Poker strategy: how to play against the fish

Many players want to know who a fish is in poker and how they can be played. Usually, "Fish" or "fish" are called hobby players who are not familiar with the strategy and are able to easily give chips to more experienced "sharks". If you want to make money playing poker, and not just enjoy the process, you should definitely play against the fish more often. Today in the material we will tell you by what criteria you can calculate recreational opponents and what type they can be attributed to.

Fish signs

An experienced player can very quickly determine that there is a fish at his table. A hobby opponent is always distinguished by an unusual manner of play, in order to reveal him, it is enough to pay attention to the following signs:

  • Choosing starting hands - in most situations, the fish tries to flop as often as possible, because in this way he intends to collect a strong hand. At the same time, the power of pocket cards does not bother him at all, if there are two of them and they suit the mood, the hobby player is ready to put chips into the pot with both 9-3 offsuit and 7-4 suited;
  • Choice of actions - Recreational opponents rarely pass cards postflop; instead, they try to bluff the opponent or drag their third pair to showdown. You can effectively exploit this feature, just bet big with strong hands and completely avoid bluffing on late streets;
  • Illogical lines - if you play with a fish, you should not expect consistent actions and adherence to any specific strategy from such an opponent. It is not uncommon to see the fish constantly calling at the beginning of the game and then tilting and raising non-stop. You will never understand what is going on in the minds of these players, so we recommend that you just relax and concentrate on getting value with strong hands;
  • Strange bet sizing - experienced players will confidently say that the strength of the strategy and the final win rate largely depend on the correct size of bets. As a rule of thumb, beginners should raise 3 big blinds preflop and bet around 75% on further streets, but fish are not exactly familiar with these rules. Sometimes they can supply 10%, sometimes 200%, and you can never understand why it depends. 

To find out about the presence of a fish at your gaming table, it is enough to play about 10 hands. If you saw that one of the opponents by his actions matches one of the listed signs, he is probably a fish and you can safely continue to play with him for real money. 

Fish typology

To choose the right strategy for playing with a fish, you need to understand what type of fish it belongs to. You can find many different classifications on the Internet, but we want to tell you about one of the simplest and most effective:

  • Rock - this type of fish comes into play very rarely and only with strong cards. It's easy to make money against these players by stealing their blinds preflop. If the “rock” enters the rally and shows some kind of activity, you need to be on your guard, because in this case he will often have a strong hand; 
  • Answering machine - More than anything, "answering machines" love to call bets and try to reach their garbage hand until the showdown. When playing with the phone, you should try to collect as many chips as possible by placing big bets on all streets with top pair or better:
  • Maniac - these fish play aggressively, they don't need to wait for a strong hand to reraise and fire three barrels all the way down the street. In a game against a maniac, it is important not to be afraid and go to the end, because any bluff catcher may be enough to win the hand. 

As you can see, the typology of hobby players is quite simple, you can remember it and apply it successfully at the tables. Now that you know who a fish is in poker, it’s time to practice this knowledge.

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