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Poker Dictionary (106) > Loose

Loose Players & Online Poker

'Loose' refers to a player's playing style and their propensity for risk. Online poker is littered with loose players. There are a number of terms that are used to describe a player style of play. The two most common are 'loose' and 'tight'. A Loose player is a player that gets involved in lots of hands. They don't appear to have any solid starting hand requirements and frequently have a fairly wide pre flop range.

A player is said to make a 'loose call' when the pot and implied odds just aren't there to warrant the call or when the odds of winning a hand based on a starting hand, are so small, it makes more sense to fold.

Gus Hansen is famous for his loose style. Many top players play loose at times but do well to mix it up, so as to keep their opponents guessing. Gus Hansen (pictured), became famous for some of his loose play (loose / crazy - potatoe : potato). That said, it didn't take too long for people to figure out his game and he found it very difficult to bluff successfully as players never put him on a hand. This isn't all bad as this opens the door for attracting bets which might not otherwise have been there. Once a table image is there, it can be manipulated to your advantage. One key advantage of mixing it up and only playing a loose game at times is that hands are well disguised when they hit. Additionally if you portray a loose image, you won't be given credit when you hit a monster hand, which can be rewarding. That doesn't mean playing loose all the time is the right thing to do, it isn't.

On the flip side, a tight player doesn't play many hands, instead sticking to premium starting hands. These players are far more patient and wait for solid hands to play. They like to give themselves every chance of winning pots they enter. They also become easy prey for the more aggressive player who knows they will only defend the very top hands (which will only be a small number of the hands they are dealt). This is why changing gears and mixing it up is so important to keep your opponents in check and guessing.

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