Finding Soft Poker Games
Like it or not, success in online poker isn’t entirely dependant on your skills. Instead, a large part of how much money you make in poker depends on your ability to find soft games. Unfortunately, poker rooms don’t provide a blinking cursor for easy games, so you need to do the work of finding fish-filled tables yourself. That being said, let’s look at the basics for choosing soft poker games beginning with lobby stats.
The best tool you have for finding easy cash games are the lobby statistics. As you probably already know, online poker rooms provide table statistics in the lobby area such as the stakes, game type, number of players, flop-viewed percentage, average pot size and hands per hour. Out of these statistics, average pot size, flop-viewed percentage and number of players will be the most important ones towards finding a soft table(s).
When it comes to both average pot size and the flop-viewed percentage, you want big numbers. A high flop-viewed percentage means that a lot of players are seeing the flop, which not only indicates a lot of money floating around the table, but also a few fish who are willing to call with marginal hands. Of course, the flop-viewed number will be heavily influenced by how many players are on the table, so don’t jump in a 3-handed game with a 70% flop-viewed percentage thinking it’s going to be filled with fish. On a 9-player table, a good flop-viewed number to look for is anything above 30%.
Bigger is better with average pot sizes too because this shows there is actually money in the pots, and that you can haul in lots of chips with your strong hands. When looking at pot size, always keep in mind the stakes you are playing so you can compare pot sizes to find the best tables. For instance, A $0.50/$1 No-Limit Hold’em game with an average pot size of $25 is obviously going to be better than a $12 average pot size game at the same stakes. But a $1/$2 NL Hold’em game with a $35 average pot size isn’t likely to have as many fish as the $25 pot size $0.50/$1 game.
Once you’ve used lobby statistics to find a soft table, the next step is to actually pick out the fish. Unfortunately, truly being able to tab the fish takes a lot of analyzing and watching hands, so your ability to initially spot weak players is limited.
However, one way you can find fish right away is by looking at their chip stacks (this is especially true in No-Limit games). Good players have a full chip stack at all times so that they can maximize their advantage with strong cards; weak players, on the other hand, don’t keep a full chip stack because they’re clueless as to what it means to maximize their advantage. In some cases, you might even see poor players with the minimum amount of chips allowed in a No-Limit game.
If you have poker software, there are some other statistics you can see on your opponents in-game, which we’ll explain later.
Finding Easy Tournaments
Unfortunately, finding easy tournaments isn’t as simple as cash games because poker rooms don’t provide detailed tournament lobby statistics; all you have are the basics like game type, players registered, the buy-in and the tourney date.
If you haven’t been playing poker for long and/or are still trying to learn basic strategy, it would be wise to stick with smaller tournaments until you’re more experienced.
As mentioned before, poker software can help you spot fish by giving you detailed statistics on players. For example, you can see how well players do on each street, how much money they’ve made/lost in the session, and learn how aggressive opponents are without ever having played against these people. In short, you get instant, real-time statistics that give you some insight as to how a particular person plays.
So do you need poker software? The answer really depends on how much you’re willing to invest into poker, and how serious you are about improving. If you’re primarily a recreational player, simply looking at players’ stacks when you first get on a table is fine. However, if you’re dead-set on moving up limits and want every advantage you can muster, poker software is a useful in-game tool for spotting fish on easy tables.
Finding Soft Poker Sites
Why do all of the work to find fish-filled poker games, yet not put any thought into what poker room you choose? After all, some poker rooms are much softer than others, which means you’ll consistently find easier games at these sites.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there when it comes to pinpointing where the easiest competition is. For one thing, you can look on poker forums since players are always talking about soft poker rooms. Another thing you can do is check out poker site reviews to see what places have the biggest number of fish; however, be careful with this though because some reviews are out of date.
Above all, remember that the softest online poker rooms are normally those that offer casinos games along with poker. The reason why is because these sites draw a lot of casual players who are merely general gamblers rather than serious poker players. In fact, some of these players have never even considered looking at poker strategy before they play! A couple of good poker sites that also offer online casino gambling including Bovada Poker
Finding a poker room with lots of fish will make the subsequent steps of finding high flop-viewed percentages and large average pot sizes much easier. More importantly, it means you’ll be making a lot more money with online poker!