Bluffing and Position
 
Your position can also affect the chances of a bluff’s success. In most games with tough players, I've found it easier to bluff if I'm first than if I'm second and my opponent has checked. There are two reasons for this. If my opponent has checked to me, he knows he has shown weakness with his check, and when I bet, he suspects I am trying to take advantage of his weakness. So he's likely to call with any kind of hand. And, if he has a really bad hand, he might very well have tried to bluff himself. Since he checked instead, the chances are good he has a calling hand, and when I bet out on a bluff, he's likely to call, even if he thinks he's a small underdog. So in situations on the end where your hand can't win by checking but where you have reason to believe your opponent may be weak, a bluff in first position is more likely to succeed than a bluff in second position.
 
Categorizing Opponents

 
At various points in the remainder, you'll see me refer to your opponents with adjectives such as tight, passive, tricky, loose, aggressive, straightforward, weak, tenuous, rational, or irrational. These adjectives have some specific operational meanings that help categorize your opponents.

It's typical in poker to categorize players along two independent dimensions: tight/loose and aggressive/passive. Tight players don't play many hands, loose players play a lot of hands. Aggressive players bet and raise a lot, passive players seldom bet or raise.

Generally, passive is considered bad, as is loose. Tight is considered good, as is aggressive. Of course, even the good traits of tight and aggressive can be carried to extremes. A player who plays way too tight is called a rock and a player who plays way too aggressive is called a maniac.

But there are problems with this traditional, two-dimensional view of poker players. One such problem was recently discussed on the Internet newsgroup rec. gambling. poker. The problem comes up in various situations, one being when interpreting the actions of a passive player. The traditional view is that bets by a passive player should be respected-the idea being that when a player who doesn't bet often wakes up and starts betting, he must have found himself with a good hand. But Abdul Jalib, the Internet nick of a Las Vegas poker pro who frequently contributes to these discussions, pointed out that this is just not true. You cou
 
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