How to Spot a Weak Player at The Poker Table

In poker, the fish are the targets in any game and it's where you will make the bulk of your money. So it makes sense figuring out who the weak players are at your table since the quicker you can do it, the sooner you will be reaping the rewards and collecting chips which they will inevitably be donating to you and the rest of the table.

Calling Stations

Fish are "calling stations" and it usually doesn't take very long to figure out whether or not a player likes to always call bets to see the flop and try and get lucky. Don't make the mistake of labeling a player as a fish/calling station just after a few hands. They could be running hot and catching all the cards. But after an hour or so of play you will be able to more accurately determine whether they're a tight or looser player. Keep in mind calling stations can pickup monster hands, so you still need to evaluate your hand against these players, and not always assume your hand is the nuts against them.

Players Who Are Limp Calling

There are going to be some situations in poker where it can make sense to make use of the limp call play. For example, in very aggressive games, if you have a hand in early position that plays well in multi way pots but is susceptible to getting re-raised, then there is a lot of merit in limping in these spots, because even if as you suspected you get raised, if there are other callers, you can still call since you're still getting favorable odds to make the call.

However, with all of that being said, these types of situations just aren't going to come around that often, so if you see a player limping and then calling raises instead of raising the majority of the time they enter the pot, then you can be sure they're likely to be a bad poker player that loses money.

Look For The Short Stacks At The Table

Whilst there are professional short stackers, they are few and far between, and they are not playing the low limit games, so it's a safe bet to assume that whenever you encounter a player who is playing with a short stack, they generally will be recreational players who are likely very bad. Think about it for a second. Why would a good player want to play with a smaller stack if they felt like they had an edge in the game? If you were better then the other players, would you not want to have the other player's covered? Of course you would! So regardless of whether you're playing online or in a casino, if you see short stacks at the table, they will be your target, and you should go after them.

Observe The Chat Box Or Listening To What Other Players Have To Say

Observing the other players at the poker table is a vital skill for any poker player to have. There is so much information that your opponents are giving away unknowingly when they talk in the online chat box or live when you're playing at the casino or local card room. If what they're talking about is in relation to poker, then usually you can pickup on a lot of information pertaining to how they might play or whether or not you think they're a fish/weak player.

Good players know you should assign a range of hands to villain and narrow down the range based on the action during the hand, but a lot of fish will try and put you on a specific hand. I am sure you've heard a player say something to the effect of "You raised pre-flop so you must have AK" or similar. Other players can be really cynical and can't tell you quick enough about how they think online poker or live poker is rigged. They do this to justify why they're losers in the game, when the reality is they just suck at poker but don't realize it. At online poker tables you'll also see lots of players talking crap in the chat box, calling other players fish or donks. These players tend to be very inexperienced and the soft targets at the table.

Arrangement Of A Player's Chip Stack

How a player arranges their chip stack is also usually a pretty good fish indicator. A sloppy chip stack lends itself to sloppy play so whenever you see a player with a big mess of chips in front of him, then they are probably looser and fishier than the average poker player.

Hopefully the "fish indicators" listed above will help you to more easily spot the fish the next time you play.