Why is Table Selection Important in Poker?

poker table selection

Poker Table Selection Introduction

Poker table selection is identifying the best table(s) to play. You should always carefully select the games you play. Poker is super competitive with strong players and “regs” at all stakes. You want to make things as easy as you possibly can by playing with the weakest players. In order to do this, you need to look at the games available and spend some time picking your game(s). This is not something you can easily do at your local casino but you certainly can online.

How to Table Select

Through process of elimination and filtering, you can find the most lucrative game available to you. This is easy by going through each factor of the games and filtering.

The initial steps are:

1) Open the lobby and find the game you are playing. Is it Texas Hold’em? Pot Limit Omaha or Mixed Games? Pick your best game. It’s better to be a master at one than average at several.
2) What stakes and limit are you playing and with how many players (e.g. $2 blinds, No Limit and 6 max)? Is this the most appropriate level for good bankroll management and your skill level?

Once you have identified the game, stakes and limit type you are playing, you can start looking at the tables available. There are three important stats to look at when picking which game to join.

1) Average Pot Size

The higher the pot size, the juicier the game. In cash games, you want to be involved on tables that have a lot of action not boring small pots with poker nits. Look for the higher average pot size tables as they are more likely to involve crazy players and bad LAGS.

2)Hands Per Hour

The number of hands played per hour are an indication into how quickly the game is flowing. The more hands being played, the better. Decisions are quicker and you are getting through more volume and not with regs who are time banking every decision. More hands equals more volume and less variance. This is always in the interest of the better poker players who know poker is skill.

3) Players Per Flop

This statistic shows how many players on average are seeing the flop. The higher, the better because we know weak players will play poorly post flop. They will make bad decisions, chase draws on the turn with bad odds and are not employing solid hand selection. If you join a table with lots of players at the flop, you’ll need to practice iso-raising properly. This way, you can get heads up with the weaker players.


Poker table selection is vital to your hourly win rate. The biggest factors are the players per flop and the average pot size. Always look at these before playing. Don’t be afraid to wait around. Sometimes you have to be patient and get on a waiting list to get your seat at the juicy table. Remember, good things come to those who wait. Don’t be impatient and jump in the next game if it means you won’t play with the fishes.

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Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: info@texasholdemquestions.com