the lifeline of the poker industry and are responsible for a large chunk of your profits.

These types of players will play a very wide range of hands and often have stats like 55/4. They are usually very passive and you should value bet them relentlessly. They will make tiny min probing bets with their weak made hands and draws. You can either raise these or just call down with a hand as weak as ace high.

VPIP: High
PFR: Very low
AF: Very low
Number of Hands: n/a Cbet: Average
Fold to Cbet: Low 3bet: Very low
Fold to 3bet: Low

A fish will look something like this on your HUD.

Maniacs

While 90% of fish are the passive type discussed above there is a small subset known as “maniacs.” This type of player is usually intoxicated in some way and is playing almost every hand in a very aggressive manner. These players are very high variance but are also insanely profitable to play against. They will routinely show up at the micros and it is a good idea to focus on that table and even play a bit longer than you had originally planned if they are still around and have money.

VPIP: Very high
PFR: Very High
AF: Very high
Number of Hands: n/a
Cbet: Very high
Fold to Cbet: Very low
3bet: Very high
Fold to 3bet: Very low

A Maniac will look something like this on your HUD.

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