It can be difficult to know the best times to play poker online, and the overall belief is that it is entirely subjective and depends on what each individual wants to get out of the game. Online poker across various providers can offer tables at any point during the day, but this does not mean that every time of day is going to be the same for players.
Playing during quieter periods will affect games in different ways to playing during busier times. Plenty of regular online poker players will be occupied during the day and will want to kick back during their free time, although usually, this can be when most players are active and are therefore the busiest times of the day.
This article will look at and suggest the best times to play poker online, depending on what the individual player might want to get out of the experience. Be mindful that these times do not guarantee any outcomes, and please remember to always gamble responsibly.
Quiet Times Have:
Few Players and Tables
Playing online poker during quieter periods can be very beneficial for those who might be looking to gain a bit more experience and knowledge of the game. Quieter periods can generally help new players gain an understanding of how to vary strategy based on the players they are up against.
Furthermore, players can start to understand how the different poker players they are pitted against strategise and can analyse the various tactics and ways of playing hands. Playing online poker at quieter times in the day can help players engage with their opponents more closely and sense how they are playing a certain hand, whether they are tight, loose, aggressive, or passive.
With poker, there are many different ways to approach the game. In a lot of cases, players will have to vary their initial strategy depending on their pre-flop hand. Playing during the quieter times can produce opportunities for players to try out and test different strategies against the same people. Playing multiple games against the same opposing players can help give you a general feel of how different players approach a game of poker and can give you an insight into the various ways and methods of tackling different hands.
A more subtle advantage to playing during the quieter periods of the day is that the servers will not be pushed to the absolute limit, and players can more or less be guaranteed a spot on a table. With the servers not under as much stress due to the lower player count, the chances of glitches or lapses in connection can also be lower.
However, playing at quieter times during the day can mean that players will come up against more experienced players that will want to play throughout the day. Where more recreational players will likely be unable to play online poker during the day due to having other daytime commitments. Instead, these players tend to favour the evenings, which are incidentally some of the busier times to play. As such, the players playing online poker during the quieter times of day may end up being far more experienced.
On the one hand, this can be a positive for players wanting to gain further knowledge and understanding of how the top poker players strategise and play different hands. This can be a negative point for some as newer and less experienced players could potentially suffer consecutive losses at the hands of the more experienced players.
Lastly, during the quietest of periods, there’s also the chance that your table doesn’t have sufficient players to launch. This can be frustrating as you may have to wait longer to get started, or you may find that your chosen type of game simply won’t go ahead until more players are online.
Pot Building is Harder
Busier times can mean bigger tables with more players. While this can be a good thing, more often than not, it is a hindrance to pot building. In order to build a pot, you’ll want to bet often, but with so many potential players in a hand, your chances of winning a given hand go down. In summary, the chances of building a huge pot that you stand a good chance of winning are diminished.
Of course, with lots of players potentially in a hand, you could have a large win on your hands should everyone fold on a raise. The trouble is, the more players, the more variety of possible hands, so unless you have ‘the nuts’ you’re likely to be in a tough spot on most occasions. In short, less experienced players will benefit from playing on smaller tables, and possibly during quieter periods.
Busy Times Have:
More Players and Tables
The busier times to play poker can be just as beneficial as playing during the quieter periods with different positives. Busier times of the day will likely bring out the more recreational players, those wanting to kick back after work to enjoy a few hands for leisure and relaxation. Holidays and weekends are also much busier for online poker sites, where players will generally get a bit more time to themselves where they can dedicate time to playing poker.
During major holiday periods, people enjoy trying out new things and there can be a tendency for people to try their hand at online poker. During these busier periods, it can be a good way to match up against less skilled opponents who do not have as much experience in the world of online poker.
Surprisingly, the time of year can also be a major factor in determining the busier times to the quieter times to play online poker. It has been reported by a lot of outlets that the winter months see an uptake in online poker players, which is probably due to the change in temperatures and also the availability of sunlight. Where the summer months are more likely for people to head outside to enjoy the heat and the long days, the winter months can be colder and shorter, and some people decide to stay warm indoors and want to take up a pastime like online poker. This can mean that the winter months might naturally create larger online poker player bases across a variety of sites and providers.
Generally, the busier times of day will have more populated servers and more tables to select from, giving players more choice and opportunity. Having access to a far wider range of players can be a good way to learn and understand how different players approach the more populated games.
Conversely, the downside to playing at busier times with more people at a table can mean that you lose track of who you are playing against. Also, with more people populating your poker website of choice, the servers are naturally placed under more strain when compared to quieter times of the day, where some people might experience delays or upsets in their connections.
In addition to these points, playing during busier times can mean that players may potentially lose much quicker. The higher player count during the busier times can bring in an assortment of players with different skill levels and experience in online poker, meaning in some cases, players might come up against an entire table of highly skilled players who can force loss after loss on a fairly regular basis.
Having said that, there are also possibilities of facing off against less skilled players who simply play online poker recreationally and will not pose as much of a threat as the more skilled players. So, playing online poker during the busier hours of the day can be a mixed bag, where there is more or less a guarantee of playing against a wide pool of players, but this pool of players contains people with differing abilities, skills, and experience.
More Pots You Can Win
Playing online poker during the busier times can generate more pots and increase the potential of walking away with a profit. Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to poker, but the higher the player base can be a good way of creating more pots with the potential for winning.
Not only that but the greater variety of tables during the busier times might produce larger pots. In some instances, a small number of tables can start building an increasing pot that ends up being more lucrative. The more pots that are available to pick from and the more choice that is provided to players, the greater potential they have of finding a table that appeals to them. However, the pot sizes can draw in the more experienced players and there is a lot of risks involved. There are always cases where more skilled and experienced players swoop in to change the entire feel of the table and turn things in their favour.
What Times are Generally the Quietest and Busiest?
The times that are generally the quietest and the busiest during the day are mostly applicable to sit and go cash games rather than tournaments. Online poker tournaments will typically have set times during the day where players can get involved and so these are set by the poker sites and operators.
Although, there is some merit in actively playing in tournaments at different times. For example, playing later in the day can mean that some players might get a bit too tired, which starts to have an impact on their game. There might also be players who choose to play online poker later in the day who have decided to kick back with a couple of alcoholic drinks and so their decision-making and strategies could be impaired. Although players can sometimes never truly tell who they are pitted against at an online poker table, the time of day can impact the types of games you might end up playing.
For sit and go cash games, there is a lot of choice when it comes to selecting the right time of day. Some players will choose to favour quieter times for the reasons we have discussed above, and conversely, other players might choose to favour busier times. Picking out the best time is dependent on the individual player and what they want to get out of their online poker experience. Some players may not have a choice but to play at the busier times in the evenings due to daytime commitments.
It is generally understood that the best time to play online poker is from the early afternoon through the evening, and just before midnight. The larger pool of players joining during the busier hours of the day can provide players with more options, more tables, and in some cases, more pots.
The busier times of day will usually draw out the more recreational players who want to have a handful of relaxing and leisurely games of online poker. But overall, playing online poker at a given time of day can truly depend on what the individual player wants to get out of their poker experience.
In some cases, players might want to avoid the busier times altogether and instead prefer the quieter times, which can be beneficial and advantageous in their own way. If you are still on the hunt for the best time of day to play, whether it be the busier times or the quieter times, it might be best to shop around and compare different hours of the day to get a proper feel for things. This can be a great way to find the time of day that suits you and your individual play style.
Don’t be afraid to mix things up and try out various times of day if you have the opportunity to do so. It’s important not to let one sour experience colour your opinion, either. A single game might not go your way, but you may find that if you persist, you could find your optimal time to play online poker.