Poker Sites With The Worst Players
It's all well and good being an awesome poker player, but if you're playing against other players that are as good as or better than you then you're wasting your time.
Here are the rooms that I think have the most active fish throughout the day. If you can't win money at the softest sites on this list, you can't win money playing online poker.
Softest online poker sites in 2014.
Why play against bad players?
To win money.
There's no room for ego in poker. You don't win any extra bonus money because you decide to play against better opponents.
If you go out of you way to play against experienced competition you're wasting your time. More importantly, you're wasting the opportunity to win easy money. Spending an hour winning $10 from a solid player is completely pointless if you could have spent 15 minutes winning $100 from a fish.
In poker, the amount of money you win is the score. Your goal is to rack up the biggest score possible -- not to try and prove yourself to other players.
Why are some poker sites fishier than others?
Whilst I'm sure there is some element of randomness when it comes to the quality of players a poker room receives, it's not out of sheer luck that some sites are noticeably softer than others.
Here are the two main reasons why some poker rooms are home to more bad players than others.
- The amount and the direction of advertising.
- The presence of a casino and/or sportsbook.
1) The amount and the direction of advertising.
If a poker room does zero advertising (on TV, in magazines etc.), the only people that are going to know about that poker room are the ones already involved in the online poker scene. Therefore, if you're already involved in online poker, you'll know a lot more about good poker strategy than a complete newcomer.
Basically, if a poker site does a healthy amount of advertising, it's going to help attract the kind of people that have never played poker online before. These fresh fish are going to be absolutely abysmal at poker, which means they are walking cash machines to the smart players.
A second factor to consider is the direction of the advertising. If a poker room focuses on attracting the casual players that are looking to play "for fun", then that just means even more fish for us.
2) The presence of a casino and/or sportsbook.
A lot of poker rooms are a part of a bigger general gambling company. Take Bet365 for example; they are most well-known for their sports betting section, yet they also offer a casino and poker room.
The beauty of these "single wallet" gambling sites is that players from the sportsbetting and casino sections can easily drift over in to the poker room. These bettors are much more gambling-orientated and usually know very little about poker strategy. As a result, they end up playing poker for the thrill and fully expecting to lose money.
So if you sign up to a poker room that also happens to offer a popular casino or sportsbook, you can expect to sit down with total gamblers, all waiting to be milked.
Note: If you play poker at an all-in-one gambling site, avoid the temptation to play the casino games. They are always -EV and will do nothing good for building your bankroll.
The different types of bad poker players.
Just as there are many bad ways to drive a car (as my girlfriend proves), there are many bad ways to play poker. Here are the 3 main types of bad poker players.
|Type||Playing Style||Profitability||Other Names|
|Fish||Loose-Passive||8/10 - 10/10||donk, donkey, calling station|
|Maniac||Loose-Aggressive||5/10 - 10/10||LAGtard, aggro donk, aggro fish|
|Rock||Tight-Passive||4/10 - 7/10||nit|
Check out my poker playing styles article for explanations on what terms like "loose-passive" and "loose-aggressive" mean.
1) The fish.
How they play: Fish love playing ridiculous hands more than they love calling bets for no good reason. They play far too many starting hands in the hopes of hitting a huge flop. They will also chase after flush and straight draws relentlessly.
How to beat them: Value bet.
When you make a good hand, keep betting and milk them for all they're worth. They're going to call with some speculative stuff, so bet and bet big. Do not try and bluff them as they're just not going to fold. You make easy money against fish by betting with your good hands -- not by trying to get them to fold with your weak hands.
2) The maniac.
How they play: Maniacs play lots of hands and they play them aggressively. They love picking up mid-sized pots by forcing other players to fold better hands. They also occasionally see huge payoffs when they pick up a big hand themselves and a frustrated player refuses to fold with a mediocre holding.
The tricky thing with loose-aggressive players is that it is possible for this playing style to be profitable. However, the maniac is obviously a little too wild and aggressive to consistently win money, hence they are called "maniacs". They are just flat out crazy as opposed to tactically crazy (like a good LAG).
Note: If you're playing in the micro limits ($50NL and below) and come across a LAG, the chances are that they are losing money rather than playing a winning LAG style.
How to beat them: A lot of strategy articles advise that you wait for a "big hand" against maniacs, but that's just wrong (if you're playing in an online cash game). If you do that, you're going to be easy to read and it's unlikely that you're going to get paid off the next time you show some resistance.
Instead, don't be afraid to play pots against maniacs. Feel free to make preflop calls. They are bad players after all. The more hands we play with them, the more opportunities they have to make mistakes against us. When we make a decent hand against them on the flop (e.g. TPTK or two-pair), don't be afraid to keep calling or raising. Our hand is a lot stronger than their range, so we will profit over the long run.
It would be wrong to suggest that you're always going to win when you call with hands like two-pair against a maniac. Playing against a maniac is high variance, and that's just something you have to deal with. At the end of the day, getting your money in the middle against a weaker range is +EV, so you will win money in the long run (see G-bucks for more on that).
3) The rock. (The type of poker player, not the incredible wrestler.)
How they play: These guys are super tight. They just sit there waiting for big hands. They don't bet, call, or raise unless they're confident they have the best of it.
Because rocks and nits are so tight, most of the time they are just going to fold unless they have an awesome hand. We can punish them for this by betting with almost any kind of hand and pick up a bunch of small pots. We don't expect to win huge pots against these players, but it's easy enough to pick up lots of small ones.
Be wary if they start to call though. Be even more wary if they bet or raise. If they start to show aggression, you know that they are sitting on something good. If this happens, don't continue unless you have the nuts or close to it.
For more on how to play profitably against the different types of bad players in Texas Hold'em, watch SplitSuit's Player Types video.
How to identify these player types using HUD stats.
- High VPIP/Low PFR (e.g. 36/5) = Fish
- High VPIP/High PFR (e.g. 44/31) = Maniac
- Low VPIP/Low PFR (e.g. 7/3) = Rock
Look for players with a big gap between their VPIP and PFR -- these are generally the weaker players.
If you have no idea what I just talked about or quite how useful these kind of stats are:
- Watch HUD Ninja.
- Thank me later.
Searching for information on "poker sites with the worst players" was a smart move.
Seriously, it's a stupidly simple and ridiculously easy way to make more money playing poker. Yet for some reason, too many "skillful" players forget the basic principles of how and where you win money in online poker.
The more bad players there are at your table, the more money you will win. The fishier the poker room is on the whole, the more bad players you will run in to. Poker becomes a lot easier when you play against worse players, and your bankroll will thank you for it.
- Which site is the softest? - PokerTableRatings.com
- Exploiting fish - TwoPlusTwo Forums
- The three basic fish types - TwoPlusTwo Forums
Go back to the Texas Hold'em rooms.