The Best Days Times to Play Poker

In my previous data analysis posts, we talked about how hard it is to move up in stakes and which sites have the best action.  Now, were going to look at what are the best times to play NL HoldEm.

Theres obviously a lot of anecdotal evidence out there.  Most people assume that the action on weekend nights is the juiciest.  LuckySOB analyzed the sessions he played between June and August (note that he didnt play on weekends) and found that he won:

  • 42% of the sessions he played between 8AM and 11AM
  • 49% between noon and 3PM
  • 52% between 4PM and 7PMn
  • 82% between 8PM and Midnight

Thats great and all, but thats obviously very limited anecdotal evidence.  So how do we get good statistically significant data?  Dameon from was kind enough to send me some awesome data about average pot sizes.  Heres a graph of what the average pot size looks like for $100NL on FullTilt based on the day of week and time of day.

FullTilt $100NL Best Times to Play

FullTilt $100NL Best Times to Play

The times are all military Eastern Standard Time.  In other words, Tuesday 18 means Tuesday at 6:00PM EST.

Based on the graph, we can tell that the peak times to play for

  • Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday is around 9-11PM.
  • Thursday night has a longer peak time from around 8PM 12AM.
  • On Friday, the action starts to get hot at around 6PM and stays hot until 2AM or so.
  • Saturday night has the overall highest average pot size.

Interested to know what the graph looks for PokerStars?  How about what the graph looks like for $200NL, $400NL, or $1000NL?  You can download the full PDF with all the graphs on the Forums (yes this is a bribe to get you to sign up).  When you register and login, youll see a secret Premium Content forum start to show up on the Forum index page.  The download link will be in there.