Does table selection in poker really matter? Absolutely. As a new poker player, you might be compelled to just sit at any table and hope for the best. However, thinking through your table selection really makes a difference. Unfortunately, many new players just don’t know where to be. That’s perfectly okay. After all, you’re in the best place to learn this type of thing.
Table selection can definitely affect winrate, and there are factors that make the difference between a good poker table and one that you should avoid.
A great table has many factors. For starters, you want to look for a table that has weak players. If that sounds too predatory for you, you’re in the wrong casino game. Poker is all about being as predatory as possible. Those weak players have chips that you can take, and chips are money. It’s really as simple as that. If you can get position on fish, this means that you can play pots in position against them. You can find weak players because they have a stack size smaller than 100 big blinds. Strong winners usually have more than 100 big blind and they auto reload to stay in the game.
You want to have a good position that lets you have position on as many weak players as possible. The tight players should be on your left, and the loose players on your right.
We also like tables that have a high percentage of seen flops. This is a sign that loose players are sitting there. Loose players don’t think about hand selection or flop evaluation very much, which means that there’s a chance for you to take their chips with ease. Juicy tables make for profitable play and long term winning numbers.
You also want to see what the average pot size is. Large pots also indicate fish, and we already explained our love for fishy players. See if you can get high up on the waitlist so that you have time to scoop up as much of the fishies’ bankrolls as possible.
Looking at the stack size matters as well. Weak players have less than 100 big blinds (40-90BB is the range that you’ll find most of the time).
The time of day definitely matters. If you’re targeting fish, you’ll find them playing after they get off work. Remember that work is stressful, and stressed players tend to tilt very easily. This is where having a good idea of the psychological side of poker comes in handy. It’s always a good idea to figure out what you’re going to do to push someone’s mental buttons a bit. If you can get them rattled, then you can beat them. It’s really as simple as that.
You’ll have to play around with table selection for a little while until you get it right. There’s nothing that says that you can’t do well in poker with a little strategy, you know! Keep playing and good luck — may the cards be with you, always!