Want to Find Out Where the Fish Stay?
Choosing the right games is one of the most (if not the most) important actions for winning poker players. Even if you’re an above-average poker player, you will lose in the long run by choosing to play with the people who are better than you.
Most players spend little time analyzing all the possible games they could join – there’s always this weird hurry to play after logging-in. By spending just a few minutes browsing through all the opportunities, you can potentially double your winrate (yes, the difference between the best and the worst game is at least significant).
To give you the best possible starting point for game selection, we’ve gathered together a list of the easiest poker sites in the world. These sites attract lots of fish relative to sharks and therefore make it easier to find profitable games.
What Makes a Site Easier Than Others?
Perhaps the biggest mistake beginners make when selecting a poker site is focusing on details like how much rakeback a site offers (which, by itself, is useless anyway since you need to know how much rake you’re paying overall, not how big of a percentage the site agrees to give back).
But here’s another viewpoint: what if the sites with the highest rake are actually easier than others? Does that make any sense?
We believe it does, since plenty of skilled players are fixated on how much rake they’re paying and think they’ll make the most money by playing at a site with the lowest rake fees. But if those sites are filled with educated players, why would you play there?
Why would you swim with the sharks instead of swimming with the fish?
Recreational Players vs. Skilled Players
Throughout the history of online poker, sites that appeal to recreational players have always outperformed sites that appeal to skilled players. The reason it simple: if a poker room has a relatively high amount of skilled players, recreational players are going to find it harder to win, which in turn drives recreational players to other sites. Since recreational players make up for the vast majority of poker players, those poker rooms are quickly going to find themselves without significant traffic and skilled players playing against each other.
Rakeback sites are an excellent example of how concentrating on educated customers never works in online poker. At one point, many online poker rooms started competing by offering their customers a part of their rake back. It’s no accident that, as of now, none of world’s top-7 internet poker rooms and networks (by traffic) offer rakeback. Only educated players know about the concept of rakeback; the rest just want to play poker.
FullTilt Poker is a rare example of a poker room that, at one point, belonged to top-3 internet poker rooms while simultaneously offering rakeback. However, even Full Tilt recognized how unprofitable the concept was and stopped offering it. (Furthermore, rakeback certainly wasn’t the reason Full Tilt got popular in the first place.)
I bet that many reasonably skilled players have quit poker due to being stuck at sites that have mostly had other similarly (or even more) skilled players. Instead of taking a little bit of time to consider playing at other sites and games, these players were stuck in the mud at tultra-competitive sites and games, and (naturally) found themselves unable to turn profit.
It’s difficult to find food among sharks even if you’re a shark.
By referring to “skill” here, I’m referring to card-playing skills, of course. If you’re constantly competing against the most difficult opponents, your game selection skills are poor.
Here’s another example: online poker sites can be split into two categories: all-in-one sites (these usually include a sportsbook, casino and poker room, all playable with a single account) and poker-only sites. Some players prefer poker-only sites because their sole focus is on the poker room. But which category, in general, has the easiest online poker games?
Out of those seven top online poker rooms in the world that I mentioned earlier, six offer casino and sports betting in addition to poker. Most people betting on sports or playing casino games are gamblers – they play for entertainment more than profit, and poker games are all the same gamble to them. Those are the kinds of people you want to be seated with, and you can find a relatively high percentage of them at all-in-one gambling sites.
Poker sites with the highest traffic are also the ones with the most fish – in general, at least. It’s because they’re realised that the way to become a big poker room is appeal to the recreational crowd (around 90% of poker players can be considered “recretional”). High traffic poker websites rarely offer rakeback or similar deals and, in general, have achieved all of that traffic because they appeal to the masses.
So What’s the Key to Finding Easy Poker Rooms?
To find poker sites with most fish, you have to look for the ones that appeal to recreational players and, simultaneously, repel skilled players. Stay away from sites that do their best to appeal to educated customers.
Ironically, whenever a site does something to upset the educated poker community, it may be a good idea for you to join (for example, sites have introduced features like anonymous tables and higher rake structures, which have been met with an outrage within the online poker community, and simultaneously the site has become more profitable for skilled players).
It makes sense to pay attention to what online poker sites have to offer in terms of promotions, player traffic, features, etc. But it makes even more sense to pay attention to what matters the most: how to find the easiest opponents to play against and to achieve the highest rate of return.