Selecting a Game

It is of great importance to not only know how to play Texas Hold'em but to be skilled at getting seated at the best tables. While some players may want to play top notch opponents, a player who is interested in winning looks for tables full of weak players with big bankrolls.

Flop Percentage

First, find a weak table. The greatest indication of weakness at a table is the flop percentage. The flop percentage is a measure of how many players are paying to see the flop on each hand. As we know, most solid poker players only play a fraction of their starting hands, so the higher the flop percentage, the looser the table. A full table flop percentage of 50% is an excellent money making opportunity. Any full table flop percentage greater than 40% represents a good table. A table with less than 40% flop usually means there are already several other solid players there, and you may be better off looking for another table. Why fight with other sharks over a few crumbs?

Another note of importance about flop percentages. If a full table has a 60% or higher, you are looking at a very wild table. While these types of tables can pay off in a big way, be prepared for higher variation. The more players seeing the flop, the greater chance that your premium hands will not hold up. If you are at a wild table, place more value on your draw hands and less on your premium pairs. You still need to play aggressively, but make a point to bring enough chips to the table that if you suffer a bad beat or two, you will still have plenty to maximize your win when you have the best of it at showdown.

After finding a good table, you'll need to choose your seat. Often times you only have one option and must take whatever is open. If you do have a chance to choose between a couple of seats and have been watching the action, then follow this rule of thumb: Tight/predictable players to your left, and maniacs to your right. To briefly explain, you prefer tight and predictable players to your left because they will be acting after you, and you will be able to predict easier what they will do. Maniacs on your right will allow you the benefit of position, acting after them on most rounds and knowing what they will do. It can allow you to "isolate" them as well, re-raising them and driving other players out of the hand who would have to call two bets cold.

To conclude, a poker author once said that it does you no good to be the 8th best player in the world if the other 7 players at your table are ranked 1st through 7th. Search for a profitable situation to exploit.