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Poker News | Online Poker | News

Poker Plus - Picking the Right Game

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Picking a game is important and relatively easy online. Unlike in B&M card rooms, where you would probably have to be sitting in the game to see if it was lively or dead, it is simple to determine when playing online, without having to get in the game.

In the lobby, once you have selected which type game you want to play in, you can look at all the games within the limit range you want to play in. I like Stud Hi/Lo Split, so when I go to that room in the lobby, I scan the limits I want to play in. Right there I can tell what percentages of players are in the pots, the average pot size and how many hands an hour are being dealt.

This is invaluable to a player who wants a certain pace of game. You also want a game that suits your style, as maybe you are a player who prefers tight games, where you have a better chance of stealing pots. Or, you prefer action games with big pots, as is my personal choice. Yes, I know these games can be much tougher to beat, but when you win a pot it is a big one, so it is worth the risk to me.

When I am looking for a game in the lobby, I have a range of limits I will play because of the size of my bankroll. I will play anything up to 3/6 limit, therefore I scrutinize all the games from 25c/50c up to 3/6. Ok, I admit I do look at the bigger games too, and some of them are very tempting, IF my bankroll could handle them.

What I look for specifically is the pot size of the games. Many times a smaller game like 25c/50c or 50c/$1 limit will actually be the most worthwhile game to play in. This is no math whiz observation on my part, I have a simple method. If the 25c/50c game has pots on average of $4 then the 50c/$1 game pots should be double, or at least $8.00. If the pots aren’t at least double in average size when you double the limit, then the small game may be the best value for me to play in. Why play in a $2/$4 game that has $12 pots, when you can play in a 50c/$1 game that has $10 pots?

In Stud there are antes and the bigger the limit, the bigger the antes. My play is pretty tight, so I fold a lot of hands, which means I pay a lot in antes, so pot size is important. If the game is tight, then not only are the pots small, but it is faster, meaning it costs me more in antes as more hands are dealt an hour.

When I scan the games list and see the average pot size, I can’t help but wonder why a player would sit in a 3/6 game with pots of $18 when the 2/4 game has pots averaging $35? Maybe it is their preferred limit and they are waiting for some fish, I just don’t know.

Many times I have sat in a game that looked lively only to find it wasn’t. The low card player opens, the player with the Ace raises and everyone folds, hand after hand. I don’t give this game much time as it is obvious those big pots are few and far between. To make a game profitable it has to have chasers in it, and ideally, unlucky chasers!

The great thing about playing online like at PokerStars, is they have many games in all limits. It is not unusual to find four or more of say, a 50c/$1limit game going most evenings. If one game doesn’t suit me, it is real easy to leave and get in another one. Usually I have my name on 2-4 waiting lists and do multi-table, then choose one or two to stay in according to the action and how I am doing in the game. There is no reason for me to play in a $2/$4 game if I can’t make a hand, but will stay in the $1/$2 game if I am doing well of course. For me, I don’t care what limit a game is, just what kind of action the game has.

There are many things to consider when choosing a game to play in online, and all are important to how you play, and increasing your chances of winning. The best thing is, if you find yourself in a game that doesn’t suit you, leave and find another one, another game is just a click away.

Pick your game…Grab a Chair and see you there!

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