How to face Tight Opponents in a Poker Tournament

How to face Tight Opponents in a Poker Tournament

Unlike playing against the various types of loose poker players, tight players are difficult to engage in most best hands of poker. They often times fold after the antes and blinds, and they rarely contribute to the value of the pot beyond the occasional call or check. However, when they do enter a pot with a little bravado the other players probably should fold as chances are they have a great hand.

While this strategy may be fine during the early rounds of a tournament, and it may help to partially minimize the losses experienced by a tight player, this strategy also minimizes the amount of money that the tight player will be able to win and thereby reduce their chances of surviving to the final table.

The problems associated with playing against a tight player are further compounded when the tightness of their game in coupled with a passive playing style. A passive poker player is a poker player that very rarely will raise or re-raise, and in most cases they will check or call. Again this diminishes their contributions to the pot, and it makes them dead weight at a poker table. To help engage tight/passive opponents in a game of poker a little bullying and prodding may be necessary.

Call-raise the check or call of the tight/passive will usually force them to fold mediocre hands leaving the contents of the pot, including any contributions that they have made up to this point, to the regular player. If the tight/passive player stays in the hand then the other players know that they probably have a pretty strong hand and it may be a good idea to fold out of the hand. This will help the other players to conserve chips, and it will reduce the amount of chips that the tight/passive player will be able to win, reducing their survival chances.

Generally speaking the tight/passive player is easy to spook. If a player has a moderately strong hand and they are playing against a tight/passive opponent who doesn’t seem to want to abandon their hand, the player can make a couple of different moves. The first move is to try and read how good the tight/passive player’s hand is. The player should use the community cards as well as what they are holding to determine what other possible hands can be made and how many of those hands are stronger than their own hand.

If the player doesn’t have at least the top pair for the round they should probably fold at this point, however, if their have a top pair or better, then they should try to scare the tight/passive player out of the round with heavy betting. The size of the bet will depend on the size of the player’s stack, the type of limits set for the game, and the strength of the tight/passive player’s reluctance to abandon their hand. In a No-Limit Texas Hold’em tournament an all-in situation may be the best way to chase the tight/passive player out of a hand of poker when they have a moderately strong hand!

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