Poker Table Selection

Table selection in poker is an overlooked prerequisite for a successful, winning strategy, no matter what type of poker game you are playing.

Avoid playing at tables beyond your skill level.

Avoid playing at tables beyond your skill level.

Many players simply dive into a game before taking the time to look around and assess the action.  Even seasoned professionals, who clearly know that table selection is an essential part of poker, often select the wrong table simply because they get caught up in the excitement.

Nevertheless, if you are going to invest your bankroll in a poker game, you need to ascertain what the prospects for getting a return on that investment is going to be. And table selection is a key factor is coming out ahead.  It may sound to you like common sense, but the first step in winning is choosing your ground carefully to give you the best chance of success.

Table selection in poker is important whether you are playing in a live game or online. Below are some guidelines to help you in choosing the proper table in poker.

Table Selection Basics

First, what is the playing style of the table players? Are they overly aggressive or passive? Are they playing tight or loose?

Avoid tables if they appear to have a large number of aggressive players as these players are often the hardest to defeat.  You may be good enough to beat them, but you may not be able to overwhelm the casinos rake and make as much as you would like.  If you are not sure of the skill level of the players, take some time and note your potential opponents before you play them. If you are still unsure, it may be wise to pass on that table altogether.

Online Table Selection

With an online game, look for average pot sizes that relate to your bankroll. Just going for a big pot game is attractive to many players, but such hands will take a heavy toll on a bankroll if you don’t have the cash to back it up, and cover the down runs.

You will find yourself at a distinct disadvantage very quickly if you play tight because you’re more worried about your bankroll than you are on the game itself.  If you’re playing with the big dog’s make sure you can bite as well as bark!

So, think about the game itself, and ask yourself, is it for you?  Don’t play above your bankroll or comfort zone and do not feel ashamed to play down to another lower level.  The key here is to win the long game, not to win in one hand.  Never play a game where the pot size dictates that you shouldn’t be playing there in the first place.

Other Factors to Consider

Count how many players are at the table? Does that number fit into your personal comfort zone and experience?  You may play your best with only a few players at a table, or you may be more confident when the table has 10 players seated at it. Whatever situation you feel the most comfortable in should determine which table you decide to play at.

The final tip we have for you with table selection in poker is whether the game is limit or no-limit.  If you are a limit game expert, stay away from no-limit tables. No-limit can eat up your bankroll in an instant unless you are experienced, and have the bankroll to stand it.

If you can handle the roller-coaster of a no-limit game, by all means, go for it.  However, if you are a beginner, start small and work your way up.  Also, just because you are proficient or even an expert at one poker type of poker, it does not mean you will immediately replicate that success elsewhere.

When it comes down to it, table selection in poker is for you and only you to decide.  It is up to you to use your powers of observation, and to be honest about your skill level, to decide the correct poker table selection.  Whether the determining factor is pot size, number of players, playing style or the game itself; make objective and controlled decisions based on what you know.  Then use your experience and play to those strengths before you even touch the chips.

online poker table selection

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