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What different types of fish are there in online poker?
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What different types of fish are there in online poker?

Date Published: 6th February 2020
Author: Anson Cole

If you're looking to increase your edge at the tables and/or maximize your profits the easiest way possible, then you should be looking into mastering how to exploit the weakest players at the table.

Where Are All The Fishes?

By now you must know, the weakest players at the table are usually called “fishes”. But, it isn't enough to just called someone fish and adopt a strategical line to exploit them and expect to print money like that. Those days are over my friend. Now, there are many different types of fishes with their own and very specific tendencies, and you need to be aware of this to apply the most appropriate lines to exploit them properly. In an attempt to sum it up, we can categorize all the different types of fishes into 2 main buckets.

Poker Fish

Number of Hands They Play

On this bucket, we have players that play either too many hands or a very narrow range of hands. If you're facing a player that plays a very narrow range of hands, you can quickly assess their range by just firing a continuation bet on the floor or by just raising them on either flop or turn. Taking this line will significantly depend on other essential factors like their C-Bet % and their Fold to Raise After C-Bet %. If these stats are high (Above 70%), you can rest assured, very often you can take down the pot by just either cbetting (if you're the preflop aggressor) or by raising their cbet (if you're the preflop caller).

Also taking into account board texture, it will be of great help.  But remember, these type of players don't usually need to connect with the board to continue because they often already have a premium made hand going into the flop. So, if you feel any resistance, better be ready to end the hand right there.

The other type of fish from this bucket are those who like to play an awful number of hands. The main characteristic with these type of fishes is that they play too many hands, they won't connect with the board and often fold before even reaching showdown. Furthermore, the best way to play against them is by constantly bluff them, especially on the turn. But, if you have a medium-strength hand, you need to be willing to take it to showdown. Remember, these type of players are often holding a larger number of marginal hands so holdings like middle pair or, even 3rd pairs, will usually win at showdown.

Fish Poker

Their Level of Aggression

In this second bucket, and as the title implies, it refers to how passive or aggressive certain players play. Luckily, we can apply the same strategy against both types of fishes.

How is that?

Well, on one side, we have a group of players that play their hands very aggressively. Meaning, they often play their value hands the same way they would play their bluffing hands. Also, we have the other group of players that seems always to have issues finding their fold button. Meaning, they just won't fold. Against these players, we have to increase our value range and be ready also to take 2nd and 3rd pairs to showdown. In fact, even hero calling with ace high will be profitable sometimes against them.

Putting it All Together!

Now that we have named the primary type of fishes, let's label them. Those players that often play a very narrow range of hands and play them aggressively are known in the poker world as NITs! Players that like to play a considerable number of hands and also play them aggressively are known as Maniacs! Those who also like to play a very large number of hands but they won't fold are called Calling Stations!

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