How to Find the Best Online Poker Games

John Mehaffey - August 31, 2012

No two online poker games are alike. Each time you sit down, you will notice the games have unique qualities and considerations to them. Some games are loaded with tight players while other games are full of loose players ready to gamble. However, most games are somewhere in between. Unsurprisingly, most players prefer to play in games that have more loose players than tight players. The only exception might be a very aggressive player that enjoys raising and betting a lot. This type of player may prefer games where opponents fold easily.

There are many considerations to finding a finding a good loose game. Let's take a look at some the main ways to look for a good, loose game.

Time of Day

If you prefer playing in loose games with a lot of casual players then the time of day is important. Most of these games are found towards the end of primetime for the poker room. A lot of players might be on tilt trying to get back to even and others may be coming home after a night of partying and want to play a few hands. If you are a night person your best time is going to be playing in the late hours of the poker room a couple of hours after the poker room’s peak.

Determining Peak Time

It is important to figure out what that time may be. Most poker room’s peak hours are between dinner time and standard bedtime for the country or countries that most players in the poker room are located. A poker room that accepts players from the U.S. is going to have a primetime of about 5pm to 11pm ET. The best games will often be from 11pm until 3am ET. An online poker room that focuses on Europe would have a primetime of about 1400 GMT and end about 2300 GMT.

If you do not keep the hours of a standard daytime job in Europe then there is a solution. This would be a good reason to play on a U.S. friendly online poker room. That is because if you work nightshift or keep late hours past when the European online poker action dies you could still play during your normal waking hours during North American primetime. Players in North and South America will not have that luxury as the European peak times will be too far off from any normal waking hours.

Lobby Data

Most online poker rooms have lobbies set up to display some stats for the games. Lobby stats include average pot size, hands per hour, and the percentage of players seeing the flop. Most lobbies can be sorted by any of these stats. In most cases the better games will have higher average pots, fewer hands per hours, and higher flop percentages. After you are seated at a game you should continue to monitor game conditions. The quality of a game can change drastically. In some cases, one player is feeding the entire game. If that player leaves, the game quality could immediately suffer.

Take Notes on Opponents

One way to find future good games is to keep notes on your opponents. Virtually all poker rooms have a notes feature. Players can leave text on other players that will stay saved in their computer for next time. Many online poker rooms will also have color coded note boxes or symbols to make it easy to scan a table. You can set good players at red meaning to stay away while making loose players green. Your own playing experience can be your best read on the players at the table.

It may not always be easy to find a good game no matter what time of the day it is. That is why in addition to finding good tables, players should always try to improve their game. Online poker experience is one of the best ways to become a better online poker player.