So I get the fact that poker sites make more in rake from short(er) handed tables. Which is why you sometimes see 9 max ring tables on some sites and 5 max tables. The fewer the seats, the more often the blinds roll around, the more potential rake. But by and large the standard is 10 max and 6 max, with some small variations. I'm sure there's some math behind that, as well as some measure of simply replicating what is traditionally played in brick and mortar cardrooms.
Theoretically speaking, though, an online site could offer a table with 23 seats, since there are no physical limitations as far as room for seats, no burned cards, etc. A big fat mega table.
I wonder what the effect of offering that would be, and if any sites have experimented with it. On the one hand, blinds would revolve much slower and hands dealt per hour would decrease, leading to lower rake. But wouldn't the average pot size increase dramatically, more than compensating for rake lost to slower hands dealt per hour?
I'm talking out my monkey ass here but I can't see how the pot size wouldn't be huge at times. You'd have people correctly limping (and cold-calling) from late position with almost anything if there was heavy enough action ahead of them to justify the call.
At first glance I'd think the imagined game would be ultra-tight, with people only playing premium hands, but the more I think about the more I think that wouldn't be the case. If you limp with A2s UTG (or 22, or 89s, or anything marginally decent), immediately get raised, and then get 14 more callers, you have to not only be happy about your odds, but also tempted to raise. Pre-flop you'd end up almost always playing any pair, any Axs, any suited connector, any one gap suited connector from any position, for any number of bets. Basically any hand that has a reasonable shot at being the nuts is playable. Or, in late position, with many limpers ahead of you, any two cards.
It's interesting to ponder, as it's almost a widening and constricting band, with 6 max being loose (due to opportunities to steal blinds and pots), 10 max constricting and tightening up (needing premium hands to win), and 20+ max loosening up again, as the implied odds would make many more marginal calls correct.