How to Choose the Most Profitable Poker Table when Choosing a Table
The finest poker table to play at should be chosen almost as carefully as the best online poker room. Again, the profitability of each table might vary greatly, so is choosing the most profitable merely a matter of chance?
No, there is a reason for it, and in this lesson we’ll look at how to choose the cash game table in the lobby that will bring in the most money.
What do we want to find?
Simply said, we’re looking for the fish. We’re searching for any indications of terrible players that chase and play too many hands against the odds in an effort to make their hand, regardless of how unlikely it is that they’ll hit cards on the flop, turn, or river.
The only way to accomplish this at a live casino would be to stand and watch the tables to identify the one where people are pursuing.
Since there may be hundreds of tables available, it is a blessing that online poker eliminates our need for guessing and time-consuming observation by providing table data for each and every table in the lobby.
How therefore do we select the most lucrative table?
Making sure you are looking at the correct tables is the first step. You will be playing at the 5 cent/10 cent stake level for the first part of this course and the Poker Bankroll Challenge, and you will be concentrating on the No Limit Texas Holdem ring (cash) game tables throughout the whole course.
Make sure you are looking at the ring game tables in the lobby before clicking the Holdem tab and choosing the No Limit option immediately below it. The 5c/10c tables with 9 players per table are the ones we’re searching for. You may disregard the short-handed (6 player) tables for the time being as we will only be playing on full tables of 9 or 10 players throughout this course.
You will notice several statistics in the accessible tables; let’s quickly review what they mean:
- Players – The number of people seated at the table and the maximum number of people, for example, “7/9” Indicates 7 people seated at the table with 2 open places.
- Stakes: The amount wagered, including the small and large blinds. For example, “5c/10c” indicates that the small blind is 5 cents and the big blind is 10 cents.
- Limit: The kind of poker betting limit being used, such as No Limit, Pot Limit, or Limit (Fixed). For example, “NL” stands for No Limit.
- There is typically a legend describing the icons at the bottom of the lobby. Sort – Poker room-specific, which will display icons for the type of game it is, for example, there may be an icon for webcam poker tables.
- Average Pot – This option is self-explanatory; it maintains track of all winning pot amounts and offers a statistic for the table indicating the average pot size.
- Players / Flop – The average number of players who see the flop, that is, the players who do not fold before the flop and at least call the pre-flop bet and see the cards on the flop, for example: “45%” = at a full 9-person table, this would indicate that on average 4 players (9 x 45%) see each flop, meaning there are usually at least 4 big blinds in each pot.
- The number of hands dealt on average per hour is shown here as a measure of the table’s pace. The higher the figure, the quicker the table is moving and the more hands it deals per hour.
- Wait – If a table is full, you can join the waiting list for that table. As a player vacates, the next person on the waiting list is offered the vacant seat. You can see how many individuals are presently on the waiting list by looking at this data.
- Participants per Flop: A fish-o-meter
- The percentage of players who witness the flip, often known as the players per flip column, is the data we are most interested in initially. The average percentage of players at the table who view each flop is what this statistic indicates. The general rule of thumb is that the higher this number is, the more fish (bad players) the table has. This is our Fish-o-meter.
Why? Since fish chase weak cards and play hands they should just fold, as you have previously learned, more players attempt to play every flop without making the right hand selection.
If you noticed a table with 5% then this table has a lot of better players, who play hands judiciously before the flip and don’t play with hands they shouldn’t. A table with a smaller percentage would imply better players.
In the picture above, you can see that one table jumps out from the rest of the list with a 45% players/flop ratio. This is a really, really nice table to sit down at, and I would put my name on the waiting list for that table as soon as possible.
Tables with a Plrs/Flop% higher than 20% are what we’re after. It is much better if you can achieve a percentage higher than 30%. The table becomes better and fishier the higher it is.
The aforementioned picture was obtained from 888 Poker, and as you can see, there are several tables with stakes above 20%, some with stakes above 30%, and finally, that fish-stinking 45% table. Similar circumstances can be seen at Bovada, which only serves to support the findings of our testing that these two websites have a large number of novice players from which we may benefit.