Finding Your Way Around an Online Poker Lobby

After you have created your player account and decided which game you would like to play, your next step is to navigate through the poker lobby to find the perfect table. This article is going to use as an example, and we will lead you step by step through the lobby until you are a table selection expert.

Learning the Lobby

As I mentioned, we will be using Full Tilt Poker for this article, so if you would like to follow along head over to and download the software. When you open the poker lobby you will initially see this:

First Look at the Lobby

We will now go over the basic sections of the lobby so you know what they're for:

  • At the top left of the lobby you can see the Full Tilt Poker logo, as well as an option for "Go to Basic View". Basic view is an alternate lobby view, but we're going to stick with the standard view for this guide.
  • At the bottom left of the lobby you can watch a video of Chris Ferguson explaining the poker lobby. We think we do a better job ;)
  • At the top-center of the lobby you can see the "Filter", which allows you to narrow the immense selection of tables, which are listed at the bottom-center of the lobby. There is also an Advanced Filters button, which brings up even more filters.
  • At the top right of the lobby there is a button for the Cashier, and right under that, there is a clock that shows you the local time.
  • The remaining portions of the right side of the lobby include the Player List, which show you the usernames and chip stacks of each player at a highlighted table.
  • Also on the bottom right is a "key" for the lobby, which explains the logos for Ante, Cap, Deep Stack, Shallow Stack, Educational, Speed, or Rush Poker tables.

Now we will go more in depth into each area of the lobby, starting with the Cashier and moving on to the Filter, Advanced Filter, and Table Listings.

The Cashier

Every single Internet poker room has some sort of Cashier, which is the area for managing your money, tracking your bonuses/player points, and making deposits/withdrawals. If you click the red "CASHIER" button at the top right of the lobby, you will see this:

Poker Cashier

The buttons at the top left of the Cashier allow you to easily make a deposit, make a withdrawal, view your transaction history, check your bonus status, transfer money to another player, view the Full Tilt Store, or purchase Full Tilt gift certificates.

On the bottom left of the Cashier, you can see your personal info for your account. I have blacked mine out for privacy reasons.

On the right of the Cashier you can see your current cash balance, your Tournament Dollars, your Satellite Tokens, your current Full Tilt Points balance, and your current Play Money balance. You can also click My Promotions to see a list of promotions you can redeem.

Every poker site's cashier has the same functions as Full Tilt's, and all of them are pretty self explanatory. Now that you know how to use the Cashier, let's check out the Filter.

The Filter

Again, most poker sites offer some sort of Filter function that is very similar to Full Tilt's. The Filter at Full Tilt looks like this:

Poker Filter

The filter is very simple to use: you simply select the game type you want on the left, and continue moving right until you have specified exactly what game you wish to play. For example, in the filter above I have selected Ring Game, Hold'em, No Limit, and Micro stakes. Therefore, the tables under the filter (not pictured) show only No Limit Hold'em cash games with stakes of $0.05/$0.10 or less.

Depending on what game type you choose on the left, the remaining filters may change. For example, if you choose Sit & Go you will see the following choices:

SNG Poker Filter

In the filter above, I will only see No Limit Hold'em single table sit and gos with buy-ins of $4.40 or less. Basically, the filter is a really easy way to narrow the seemingly endless selection of tables in the poker lobby. Now we will discuss the Advanced Filter.

The Advanced Filter

After you have used the basic filter, there still may be dozens or hundreds of tables in the table list. If that is the case, you can use the Advanced Filter to sort the tables further until you have a manageable amount. To launch the Advanced Filter, choose your basic filter options then click Advanced Filters at the bottom of the filter section. This window will pop up:

Advanced Poker Filter

Check only the boxes you are intersted in, and then click Apply. By eliminating some of the games you aren't interested in, you should find yourself with a much more manageable list of poker tables in the lobby. Now we will discuss the table listings.

The Table Listings

Ok, now that you have filtered the table list down to a manageable number of tables, let's take a look at the (hopefully) smaller table list:

Table List

Like every other poker site, Full Tilt shows you some table statistics for each listing, including the table's name, stakes, type, players, wait, average pot, average players/flop, and hands/hour. You can use these stats to find the best possible table.

Poker Table Selection

When choosing a table, you always want to look for a table with a big average pot size, a high % of players/flop, and a high hands/hour number. If you can find a table like that, you can anticipate a lot of fish at the table and predict a high win rate for yourself.

For a more in depth discussion on table selection, read Greg's article on Poker Table Selection over at Or, check out to use their table selection tool to instantly find juicy poker tables.

Opening a Table

Once you have found the perfect poker table, simply double click it to open the table. Then, read our next article to learn:

Next Article » How to Use the Poker Table