Many players log on to their favorite site, jump into the first games with seats available and start playing. This is a mistake, or at the very least it is not maximizing your potential for winning money. Spending just a little time seeking out the best games, with weak and predictable opponents, can improve your win rate considerably. If you make table selection part of your regular routine you will find your bankroll gets bigger faster – allowing you to move up to the next levels.
This article shows you how to think about selecting the most profitable poker games online by drilling down through finding the easiest poker sites, finding the best tables and then looking at individual seats.
Here is a simple question: Would you make more money sitting at a table with experienced ‘grinders’ who are multi-tabling for a living – or sat with amateurs and recreational players instead?
Setting bad-beats aside for a moment, the answer is clearly the novices. Most players know this, yet most still continue to sit with the small stakes grinders instead of moving their play to more profitable sites. I strongly recommend that you make this move, however much you like the bigger sites, there are simply not enough completely new players to go around.
For US players the biggest of the offshore sites, Bovada.lv is a very soft place to play. This is part of the Bodog brand and so benefits from plenty of cross over from their well-known Sportsbook. In addition, Bovada have policies which make their site unattractive to pro-grinders including a ban on ‘HUD Software’ which grinders use to track opponents and a maximum of 4 tables simultaneously. You’ll notice the difference at www.bovada.lv – check them out now.
For players worldwide I recommend the fastest growing site, 888 Poker. With promotions and offers aimed squarely at the recreational crowd, and cross over traffic from their huge casino brand – you’ll find the tables at 888 wild and loose compared to many others. Tournaments tend to be particularly crazy, with players who are just learning about poker strategy for the first time. You can get $8 in free tournament tokens to check out the games at the moment too.
Once you have found a site with plenty of weak opponents, the next step is to locate the best tables to play at. Instead of jumping into the first free seats, you need to check out the statistics in the lobby. There are two figures to look for:
Ideally, you are looking for tables with both of these numbers higher than the average in the list. This indicates a loose table with lots of bets and raises. If the pot size is big but the ‘players per flop’ is small, the table is likely to be aggressive but tight – which is not the best choice. High players to flop and lower pot size indicates a lot of limping-in trying to hit the nuts and then folding to bets later on. This table might be good for someone prepared to steal a lot of pots (though you’ll need to back-off if you end up getting some action).
One thing to bear in mind is that the nature of games can change fast, especially when one or more ‘action players’ go broke and leave. Keep checking that the table still matches your criteria by returning to the lobby. If your previously loose table goes tight and passive, it is time to leave a find yourself more profitable games.
The final part of finding the most profitable poker games online goes down to the level of choosing the best seat. Sure, you will not always have much choice – though there are plenty of times where you will be deciding which table to choose, and the position of the empty seat can be the deciding factor.
Where you sit depends on your style of play. If there is a big stack at the table who is going crazy with bets and raises you can either choose to sit to his left or to his right. If you are aggressive yourself and life to isolate people who play fast and loose and outplay them post flop then the seat to the left is ideal. If you are a patient and tight player, then why not choose the seat to his right instead. When the wild player raises several players around the table may call or re-raise before the action gets around to you – then *boom* you can put in a big re-raise and trap a lot of chips when you have the goods.
Remember, playing at the same old familiar site and sitting in the first game with a spare seat is costing you money. Start actively choosing easier sites and the best tables today – your bankroll will benefit!