Do You Play Online Poker In The Evening? If So, Read This!

Posted April 18, 2010 by Andrew in Tips

Do You Play Online Poker In The Evening? If So, Read This!

Tick-tock-tick-tock… Do you ever think about WHEN you play online poker?

What if I told you there’s a lot more money to be made (or lost) simply because of the time of day you play online poker?   There’s definitely evidence to support this – and the pros know it!   The time of day you play online poker could very well determine whether you are tremendously successful or go horribly broke!

Often overlooked by novice players and even many amateur/pro players, making a conscious decision on the optimal best time of day to play poker is actually a lot positive than most people might initially suspect.  Online poker rooms are 24/7 creations that literally run constantly with players at the tables nearly every minute of the day.  It’s quite reasonable to expect that there may be better times than others to be playing poker online.

Indeed, as an online poker player, your criteria for the best time to play are simple: find the time of day that has the most novice/weak players in your time zone (or other time zones) and consistently play at those times.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can improve your results.

You can win more playing well at any table.   But just imagine playing well with novices who frequently go “all-in” or bet down the river with pocket 3’s.  You could make a killing.  And even if you lose the odd showdown, you’ll still be poised to recover and triumph a lot quicker with a weaker player pool.

So what’s the best time of day to play online poker?

That’s a bit harder to answer.  There is no definitive answer.  But this is not an exercise in futility.  There are some pretty solid characteristics that hold water.  For example, in North America, more players play in the afternoon and early evening, peaking around 5 pm.  In Europe, it goes a bit later peaking around 11 pm.   The lowest time of play peaks between 3 – 6 am for both Europe and North America.   Also, the general profile of a player from 8 am – 4 pm ranges from the amateur to experienced player who are generally fairly consistent in their game play and time of play.  They can also be dabblers looking to kill time while at work.

The major trademark is that these are consistent and predictable players.  You can view that as a positive or a negative depending on your style and level of play.  From 4 – 10 pm, it’s a bit of a mad house.  The serious and casual players pack the tables.  In my experience, there are many more novices, but also experienced players too.  A good table scanner and/or general experience in picking the right tables to sit at is a must.   After 10 pm, it’s usually novice casual players who do not play regularly in the poker rooms and drunks (on weekends).

A few more observations to consider:

  1. There are large poker rooms (Full Tilt, Ultimate Bet, Party Poker, etc), and smaller poker rooms (Bodog, Carbon Poker, etc.).  Adjust you play and time accordingly (see below).
  2. Some sites cater to and have a larger playing base in North America, while others are popular in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia, etc.   Be mindful of this.
  3. Main strategy: You’ll want to play mostly novice players in abundant numbers and avoid experienced players in any numbers!
  4. Inebriated Players are a jackpot waiting for you to grab.  They’re elusive but usually you can catch these boozed-up players playing stupid-aggressive after a late night of drinking, usually on Friday and Saturday nights.  But beware of too much of a good thing.  Too many drunks at the tables will result in wildly unpredictable games with dumb luck river-save hands and other hazards.

Finally, my recommendation of where to play and when to play if you are a Novice, Amateur, or Experienced player.  (Note: If you’re an experienced player, theoretically you could and YES to all of the below as you can play anywhere at any time.  In the list below, for Experienced players, I’ve pointed out where they tend to be; however with Amateur/Novices I’ve pointed out where to go – as a directive):

Popular Poker Rooms + Peak Hours + Experienced Player = YES!

Popular Poker Rooms + Peak Hours + Amateur/Novice = NO!

Popular Poker Rooms + Slow Hours + Experienced Player = NO!

Popular Poker Rooms + Slow Hours + Amateur/Novice = YES!

Smaller Poker Rooms + Peak Hours + Experienced Player = NO!

Smaller Poker Rooms + Peak Hours + Amateur/Novice = YES!

Smaller Poker Rooms + Slow Hours + Experienced Player = NO!

Smaller Poker Rooms + Slow Hours + Amateur/Novice = NO!

Wherever, and whenever you decide to play, remember to keep experimenting and documenting the times, tables, places, and players you play to keep improving your results and get you winning more poker online!

About the Author


Andrew Keyes is a poker enthusiast, a writer, researcher, speaker, and consultant. You can visit to get poker articles along with winning poker tips, tested poker strategies, the latest poker news, free poker tools, cool poker resources, and more! Visit today and you can download some of the best poker bots for automating your poker play!