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Loose Table Strategy

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If you get the chance to play poker at a loose table, it may turn out to be a really profitable experience. You should adjust your strategy, however, because it can also be dangerous as there is high variance in the game.

Here you'll find information about the different kinds of loose table in No-Limit Texas Holdem and some tips on how to adjust your strategy to win at loose tables. Loose tables are different depending on the playing styles of your opponents: loose / passive tables and loose / aggressive tables.

The statistics you'll find in the lobby in the majority of online poker rooms will help you differentiate each kind of table. In this article you'll also learn how to adjust your starting hand selection and how to cover the factors that affect pre-flop decisions. We'll also see post flop play and how your table image affects your strategy for winning at loose tables.

What is a loose poker table?

Loose players are those who are eager to play a wide range of hands before the flop. When several loose players gather at a poker table pots will be played multi-way, at least in the early stages. You'll need to make a decision here taking into account the passive or aggressive nature of the players.

At loose / passive tables players tend to call or limp with a wide range of hands before the flop, which leads to small pots with many players involved. On the other hand, at loose / aggressive tables players tend to raise and re-raise before the flop, and as a result you get large pots with less players involved.

If you choose the right strategy, it is quite profitable to play at loose aggressive tables.

You need different strategies in these two types of loose tables if you want to win. The key difference is to know at what kind of table you are playing.

How to use lobby figures to identify loose poker tables

At almost all poker sites you'll find statistics at the lobby with two really important numbers: the number of players seeing each flop and the average size of each pot. In loose table the average number of players per flop will be between 40% and 60%. In aggressive tables the pot size will be much larger than in passive tables.

Loose poker tables strategy

A good strategy to play at loose poker tables is based on the type of loose players you are playing against.

  1. Playing at a loose / passive table.
  2. Playing at a loose / aggressive table.

Loose / passive table strategy

The adjustments you'll have to make to your strategy at loose passive tables will depend on how willing your poker hold'em opponents are to call large raises before the flop. In general, there is a gap between the hand in which opponents are eager to limp in and those hands in which they call a raise. Passive opponents tend to call raises rather than re-raise you.

At aggressive tables there are more chances that you get re-raised before the flop than at passive tables. As a result, you have more chances of limping with more hands with implied odds value like small pairs and suited connectors. These kinds of hands are profitable in multi-way pots.

Try not to make a big raise after you make a monster hand with the flop since you may scare your passive opponents out of the pot. Pick a bet size that has more chances of being called, except if the board is draw-heavy, and you'll be able to build the pot gradually and get the maximum profit possible.

Building large pots is a little bit harder when you play at a passive table.

When you get premium pairs while at a passive table you should raise to make as many players as possible fold. If you make a raise that is too small, several of your opponents may be easily tempted to enter the pot behind you holding speculative hands. This can be terrible for your pair of aces if you get a dangerous flop. You should play in a tight and aggressive way at a loose/passive table and at the same time limp in when you get hands with high implied-odds value.

Loose / aggressive table strategy

Your strategy at loose / aggressive tables should be completely different. Only when you are the last player to call a raise before the flop you'll have the chance to play small pairs or suited connectors at this kind of tables. If you are in early position you should fold such hands since you'll be risking a raise and re-raise behind you.

You can play premium pairs with better results at a loose / aggressive table than at a loose / passive table. In this situation, your aim is to get a big amount of money into the pot before the flop and the best situation is to play against only one opponent. These hands are profitable to play because there is a higher chance of a re-raise.

You should also base your strategy after the flop on the aggressiveness of the loose table you are playing at. Loose passive players tend to call with draws and you'll win money in the long run if you bet enough with a made hand to make their draws unbeneficial by giving them poor pot odds.

You can win even more profit if you see that an opponent who is loose / passive player only ever bets out when he gets a draw. Your strategy here is to allow them to get away from a 2nd best hand. Take all the free cards you get at loose passive tables to make your own drawing hands because a bet is often too likely to be called to work as a semi-bluff.

If you get a drawing hand after the flop playing at a loose / aggressive table you'll be less likely to take a free card. Your best strategy here is to bet since opponents will usually bet no matter if they hit the flop or not. You could even get checked by an aggressive opponent after the turn and if this happens you can take a free river cards to complete your draw if it is necessary.

Table image at loose tables

When you play at a loose table, your table image and your betting style also affect your strategy. Avoid checking suddenly just because you got a monster hand if you have been playing loose poker Texas Hold'em.

This is because opponents who are observing you may get suspicious because you did not bet when you usually do and because you'll miss the chance to get more money into the pot, and therefore increase the size of bet during future betting rounds.

Loose table strategy evaluation

To sum up, if you want to win at a loose table you need to adjust your strategy based on whether your opponents are loose / passive or loose / aggressive. You need to play hands in a different way pre-flop and after the flop based on the nature of the other players. Besides, your strategy at loose tables is also affected by your position at the table and your table image.

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