Ever wondered why some online poker players seem to have a Midas touch, turning every session into a goldmine, while others struggle to break even? It’s not just about the cards or how you play them, my friend. It’s about where you play them. Welcome to the art of table selection.

Why Table Selection Matters

Imagine walking into a room full of Olympic sprinters and challenging them to a race. Sounds foolish, right? The same principle applies to online poker. Why battle against the Usain Bolts of poker when you can race against, well, folks like your Uncle Bob who still thinks a flush beats a full house? 


Table selection is about finding the most profitable spots. It’s the equivalent of choosing the ripest apple from a tree. But how do you spot these golden opportunities? 

Spotting the Fish: The Telltale Signs

Remember that guy who went all-in with a pair of twos? Or the one who called every bet only to fold on the river? These are the players you want at your table. But how do you find them online? 


  • High VPIP:  Players with a high Voluntarily Put in Pot (VPIP) percentage are often loose and play too many hands. And loose players, over the long run, are an absolute goldmine! 

  • Frequent Showdowns:  Watch for players who love to pay right through the showdown, even with weaker hands or missed bluffs, they are often less skilled and still believe that poker is all luck. 

  • Chatbox Warriors:  Players who spend more time typing than thinking are often not overly focused on the game. Engage them in conversation, while still attending to your hand and chips, and watch your profits soar! 

Position, Position, Position!

Have you ever heard the saying, “Position is power”? In poker, this could not be any more true. Being in a late position lets you see how many players are in the pot and gauge their strength. It’s like having a crystal ball! 


Another good thing to look for when selecting a table is to do your best to have the fish seated on your right. This gives you a positional advantage, allowing you to capitalize on their mistakes. Why let good fortune be a matter of chance or let someone else take advantage of them? The fish are going to lose, may as well be to you.

school of clown fish

The Dynamics of Table Stakes

Not all tables are created equal. A $1/$2 table can be vastly different from a $5/$10 table. But it’s not just about the stakes. It’s about the players. A table full of tight players can be less profitable than one with just a couple of loose cannons at higher stakes. The key? Flexibility. Be willing to move up or down in stakes to find the sweet spot. 

Time of Day: The Unsung Hero of Table Selection

Did you know that the time of day can influence the quality of your table? Late nights and weekends often see a surge of recreational players looking to blow off steam. These are prime times to maximize profits. So, while others are binge-watching their favorite shows, you could be raking in the chips! 

Using Software to Your Advantage

In the digital age, why rely solely on intuition? There are numerous software tools available that can help you identify profitable tables. These tools, like PokerCraft and the Smart HUD, analyze player stats, providing insights into their playing style and proficiency. It’s like having a personal scout! 

But What If I'm the Fish?

It’s a daunting realization, often difficult to digest: if you’re sitting at a poker table and can’t identify the least experienced player, or ‘the fish,’ it’s likely you. This thought can be unsettling, especially when you’re surrounded by players who seem to exude confidence and skill. However, it’s important not to let this realization dishearten you. Remember, every professional player, the ones who effortlessly read the room and make strategic plays, started as beginners themselves. They, too, once sat where you are, grappling with the complexities of the game.


The key is not to dwell on the label but to use it as a catalyst for growth. Start by focusing on the fundamentals of the game. Study the rules thoroughly, understand the odds, and get comfortable with the different hands and strategies. Pay attention to how the game unfolds, how players make their moves, and the outcomes of those decisions. This will help you grasp the dynamics of the table, an essential aspect of becoming a skilled player.

poker table under the sea with fish swimming by

Next, work on developing a keen sense of observation. Poker is as much about psychology as it is about the cards. Observe the other players’ behavior, betting patterns, and body language. These cues can be incredibly informative and can help you make more informed decisions.

Practice is also vital. The more you play, the more you’ll learn from both victories and defeats. Take the time to reflect on your games, identify your weaknesses, and strategize how to improve them. It can also be helpful to seek advice from more experienced players or even take a poker course.


Table selection is an art, a science, and a dash of gut instinct. It’s a hidden secret sauce that can transform a mediocre session into a memorable one. So, the next time you log into your favorite online poker site, remember: It’s not just about the cards. It’s about where you play them. Choose wisely, and may the flop be ever in your favor!