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I play poker quite regularly with friends. A smallish game usually between 5-7 players. Generally I can read the other players easily. They either play too tight so i fold early or as soon as they try and raise, or they play too loose and overate their hands.

However I have one friend (Player X) who I find really difficult to play against. He always sees the flop, it doesn't really matter how high i raise him preflop, but of course I don't want to raise him too much incase the cards don't flop as i'd like.

He checks constantly, the other players (fish) usually check too meaning that he often ends up on the river with great hands made of crap cards, as an example a full hours 6's full of 3s. He gets straights and flushes way more than someone playing NIT or TAG would.

I know I should be playing very aggressively to push him out pots when he has a poor hand, but it seems that this risks other players with good cards calling or re-raising me. It's also possible he'll call me and will have something good. As an example:

I am dealt Q - 10 suited. We flop 5 - K - 10. I have a pair but it's a pretty low one. I want to raise by 3 or so BB so push out player X and check who is interested, but anyone with something in the pocket (17/1 i believe), a K, or the components of a straight or flush will just see me. I'll probably end up doing a tight fold.

Basically I am looking for some advise on some strategy or guidelines for dealing with very passive players. Player X will play pocket AA exactly the same as 9-4. Checking if he can, calling if necessary and raising by 1BB on the river. I know I should be beating him as his range is too loose, just not sure how. We play online quite often so hard to tell if hes bluffing except by his bets and speed which are very consistent..

marked as duplicate by Herb Wolfe, paparazzo, Toby Booth Nov 24 '17 at 23:36

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Like you said, his strategy is bad and this means we can take advantage of this. Since he is a bad player, we will not have to worry about being exploited too much. I'd advice the following approach:

  1. Do not play too loose pre-flop. You said he is always calling pre-flop, so taking down the blinds will rarely happen.

  2. Raise to a reasonable amount pre-flop. You will have a stronger range than him. Therefore, you want to play a larger pot.

  3. He is very passive. I think that with draws and middling hands you should be too. Just check it down until the river. You don't have to win every pot.

  4. Wait until you hit a good hand and then bet big.

  5. You should bluff sometimes, but the majority of your bets should be for value.

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