This poker style characterizes the low-stake tables and the beginners. Therefore, it is important for you to know how to take advantage of their weakness in order to build your bankroll.
You can recognize a maniac player by the numerous raises and re-raises he makes despite the cards he holds, his position in the hand or the number of players that have called before him. He is an extremely active player so you should sit at his left at the poker table because this allows you to receive precious information provided by his actions.
They are long-term losers but on short instances they can ruin your bankroll. Nonetheless, it’s rather easy to handle them. First, when playing against such an opponent you should forget about creativity and fancy play and start playing by the book. Basic ABC poker gives the best results against this type of player. For example, when you have a good position you should lead with strong hands because they will most surely call if they hit the flop but if you don’t have a good position you should better check/raise because maniacs bluff heavily and bet on almost every flop.
Maniacs are pot addicted so make sure you pull them all in when you are certain that you have the best hand (but only when it looks that they have something big too, otherwise you should only bet).
“Setup play” is the style of play you use at the beginning of the game in order to create a false image of your playing style and leave the impression that you are a maniac. A setup play consists of a player raising from first position and you making a re-raise from last position with any two cards looking for a show down. For instance, if someone raises from first position with A-Q, you will re-raise in cut off with 7-5, he will certainly call. If the flop comes 9,7,3 he can put a continuation bet and you call. Let’s say the turn comes a 2; both of you check. If the river brings a 6; he checks, you check, or he bets in an attempt to bluff and you call. At the end, when he will see your cards he will believe that you are a maniac player and later you can gradually change your style and hope your setup play will pay off at some point.