Types of Poker Players: 10 Different Poker Personalities - BLITZPOKER

Types of Poker Players: 10 Different Poker Personalities

Types of Poker Players

Poker isn’t just about your hand; it’s about understanding other players and the different types of poker players you encounter. As you get better at poker, this skill becomes more important. Watching how others decide their moves, whether online or in person, tells you a lot about their strategies. There is a reason for every move they make. For instance, why did a player raise or call from that position? Pay close attention, especially when you’re not in the hand, to see how your opponents think and act. This knowledge can shape your approach when playing against them. You can practice these skills and enjoy a wide variety of games by playing on BLITZPOKER.

Whether they play tight and aggressive, or loose and reckless, knowing the different types of poker players and how to adapt to their styles is crucial for success in the game. Let’s explore some common player profiles you might encounter at the poker table.

The Tight Aggressive (TAG)

A TAG (tight-aggressive) player in poker is someone who follows a specific playing style characterized by being selective with the hands they play (tight) while playing those hands aggressively. This means they choose their starting hands carefully and play them assertively, typically raising rather than calling.

Players with a VPIP (Voluntarily Put In Pot) and PFR (Pre-Flop Raise) around 20% fit the TAG profile. These players often steal from the cutoff (CO) and button (BTN) positions, putting pressure on the blinds. As a result, you can’t simply fold all but the best hands when you’re in the blinds against a TAG player.

TAG players are often serious about the game, having studied poker strategy and aiming for a high win rate. Their style is similar to solid ABC poker, focusing on strong fundamentals and well-chosen pre-flop frequencies.

The Maniac

One of the types of poker players is maniac. A maniac in poker is a type of opponent known for playing very aggressively and recklessly. You can recognize a maniac by their constant betting, raising, and reraising, even when they have weak hands. Here’s how you can identify a maniac and how they typically play:

Betting Patterns:

  • Cold calling an open raise: They often call other players’ raises even when they don’t have strong hands.
  • 4-betting after being 3-bet: They are willing to escalate the stakes even after someone raises their bet.
  • Frequent pre-flop all-ins: They go all-in before the flop, sometimes with hands like 99 or AJs, which most players wouldn’t do.
  • Many open raises and 3-bets pre-flop: They raise a lot before the flop and also challenge other players’ raises frequently.
  • Frequent bluffs: They often bluff in situations where most players wouldn’t.
  • Large bets and raises: They tend to make big bets and raises, sometimes even larger than the pot size.

Maniac’s Range:

  • Maniacs play a very wide range of hands, including many weak ones.
  • They bet and raise much more often than average, which can create a lot of variance and, in the long run, lead to losses for them.

Facing a maniac can be challenging, but if you play with patience and adjust your strategy, you can use their aggression against them.

The Nit

In poker, a nit is a player who tends to play very few hands and is highly risk-averse. While they can win more often than aggressive players or those who take more risks, their style can be frustrating for other players at the table. Nits often refuse to take part in slightly neutral or negative EV situations, preferring to protect their stack rather than engage with the other players.

Their conservative approach can have downsides. They tend to avoid participating in community-based games, limiting their own growth and learning opportunities. This cautious playing style can also make games less fun for others, as nits usually shy away from action and big plays.

If you’re learning how to play poker, it’s important to remember that playing too conservatively might lead to missed opportunities and can hinder your overall development as a player. Instead, aim to strike a balance in your gameplay. Try to take advantage of good opportunities, and participate in the game in a way that is enjoyable for both yourself and the other players.

The Calling Station

A calling station is a poker player who tends to call a lot of bets and doesn’t often raise or fold. This type of player is known for playing hands passively and is often easy to identify due to their style of play.

Here’s how you can recognize a calling station:

  • High Hand Involvement: They tend to play many hands, even weak ones, and may call raises with a wide range of cards.
  • Passive Play: Calling stations rarely show aggression. Instead of raising, they prefer to call bets, even with strong hands.
  • Betting Patterns: Their betting behavior is distinct:
    • Open Limping Pre-Flop: They often limp into the pot instead of raising pre-flop.
    • Small Raises: When they do raise, they often make minimal raises.
    • Passive Post-Flop: They usually call bets on the flop and turn, but may try to bluff on the river when checked to.
  • Stack Size: They may play with a shorter stack, less than a full buy-in.

A calling station plays a wide range of hands, which is generally weak. They may call big raises pre-flop with weak hands like J8o, which more experienced players would usually fold. Because of their loose and passive style, you can often exploit calling stations by value-betting strong hands and avoiding bluffs.

The Whale

In poker, a “whale” refers to a player who is known for their loose and carefree playing style, making them a favourite target for experienced and professional players. Whales typically play hands with a wide range of starting cards and are willing to take risks, such as calling bets and raises without much thought to their odds or the strength of their hand. This tendency can result in them losing large amounts of money over time.

