PokerStars homepage
  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.


No announcement yet.

Hand Count per Hour

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hand Count per Hour

    We have all taken it as a given that the online game is faster than the live one. This is one reason why we all experience so many rotten hands. If your favorite card room or casino deals approximately 30 hands per hour on a ten-player table, how does it compare to the online experience?

    I've also used this line to explain to others why the site doesn't have to force players out of tourneys or ring games. With players experiencing double the usual rate, it shouldn't surprise us how fast players are eliminated.

    The old hedgehog needed hard numbers to prove or disprove this "fact" we all repeat without thinking. Though my numbers are based on the play money side, I'm going to ask some of you who play real money games to do the same.

    What I did:
    In ring games, I played 15 sessions with the goal of playing for a full hour or until the chips disappeared. Sometimes I had to end my session due to lack of players. Other times I had such a hot streak I kept on playing, stopping at my first major loss.

    In tourneys, I'm using my American Mercury challenge for December. I'm hoping to play a minimum of a hundred games.

    Ring games will involve both the 9-player and the 6-player games. If this information proves to be of any value, I'll consider expanding it to include Omaha and Omaha high/low in the future.

  • #2
    Sure hope play in the chip ring games doesn't represent checque ring games. The crazies sure are the rule rather than the exception. The 9-player limit went very well, ending in a 17% ROI. Most of these tables started at nine players, but died when the other eight dropped, which explains the short time duration. Players come and go like the tide. I wanted to do an hour in each session, but it didn't happen.

    My 9-player pot also ended on a positive note, but I had my Group One cards busted far too often. No way of culling the field when nobody respects a pot bet. Players held onto anything with a face or ace. Anyone with suited hands stayed to the flop, and held to the river if they had four of the suit after the turn. Same with connectors, suited or otherwise. Pairs, including deuces, were golden. On four tables, every hand was pushed to an all-in. Ended with a positive 32% ROI thanks to a profusion of ATM's at my tables.

    The 9-player no limit games proved quite a challenge to the old hedgehog. Very first session and I get pocket kings after sitting out seven hands. Bid $175 under the gun and got eight callers. Flop is a rainbow with a third king. (K - 4 - 8) Shoved my entire bankroll of $400 and nobody folded. At this point, there are six players all-in. Last player goes all-in and is called on the turn. (K - 4 - 8 - J - 5) Table leader had a pair of fours and lost to a pocket pair of tens. I'm next with two others. Each of them had 7-6 offsuit for the straight. Busted out and so mad I turned off the computer instead of logging off. Wish I had the hand ID so I could load it, but the site doesn't save chip hand history. In spite of, or should I say because of such a profusion of calling stations, I finished my session with a 44% ROI.

    The no limit game is one where every hand has at least one player going all-in every hand. Anyone with an ace, or a pocket pair thinks their hand is gold. Suited hands will go to the river if they either get a pair or have at least three of a suit on the flop. The RNG sure has favored the crazies since the worse hands go from trash to treasure on the turn or river. Can understand the sentiments of those playing a serious game.

    It is fascinating how close to casino speed the 9-player tables are when full. With a full compliment, the hand count runs between 35 and 40 hands per hour. As the number of players declines, the speed increases. With two players, the hand count can surpass 150 hands per hour. My final 9-player count had an average speed of 50 hands per hour.

    And now the boring stuff:

    Fixed limit - 9 players - 12 hours, 5 minutes - 588 hands = 49 hands per hour
    Pot limit - 9 players - 15 hours, 37 minutes - 741 hands = 47 hands per hour
    No limit - 9 players - 13 hours, 34 minutes - 749 hands = 55 hands per hour

    Overall for hold'em - 41 hours, 16 minutes - 2,078 hands = 50 hands per hour

    I'm going to start my 6-player sessions later this week. Will report back when I've finished them.


