How to spot poker players

As my game matured, my opinion on what makes a good poker player has changed. A new player should be able to recognize what makes a good player, and how to spot them. You will be able to spot the great player and have an advantage.

These are the signs of a great poker player

1) He plays tight: This is the first sign that someone knows how to play poker's starting hands. Because I play shorthanded, I believe that tight playing is a problem for some poker players. This single problem is why I have to play shorthanded players. They are unlikely to win. What was once a key to winning 10 hand hold em is now a reason they are unlikely to win shorthanded. Interesting point...

2) He is aggressive: Poker is not a game you can win without being aggressive. This is especially true when he's shorthanded. He bets aggressively when he is in a pot. He is determined to get in the pot and aggressive once he's there.

  1. His speed of play: Some decisions are quicker than others. I don't mean the 10 poker players that happen to be at that table when it is their turn. I am referring to the players at the table that think and are thinking. He has to adjust his play and consider every move. This is how poker can be compared to chess.

4) He plays different hands: This is similar to point number 3. He not only changes the speed but also the way he plays it. This means that the player isn't the guy who can open raise any ace in any position. Fine, if the blinds are tight. Fine if the table is tight. Many players make a mistake by raising any ace from any position. Sometimes it's correct to raise A7o, but most of the times it isn't.

5) He folds his blinds. It sounds strange, but 30% of my players defend their blind 100% of time. This is a fundamental aspect of Poker one should understand. Chips are tools that help you get to your goal of more chips. Use the chips to your advantage and don't waste them.

These five indicators of a great poker player will make you a better player and allow you to make the right moves against him. Poker is a game that requires skill. Some players are better than others. Find the best players and adjust your game accordingly.

Michael Bradley is the editor at, a resource that provides information on Online Poker Sites. Just published is a site review of Poker Heaven, a brand new poker room.