What to Do When an Extremely Loose Player Raises You
A common question people ask me is what to do when a really loose poker player raises them. I am sure that you have played against these crazy wild players before.
This is a confusing spot for many people because the loose players doing all of this raising are playing so much junk that it is difficult to put them on a hand. And therefore it is even more difficult to believe that they can have anything. While this is true in many situations, it is not always the case. Sometimes they are actually broadcasting very loud and clear to you that they have something really good.
The important skill that you have to learn is how to separate the passive recreational player from the aggressive recreational player.
Most recreational poker players belong to the former category. That is, they are extremely passive. This means that they like to limp and call a lot and they typically won't take any aggressive actions unless they have something genuinely strong. When these guys raise you — on the turn or river, especially — they actually often have a very good hand. In other words, they aren't screwing around and you need to respect them.
Here is a poker hand which illustrates all of this very clearly:
In this hand an extremely loose player raises on the turn and then goes all in on the river. He is playing 90 percent of his hands. This of course is completely crazy! Trying to "put him on a hand" here is going to be almost impossible. He can literally have anything.
But as you can see by the way this hand turned out, the player did in fact have a very strong hand. In fact, his actions on the turn and the river actually gave this away pretty clearly.
Extremely loose and passive players just aren't bluffing here very often when they take a line like this. Doing so just goes completely against their nature.
As difficult as it can be to believe these crazy players sometimes, it is really important that you learn to understand when a loose player is actually showing a lot of strength. While it is true that they are playing tons and tons of junky hands, you always have to remember that crazy wild players get to make good hands sometimes, too.
Most of the time they won't have strong hands, of course, but when they do choose to fight back in a big way on the turn or the river, it is often because they have hit some silly two pair or better like we saw in this hand.
Hopefully this will help you guys in your poker games the next time you encounter one of these loose passive recreational players who suddenly decides to give you a lot of action.
Let me know in the comments below how you play against extremely wild and loose players like this. Do you have trouble putting them on a hand? Could you make the fold in a situation like this?
Nathan "BlackRain79" Williams is the author of the popular micro stakes strategy books Crushing the Microstakes, Modern Small Stakes, and The Microstakes Playbook. He also blogs regularly about all things related to the micros over at www.blackrain79.com.