Poker players are often asked the question: is it possible to make money in online poker or in a casino. If you remember the first game at the poker table, then you remember all the emotions from realizing the prospects for earning money. By playing your starting cards, you are trying to outwit your opponents, and as a result of the right actions, get income.
Perhaps you’ve played home games after watching WPT broadcasts, or you’ve tried your hand at online freerolls. Some people got into the poker tables through other games like chess, Magic The Gathering or eSports. Old school players came to poker after making their first bets at the poker tables in the casino and were hooked from the first hand.
In short, it is quite possible to make money on poker – this is a fact. But you need discipline and mastery of a strategy in order to regularly receive income. Especially important are table selection and playing against less experienced opponents, careful selection of starting cards and adequate actions. In addition to technical skills, psychological skills will be required: tilt control and the ability to recognize when mistakes begin. The luck factor affects the results in the short term, but all skills will pay off in the long term.
The prospect of profiting from poker is a basic source of motivation. Additional sources of motivation are the intellectual challenge, the competitive nature and the social aspect. After the first win, you want more wins. And newbies often ask if online poker can be a source of income.
Playing online for real money is comfortable: all kinds of formats are available, and opponents from different parts of the world meet at cash tables and in poker tournaments. An online poker player decides on his own when to play and in which room.
To make money playing poker online, follow these steps:
Step 1. Read reviews, choose a poker room and make a deposit
Step 2: Play soft cash tables or soft field poker tournaments.
Step 3: Learn poker strategy and math to improve your win rate and hourly rate.
Step 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 before withdrawing part of the winnings.
After the withdrawal of earnings, continue to play and learn. To win online, it is important to play on a soft field. Strive to play against recreational opponents. Weak opponents can be identified by their behavior at the tables:
- Pre-flop limps are the most common;
- A lot of trash cards are shown at showdown, like T5o or J4o;
- Regularly make mini-bets or minimum 3-bets;
- Don’t fold draw hands to big bets;
- Use an excessive amount of emoticons in chat, insult opponents or curse failure in chat.
Look for tables with such players, and then the win rate will be high. It is estimated that 90% of winning poker players come from recreational players! To increase your poker income, use poker bonuses – free money that poker rooms give to their customers.
Most of the pros on the Beasts of Poker team have made their fortunes multi-tabling at mid- and high-limit cash tables and tournaments. In online rooms it is possible to get more experience in much less time than in a casino where 25-35 hands/hour are dealt. In the virtual space, it is possible to play hundreds of hands in 1 hour, and finding the right table is much easier.
The rules at the poker tables online and offline are the same, but the live gameplay is different. Those who do not live near the casino will have to drive or travel to play live. In a number of countries there are restrictions on gambling and there are no casinos. In the card room, it is possible to play one hand at a time, and you can see the reaction of opponents during the hand. Tells are used to gain an advantage at the tables, and players often sit with deep stacks.
In online and offline games, choose soft tables, improve your win rate and learn. The only difference between the casino is that at the end of the gaming session, the chips are cashed out. Some poker players prefer to keep their bankroll in casino chips, but this method will not work for different casinos.
All kinds of game formats are offered in casinos and online rooms. Choosing the right disciplines affects the final results. Often people start with freerolls without investment and tournaments, but stable poker players prefer cash games.
If we talk about earnings, then the cash game has a number of advantages over tournaments:
- The game session starts and ends at a convenient time;
- Cash tables are always available, and tournaments start at a specific time;
- Smaller dispersion in cash games.
At the beginning of online poker, full ring tables were the main NLHE gaming format. At this time, 9-max is more suitable for offline games, and for online tables, the best option is 6-max. If you’re getting into online poker, it’s best to start at the micro limits, like NL5 or NL10. At low limits, beginners gain experience and do not risk big money.
There are fewer options in the casino. NL200 is often the minimum limit at casinos, although a number of casinos offer NL100. If you buy a full stack of 100bb, the first sessions can quickly become expensive compared to the first online poker sessions.
The pace of offline gameplay at full ring tables is much slower, which is a plus for beginner poker players. This way, novice poker players closely monitor the actions of opponents and better understand how betting rounds work. For a tournament player, buy-ins in live events start at around $20 and go up to tens of thousands in prestigious high roller tournaments.
