Definition of Passive

What does the term "passive" mean in the world of poker? What is the definition of the term passive in poker?

In poker, "passive" refers to a player who is tight and brings hardly any aggression into their game. Passive players are those who almost never bluff and don't use much imagination in their games.

For strong poker players, passive players are a dream to play against as they usually telegraph the strength of their holdings via their actions.

The King presents the definition of the poker term - Passive - What does it mean?   Example is provided.

For instance, a passive player who folds every hand for two rounds and then suddenly becomes involved in a pot almost certainly has a very strong holding.

Let's say that you are playing in a multi-table tournament. A passive player at the table has folded every hand for three rounds. They are in early position and put out a 3x raise. Now, based on your read of this player, you are certain that they have a very big holding like KK, AA or AK.

Action folds around to you in the BB. You look down at 7s-8s and elect to defend your big blind, hoping that you flop big. The flop comes Ad-Kc-Js, which is obviously horrible for your hand. Your opponent bets again and you instantly fold.


Playing passively is one of the biggest mistakes that new players to the game of poker will make. In order to become a successful poker player, you need to play creatively and not be afraid to take risks in order to confuse your opponents.

Playing passively and waiting for nothing but big hands to be dealt to you is not the correct way to play poker.

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