Whales are often high-rolling players who have significant income from businesses or investments, allowing them to play for high stakes without concern for potential losses. These players may also reload their chips quickly after a loss and continue playing, providing ongoing opportunities for opponents to capitalize on their loose and risky play.

In poker circles, having a whale at the table is seen as a boon for other players, as it can lead to higher pots and more chances to win money. However, playing with a whale requires a careful strategy, as their unpredictable play can also introduce an element of volatility to the game.

The Rock Type

In poker, a “rock” is a type of poker player known for their cautious and conservative approach. These players tend to play a tight range of hands, which includes strong ones like AQ, AJ, and suited broadway cards (e.g., suited cards from ten to ace). However, they often shy away from bluffing, preferring to stick to hands that they believe have a strong chance of winning. This risk-averse mindset can sometimes hold them back from making aggressive plays.

Because they play tight, rocks are often seen as predictable by their opponents. Their lack of aggression can sometimes result in missed opportunities to control the action or win the pot. Moreover, they can be vulnerable to being outdrawn, as they might allow their opponents to realize their equity by not betting or raising enough to put pressure on them.


Sharks in poker are considered the most skillful and adaptable players. They excel in every aspect of the game, from reading other players to manipulating their opponents into making mistakes. Sharks can seamlessly adjust their play style based on the situation and the type of opponents they face, making them challenging to play against.

One of their most notable traits is their ability to mask the strength of their hands. They might bet modestly on a strong hand to lure others into betting more, or they could check on a strong hand to provoke others into betting, which they can then raise. This approach allows them to extract maximum chips from their opponents.

Sharks are particularly difficult for aggressive players to handle because their unpredictable behaviour makes it hard to read them. They might play a strong hand conservatively or pretend to be weak to mislead their opponents. By showing their hand at the right moments and making strategic comments, they manipulate the perceptions of other players, setting them up for future plays.

They are masters of deception and strategy in poker. They know how to play their cards and their opponents to their advantage, making them formidable opponents at the table.

Types of Poker Players: Fish

A “fish” in poker is a term used to describe a player who is considered weak or inexperienced. This is in contrast to a “shark,” who is a highly skilled player. Fish players come in various forms, but they tend to share some common traits.

In general, fish play loose and passive, often playing up to 40% of their hands and rarely raising. Some fish can also be aggressive, frequently betting and raising with a wide range of mostly weak starting hands.

Fish players are known as “calling stations” because they love to call bets and rarely fold. They don’t pay much attention to the betting actions of their opponents and will often call any bet if they connect with the community cards or have any kind of draw.

In terms of betting, fish players often either underbet or overbet and rarely choose optimal bet sizes. For example, in a No-Limit Hold’em cash game where most players might open with a three big blind raise, a fish might raise six or seven big blinds or even just limp in.

After the flop, non-passive fish might bet just a single big blind, set the bet size to match the pot size, or even overbet the pot. While skilled players may vary their bet sizing strategically, a fish’s erratic betting patterns, combined with other characteristics, can reveal them as less skilled players.


In poker, passive players are those types who prefer a cautious and conservative approach to the game. They often opt to check and call rather than betting or raising aggressively. Passive players can be divided into two main types: loose-passive and tight-passive.


  • Playing Style: Loose-passive players are known for limping into hands frequently, as they enjoy seeing flops. They tend to play a lot of hands but are conservative in their approach, preferring to call raises rather than raising themselves.
  • Strategy: Loose-passive players are often called “calling stations” because they frequently call bets without much aggression. They don’t often bet or raise aggressively, so they are relatively easy to play against. The best strategy against them is to play strong hands and avoid bluffing too much, as they will often call your bets.


  • Playing Style: Tight-passive players are more selective in the hands they play, choosing to get involved only with premium hands. They tend to play very conservatively and often just call instead of betting or raising.
  • Strategy: Known as “rocks” or “nits,” tight-passive players are often risk-averse and play with a fear of losing. They are careful and patient, waiting for strong hands before entering a hand. When facing tight-passive players, it’s best to widen your range for stealing blinds, as they tend to fold their blinds too often and avoid risky plays.

Types of Poker Players: Old Man Coffee (OMC)

The term “OMC” stands for “Old Men with Coffee,” a nickname given to older poker players who tend to play passively and cautiously. These players usually don’t play too tight or too loose before the flop, but they often limp into hands rather than raising them.

Characteristics of OMC Players

  • Limping: OMC players prefer to limp into hands rather than raising pre-flop, which limits their use of fold equity.
  • Cautious Play: They typically play cautiously and avoid taking risks unless they have a strong hand.
  • Passive Post-Flop: OMC players often play passively after the flop, opting to check and call rather than betting or raising aggressively.

The types of poker players falling under can be predictable opponents who provide opportunities for more aggressive players to capitalize on their cautious and passive playing style. Adjust your strategy accordingly to exploit their weaknesses and maximize your chances of winning.