Beating The Competition At Party Poker

Some Basic Principles For Maximizing Your Success At Party Poker

While many of you may be familiar with some of the principles of sound poker, and in particular, methods of exploiting opponents, I want to provide you with a few good pointers on how to best take advantage of the types of fish that you will tend to run into at Party Poker in particular. So I’m going to give you three examples of the main types of fish that you see at Party Poker along with some advice on how to best take advantage of them.

While you’re going through this, it’s just as important to make sure that you are not one of these players. You don’t want to be a fish yourself, so there’s two steps here. The first one is to know how to exploit the fish, and the second is to avoid donating away too much money yourself. At Party Poker, it’s more likely that you will do it to yourself rather than they doing it to you, but once you master some of the tricks then you’ll at the very least be aware of what’s going on.

Be Sure To Pay Attention To Your Opponents’ Style

You definitely always want to be aware of what player types you’re dealing with and not just play your own cards. What you have is only meaningful in relation to your opponents and how they play, and in fact in many cases you don’t even need a hand to beat them. What you do have though derives its strength in comparison to what a given opponent likely has, and the key word here is likely since we can’t really know what anyone has for certain. Also, avoid second guessing yourself when your plan doesn’t go right, and often it will.

What we’re after here is to be right more than we’re wrong and as long as we are able to characterize players according to their overall tendencies, we’re going to be in good shape. For instance, someone who plays a lot of hands will have weak hands more often than not, but sometimes they will have a very strong hand and beat us. So we don’t want to lead ourselves astray by just looking at the results of a single hand or even a few hands, as we need to keep an eye on overall tendencies and not just instances of luck.

So with all that said, let’s move on to the three main types of fish at Party Poker:


These players like to play a lot of hands and usually just call along. You might have heard of the term calling station, and this is exactly what these players are. The reason I am calling them ATMs is that they are like a bank machine, and they just pay out money over and over again. You will recognize these players based upon two factors. They are in many hands and like to call more than they like bet or raise. So someone bets or raises into them, and they call too much and don’t fold near enough.

So the way we will look to make money against these players is to play better hands than they do, and not look to bluff them. They like to chase all sorts of hands, and miss more often than not, and will also play fairly weak hands all the way to showdown as well. So If they play a lot and we play less hands against them, that means our hands will be stronger on average and thus will win more money than they do.

So it’s pretty simple to beat ATM players out of their money. We of course don’t want to play like an ATM ourselves and this means that we won’t play too loose ourselves and especially against tighter players who are just playing good hands themselves and hoping that we will pay them off with weaker. So avoid doing that.

The Nut

The Nut is similar to the ATM, only the Nut not only plays a lot of hands, he plays them aggressively, meaning that he bets and raises quite a bit, in addition to calling. A lot of these players tend to like to push people around at the table. Some actually tighten up if someone else plays aggressively against them, and some are just there for the action, meaning that as long as someone does the betting then they are happy. If it’s their turn, they will bet, and if you bet, they will tend to call.

So what you want to look to do is characterize these players according to what kind of action they like. All of the different types though play too many hands and the strategy overall will be to play better hands than they do and get them to pay you off. With the ATM you just bet out with better, however the Nut may require different treatment depending on the variation of Nut that they are.

If they fold if you bet but will bet themselves a lot, then let them do the betting, as with better hands overall we don’t want them to be doing too much folding. The second type isn’t afraid of playing back, and will either call or raise, so since we’re not going to scare this bigger Nut out of many pots, we can just fire away and not be afraid to fire back.

We do want to pay attention to Nuts playing out of character though, as they of course get real hands and they often will tip us off by playing especially crazy. So if a player normally calls or puts in a small raise, but how he’s shoving his whole stack, this very often is because he’s not just fooling around here and probably has us beat. If he shoves regularly though, then he probably just has the same old junk and we can fairly safely call.

So it’s all about figuring out what a player normally does, and then being on the lookout for them changing their style, and both provide us with valuable information that we can take advantage of, if we’re looking for it. This is one of the big reasons why you need to pay close attention to your opponents whether you are in a hand or not, and why you want to limit the amount of tables you play. I’ve been playing for over 35 years and am an expert player but I never play more than one table at a time, for instance, because I’m too busy reading every action that every player makes to be able to do this effectively at even two tables.

The Tightwad

Now as a general rule we should be playing tight ourselves, so we really need to pay particular attention to this one to make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes as the Tightwad does. The Tightwad plays too tight, and that’s his undoing. When he does have something, he tends not to be as exploitative as he should be, and gets paid less when he hits.

When he doesn’t hit, he usually folds. Now most of the time you don’t make a hand and you don’t necessarily just want to throw it away. For instance, if you’re up against a player on the flop, you and your opponent will only hit the flop about 1 time in 3. So if the opponent is the type that tends to give up on the hand when he misses, like the Tightwad is, and especially if he is first to act and bets when he has something and checks when he misses, then you can just take down 2 out of 3 pots from him.

Even if you’re acting first, if you bet out and you know someone will fold more often than not, then it’s a great deal for you, and you don’t even need a hand to do it. When you do get called and you don’t have much, you can just fold, and when you do have something good, you get paid more by being aggressive. So this is a beautiful situation really, and with so many players playing too tight these days, it can be a big source of income for you.

The only thing that you want to be careful about when playing against Tightwads is that when they do play a hand it’s usually a good one, so you want to make sure that if you continue on once you know this, you really have a good hand yourself. You don’t want to be their ATM.

Don’t Be Any Of These Fish Yourself Though

By knowing what the main types of fish that exist at Party Poker, you can not only know how to take advantage of them, but you can also look to make sure that you’re not playing like a fish yourself. So we just spoke about the Tightwad, and once again, make sure you’re not playing on with worse hands against them. The tighter someone is, the better the hand you need to play on, and the looser someone is, the less you need.

You should as a general rule look to have something pretty decent at least to play on against anyone though, even the looser players, as you want to win most of the time when you show down hands. Also, make sure that if you do decide to play on, you aren’t going to be spooked out and end up folding the hand later. So the more a player tends to raise, the better your hand needs to be to play against this type of player, as the price will be higher so you need to be more sure of yourself.

In the end, this is all about paying attention to how your opponents play, and the better you are at spotting their weaknesses, the better you will do. The more fish you play against though the better, and Party Poker has the world’s largest school of fish, so that decision is a pretty easy one.