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How to select the best Table when playing Poker Online

Table selection can be the difference between a good day’s winning 2 table buy-ins and a bad day of tearing your hair out. As you spend more time playing free online poker you should be aiming to play profitable tables with more fish to extract money from. When I’m choosing an NLHE cash game I normally look for the following things:

Average Pot Size

The higher the pot size the more loose the table will be. This means you can expect to win more money from your big hands and are likely to earn more BB/hr. Inversely, tables with a low average pot size indicate that the table is very tight. This leaves less big pots for us to build or win.

However, I don’t always play by these rules. Sometimes a big average pot could mean lots of experienced LAG players which makes the table harder to beat. A low average pot size with tight would also suit loose-aggressive player who bluff a lot.

Average Number of Players per Flop

If you are a tight player it might be beneficial for you when the Plyrs/Flop is high as you’ll get lots of callers for your big hands. Conversely, a loose-aggressive player will fare better on a tight table by picking up the uncontended pots and bullying passive players.

Average Player Stack

You might need to view the table to see these, but normally only poor players buy into cash games with less than 100xBBs which means you can identify the fish (if any). The reason in doing this is that by buying in with 100xBBs you can play proper deep stack poker. If you’re sitting there with 40xBBs on the other hand your strategy is extremely limited. I would happily avoid tables where the average stack is larger than 100xBBs.

Choosing a Seat

The best place to sit down at a table is as close as possible to the left of a fish (anti-clockwise). This is the best seat in the house because it gives you position against him and allows you to exploit his chips with a bluff or check-raise on every street. You can also take advantage by raising him off pots on an un-raised board pre-flop.

Player Profiling

If you’re using poker HUD/poker tracking software then you can easily identify how weak the players at your table are by looking at their win-rate and ROI graphs. Of course, not all of us have invested in such tools. Another simple way is to use the player search facility and check who’s multi-tabling – these guys will probably be the pros. You can use your memory/notes too when checking tables for potential sharks.

Play Within a Range of Stakes

It is not unusual at all for a regular NL50 player to be playing across a range of stakes including NL100 and NL25 as it gives you more choice and variety when looking for a profitable table. Especially when playing on the smaller non-US rooms it simply doesn’t make sense to constrain yourself to one particular table with low traffic.