POKER TABLE SELECTION TIPS
One of the most important aspects the successful online poker player has to consider is which table to sit down at. Table selection is vital if you want to come out on top consistently. Exactly which kind of table will prove most profitable depends to some extent on your playing style. Some players love to bluff, for example, and for this kind of player a "tight" table will yield a good profit - particularly if the blinds / antes are high. If you are a skilled bluffer then higher blinds mean higher profit, as you will be stealing more than your fair share - assuming your opponents fold! Don't try and bluff a loose table, and don't try and bluff from too early a position - if there are nine players to act after you it is almost certain that at least one of them will call.
Most successful online players adopt a "tight aggressive" approach to their play i.e. playing only good starting hands but playing them aggressively by raising. If you are adopting this approach then your ideal table selection is one that is "loose passive". At a loose-passive table, there are several players that are prepared to call a bet with relatively weak hands, which means that when you raise the pot with your strong hands your opponents will pay you off. Although now and then this kind of player will frustrate you by filling an inside straight or hitting some other miracle card, it is worth remembering that it is this kind of player who produces your profit in the long term. The loose passive player is thus the Holy Grail of the serious online player - if you base your poker table selection on finding loose passive tables you will be most of the way towards making some money.
The key to loose passive table selection is to look at the table statistics in the lobby of your online poker room. What you want is a table where a large number of players are prepared to see the flop. If the average number of players seeing the flop is only one or two, then pass that room by (unless a tight game really suits your style). Look for tables where lots of players are prepared to see the flop. Try watching the table for a while before you sit down if you're not sure what kind of table you're dealing with. If there's a table that looks particularly promising, but it is full at the moment, then don't make the mistake of going to sit at a much worse table. Join the waiting list and watch the action to see which players are playing loosely and which players are taking advantage of their mistakes. Pay particular attention if a new player joins the table. Remember that other serious players will be checking the lobby statistics to find a good game too. You often have to recognise that what started out as a great table has now become a bad table because three or four serious players have joined the action. Don't stay around to compete against good players just to try and prove a point. You are playing to make money when all is said and done - and you will make more money playing against weak players than strong ones.
Poker Rooms With The Worst Players
So which rooms have the worst players, as a general rule? This is one of those questions that online players argue about ad infinitum. Different players seem to find different rooms easiest, and to some extent this may just prove that you need to find a room that suits your style and, very importantly, the levels you are comfortable playing at. As a general rule, however, weaker players tend to play at poker rooms that are linked to casinos and sportsbooks, such as Pacific Poker or Bet365poker. These players often just play for a short time, and don't really mind about losing money. They expect to lose, and consider their losses to be just the price of their entertainment. The one room that has gained an almost universal reputation for terrible players is Pacific Poker. It may be because the poker room is linked to the 888.com casino. Whatever the reason, over a period of several years now Pacific Poker has consistently attracted awful players, and if you like to play tight aggressive poker for low stakes then you'll win a good deal at Pacific.
Poker rooms that advertise heavily also tend to attract new (and thus inexperienced and weaker) players - which is why so many good players like to play their poker at Party Poker. Party advertise very heavily and thus attract lots of new players - particularly at the lower levels, but increasingly at the higher levels too, as wealthy new customers from Europe and the Far East join the fun. Ultimate Bet seems to attract players who are more serious about their poker, and thus a bit tougher to beat, but recent high profile advertising from them has started to change this and there are now plenty of weak players to cash in on - just stick to the lower levels! At higher levels Ultimate Bet remains a tough place to make money. If you want to play for high stakes the players are weaker, and more common, at Party Poker and Bet365poker.