Texholdem articles

How to Play Against a Loose-Passive Texas Holdem Player

How to Spot Loose-Passive Players

A loose-passive Texas Holdem player is probably going to be the easiest opponent you come across in the game. Not only do they bet often but they never force the pace, folding as soon as you put any pressure on them. They are also known as calling stations and are very common in low-limit games. Loose-passive players are the bottom of the poker players food chain are the skilled player will have them for lunch. You will find a lot of loose-passive players in the online poker rooms as many of the players there tend to be of this variety.

Playing against a Loose-Passive Player

A loose-passive player doesn’t have much skill or knowledge of the game and will bet in a lot of situations when they should be folding. Much of this is due to their belief that they can catch whatever outs they are looking for on the turn and the river. They may get lucky from time to time but often they won’t. Notwithstanding it is going to be the few times they got lucky which sustain their belief they should continue playing this loose-passive style. You could easily get frustrated when you play one of these players because no matter how poorly they play you still can't get the better of them. Don't let this or them get to you. Keep in control of your emotions and remain patient. If you can do this it is simply only a matter of time till you take care of them.

Playing in a Loose-Passive Game

Once in a while you are going to lose a hand to the loose-passive player because he catches his unlikely out which in turn is a bad beat for you as always seems to happen in online texas holdem. If he doesn’t get the out though a pair of 2’s will be good enough to beat him and more often that not he is not going to get his outs. You won't know what cards they have but you can tell by their bets. They will only bet when they have a good hand and will only raise when they have a great hand. Given that they rarely bluff, fold if they are betting.

Loose-Passive players are wary of bluffers and happy catch them by playing hands to the showdown with the second, third or even fourth best hand. Their passive side means they will never raise themselves but just call one. With many players in the hand the strength required for a winning hand goes up.

How to Beat a Loose Passive Player

Given all this, the best way to take on a loose-passive player is on face value. Don’t try to bluff them because they are not going to fold. Rather just bide you time and when you get the right hand play it to its potential. Find a hand where you think he may be trying to draw and bet hard in the hope that he comes along for the ride and misses his draw. Also reduce the kind of starting hands you play with; be more selective.

Because of his passive nature, you want the loose-passive player on your left as you don’t have to worry about him raising or even re-raising you.

Jason Steyer - Gambling Columnist