UK Poker Player Poker Strategy Articles Selecting the Right Table to Win On

Selecting the Right Table to Win On

Posted by David Cowell on July 24, 2010 at 12:21 BST

When you first enter your poker site, you may well (and correctly) be using the filters in the lobby area to lead you to the tables which fall into the criteria set by your bankroll management, but there may be times when it could be worthwhile extending your focus to other tables outside of this range.

It is not that we are advocating abandoning responsible betting, but sometimes tables exist with a much higher than average number of players seeing flop who will add value to your game by betting into a pot they have little chance of winning.

You will spot these tables by organising the “Players per Flop” column into descending order (click on the tab at the top of the column to do this) and then scrolling up to the top of the list. As a rule, good players will see flop no more than 35% of the time, so the higher the figure beyond that, the looser the table.

For example: a full ring table displaying figures of around 60% implies that there are 6 or 7 players chasing every hand, and it is not often that 6 or 7 players share a pot, so somebody is wasting their money!

However, before you go charging into the first hand all guns blazing, you need to join (or at least observe) the table to see what the reason is for these remarkably high percentages. You also have to bear in mind that the 60% figure displayed in the lobby relates to the hands played over the previous hour, so it may be on its way down from an even higher figure (and dropping further) and could have already attracted the attention of a number of other players who are ahead of you in the waiting list!

You could also use a bit of detective work with one of the tracking software devices available on the web, to see the playing stats of the people seated around the table and how they have been performing in recent hands.

Usually, however, the figures do not lie, and there will be some value in the table for at least a short period of time. You should keep a regular eye on the lobby area to ensure that the table stats are being maintained, and also to be aware of any other tables which are witnessing an increasing number of players per flop. It may be that you can get onto that table to observe it while still playing on yours until the value has gone.