Ever heard of Eric Drache? He’s a famous poker player who finished second in three World Series of Poker events—1973, 1981 and 2009. While the 78-year-old has had an illustrious career, his critics claim he would have been more successful were it not for one reason.
Eric has always played against better players. In the poker space, playing against better opponents puts you at the risk of losing regularly. As a result, it’s important to choose the right poker table for you, even when gambling online.
How do you choose a good online poker table?
1—Follow the Money
You’ve probably heard this popular catchphrase before. If you want to get rich, follow the money. It’s true—you can only make money in a poker table where people are betting decent amounts.
If you join a game where the betting limits are capped at $1, you’ll be wasting time. But let’s say you join a Sit & Go tournament with $100 buy-in amounts, you’ll stand to win more than $500 if you finish in the top three.
Now, you shouldn’t follow the money blindly. Create a poker budget. Determine how much you can afford to gamble. This way, you won’t risk ruining your finances in the name of maximizing your poker profits.
2—Choose a Good Poker Website
Poker websites aren’t created equal. Some casinos prioritize slots, blackjack and roulette. If you join one of these platforms, you’ll struggle to find the right poker table for you.
To find a good poker table, first determine what types of poker games you love to play. Let’s say you love Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Then you need to find top poker sites with these games.
Next, find a list of poker casinos in your state. In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Delaware, you can play poker through a state-licensed website. In many states, though, you need to find US poker sites licensed overseas.
That’s alright. Some of the best online casinos in the US hold their licenses from Panama, Costa Rica and Curacao. They have generous bonuses worth up to $5000 and tons of poker games.
3—Know Your Opponents
We’ll admit—it’s difficult to know your opponents in random online poker games. New players come and go. And considering most casinos have thousands of weekly players, seldom will you find the same bunch of players at your favorite poker tables.
Still, you can learn a lot about your opponents after a couple of games. So, find your favorite poker variant and get into action. While there, learn how often your opponents are folding, bluffing and calling blinds.
If most of your opponents in a game are aggressive and tough, it’s wise to find a different table. But if you get onto a poker table full of novices, you need to spend more time there. As mentioned, playing against novices is an excellent way to maximize your profits.
Note: some poker sites have profiles for regular players. Use these profiles to learn about your opponents before a tournament. You could figure out their strengths and weaknesses, which could be helpful in planning your strategies.
4—Start a Table
Sometimes it’s just not easy to find a poker table with weak players. In that case, you can always start a table. Many experienced players avoid tables with one or two players.
Instead, it’s the weaker players out to have some fun who join tables with few or no players. As a result, this can increase your chances of the being the most skilled player in a table.
Note: if you start a table and top-ranked players join you, there’s a chance they deem you a weak opponent. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re confident about your skills, you don’t have to leave the table. You can surprise your opponents with your great skills.
5—Consider Stake and Pot Limits
Ultimately, your decision on which table to join will be impacted by the game’s stake and pot limits. When it comes to stakes, look at the small and big blinds. If they are too small, then your profits will be small too.
By comparison, expensive blinds mean you can run through your bankroll quicker. Also, you can win a lot more money if you win consistently. As such, it’s best to strike a balance to avoid overspending and also to increase your chances of winning decent cash.
Pot limit wise, your decision should be based on your ideal poker games and strategies. Texas Hold No limits allow anyone to bet all they have at any stage of the competition.
On the other hand, Omaha tends to have pot limits. The difference is that No Limits increase risk and the profits while pot limits reduce risk but also lower the maximum you can win.
6—Bonuses and Rake back
For some, bonuses are the primary reason they join a specific poker website. This isn’t entirely the best way to choose online poker platforms. All the same, bonuses are important determinants of which poker sites to join.
Here’s why. Bonuses increase your bankroll. If you make a deposit to a casino and receive a 100% match bonus, you’ll have doubled your bankroll. If a casino gives you a 200% bonus, it will have tripled your bankroll.
Welcome bonuses aside, poker sites also give out rake backs. A rake back is like a cashback. It’s a small refund of the money you have to pay poker operators to play their games.
If a casino charges a 10% rake but has a 50% rake back, it means you can now save 50% of the commission fees you should have paid. Most websites have other bonus promotions. Read the terms for these offers beforehand. Claim a bonus only if it comes with fair terms.
Choosing an online poker table doesn’t have to be confusing. Define your favorite poker games. Maybe you love Texas Hold’em. Perhaps you like Omaha. That’s alright. Next, choose an appropriate casino.
Ensure it provides bonuses and rake backs. Also, look at other details—payment methods, website traffic, player profiles and reputation. Additionally, use the tips we’ve shared above to pick a table through which you can emerge the winner.