Game Selection – Dave Tarbet
Game selection is one of the most important aspects of being a successful poker player and with the explosion of online card rooms it has become even more important.
In a bricks and mortar casino there may only be one or two games to choose from making game selection irrelevant, but on the internet where there are literally hundreds of games to choose from it becomes very important.
In selecting a game the first thing we must do is decide what type of game we want to play; Hold’em Omaha, Stud? Obviously you should choose your best game to give you the greatest chance of winning.
The next factor to take into account is what limit to play at. This is where a lot of players make a mistake by playing at too high a limit. Ego also plays a part in this mistake with a lot of players thinking $0.50 / $1.00 or $1.00 / $2.00 is beneath them. Never play at a limit you are uncomfortable with or don’t have enough bankroll for.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to always buy-in for 50 big bets. This ensures you have enough chips to be able to sustain the inevitable swings during the session and have enough chips to play comfortably. If you can’t sit down with 50 big bets then you’re probably playing at too high a limit.
Now we must think about whether to play a short handed table or a full table. This depends on your style of play. If you are very aggressive and like to play a lot of hands then you’ll probably be better at a short handed table. If you’re more conservative and only like to play good hands then a full table is for you.
Okay, so you’ve decided you’re going to play $3 / $6 Hold’em short handed. Now go to your favorite poker site and have a look for that game in the lobby. But wait, there’s lots of tables of that game. So which one should you choose?
There are usually two columns in the lobby that give you a good indication of which table you should choose. The first is ‘Plrs/Flop’ and tells you what percentage of players are seeing the flop. The higher the percentage the looser the game is, and loose equals good. The other one is ‘Ave Pot’ which tells you the average pot size. Obviously the bigger it is means that players and playing loose and gambling it up. These are the games we want to be in!