Another very basic but very important topic is table selection. Right table selection is actually very crucial for your win rate. If you sit at a too tight table you wouldn’t be able to win much, if you sit at a too loose aggressive table your variance will be off the charts. Stated that, you always want to sit on very loose table, where people are also willing to go to showdown.
What I do to cover that, I use the Pokerstars filter options for tables. Here I set up the following stats: Average pot size, min players per flop %, hands per hour. These three stats will be enough to find the best tables for you.
Average pot size:
Usually you want this stat to be as high as possible. Everything from two times the buy-in, down to 50% buy-in is good enough. But be careful about the buy-ins and above tables: This could also mean, that just lately two people had a setup hand (like KK vs. AA) and the table is very tight on average. Also this could mean, that people are highly aggressive and this is especially bad if you are taking shots on a higher limit. You don’t want to get into hard situations with just 4 buy-ins for your shot. So just scale down your filter a bit for this situations.
Minimum players per flop %:
This percentage is kind of the same as the average pot size - the higher the better. In 6max cash games I always set the filter to 20% minimum. Usually you really want to play tables with a % higher than 25%. This just gives you certainty, that you will face a very loose preflop table, much limping or people calling raises too loose or out of position. And this is really what you want.
Hands per hour:
This is actually the one setting you don’t really need, but especially on 2NL I found, that many tables had a very high rate. 150 is the maximum Pokerstars will show you, but it surely is higher for some tables. What you really want here is a decent amount of hands per hour. I found that tables with 60 h/hr are way too slow for me, but you can also find very bad players on these tables. Usually I look for tables with h/hr between 70 and 120. Everything above 120 indicates – for me personally – there won’t be that many showdowns and this is actually where a lot of your money will come from. You want to milk players on three streets and don’t want them to look at the flop and fold or even fold preflop that much. If they do – good for you. But you really want to have some loose passive guys paying of your one pair hands for three streets with A high. I personally love those guys.
What are your filters for tables? Just tell me about your preferences in the comments or in the forum!