Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered. You read it right. No this isn’t a stock market forum or blog and yes that is usually when you hear this saying spoken, however, the best sayings in life or the best tools can be used throughout life and this saying is one of them.


If you wish to be a successful poker player it will be advantageous to be mindful of this saying and you will need to change your gameplay between being a bear and a bull, but don’t use my recent gameplay as measurement of its validity or usefulness, as lately I have been experimenting with the pig approach.


I would describe the bears as being tight/aggressive players, but they can also be tight/passive and tend to slip into a more passive style of play as the tournaments get up in the blinds and they are out stacked. This strategy is the best tournament opener from my experience, but you must maintain tight aggressive play, however, there is a time when you need to make a move into the strategy of a Bull and making this move after extended play as a bear can be challenging. Bears often make it to the money, but they don’t make the big money because they don’t ever make the shift and transform into the bull when they need to.


I would describe the bulls as being tight/aggressive, but they can also be loose/aggressive. The loose/aggressive side becomes more important when you get higher into the blinds and later in the tournament. At this point, you often need to widen your hand range a little, start making more runs at the blinds, and start putting pressure on smaller stacks. Be careful not to run into another bull with a hand, but those stuck being the bear will often cave under the pressure waiting for the big hands that might not ever come. Bulls also make money and usually make it later into the tournaments.


I would describe the pigs as being loose/aggressive and they remain here. These are the players that love going all in before the flop. They are also the type that will see a flush draw on the board and do not try to bet their opponents off the hand, checking instead, hoping to dish out a check-raise and get more chips. It's better to take the chips you can, rather than taking the risks of losing them while trying to greedily get more chips. This style of play can seem like the way to go and you will often see these players come out strong and get a big chip lead early, however, they rarely hang on with this loose/aggressive play. The luck eventually runs out and pigs rarely if ever make it to the money.

I’m certainly not a poker pro, but I can say that I have never left a casino table without making at least some money. This is just something I have noticed while playing and you may find keeping this saying in mind as you play and make decisions at the poker table helpful, and ask yourself: who am I being right now? The bear, the bull, or the pig.

Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.