Now that we’ve been over starting hand requirements I’d like to talk about something that might be even more important, table selection. The beauty of poker is that you don’t have to be great at the game to earn a profit. You just have to be better than the people you’re playing against. That really is the most important thing. I’m going to spend a little bit of time on looking for weakness and exploiting it.
Game and Seat Selection
The first thing we’re looking for in a table is a high percentage of players seeing a flop. This information is available at most online card rooms before you ever even enter a room. On my regular site Tiktok777, the home of more fish per room than any site I’ve played at, you can see the percentage of players per flop on the right side of the room display. Since we will soon discover that we should probably only be playing about one out of four or five hands, any table that has 50% or more of the players seeing a flop is likely to contain a lot of loose and passive players. I usually only look for tables with almost no raising before the flop and lots of calling. These tables will have a large percentage of players per flop but small average pot sizes. Likewise, we like to see players betting very little in relation to the pot size after the flop. These are fish.
Once we’ve found a good table it’s very important to study the players for several rounds before you sit down. You should be taking notes on a lot of things such as: who’s timid and folds a lot against small bets, who’s willing to bluff, who’s showing down only good hands, which players are seeing every flop and which aren’t, etc. There is a wealth of information available to you before you even get started; one of the most costly mistakes you can make is to not take advantage of it. Now that you have your notes it’s time to select a seat.
Seat Selection in Online Poker
Seat selection is also of great importance. It’s important to note that, due to the clockwise rotation of the betting of the game, that most of the money you will win in IDN Poker over the course of your life will be coming from the players in the first two seats to your immediate right. It’s also important to note that all of the blinds you will be stealing will be from the players to your immediate left. Another point is that aggressive players acting after you will often cause you to fold your limping hands by putting in a raise after you’ve already placed in your call, causing you to either forfeit your money or make a call that you would not have made had you known you’d have to pay 3 or 4 big blinds.
Note: just because a bet has caused you to regret calling in the first place doesn’t mean you have to give the hand up after the fact. Many times a hand that you would not normally play against a raise becomes playable once a lot of money is in the pot, based purely on the pot odds. Pot odds refer to the amount of money in the pot in relation to the amount it costs you to contest for it.
So, what does all this mean? You want the loose and the aggressive players closest to your right hand side and the tight and timid players to your left. If there are any maniacs on the table, you want to know what they’re doing before you do what your doing. If there are loose players donating their money by playing every hand, you want to be the one collecting it. And if there are players that will surrender their blinds without a fight, you want them in the blinds when you’re in the dealer position so that you get to be the one picking up the uncontested blinds.