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A Strategic Look at Loose Games in Poker

Perhaps you have heard about the most important poker maxim regarding strategy: 'play tightly and only with the best hands, but play them aggressively.' This is a very effective strategy, as you get to conserve your chips and be able to play a superb hand better. This is especially true in a loose game.

Loose games in poker are characterized by having almost all players place a bet with more hands and fold only a few times. This means that in almost all hands dealt, many players vie for the pot. And most of these loose games bring the hands up to the showdown, even with pot odds that are not favorable even for a really good hand.

A game of poker may become loose especially when proliferated with new players. New players tend to be over-aggressive and become maniacs, or are too eager to play poker and thus become a calling station.

A loose game is a sign that most of your opponents are playing their hands weakly. Think about it: there cannot be that much good hands being dealt around. That means that most of them played with just a drawing hand, a mid-range pair, or are trying to bluff with a trashy hand.

Thus, games that are loose are quick games. This is because players tend to put in more chips onto the pot, and would thus give up more chips quickly.

If you encounter a loose game, you might be tempted by the really large pot size and join the fray in playing loosely. You might score a huge win one or two times, but if you are not careful, you will lose an awful lot of chips.

Stick to the old good way of strategically playing poker. Play tight and play aggressively. Do not attempt to bluff, as a calling station or a maniac will always foil your attempt.

You can slow-play or check-raise. But chances are that you don't even need to. Your opponents will most likely contribute to the pot even if you do not lure them into doing so. Take advantage of this fact by playing aggressive for value. Raising means the maniac will re-raise, and if you are playing your cards right, that means more money for you.

Always remember that there is no guarantee that you will always win with the best starting hand in a loose game. Sometimes, pocket Aces become a subject of bad beats by really lucky flush draws. But in the long run, a tight but aggressive poker play will always get you the pot.