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What to Consider When Choosing a Poker Table

When people are narrowing down their poker playing options, they primarily take into consideration the style and the stakes of the game. One aspect of this decision making process that often goes overlooked is the importance of table selection. Choosing the right table for your playing style can be the difference between a win and a loss.

Table Pace

Whether you're playing poker online or at a traditional casino, one thing you'll want to consider when choosing a table is the pace of play. If you like an aggressive, fast-paced game, opt for a shorthand table. If you favor a slower paced game with more opportunities to get a premium hand, choose a full ring table. The latter will also help you cultivate your ability to read players better than the former.

Stack Size

If you favor a high-stakes game, choose a table with chip stacks that are larger than the maximum buy-in. These games are riskier, but many experienced players enjoy the thrill. If you are a beginner, or if you don't want to deal with aggressive big stack/high stakes players, look for smaller stack games, particularly ones that have a low and restricted buy-in.

In addition to these options, you can also consider sitting at a "tight" table, where the strategy is to force other players to fold over and over again. If you know you have a good bluff, this might be the right table for you, since you always want to select a table that plays to your own strengths.