Have you ever been in a poker game and felt like you were playing against a computer? That’s because most nit-poker players are.
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In this blog, we’ll discuss their gaming style and how you can beat a nit if they’re playing on your table. To begin, let’s define a nit poker player.
What is a nit player in poker?
A nit is someone who’s playing extremely tight poker. They usually won’t involve themselves in any hand unless they’re holding monsters like rockets (AA) or cowboys (KK).
Many players hate nits as they want to sit there, wait for rockets, then get paid off. For this reason, players with a nit playstyle hate other nits. They’ll glower at each other all night, waiting for rockets and cowboys. Or AK, AQ, KQ, KJ, and different strong combinations.
You might be asking, “isn’t that a good strategy?” Unfortunately, the short answer is no, as you’ll see below. So how does one beat a nit?
How to beat a nit player in poker
Steal their blinds
As mentioned earlier, a nit will only play if they have strong hands like AK-offsuit or KQ-suited. Thus, you can almost always get away with bluffing them.
If they’re holding AKo and the flop comes Q85 rainbow, a nit will most likely check the flop. Exploit this by betting big.
If they decide to call, and the turn is the 2 of clubs, fire again for added pressure. Here, the nit will usually fold since they missed their big draws. They don’t want to gamble further and miss again on the river.
If you’re playing on a site with a HUD, pull it up and look at your opponent’s calling/folding average. Are they only calling 20-30% of the time and folding 70-80%? That’s a nit.
They often don’t 3bet since they won’t always have that monster hand. Unless they’re running hot, of course. But that’s rare from a probability standpoint.
If you’re playing live games, you can still identify a nit based on their calling and folding frequency. You should also pay attention during showdowns. If you see a player’s hand five times and they’re all monsters, you’re playing against a nit.
Fire one, two, or even three barrels against nits
Firing continuation bets against nits will cause them to relinquish their hands. Sometimes, it will only take a single barrel, and the nit will fold. Other times, it might take three barrels.
Again, tight nit-players will only get to showdown with an extremely strong hand. Let’s take a look at an example.
You are in the hijack position with a Q7o. You’ve already identified the nit who just limped preflop. You decide to bet, they flat, and the flop comes 3JK rainbow.
The nit checks and the action is on you. You fire again. The nit calls and the turn are the 8 of clubs. The nit checks. If you fire again with an even bigger shell, most of the time, a nit will fold.
If they decide to call, that should send alarm bells off. They may be holding a pair of 8s and just made a set. That’s doubly true if they check-raise you on the turn.
Letting go of your hand
Let’s continue. Now that a nit has check-raised you, you’re pretty sure you’re facing a monster hand. In this case, fold. Do not pay the nit off.
After all, poker is a mind sport. And when you’ve managed to get inside the head of a nit-player, they might start playing carelessly. But you have to be careful yourself.
Even if you have monster hands, like top pair/top kicker, you need to seriously consider folding. A nit player trying to create a huge pot going into the river is a huge warning sign. Don’t reward their tight plays by playing into their traps. Even the greatest poker players of all time will fold against a nit from time to time.
Related blogs: IS POKER A MIND SPORT AND GAME OF STRATEGY? | TOP 10 GREATEST POKER PLAYERS OF ALL TIME
Beating a nit player: a calculated profit generation
It’s frustrating folding against a nit, yes. But you’ll need to look at it from a number standpoint. If they’re calling only 20% of the time and folding 80%, you can steal their blinds on an 80% average.
It might not be a lot on the get-go. Over time, however, those blinds will accumulate, and you’ll walk away the winner.
You can find nits everywhere, from online tables to live games.
If you’re in the Sacramento area and want to practice beating nit players, visit Capitol Casino. We’re one of the most popular poker casinos in Sacramento, and you’ll surely find some nits playing at our tables.
After extracting value from nits, you can celebrate your win at our bar and restaurant section. Enjoy delectable cuisines and ice-cold beverages with us today. For more information, you may email us at [email protected] or call us at 916 446 0700.