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CHOOSING THE RIGHT POKER TABLE

Many people that play poker will move from one table to another without much thought to the table. They typically look at the amount of play and the type of game offered. If the player is on a budget, he or she will usually choose a $1 to $5 table while those not on a budget will opt for significantly higher tables. While this is a factor when choosing a poker table, there are many more things to consider, helping give you an advantage.

For starters, you want to choose a table where the other players have an obvious lesser skill level than you do. The key to finding these tables is to know what to look for. If playing in a casino on live tables, rather than rush to sit down and join a game, stand back a little ways and watch several hands. This allows you to determine the skill set of the players at that particular table. If playing online poker, look through the lobby so you can choose a table that interests you. At that point, the computer provides the table stats to include average pot, number of hands played each hour, percentage of players that see the flop, and so on.

Whether playing online or in a casino, you want a table that offers the highest possible number of hands played per hour. This is important because the faster the table plays the greater potential to win more money. If possible, find tables that have 60 hands per hour. Even better, at the lower and higher limit tables, look for a minimum of 80 hands per hour. Keep in mind that the looser tables are the best since most players are generally not as particular about their hands as they would be at the tighter tables. Because of this, the tables in general play slower, which is exactly why you need to take the time to watch the table so you know which ones are the fastest playing.

To determine which tables are loose and which are tight, check the percentage of players seeing the flop keeping in mind that the more players that see the flop the better. In fact, of all the statistics to watch for, this one is by far the most important. A good rule to follow is that if you see a 10-person table with potential, unless the percentage of people seeing the flop is a minimum 30% then move on. However, if the table limits were low, for example 1-2, you would expect to see tables with players seeing the flop anywhere from 70% and higher.

To determine the passivity of the table, look at the average pot size. For instance, if you find an active table, then you would obviously see many of the players betting, raising, and calling all the way to the river. It is important that you not shy away passive tables since both active and passive games have potential for wins.

Additionally, consider the size of the player’s stack. Typically, the players with the larger stacks are the serious players. Just do not concern yourself too much with this since some of the good players intentionally keep the stacks short. Finally, keep good records of both players and tables. If you plan to or already play frequently in a specific casino or two, keep track of what is going on in those casinos. Over time, you will learn how to avoid the players that know how to take your money and instead, find the type of players that you can beat.






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