    • #3
      Nice report, looking forward to reading about your findings when you finish the 6 man's


      • #4
        When I played rings for cash, I found the 6-player tables a horrible place at the lowest stakes. Most hands went for less than half the amount needed to generate a rake. If the chip games had a rake, it wouldn't be any better for the house. Most hands ended whenever somebody either raised the opening bet or wagere after the flop. Limit games attract the ATC and the calling stations. Just wish the poker gods didn't bless them so often. I'm learning fast limit requires a player to call a higher percentage than usual. Seeing the flop is essential.

        Those who play limit games know there is a special breed of maniacs in these games. He is the player who pushes every round to the maximum. Whenever there is one on the table, you can defuse them by checking after the flop. Nice thing is they will raise for you if you have a good hand, which sweetens the pot while keeping your hand strength hidded. When two of these pushers hit the table, every round goes to max. There is no way to stop them. This raises the cost of any flop by a factor of four. If there is an official name for this kind of table maniac, let me know. Otherwise, I shall dub these limit game buffoons "maxipads."

        I'm halfway through the 6-player limit sessions and it is going better than expected. The number of hands is running approximately 30% higher than the 9-player limit statistics. Unless things go south over the last seven sessions, my win rate is more than double. Though the pots won are insignificant, taken together, they are pushing my chip balance upward. Sure hope the same happens when I can again play cheques.


        • #5
          Just finished the 6-player limit games. Long and short of it was another profitable run. Still a lot of river rats and badgering raisers in these games. If these turkeys ever start playing cheques, they would be plucked clean. This is assuming they play the same way at the lowest cash levels.

          My sessions were profitable, so no complaints. A lot more hands played and a higher percentage of winners too. Best part had to be the fuller tables, which led to more pots. This led to longer playing time. The downside for me was winning lots of small pots, but losing the big ones. Have got to reverse that trend.

          Let me preface my next few comments by saying the hedgehog is not anywhere near professional. The term rank amateur would be considered insulting to those who are rank amateurs. What you get here are my observations and how I would apply them to cheque ring games if I could play them.

          1 ---- See the flop. In a 9-player game, I would remain for the flop if it were cheap when my hand is Group Three or higher. For a 6-player table, unless there is a maxipad, I'll remain in the hand with Group Six or higher.

          2 ---- Once the flop is exposed, consider your options. Whenever you have top card paired, a 4-card straight, or a 4-card flush, pay to see the turn. Check through if possible as you want to see the river. Hands I'll fold in 9-player post flop I'll play. Reason is fewer players gives a modest hand more power.

          3 ---- Two pairs, especially if one is the high card, will be a very strong hand. Play these if there is no 3-card straight or flush on the flop. Raise if there are two flop cards of the same suit. The players who call such a raise will most often have two hole cards in that suit. Raise if the turn is not a third suited card. A 3-card flush on the board and another player betting indicates a flush, fold .

          4 ---- Pocket pairs are a dangerous hand and you might find folding these after the turn advantagous. Even pocket aces should be folded to an open ended 4-card straight if there are three or more players in the hand.

          5 ---- Limit games have two types of players, the cowardly lions and the roaring mice. In many cases, you can win a pot in 6-player games by making a bet. All of the cowardly lions will fold and the roaring mice will either call or raise. Do not push higher than one raise until post flop. Post flop bets will usually win a hand.

          6 ---- Beware of new players. You have no way of knowing if they have been watching your table. Treat them as the most dangerous player or a maniac to evade. After six hands, you should know if he is the pro or maniac. The first you treat with respect and the second you wait for the right time to strike.

          And now the statistics:

          Fixed limit - 9 players - 12 hours, 5 minutes - 588 hands = 49 hands per hour
          Fixed limit - 6 players - 16 hours, 20 minutes - 1,207 hands = 74 hands per hour

          I'll start my 15-session run with pot limit after the holiday. Something tells me it will be quiet online this Sunday. Happy holiday everyone.

