My default playing style when playing poker at any live venue would be considered to be tight aggressive poker strategy. So what exactly does this mean. I will break it down easy so that you will be able to identify a tight aggressive (TAG) player with the first few times that you play with them. Of course there will be some error in this process. If you are using a small sample size to identify players it could lead to big problems down the road. If you are able to identify everyone at your table and then learn how to play each player type successfully you will begin to have more fun playing poker than you ever thought. So lets begin!
Aggressive Poker Strategy To Play
The term tight aggressive is a descriptive term that tells you two things about a player, the first being tight. I would say a common tag player at live games would play anywhere between 25-30% of hands. It is important to note that a TAG will also play a greater percentage of hands in late position. So while the average may be around 30% of all hands dealt the player may be playing as many as 60-70% of hands on the button. This is something that you will have to pay attention to. Figure out if a players opening range changes with position. If so this is a sign of a solid TAG player.
The second term would be aggressive. This term indicates that the player is doing much more raising than calling. A sign of a solid player in my opinion would be one who limps into pots less than 10% of the time. Anymore than this and the player is losing a lot of money by limping and then being forced to fold.
A solid TAG will raise pretty much all hands that they play. If someone has already raised in front of them they will often re-raise before the flop. Many recreational poker players will consider a 3-bet to mean a monster hand. A TAG exploits this and tries to take down the hand before the flop. Look for this, if you spot it you have a solid thinking aggressive at you table. Precede cautiously in hands with this type.
I hope these few tips have helped in identifying players the next time you play. Good luck at the tables!
Here are some other great articles on Beating Live Poker:
Picking the Right Poker Room
Calming Your Nerves