How to Define a Maniac at the Poker Table

What is a Maniac in Poker?

If you’ve ever sat at a poker table or even watched a televised poker game, you’re probably aware that there are different types of players at each and every one. You don’t even need to be a game expert to recognize this. It is easy to notice some players fold all the time, others try to get involved with as many pots as possible, and there are also those who try to be the table „captain“ by constantly raising and putting pressure on others.

All these different player profiles have different names and the one we’ll try to define in this particular article is the „maniac“ type. If you’re wondering what is a maniac in poker, that’s a kind of player who seemingly doesn’t care about busting out and always tries to force the action. While other types can be sometimes harder to recognize, maniacs are easy to spot. They’ll be there splashing their chips around, rarely calling and always raising, constantly at risk, but also putting other players to very tough decisions.

Handling a Maniac

Maniacs are probably the hardest profile of players to have at your table because it is impossible to predict their decisions at any given time. If you have a player who’s ready to risk their entire stack to win even the smallest of pots, how do you play against them?

Trying to answer aggression with aggression usually isn’t the best way unless you really have a premium hand. Remember, even a maniac will occasionally have a big hand and this is a trap that’s easy to fall in because of their image.

The best way to handle these players is to actually let them hang themselves. It can be annoying to sit around and wait for a good spot while they are “running over” the table, but keep in mind this is just an illusion. They are usually risking too much to gain too little and once you have the goods, they’ll surrender their entire stack.

Is There an Upside to Being a Maniac in Poker?

To successfully play the role at the maniac of a poker table, you have to be very aware of other players and be very capable of valuing your and hands’ of your opponents correctly. Although mindlessly splashing chips around will get you nowhere, playing a smart maniac style does have some upsides.

This is especially true for tournaments where people are reluctant to lose their stack and bust out so they’ll have much harder time standing up to a maniac at a poker table. However, one must make sure not to over-do it because with this style, a single misstep can send you packing.