          For those with Excel, here is the formula to calculate hands per hour. Remember to remove spaces and to use cell references for the terms.:

          (number of hands / (( total time in hours and minutes) * 1440)) * 60

          Now where are the statistics of those who place for money? I'm sure those using Poker Tracker, Hold'em Manager, or any other statistical program could extract these numbers with nothing more than a click of a mouse. Like to compare my numbers to yours.


          • #6
            No surprise the hand count for tourneys is dependent on how deep you go. In the early rounds, despite the all-in crazies, the hand count hovers around 30 to 35 hands per hour. The hand count goes up as players drop from your table. Go deep enough, (first, second, or third), the overall hand count can surpass one hundred per hour.

            After two rounds of 500+ points, I knew there had to be a rotten round. Several first hand exits with Group One hands that lost on the river caused my hand count to decline a bit in that orbit. This month I played one hundred twenty 27-player SNG games. I'm thinking these averages will hold for most SNG games. Since I cannot play the PSO, I have no way to get a reasonable number of MTT.

            Here now are the statistics for these games:

            120 games
            8,507 hands
            105 hours - 00 minutes
            81 hands per hour.


            • #7
              My 6-player pot limit games have ended today. Talk about your contradictions. Had one full table that I played on for over an hour at a rate close to eighty hands an hour. Next day, I'm at casino speed of 30 hands an hour in the session from (censored). One table has nothing but pushers who take turns raising the max on every street. Another table had whimps who folded if you made a bet post flop. Playes talking like a coffee clatch at one game, while another doesn't warrant a "nh" the whole time. Some tables had five players take up permanent residency while another had at least two new faces every hand.

              One thing did remain a constant. I learned you needed at least one big win every session to come out in the black. My best session had a 30% winning percentage and ended in the red. My worse hour had a win rate under 2% and my biggest gain. The difference came from the size of the pots. The best session's major pot went for $25, while the wins in the worse averaged over $500 each.

              Players came to pot limit with the intention of making the big score if they had the nuts, and escaping all harm if they didn't. Many waited until the river before starting a bidding war. Those who wagered more than the minimum $2 bet scared off anyone chasing flushes or straights after the flop or turn. Two pairs and trips ruled. Straights became unbeatable in most cases, while flushes had any number of chasers catching. Made for some huge pots.

              I remained tight, playing as if these were cheques. My thinking is that such an attitude in play chips has both a ying and yang component. The ying came from playing better hands and knowing when to avoid the marginal hands. The yang was missing a lot of those river winners. Perhaps I didn't gain as many chips as my counterparts, but at the end of my fifteen sessions, I came out ahead by a healthy percentage.

              If I had to say anything disappointed me, it was the number of players. A six-player table averaged three players. I would join a full table and somewhere near the half hour point, the number declined. The shorter sessions ended whenever I found myself playing head to head. This happened enough times that I missed my goal of matching, or exceeding, the nine-player time.

              And now for the boring part, the numbers for the pot limit sessions:

              9-player = 15 hours, 37 minutes --- 741 hands = 47 hands per hour.
              6-player = 13 hours, 39 minutes --- 830 hands = 61 hands per hour.

              The next post will be for the no limit game of hold'em. It surprises me that nobody on this site has these same statistics available for the cheque games. I'm certain such programs as Poker Tracker 3 or Hold'em Manager can supply such numbers with just a few clicks of the mouse.


              • #8
                Are you looking for a fast paced and wild game? Six-player no limit should become your standard game if cheque play mirrors chips. Betting remains high, with many a hand having a player all-in post flop. At least that is one improvement over the tourneys. Most waited until they saw the flop before insanity infected the players.

                I'm keeping true to my usual style of play, which is judicious hand selection. It can still go south on the flip of a card, but I'm thinking the tighter play offers me the best chance at minimizing the losses. The betting strategies employed defy description. I've seen players with high paired cards that hit for a set, limp to the river, and then shove unsuited connectors on a four-card open ended straight post flop.

