Poker: Everything You Need to Know About Nits

Poker: Everything You Need to Know About Nits

Poker has been around for nearly two centuries now. It is also absurdly popular online and physically, with over 100 million online players worldwide. Along with this, it is even a lucrative sport, with the top poker pros competing in million-dollar tournaments.

This vast history and popularity mean that there have been many advancements in poker strategy. People have studied every aspect of the game and have created techniques like doing the math to tell if a bet is worth it or even analyzing how your opponent plays to find out which cards they could have.

This poker guide will showcase the latter, focusing on one of the weakest types of poker players: The nit.

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Nits are a nickname for overly passive players in poker. They fold almost all the time and only play the strongest hands such as AA, QQ, KK, and AK suited. Even with strong hands, nits will rarely bet and play aggressively unless they are 100% certain they have the best hand.

Nits are the embodiment of the tight-passive poker playstyle. They are also considered the weakest type of player by many poker pros because of the glaring weaknesses of playing too tight.

One of the core problems of being a nit is how predictable they are. Their playstyle is incredibly telegraphed – fold every hand unless you get a premium one. This makes them highly exploitable and means they are unlikely to win a large pot even if their hand is good. This is because players can easily pick up that their hand is strong and fold without betting anything.

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Another big problem with being a nit comes from how often they fold. Because they fold so many hands and avoid confrontation at all costs, they are very susceptible to bluffs. Any weak hand they have will be folded almost automatically, and nits often fold strong hands if there is even a tiny chance their opponent has better cards.

Because of how nits play, they are often one of the least profitable types of poker players. They limit themselves to winning by getting a solid hand, significantly reducing their average chance of winning. They rely solely on luck and do not bluff or play aggressively.

The worst part is that even when they finally get a good hand, they seldom win a large pot because they are too easy to read. The only time a nit playstyle can work out is when playing against inexperienced players who do not care about the strength of the nit’s hand.

Even then, when playing against these players, being a nit isn’t the best option, as you can play tight or loose aggressive to the same results.

Poker is known for being a game played on incomplete information. The best poker players are constantly analyzing their opponents to find habits and weaknesses they can use.

There are even poker trackers for online poker to make doing this analysis more manageable. However, nits rarely get any information, automatically putting them at a disadvantage. This is because most information in poker comes from the showdown.

When you finally see your opponent’s cards, all your theories and guesses about their habits are tested. Nits rarely see the showdown, often making incorrect assumptions that their opponent’s hand was more potent than it was.

They never get concrete information about their opponents and give their opponents too much information about themselves.

Perhaps the biggest weakness of nits is that their playstyle stops them from improving at the game. Playing aggressively is better than playing passively in poker partly because it is how you can learn the game. Knowing how to bet and bluff well is core to playing poker, and being a nit stops you from learning this.

Yes, it is risky, but poker is inherently a game of risk. If you want to improve, being aggressive and refining your aggression is much better than playing scared to lose. Nits also lose out on learning how to read their opponents because they do not get to the showdown, which is another vital part of playing poker.

Now that you know about nits, they should be easy to spot in your games. This is a typical playstyle, especially amongst inexperienced players, so you should know how to capitalize on their weaknesses. Here are two example strategies:

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Where to play poker

We hope this article taught you everything you needed to know about nits. Understanding your opponents is crucial to learning how to play poker. There is no better way to read your opponents than playing online poker on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. GGPoker offers games of every stake and even has a free poker tracker plus HUD to improve your gameplay. Sign up at GGPoker today!

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