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How do you Adjust your Game Against a Very Tight Table?

This is a question that comes up a lot. Players hitting a table with above-average tight players can find it difficult to make any inroads. Cagey play means smaller pots and players who are more easily spooked by any move to aggression. In these scenarios, you need to be able to capitalize on opportunities on both the high and low side, stealing the blinds and smaller pots when there just isn’t the appetite to go further.

At the same time, you need to be cautious about tight players switching into aggression mode. Most of the time, this will be because they are playing the nuts or an otherwise pretty strong hand, so you need to go hand-to-hand if you want to take them on. Experienced players can use a range of strategies to overcome tight opponents, and it’s critical to adjust your focus to force a gap for yourself when confronted with rigid players.

Fold More Often, Especially On Aggression

It goes without saying, tighter players who go aggressive usually have a good reason for it. If you see usually tight players suddenly go all gung-ho, you know they are probably gunning for it for a reason. Fold more of your hands and tuck in to the style of the game, at least in the very early stages. This will give you more scope when you do land strong hands to three-bet all the way, carving open opportunities for yourself to profit in the process.

Switch It Up To Loose-Aggressive

When a table gets very tight, it’s sometimes a good idea to switch your playing style to a looser approach. Set the cat among the pigeons and switch it up a little. Playing weaker hands at a tight table can go one of two ways — you win the pot or steal along the way, or you get found out. Both can have positive impacts on the game. Getting found out means you are then more of an uncertain quantity, and players may be less inclined to trust your betting as a sign of strength. This is a golden opportunity for you to raise the stakes incrementally on stronger hands, and some players can confidently and deliberately reel tight tables with this kind of approach.

Bully Tight-Passive Players

Tight players aren’t always aggressive. In fact, some will call or check their way round the game, even where they have the hands to back it up. Don’t let them get away with this too cheaply — no tight player should get to a showdown without having paid for it. If you’re in a position to challenge, raise them and see how that works out for you. Often this can scare away the tight-passive types, who are otherwise content to roll along and see if their strong-ish hand can scoop.

Look For Low Flops And Bet Them Off

Tight players as a rule are often looking for stronger cards to come up in the flop to complement their own hands. If you see someone limping through the early stages at a tight table and a low flop appears, this is your chance to bet them out of contention and take the pot. These players will feel content to fold knowing that the flop doesn’t suit their tight approach, opening up a channel for you to come in a play a bit more loosely, with the intention of scaring them off. A firm raise on a low flop against tight players can add up over time, and their frequency can make this a good opportunity to take from players adopting this style.

Get Out Of There

If a table isn’t working for you and you are in a position to leave, it’s always worth giving serious consideration to just walking. Players who are too tight can and will make life difficult for you, even if you mix things up or expand your range to challenge. There are plenty of poker games at plenty of tables, and sometimes it’s best to recognize that you’re toiling against too tough a table to see a viable profit.