Loose passive online poker players are the best types of players to play against. They're also the worst kind of poker player to be. A loose player will play too many hands, making their hands worse on average than a tighter player. This makes it hard for a loose player to win over the long run, because mathematically if you enter the pot with a worse hand than your opponent, you are less likely to win. Passive poker playesr tend to check and call most of the time. They only raise with their very best hands. This makes passive players easy to read, and makes it hard for them to be profitable. They also let their opponents draw to better hands without charging them enough to do so. For example, if you are playing against a loose passive player and you flop four to a flush, they are likely to check and let you draw to your flush without having to pay to do so. In addition, when you hit your flush they may even call a bet on the river.
The Worst Poker Players at the Table
When a player combines loose pre flop play with passive betting, you can see why they are some of the worst players at the table. The best way to spot loose passive poker players is to see which ones enter too many pots and almost never bet or raise. Online poker rooms, especially at the lower limits, are filled with loose passive players. Before continuing, make sure you understand what loose means when it comes to playing poker. Loose does not have a certain percentage attached to it - it's in comparison to the other players at the table. Here are two examples to illustrate a loose player at two completely different percentages of flops seen. In example number one, the average flop percentage is 30%. This means that on average, 30% of the players see each flop and each player sees on average 30% of the flops. A player who only plays 20% of the hands is tight, while a player who is seeing 40% of the flops is loose. In the second example, the average flop percentage is 18%. The player who is only seeing 14% of the flops is tight while the player seeing 25% of the flops is loose. Most of the time playing loose in comparison to the rest of the table is unprofitable. It can be profitable to loosen up a little bit in a very tight game. However, playing poker online you will rarely find a super tight table. Most online poker tables are completely opposite and are filled with lose players. Playing a passive overall poker style is never the path to becoming a winning poker player. Winning poker players are aggressive in most situations. They also know when to play a situation in a passive manner.
The best example of passive play being correct is when you are drawing to a flush or open end straight and the pot odds are giving you the correct price to call a bet. This type of play does not go against a normal aggressive strategy. It is simply smart poker and practiced by all winning players.
How to Beat Loose Passive Poker Players
The best way to beat loose passive poker players is to play the opposite of them, tight aggressive. They play too many poor hands so when you're playing tight, you will be entering the pot with a better hand than your opponent on average. This gives you great advantage before the flop.
This also lets you bet your best hands more aggressively pre flop because the passive player will be more likely to call a raise with a poor hand, especially if they have already limped into the pot before your turn to act. As a matter of fact, when you have position on a loose passive player who has limped before the flop you should almost always raise if you are going to play the hand. You're likely a favorite to win the hand, they will almost always call a standard raise and they are going to let you control the action after the flop. This is one of the absolute best situations that you will ever find at the poker table. Take advantage of it every chance you get.
Take Control of the Action
Once they are in a pot, they will let you control the action. If you want to build a bigger pot then bet, and they'll usually just call. When you want to keep the pot smaller, check and they will usually check with you. This is an area you need to be aware of in your opponents play as well as your own. An otherwise good poker player who finds himself or herself checking and calling more often than betting and raising after the flop has a leak in his or her game. Track your own play as well as that of your opponents to see if you are slipping into bad habits. One word of warning about playing a loose passive poker player. If they start betting and raising, then they almost always have a strong hand. For example, if they've been checking and calling, and a flush is completed on the river, and they fire out a bet, if they are truly a loose passive player, then they have almost always hit the flush. Be careful before assigning someone a loose passive tag. Make sure they aren't a better player than they appear. A good player will realize that you are good enough to fold to a bet like the one mentioned in the example and can use that against you. This is why you must always be paying attention to how the other players at the table are playing and taking notes for future playing sessions. If a loose passive player raises pre flop, especially from early position, you need to be careful. Loose passive players like to limp, not raise. They probably have a monster starting hand. If they raise, you re-raise, and then they raise again, they have AA or KK almost every time. In addition, the way they play after the flop in combination with them putting so much money in before the flop can make it difficult to make enough return if you are drawing to a set to beat them. The best bet is fold when they have a big hand and make it up when they revert to their normal passive play.
How to Be a Loose Passive Poker Player
In most cases there is a place for different kinds of play depending on the circumstances at the poker table. For example, if the table is all playing tight, you may want to loosen up your starting hand requirements. If the table is very looses, you probably want to tighten up your starting hand requirements. There are also instances, mentioned above, where you may play certain hands in a passive manner. But we can't think of a single situation where playing a loose passive style is profitable. Yes, you can probably win occasionally with a loose passive style, but in the long run you can not be a winning player.
If you find yourself playing a loose passive style, the first thing you must do is tighten up your starting hand requirements. Less than 5% of online poker players play anywhere near too tight. The odds are that if you are reading this you should be playing a tighter pre flop strategy. This alone will improve your game over time.
The next thing you should do is work on being selectively aggressive. It is challenging to find the correct level of aggression when you are trying to learn the best way to play, but aggression is almost always better than playing passively. Many players combine working on both playing more aggressively and playing fewer hands by only playing hands pre flop that they can raise with. You will find as you become a better poker player that there are many hands that you should play without raising pre flop, but for new and learning players this is not a terrible strategy. You must also learn how to use position to help you decide how tight and aggressive you need to play. By being in position after the flop you have a better chance to control both the hand and the size of the pot.
There is no good reason to be a loose passive poker player, and you should find as many of them as possible to play against on a regular basis. One of the best things about playing online is that you have the chance to choose between many tables and many sites.
So if the table where you are seated doesn't have many loose passive players, find one that does. It will make it easier to win.