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Poker Dictionary (106) > Rock

Exploiting 'Rocks' in Online Poker

A 'Rock' refers to a style of poker player that isn't considered very strong. In online poker, it can make for profitable play. Most players will have come across the textbook players - the ones that have read a book or two and go out there and execute to the letter of the law. Whilst these players might be marginally profitable in the long run, they tend to be particularly easy to read. This predictability and failure to mix it up and change gears, only means less profits.

A Rock is a very tight player and one that offers up a predictable starting hand range. They wait for premium hands before getting involved, and whilst this might post some profits, isn't the most profitable way to play. The name originates from these players appearance at the table (basically just sitting there quietly waiting for a big hand). In contrast when we play against Maniacs who are highly aggressive players by nature, we will be a little less sure about where we stand in a hand. First of all, they will be raising all the time, so you would find yourself calling quite a bit more than if you were playing a Rock.

Against a tight player, you would want to be raising it up a lot more and putting pressure on these players, mainly as they will be folding a lot. Pre flop, their starting range will be far fewer hands so there is good money to be made forcing them out of the pot. Even on the flop, with such predictable ranges, you will know when they are unlikely to have hit the board. The danger cards would be premium hands like A-K, A-Q, A-A, KK and so on. When the board deals rag cards, there is a fair chance they have missed and it won't take you long to know when they connect or have a monster in hand as they won't dump the hand like they normally do.

It is sensible to isolate tight players before the flop, bluff when they don't seem to have a made hand, get out the hand when they show interest and keep attacking.

Rocks are no real contest for a solid, aggressive player, who is going to be raising a large percentage of the time. Tight players will be missing out on many opportunities that an aggressive player won't be. To play winning poker, a player needs to be able to exploit the weaknesses of their opposition. This means working out what they do and making the best of it, regardless of whether you have the cards or not. Tight players advertise their hands when they get aggressive, players are usually quick to spot the aggression and associate this with a strong hand. The result is often that tight players fail to extract enough money from their opponents as their play is highly predictable.

Playing online, there are lots of passive and aggressive players. Most card rooms that aren't protected offer view flop percentages which can give a view on how loose the game is. The higher the %, the looser the action (the more players are making it to the flop). Lower view flop percentages is usually where the tight players sit, although there is arguably more money to be made in the loose games.

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