How Much Money Can You Win Playing Poker?
Most people begin playing poker for one reason, to make money. So a common question that people as themselves is, how much money can I win playing poker ? It is a tough question to answer because there are some top professional poker players who are making millions or tens of millions of dollars playing poker every year, whereas the majority of the fish playing texas holdem online are net money losers at the end of the year. So clearly the amount of money that you can win is very dependent on how good you are at poker. It is also dependent on what stakes you play at. Obviously, if a person is playing $5-$10 poker, where the pots average $75-$150 every hand, they have much more opportunity to win money than a person playing $.05-$.10 poker. However, since the larger the stakes the better the players, a winning low limit poker player would not necessarily win at high stakes poker.
Let’s run an example and assume that you are an above average poker player playing medium stakes poker. The minimum stakes that you will need to play in order to win a reasonable amount of money is $1-$2 No Limit Texas Holdem. Games at those stakes are tough, but they are usually beatable. Many players are able to beat those games for a good hourly rate while multi-tabling anywhere from 5-15 tables at a time.
You Need A Big Enough Bankroll
Before looking at how much money you can win playing poker, we need to look at how much money you need to start with. You always want to have enough of a poker bankroll that losing at any one table on any given night is not a catastrophe. Even if you are one of the top poker players in the world, you will have some winning hands and some losing hands. You will win some nights and lose some nights. If you make all the correct decisions, and always get your money in at an advantage, there will still come a time where your opponent hits his two outer and wins the pot. A good rule of thumb is that you want to have 15 buy ins of what ever stakes you are playing at. Generally, a buy in is 100 times the big blind, so to play $1-$2 No Limit Texas Holdem successfully you want to have 15 buy ins of $200, or $3000 in all.
The 15 buy in rule was developed at a time where people predominantly played poker in a brick and mortar casino, and could only play at one table at a time. In internet poker today, you can play as many tables as you can handle. The problem comes due to the fact that having extra tables means that you can lose a whole lot more money in a single night. A large bankroll not only protects you from bad cards, it protects you from bad play. If you have a 15 buy in bankroll and are playing 15 tables at once, you could go on tilt and blow half your bankroll in a single sitting. Because of that, if you multi-table (which you should) you need a larger bankroll. Plan on having 15 buy ins multiplied by the square root of the number of tables you play at once. If you play 1 table you need 15 buy ins, 2 tables you need 21 buy ins, 4 tables you need 30 buy ins, and 10 tables you need 47 buy ins.
Although no amount of bankroll will stop you from going broke if you are a long term losing player, following the rules and maintaining sufficient funds for the stakes you are playing will help ensure a long term winning player doesn’t go broke.
How Much Money Can You Win Per Hour
The most important thing to a professional poker player is how much money they can win per hour, every hour. Their hourly win rate is the average, after many hours of play, of how much money they win. Some hours they will go on a rush and win a ton, some they will break even, but on average a professional poker player should show a profit for every hour they put in at the table. In live play, a good win rate is 1 Big Bet for every hour of poker play. 1 big bet is the equivalent of 2 big blinds. Online poker has the advantage of seeing many more hands in a given hour than live poker, and that gives you the opportunity to win more money. Where a live game might see 20 hands per hour, an online game would see 70 hands per hour. Since so many people multi-table online poker, win rates online are usually expresses as Big Bets per 100 hands. If you can win 1 Big Bet per 20 hands in live play, you might expect to win 5 Big Bets per 100 hands online. Unfortunately this is not the case for most poker players. Moving online takes some of the skill out of poker, since you can’t pick up tells, and nullifies one advantage for the better players.
A good win rate at online poker is 3 Big Bets / 100 hands. 3 big bets per 100 hands (or 6 big blinds / 100 hands) is a very achievable win rate at $1-$2 No Limit Texas Holdem, even when you are playing several tables at once. If you assume that you are playing 66 hands per hour that means that you can win $8 / hour / table playing $1-$2 no limit texas holdem.
Increase Your Win Rate By Playing More Tables
$8 per hour is nice money for a hobby, but it is no way to get rich. In fact, $8 per hour is barely minimum wage. The way to make more money is either to play higher stakes, where the other players are harder to beat, or to see more hands per hour. The way to see more hands per hour is to play more than one table at a time. Many online poker players can successfully beat the game while playing 4 tables simultaneously, some can do it while playing 6-12 tables at a single time, and on poker forums people claim to win while playing 15, 20, or more tables at once.
If you can multi-table 4 tables of $1-$2 poker, at an $8 / hour win rate, you can win $32 / hour. Do that across 10 tables, and your hourly rate increases to $80 per hour. Multi-tabling is a skill that successful online poker player need to master.
One could, and should, read whole articles devoted to how to successfully multi-table. There are tricks you should do, like setting a 4 color deck, that will help increase your win rate long term. There are also tools that you should buy if you are a serious poker player. Software such as Poker Tracker will keep track of all of your stats, and those of your opponents, and display them on the screen over a players name. That allows you to focus on playing your hand instead of trying to remember your opponent’s past play. Getting a good tracking program is a must.
The one other variable that will affect how much money you win is how many hours you play. If you are a college student who puts in 20 hours of poker a week, at $80 per hour, you can win $1600 per week. If you don’t have as much time and can only play an hour or two you won’t win as much money over all.
Although Fun In The Beginning, Poker Can Quickly Become A Grind.
You need to be careful that you don’t get burnt out playing poker. If you get play too many hours just to win more money, playing poker can become a grind. It will begin to bore and annoy you. You will become more easily distracted, go on tilt more frequently, and generally win less money. Find out what works best for you, whether it is 3 hours a day, or 3 a week, and don’t let it take over your life.
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