I just registered to thank you for the solution. Worked on Mint 19.1 Cheers mate!
I discovered that I was trying to loop select by clicking in the middle of the face, it did not work, then I saw a tutorial that included loop selecting and I noticed that the tutor was click on an edge. Even though he was in face mode clicking closer to the edge made the loop select work every time. I confirmed this and now have no trouble selecting face loops.
I hope this helps.
registered to say thank you. Linux community going strong