Choosing a game format is an important poker skill that is often underestimated. Make an effort to improve your technical skills and win rate, but choose the discipline with the highest mathematical expectations. Of course, given the size of the poker bankroll. The game format, which will be an advantage over opponents, will allow you to earn money because of the skills.
Many poker players do not use the available options when looking for soft games. We tell you how to choose a poker discipline:
Step 1. Visit online rooms and offline casinos available in your country.
Step 2: Find the rake information for each option and compare where the rake eats up less winnings.
Step 3. Regularly review game formats and mark those that can be beaten with a good win rate.
Step 4. Analyze gaming sessions in online rooms and local casinos. To find the best game formats, focus on adequate volumes, for example, 500 hours of skating or 50,000 hands.
Step 5. Play formats from steps 1-4 more often, where the maximum winnings are expected.
Over time, you will learn to quickly recognize soft formats and will recognize opponents with whom it is profitable to play.
Nobody wants to be considered a weak player, but even the second best poker player in the world will be inferior to the strongest player in the world. If a poker player with strong skills is constantly playing against strong opponents, making a profit will turn into a difficult losing battle. Sitting at a random poker table without first scanning the level of the players is a big leak that reduces the possible winnings.
How to maximize your advantage at the tables? Start playing with weaker opponents. Poker is a game between people, you do not compete with the house, as in sports betting or blackjack. And therefore, at the poker tables, profit is possible over a long distance.
Start with micro limits or low limits poker rooms or play at the lowest stakes in offline casinos. Why do we recommend low limits? To play against opponents who make big mistakes! If you intend to play online, use the Heads-Up Display (HUD) to recognize loose opponents. Opponents with 35+% VPIP (voluntarily putting chips into the pot) are often weak and passive at the cash tables.
After gaining experience with the HUD, connect additional poker software. Poker software can help with table selection, multi-tabling hotkeys, and game session analysis. Find out more about the best tracking and analysis software in Holdem Manager 3 review. In a casino, it is impossible to track the percentage of open raises of each opponent, so look for recreational players by behavior:
- Limping into a pot preflop
- Calling preflop raises regularly instead of 3-betting
- Calling multiple post-flop streets with medium or weak pairs
- Showdown shows trash hands like 92s, Q4o or J5o.
- Put the blind out of position
- Buying less than 100bb
One trend does not guarantee that it is a recreational player, but if a player has several tendencies from the list, this is an obvious sign of the weakness of the opponent. When you notice a weak player, try to sit to his left. If you act after him in every hand, it is acceptable to accept his decisions and profit from mistakes.
“Learn the rules like a professional so you can break them like an artist” – Pablo Picasso
All grandmasters quickly make correct moves at the beginning of a chess game. This is the poker equivalent of pre-flop, where strong players automatically decide which hands to open and which to 3-bet from each position. It will be helpful to memorize the starting map charts available on tutorial sites.
Why then do professionals like Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey play hands that don’t make the starting hand charts? Because of their big experience at the poker tables, they know when breaking the rules for choosing starting cards will win more. For most poker players, trash starting hands will not bring income. We advise you not to play trash hands in 6-max or at full-ring tables – with the right preflop strategy, it is definitely possible to become a profitable player.
To find out what starting hands to play, we recommend that you check out the starting combinations guide from our guide to 6-max tables. Players who pick hands from the starting hand charts are called TAGs or TAGs. The TAG plays hands selectively, but if they enter the pot they will raise or 3-bet instead of limping or cold calling. Most winning regs use the TAG style – we recommend using this approach!
Those poker players who make better decisions than their opponents win money at the poker tables. Even the strongest poker players make mistakes. But the strongest poker players make fewer mistakes than inexperienced opponents. Mistakes keep poker alive – if everyone plays without mistakes, no one wins in the long run.
Winning regulars make fewer mistakes than near-zero and losing poker players. Regardless of hole cards, game situations or stack size. As a general rule, professionals and winning regulars win by playing fundamentally sound play and taking advantage of the wrong decisions of opponents. Therefore, understand poker theory and apply knowledge at the tables!