For anyone playing poker online, recreationally, or professionally, playing on a soft site is essential. Who wants to play with tough players and have to grind hard, dedicate loads of time to study and churn a low win rate? Nobody. That’s why its important to find one of the poker sites that are easier to play on. By playing with fishy opponents you can expect a better win rate, albeit at the at the “cost” of playing with silly players. In this article we’re going to share a few tips on how to determine whether a site is soft or not.
1] Do they offer sports betting?
A quick an easy way to spot whether a site is soft is to identify whether they offer sports betting. We’ve found that sites that are primarily offering sports betting but also offer poker are generally softer, e.g. Coral Poker has fishes. This is because you get more people crossing over to the poker platform and trying their chances at poker. They view it as any other casino game and as such, lack the technical skills required to play competitively.
2] Is there lots of traffic at micro stakes?
Another indication to the competition level is the traffic numbers at the micro stakes games. Generally, weaker players are going to be playing small stakes. They are happy to burn through a few bucks at the micro stakes so if you see traffic numbers higher at the very low stakes, you can be confident that it’s a fishier than usual site.
3] Are the higher stakes dead?
In contrast, if a poker platform has very few higher stake games running e.g. NL $1K and up, then you can be pretty certain its not for professionals and grinders. As we said before, fishy players are usually hanging around the lower stakes games. After all, why would they be spending thousands at the higher stake games when they barely know the rules? So, if you stumble on a poker site and see there are no games in the higher limits, give the site a try as you’ll probably be facing off against lower skilled poker players who probably learnt Texas Hold’em watching Casino Royale.
4] Are HUDs banned?
Lastly, another tell-tale sign of a poker sites competition level is where poker heads up display software is permitted. The “serious” poker sites allow players to use this software as they want to keep rakeback grinders happy. This is not the case for sites that care about recreational punters though so they will often ban HUDs to appease the softer opponents.
Weaker players will often avoid poker sites that allow real time software as they realize they are at a disadvantage. So, they will often stay at sites that have clamped down on poker HUDs. Whilst this means you don’t get to use your HUD, it also means you have a higher number of fishes at the table. The value of playing against inferior opponents is worth not having your HUD up.