The Fishiest Online Poker Sites
Which Online Poker Sites Have the Fishiest Games?
In poker a ‘fishy’ game is one which is easy to beat. This term is relative; a solid player who regularly beats smaller stakes games would be a fish at the bigger buy-ins. The key factor is that overall, some online poker sites are fishier than others. By choosing the sites with the most fish, you can up your profits by sitting in games with less skilled opponents.
The poker sites listed in the table below have a higher proportion of fish than average. You will notice that the biggest poker site, PokerStars, is missing from this list. With more games and better software than many other sites, PokerStars tends to attract a lot of small stakes pros. These players sit at multiple tables – making the games harder to beat overall.
This page shows you how to identify the softest and fishiest sites, and how to beat the games there once you find them.
- Location: Canada
- Established: 2015
- Ref. Code: n/a
- Traffic: 5,236 Players
- Mac Friendly: No
Ignition is the "easiest poker site" offering cash games and tournaments in Hold'em as well as Omaha. The poker room features regular overlays, a healthy stream of traffic at the cash games and is one of the easier poker sites when it comes to skill level.
Ignition has over 10 years experience in the gaming industry. They have no problems with payments and provide an excellent level of customer service via phone, email and live chat.
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- Location: Antigua
- Established: 2011
- Promo Code: n/a
- Traffic: 4,129 Players
- Mac Friendly: Yes
Bet Online Poker is our 2nd fishy poker site. This poker room not only accepts USA players, but has no problems with payments which makes them a perfect fit for all players. The poker room is one of three sites owned by BetOnline.com and includes an online sports book. The majority of the players are from the book or the casino and as such, drop their bankroll quickly at the tables. BetOnline has been around since the mid 90's, which is a great indication of the sites reputation in the industry.
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What Makes a Poker Site Fishy?
Soft poker sites have several characteristics in common. Over time, a site with soft games will become known to good players – who will switch to that site. This makes the games tougher, at least for a while until the pros head elsewhere for still easier pickings.
To stay fishy a poker site needs a constant source of new players, and a balance between the number of new players and established regulars. Some poker rooms are linked to (usually bigger) sports betting brands. People log-on to place their bets, and find a poker room on offer. While most people will ignore it, there are always new players crossing over – and some of them will catch the ‘poker bug’. The iPoker Network, with sites including Bet365 and Paddy Power, are a great example of this.
Some poker rooms are less attractive to pros and grinders, which keeps their games soft. This can be deliberate, as in the case of US poker site Ignition Poker. This site restricts 3rd party tools, makes games anonymous and only allows 4 tables at once. This levels the playing field for hobby type players, keeping the games soft. International site 888 Poker are also focused on recreational players. This is achieved via their rewards and promotions – which are focused on recreational players instead of rewarding high volume of play.
Remember, just because a poker site is overall fishier than the others does not mean that every game will be easy to beat. A key skill in poker at all levels is game selection. You need to make sure every table you play at is beatable – and be prepared to move seats or game when you find yourself sat with no ‘soft spots’.
How to Beat Fishy Online Poker Games?
Once you find some fishy games, it is time to profit! Fortunately, the correct strategy adjustments are relatively easy. There are two key factors. First, you’ll encounter significant variance in these games. Opponents will show up with all kinds of crazy hands, and bad beats are inevitable. Second, there is no point getting fancy. Your ‘moves’ will not be understood by novices – staying solid and betting for value is a much better option.
By their very nature, bad players will call too many bets. This makes bluffing (as well as semi-bluffing) far less effective. You can often successfully continuation bet as a bluff – as many fishy opponents will be playing ‘fit or fold’ on the flop. If you encounter resistance, then stop bluffing, there are far better ways to make money from the ‘calling stations’.
The opposite of bluffing is value betting, and this is where you will make most of your profit in fishy poker games. With opponent’s likely to call with any draw, any pair or even just ace-high – you can make a lot of money with your good hands. Key here is to plan your betting. If you get a monster you should be looking to divide up your bets to get the most in by the river.
When a fishy opponent wakes up and starts raising your bets, you need to slow right down – and often fold. The typical fish is both loose (plays too many hands) and passive (calls, rather than bets). When a fish gets active they are rarely bluffing, and if you can’t beat what they are representing then discretion is advised. Folding now and waiting for a better spot is not a sign of weakness, in fact it is the opposite – a long term winning strategy.
Sometimes, you’ll sit in a game with one or two huge fish. The rest of your opponents might be average for the buy-in. In this case there is another weapon to use, the ‘isolation raise’. When the big fish enter the pot, you can make a raise with a wide variety of holdings. This will often cause the rest of the ‘good’ players to fold – giving you a shot at the fish’s stack!
Solid ABC poker will win over the long term in these games – once you find a soft / fishy poker site, you’ll be able to fill your bankroll!
What Makes these Poker Sites the Fishiest?
If you are wondering how we chose the "easiest to beat" poker sites, here are the criteria we looked for:
- USA-friendly. Poker sites that accept USA players are inherently fishier than poker sites that don't accept USA players. Poker players from the USA typically have more disposable income and are a little looser with their money, so USA poker sites are easier to win at.
- Plenty of player traffic. Even though we excluded PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker from the list of easy poker sites, you should choose a site that at least has enough players to spread your game 24/7. If you are a small- or mid-stakes player this shouldn't be a problem.
- Big bonuses. If new players are receiving huge deposit bonuses, they are going to have more cash to splash around. Sites (like the ones on this list) that offer big bonuses often tend to be the easiest to win poker sites.
Beating Fishy Poker Games
The proper strategy for beating fishy games is relatively straight forward. You don’t need to do much bluffing or semi-bluffing to beat these players. All you have to do is wait for strong hands, bet those hands and collect your winnings. It’s an easy process but there are a few things you should know before you jump right in.
First of all, understand that lots of players are going to call your bets at soft poker sites. These players may have draws, weak hands and sometimes even strong hands and play them all the same – by calling. Against players like these, you should value bet your strong hands as much as possible. If you have top pair or better on a safe board, don’t be afraid to place a bet on each street.
If an opponent ever raises one of your bets, you need to proceed with extreme caution. Fishy poker players don’t place raises very often so the action often indicates an unusually strong hand. If you don’t have something strong as well, you should seriously consider folding. Even hands like top-pair are usually beaten in this situation.
Bluffing is completely useless in soft poker games because the players simply don’t fold. On top of that, bluffing serves no purpose. You don’t need to mix up your game or show the players that you sometimes play weak hands strongly. Just play a normal, tight game and fold if you don’t have a strong hand.
Playing against fishy players can be frustrating at times, too. They like to call and chase so many draws that you’re going to experience bad beats more often than in tight games. As frustrating as it can be, remember that bad beats are a sign you are playing in good games.
For every bad beat you suffer, you’ll win several more pots against players who chase their draws and miss. Try to restrain yourself from berating the fish when they make bad calls and irritate you. The last thing you want to do is shame the fish into playing better or introduce them to the world of poker strategy.
Preflop play against fish should follow a normal tight-aggressive strategy. Don’t limp in with a bunch of weak hands and try to get lucky. Instead, wait for strong hands, raise them before the flop and then place bets after the flop if they develop into solid postflop hands. In late position, you can play a wider range of hands because you have the advantage of position and will know how much it costs to enter the pot.
The funny thing about playing against fish is that it feels like you are playing such an obvious game. After folding 15 trashy hands in a row, you’ll wonder how anyone could possibly call your next bet. That’s the great thing about fishy poker games. No matter how many hands you fold in a row, you still get action on your good hands.
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