Many poker players complain about how tough it is to make money on tight tables. More specifically, players have trouble making profits when the average opponent is only willing to play around 10% of hands. The obvious reason why is because tight players mainly raise with good hands in position, yet fold their marginal and poor hands. Of course – like any type of poker player – tight grinders aren’t invincible, and there are a few things you can do to exploit them.
General Strategy on Tight Tables
The basic idea behind playing against tight players is that you should be folding to their raises more, while looking to raise more often yourself in unopened pots. As for the latter, opening the pot with raises is good because A) tight players are more likely to fold to aggressive moves when they have marginal hands, and B) a re-raise in this situation means that the tight player likely has a great hand.
The overall advantage to playing against a tight player is that their actions are more transparent than loose players. For example, if they check-called on a flop where a flush draw is present, then they raise big after another suited card hits the turn, you can reasonably assume that they made a flush. The drawback to having tight players as opponents is that winning money off of them is generally a drawn-out process.
Example of playing Tight Players
In order to illustrate what playing against tight players is like, let’s say that you’re holding Qd-Jd on a board of 4s-5s-Th; here you have nothing, and if a tight opponent bets out before your turn, a fold is seemingly in order here. After all, it’s likely that this player has an overpair like jacks, queens, kings or aces, and they want to protect it.
However, if the bet isn’t too large, you could always consider calling the raise here, then betting big if a third spade falls on the board. The logic is that the tight player would likely fold with this scare card out there, thus letting you steal the pot. Keep in mind though that not all tight poker players are the same, and semi-bluffs like this won’t always work.