# Level of looseness in cash games

#### Bombjack

##### Legend
Silver Level
Just thought I'd share a graph I put together from my database, showing how win rate in Big Bets per 100 hands varies with the VP\$IP (voluntarily contributed to pot) level. VP\$IP is a good measure of how loose or tight a player is, low being tight, high being loose. As a guide, 20% or below is tight, and 30% or above is loose. You might think tight players would do better, but that's not what I found.

This first graph I put together was all the data I had, but since I'd been playing at beginners' tables a lot (I only started playing a year ago) and these tend to distort the data (lots of bad, loose players), I've taken these out of the dataset and just included \$25 buy-in NL tables and higher. I also eliminated players with VP\$IP > 50%, as I'd consider this outside the normal range.

First graph is for all players I'd observed for 60 hands or more:

Light blue dots are the data points. The dark blue points are the regression line, i.e. the best fit to the data. Yellow and Magenta are 95% error bands.

You can see from this
a) There's a lot more variance in winnings for looser players (as you'd expect)
b) There's no correlation between tightness (VP\$IP) and win rate (BB per 100 hands)

Also produced a graph for players where I had >120 hands observed. Similar story, no correlation - if anything, suggests a slightly higher average win rate for looser players.

The regression was completed using the Excel Analysis Toolpack and assumes a straight-line fit.

Conclusion: one style, loose or tight is no better in terms of win rates than the other. Playing loose allows you more scope for winning or losing large amounts, although this data cannot determine whether loose or tight play is correlated with variance in session winnings on an individual basis.

#### Bombjack

##### Legend
Silver Level
Anyone got any views on why this might be, that loose players do just as well as tight players?

Is conventional wisdom, that you should play tight, wrong? As shown by the new generation of loose/aggressive players, Negreanu et al?

Or could it be that the tight players online aren't very good, and fold too many hands to loose aggressive players if they don't hit hard? Maybe the tight players are also too passive?

T

#### Threesixes

##### Visionary
Silver Level
Correct me because I must be reading this wrong. If you are counting the number of big bets won per 100 hands dealt, then of course a tighter player will win less. He plays less and loses less as well. Now let me go back and try and re-read this so it makes sense, lol.

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
Loose players win more against tight players.
Tight players win more against loose players.

I swear I have read both things in several books..LOL so which is right ??

Both are..only who can do both and at the right time ? That is the key to winning poker my friends.

Look I have been playing Poker for a long time now and here is what I find ..................A great player can be any type of player that he or she needs to be. This type of player is a lion in the bush or a rabbit in the hole or a snake in the grass..He can play slow or fast...he can be loose or passive...................But one thing is constant in his play..............

He always plays as the table says he should be playing

#### Bombjack

##### Legend
Silver Level
Threesixes said:
Correct me because I must be reading this wrong. If you are counting the number of big bets won per 100 hands dealt, then of course a tighter player will win less. He plays less and loses less as well. Now let me go back and try and re-read this so it makes sense, lol.
Not quite threesixes! The variance in winnings is indeed higher for loose players - they win more and lose more, as you might expect.

However there doesn't seem to be any trend that says tight players tend to have positive win rates, and loose players have negative win rates, which is what you would expect if playing tight were a more profitable strategy.

Loose players win more against tight players.
Tight players win more against loose players.

I swear I have read both things in several books..LOL so which is right ??
Makes no sense to me either. The only think I can think of, is if the whole table is tight you can steal more, and if the whole table is loose you get paid off more.

#### ChuckTs

##### Legend
Silver Level
You're definitely getting mixed up here, Bombjack. Toadly actually put it pretty well.
Any style can be a winner, so long as you're disciplined and can get your money in knowing you're ahead, and fold when you know you're beat. It sounds like you associate loose with weak, which is incorrect. Tight aggressive isn't necessarily a 'strong' style either.

The 'best' style is just as toadly said: the style that plays the table best.
Just because a TAG style is considered the most 'solid', doesn't mean you should play TAG if your whole table is TAG.

Aright consider this: you're at a table full of rocks. Noone will call or raise with anything but top 10 hands. Are you going to play the same style? Well if you are, then you don't know how to profit. These guys are folding everything but really strong hands, so all you should be doing is stealing blinds every hand until someone calls you, and when that happens, make sure you hit the flop HARD before you even consider playing the hand through.

Conversely, if everyone's raising and reraising, then would a loose/aggressive style suit the table? Of course not. You want to punish the people reraising 99 with AA type hands, and milk them for all they've got when the flop comes 258.

Inevitably, if the players are half observative, the Rock table will notice you're in every pot, and they will adjust their game by loosening up and trying to defend their blinds and pots. When they loosen up, you tighten up.

The problem with your stats (which I really don't understand tbh ) is that they don't factor in the table's image in contrast with the styles players are playing.

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