                Nobody shows any respect for bidding in no limit chip games. A fifty dollar raise post flop might be ignored one time and called by two players the next time. Players limp to the river with the nut flush, but will risk half their stake on a pocket pair lower than anything on the board. Before I hit the cheque games, when the US player is allowed to do so, I'm searching the courses for anything regarding betting strategies.

                There is one positive point on the six-player tables. The number of occupied seats seldom drops below four. If it does, the table dies within three hands. These tables attact the players and my only objection is how long it takes eliminating somebody sitting out every hand. Have seen a full table with just two in the hand.

                Table selection is another important point in no limit. I look for a table where everyone is near the maximum buy-in amount. Go to a table where there are two or more players with 3X that amount and you can become the nail. Go to a table where you are the big stack and you'll win very little if you make any substantial raise.

                As I understand it, the new VPPS system allocates the points based on a player's participation. Unless I'm the exception to the rule, I'm finding my VPIP percentage is very high at the 6-player tables. I'm finding myself going to the flop in more than half the hands. Based on this newer system, I'll earn something almost every hand. Not going to complain since I maintained a positive ROI on each game. I should emphasize my play didn't have me winning every session, but for the fifteen sessions, I came out positive.

                And here's the boring stuff:

                6-player stats:
                Time played: 15 hours and 12 minutes
                Hands seen: 1,131
                Per hour count: 74

                9-player stats:
                Time played: 13 hours and 34 minutes
                Hands seen: 749
                Per hour count: 55

                This report finishes my review of the six and nine player holdem game, as well as the 27-player SNG games. I'm curious to know if anyone found the information valuable, and if I should continue my experiment by attempting the two omaha games.

                My biggest disappointment is that those with such programs as PT and HM cannot extract such data for comparative purposes. I know my action is on chips, but would love to see what it is for our members playing cheques.


                • #9
                  Bad news:

                  The options available for Omaha are somewhat limited. Doing any comparative study would not be possible since I cannot find compatable games in all formats at a low enough price. Looks like this is the finale.

                  Good news:

                  Finished another hundred SNG games. These numbers are almost identical.

                  100 games
                  7,993 hands
                  97 hours - 41 minutes
                  82 hands per hour.

                  Sad news:

                  Don't think anyone is willing to post their results for cheque games.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cairn Destop View Post
                    My biggest disappointment is that those with such programs as PT and HM cannot extract such data for comparative purposes.
                    Anyone with these programs can.

                    Cairn I think your collecting data on play chip games won't mirror reality... I would think you'd get less hands per hour in all formats simply because there are more players contesting each hand than normal when it's for play money (more time required to take actions), and more hands going to showdown. If you want to get a feel for how many more hands per hour you get online than live, you have to use real money games (unless you're comparing to a nickel-dime kitchen table game as the live component, in which you will get less hands per hour than 30

                    If it helps, here's an example I grabbed from HEM, it was a short 6-tabling session of 6-max NLHE... 7 tables total as one broke down quickly, with totals at the bottom... for the session I averaged 93 hands/hour:

                    Min	Hands 	 H/hour 
                    47.2	65	 82.63 
                    37.5	57	 91.20 
                    27.6	45	 97.83 
                    47	77	 98.30 
                    26.2	48	 109.92 
                    46.4	66	 85.34 
                    4.8	9	 112.50 
                    236.7	367	 93.03
                    Head Live Trainer
                    Check out my Videos

                    4 Time Bracelet Winner


                    • #11
                      Yes comparing play money poker to real money poker is always a mistake, even if your just considering something like hands played per hour.


                      • #12
                        As an American player, had to use the chip games. I did like the note about play running around 90+ hands an hour, though I can remember my cheque games averaging around 60.



                        X Cookies Information

                        We have placed cookies on your computer to improve your experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.