How to Beat Loose Passive Poker Players

How to Win Against Loose-Passive Players

Loose-Passive players can be frustrating. These players are defined by their tendency to call any bet with any hand including total air. Few players adjust properly to loose-passive players and lose a lot of money as a result. However, players who do adjust properly can win a boat load of money from these ATM machines.

Here’s how to play against loose-passive players.

Don’t Bluff

Rule #1 is never bluff. It doesn’t matter how elaborate or brilliant your bluff is, a loose-passive player will call it. These guys rarely fold so you should never bet without some sort of a hand.

Get Comfortable Playing Second and Third Pair

Second and third pair is often good against these players. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

You raise from the cut-off with 99 and the loose-aggressive button calls. The flop comes 853. You bet, he calls. The turn comes J. You bet, he calls. The river comes K. What do you do?
Most people check in this spot and that would be a smart move against most players but not against loose-passive players. If you check, they bet and you’ll end up folding when you could still have the best hand or lose value when they check behind with an 8 or 5.

Bet Mercilessly for Value

There is one line and one line only to take against a loose-passive player: bet-bet-bet. The good thing about loose-passive players is that they usually tell you when you’re beat. If they raise you can be sure you’re facing top pair/decent kicker or better.

Going back to our previous example where I asked what you should do when the K fell, the answer is bet. Could the King have helped him? Yes. But it’s equally likely that your opponent was calling you with an 8 or a 5. Tough luck if your opponent caught the King, but I think you’ll see an 8 here more often than not.

Turbo-Fold When They Raise

Loose-passive players don’t make moves and they don’t try to push you off a hand. If they raise, you’re beat unless you have something better than top pair/decent kicker.

Let’s go back to our example.

Let’s say you raise from the cut-off with 99 and the loose-passive button calls. The flop comes 852. You bet, he calls. The turn comes J. You bet, he raises. What do you do?

You fold. The Jack obviously hit your opponent’s hand. You were the best pre-flop and on the flop, but your opponent is telling you he likes the Jack and that’s never a bluff from a loose-passive opponent.

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It takes guts to value bet a loose-passive opponent with weak hands, but it’s the right play to make. With a little practice and some intestinal fortitude, you can turn these frustrating bastards into your own personal ATM machine by playing aggressive poker with even the slightest of edges.