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Tight Table Strategy

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If you are able to adjust your strategy accordingly, poker tables with players who are tight players can be really profitable for you.

In this article you’ll find the main adjustments you should make in your strategy to avoid complicated post flop situations and win at tight tables.

We’ll cover the nature of tight opponents, the kind of staring hands they play, their betting patters before and after the flop and how they can affect your starting hand selection and your post-flop strategy. We’ll also talk about how our position at the table affects your strategy when you play against tight poker hold’em players.

Definition of tight poker table

Tight players are those who play only a few hands pre-flop, in general less than 10% of the starting hands. Tight players tend to raise with the hands they play because they are usually strong hands. Tight players are usually unwilling to let strong hands go because sometimes they waited long to get a premium hand.

Tight players generally stick to premium hands when they enter a pot and play only a few hands.

The fact that they don’t get involved in pots without having a good hand can help you make some conjectures. First of all, if you want to call a raise from a tight player you’ll need a strong hand. Second, tight players may bet out on several flops but they are less likely to call a big raise when a scare card is in the middle, such as an ace when they hold a pair of queens.

Tight poker table strategy

Your game will be affected in several ways by the type of strategy you need to play against a tight player. You should not be inclined to call a raise from a tight player but you should be more eager to open a pot for a poker raise.

When you raise you get two extra advantages. First, you’ll know when a tight player has a monster hand because they will re-raise. Second, if you show somehow that you have a strong hand, they will generally fold and you’ll have the chance to increase your stack by winning blinds and small pots.

Although it is not necessarily more profitable to play against tight player, they are a little easier to read than loose players.

When you play post flop against tight players you need to make some assumptions based on community cards to figure out if they are likely to hit the flop.

Example of tight poker table hand

Suppose three low cards or one small pair and a medium card come on the board. Since your opponent is a tight player they will prefer high cards and since there are less pair combinations than high card combinations, they probably missed the majority of their hands on the flop. In this situation you’ll be able to win the pot uncontested from the tight player just with a small bet.

Another example of tight poker table hand

Suppose you get a flop with several draws, such as 5Heart 6Heart 8Spades. Also suppose that you called a bet from position pre-flop and your tight opponents decides to bet into you. Since you know he is a tight player then he probably has an over-pair and he made the bet to protect his hand from the several drawing hands.

In this situation if you call and then raise heavily with a third suited card or a card to make a straight arrives on the turn. This is a risky strategy but it can also be profitable because you know that your opponent is not likely to have bet pre-flop holding a drawing hand.

You should consider the nature of the opponent in both examples. Many tight players tend to fold in the presence of a strong hand or a draw heavy board, but it does not mean that all of them will. If you get to play with a player who is tight/passive and calls all the way with K-K on an ace high flop, then you have found the perfect opponent to value bet when you have a strong holding and your reward will often be their entire stack.

Position strategy when you play at tight tables

Winning when you face a tight opponent also has to do with your position at the table in relation to the dealer button and also in relation to the pre-flop raiser. From the dealer button you’ll be able to loosen your starting hand requirements when you are at a tight table and if you are in any late position you’ll be favored to steal the blinds from those players who have small calling ranges.

When you the last to act in a tight table you’ll get more information than if you were at a loose table. Your opponents will tend to make a continuation bet when you are at a loose table. When your opponent raises and re-raises ahead of you at a tight table it will reveal the strength of your opponent’s hand and you’ll be able to exit the pot without losing money.

Relative position at a tight table

When you call a raise from early position playing at a tight poker Texas Hold’em table you are more likely to be sandwiched between the player who raised post-flop and any player left in the hand. You could be forced to make difficult decisions after the flop in this situation because opponents tend to play strong starting hands. For example, your top pair may be better than the hand of the original raiser but the player behind you may have hit a premium hand.

You may have more problems than you can imagine when you sit immediately to the left of the preflop raiser.

Make sure that you will act last in relation to the likely raiser after the flop in order to avoid this kind of situation.

Tight table strategy evaluation

To sum up, you need to make some adjustments to your poker strategy when you play in a tight table. Bluffing will be more valuable especially on low or draw-heavy flops, but remember that you’ll have to fold if you get called. Value betting can be really profitable when you play against a tight/passive opponent. The value of your absolute and relative position will increase as post flop bets will reflect how strong the hands of your opponents are in a more accurate way.

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