How to play against Passive Players
Play Poker » How to play against Passive Players
A basic way to play against passive players is to pick up small pots from them. The small pots will add up in the end to more than one big pot will and most pots will be almost uncontested. If you can pick up pot after pot and attack a passive player’s blinds you can put them in situations they are uncomfortable with. The main reason this works is because passive players will almost never play hands out of position and you can nickel and dime pots from them if you are in position. When they finally do wake up with a hand it will be very obvious. Passive players will simply not play pots without big hands and their range of hands is very easy to determine.
Another great thing to look at when sitting with a passive player is if you happen to cooler them. This is something where you cannot control the cards but you can certainly control the betting and get their whole stack. If they are not playing any hands and all of a sudden they raise you in a pot you can certainly get the money in and win a big pot. Most passive players will sit and wait for one big hand. When they get that big hand all of the money is going in no matter what. Passive players are simply not profitable players for that reason. A vast majority don’t read the strength of other players and just look at what their cards are. If you have been playing aggressive you can get paid off a bunch by passive players who aren’t able to lay down top pair or big pairs.
Some more advanced ways to get money from passive players are things such as floating one street or using a check raise. You should use a float once in a while because a passive player will not take more than one shot at a pot if they miss with hands like AK and AQ. Simply floating a dry board with no high cards on it can gather a pot a lot of the time with a bet on the turn. Also, the check raise can be used out of position in pots with hands like middle pairs or hands that have no value in calling. If you check and call with a middle pocket pair on a board with an over card on it, there is simply no reason for it. You will be stuck in the hand. If you utilize a check raise the hand will be over after the play. The passive player will either fold if they have a hand like AK or AQ or shove all-in with a big pocket pair. If you do happen to hit a flop with a set this play can also work in your favor. If they have an over pair they are not folding ever. You can sit back and watch them agonize before they move their chips in and you snap call.
Passive players in general either make a small amount of profit or they lose because they don’t play enough pots. The more pots you play the more money you can potentially win. It is a simple concept that makes sense, but one that is overlooked more times than not. Good players who are even moderately aggressive have a far better chance of turning a profit throughout the course of a session then a passive player does. The table image you earn will allow you to play hands differently and make more moves than other players. Also, if you are playing more aggressive you will get more action and have players try to hero call you in spots where it is obvious that they should fold. Playing passive in cash games and in tournaments is simply something that can hurt you and you shouldn’t be the passive player ever. Playing against these players is something you should look for in tournament poker more than online poker real money games. In cash games the passive players will just wait it out and maybe make a small amount, but will never get action in hands where they should. So, attack the passive player whenever you can, but avoid playing big pots with them unless you have the nuts.
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