The Seven Standard Poker Player Types – Which Are You?

Showboat as they might, there isn’t a single poker player in the world who didn’t feel nervous as hell the first time they took a seat at a table. Irrespective of whether it was at an online casino or in person at a real Las Vegas poker table, chances are they were the usual bag of nerves. The only difference being, some manage to hide it better than others.

One of the most important rules when it comes to succeeding in poker is that of building confidence in yourself, your surroundings and indeed those around you. The more comfortable you are with where you are and who you are playing with, the more likely it is you’ll make good decisions. By contrast, sit there in absolute terror feeling totally out of place and it’s unlikely you’ll ever make the right moves.

And this is precisely why it is of such importance to understand the various types of poker players currently doing the rounds. If you can identify the type of player any individual is, your respective likelihood of succeeding in their presence accelerates enormously. What’s more, you also need to know what type of player you yourself are, in order to a) work out your strengths/weaknesses and b) do your best not to give the game away to other players.

So in the interests of those just getting started, here’s a quick rundown of the seventh standard poker player types and their respective characteristics:

The Fish

First of all, The Fish is the type of poker player who seems to be genetically predisposed to calling bets almost every single time, regardless of the hand they have been dealt. Not only this, but they are also the poker player that tend to be highly unlikely to raise. From a beginner’s perspective, it can be difficult in some instances to identify a Fish as from time to time their generally lazy approach to playing will pay off. Nevertheless, there’s technically very little skill involved in being a Fish – it’s a bit like rolling the dice with every move and is exactly why the term is what you’d call an affectionate one.

The Rock

Right on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ll find The Rock, which is the type of poker player who is willing to do absolutely nothing until they get a hand that in all likelihood cannot be beaten. They will sit tight, fold habitually and refuse to make a single move unless they have ultra-premium cards in their hands. The only problem being that once a genuine Rock has been identified, it can be easy to predict their every move.


This affectionate term for newcomers to poker refers primarily to those who are both enthusiastic and well-meaning, though don’t seem willing to put the necessary time and effort into improving their abilities. Or to put it another way, rather than simply being new to the game and therefore be unexperienced, The Noob also tends to be somewhat on the naïve side.

The Maniac

A relatively self-explanatory handle to say the least, these are the types of poker players who may as well not even look at the hand they are dealt as they will call, raise and re-raise almost every single time without even thinking about it. In many instances, The Maniac poker player will fall into such habits either because they have more money than they know what to do with and are enjoying causing chaos, are making bad decisions having lost a fortune already or have decided (unwisely) to play while intoxicated. In any and all cases, playing with these guys can be both dangerous and rewarding in equal measures.

The Textbook

One of the least fun types of poker player to sit with is the player referred to as The Textbook. Also relatively self-explanatory, these are the players that make every single move in accordance with the specific odds of the time and what it is that represents the most sensible way to go. Or in other words, they take no risks whatsoever and prefer to go by the book, despite the fact that it can make things rather boring for everyone.

The Vulture

In the world of online poker in particular, there’s a specific breed of poker player that preys on newcomers and those who simply do not have a great deal of money to play with. The long and short of it is that rather than sticking to the tables where thousands of pounds change hands by the minute, they instead head to lower-stakes tables where they can bully their counterparts with aggressive raises and risks. The take-home profit per hand may be lower, but they usually end up winning quite consistently due to their aggressive tactics.

The Shark

Last but by no means least, The Shark is the kind of poker player that knows exactly what he or she is doing to such an extent that they can run circles around every type of player listed above. They keep control and completely hide their emotions during each and every game, practicing flawless restraint and knowing where to draw the line between unnecessary risk and a worthwhile shot at glory. They have enough knowledge, intelligence, logic and experience to not only predict their own actions ahead of time, but those of everyone else around them. Suffice to say, if you yourself are not already up to the same level, playing with a Shark is most certainly NOT recommended!

You might also find the following articles interesting:

  • SHARE: