When You’re Thinking of Quitting Poker…

Everyone who has played for a long time has considered quitting poker at some point. It’s a game that will test you in so many ways. Whether you’re always losing, running bad, burnt out or just lost the passion, there will be times you will want to quit for good. In this article, I’m going to share some reasons for hope but also give a dose of reality too. I hope you find it helpful if you’re considering quitting poker.

Take a Step Back

The most common reason for quitting poker is without doubt the losses. People play to win and if things aren’t going well, it can make you want to quit. The underlying reasons for losing will vary from one reader to another so there is no universal truth here. What I will say is that in the midst of a prolonged period of losing, it’s wise to take a step back. Assess the situation with impartiality, if possible, and be frank with yourself. Consider getting opinions from those around you who know poker well to offer some insight into your situation.

Find out whether you’re losing because of a bad run of luck or if there is more to it. Perhaps you’ve been in the wrong games, playing above your head or playing too many tables. There are loads of reasons why a player might be losing. The best advice I can give is to take a step back and analyse the situation as if you’re helping a friend.

Stop Playing & Have Fun (but stay involved)

Once you’ve taken a step back and assessed the reasons, you can attempt to fashion a solution. This might mean taking a long break, investing in poker courses to learn fundamentals or just choosing your games better.

Now you have the solution, don’t rush back to the tables yet. If you’ve been thinking about quitting poker, it’s probably a good idea to at least stop for a little while. I highly recommend you use this time to enjoy yourself, have fun and don’t fixate on the negative side of poker in this rest period. Play football, spend time with friends, watch movies or have free spins at an online casino. Taking time out and having fun will put in you a better mood and keep your morale up.

Whilst you’re on a break from poker, you can still be involved with it – just don’t play. This might mean surfing two plus two, watching YouTube videos or just reading our blog posts. It keeps your subconscious mind ticking over on poker so you aren’t rusty when you choose to return. I suggest between two and four weeks as a sensible rest period before returning to play.

Be Realistic & Set Goals

So now you’ve taken a step back, you’ve had a break and enjoyed yourself away from poker. If you’ve decided you want to continue with poker, it’s the perfect time to be realistic with yourself and what you hope to achieve in poker. It’s a cold hard fact that not everyone is destined to be a professional. For some, a side income from part-time poker is the best they can strive for, and for many, they will be consistent losers. Having said that, I firmly believe anyone can beat the micros and low stakes with hard work and dedication, but few are prepared to do that.

If you’re honest and realistic about what poker can do for you in the future, you will be better prepared mentally to deal with the challenges. You can set poker goals and plan out how you will achieve them. This can be a huge motivation to persevere and is very rewarding when goals are completed. Building a longer-term view is an excellent trait. It will can serve you well in poker, a game with short term fluctuations and volatile results.

Conclusion

Quitting poker is something we’ve all considered at one time or another so don’t worry if you’ve been thinking about. I hope this article serves as relief for those of you who love the game and work hard but having a bad run and hurting. Just remember there are countless others like you. It’s how you deal with the tough runs that shape you as a complete poker player.

For those of you who have lost for years, completed the steps I recommended (assessed the why and taking a break) and wondering what to do. It might be time to call it a day. There’s nothing wrong in quitting poker. You can reclaim some valuable personal time, save money and explore other interests. If you’ve never quite got it or haven’t got the time to dedicate yourself to improving, it might be time to stop and that’s fine.  

And finally for players who are at a crossroad and want to improve but don’t know how, I’d love to hear from you. We have various methods of poker training that can help you. Just fill in the form below to tell us about you and we will be in touch to see if we can help you.

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4 Ways to Boost Your Bankroll

Whilst we want all of you to become excellent poker players and have a good win rate, we also want you to maximise opportunities to grow your bankroll. After all, if you are relying on skill alone, you are missing other ways to give your roll an injection of cash. That’s why in this article we’re going to share four ways you can boost your gambling bankroll.

1] Rakeback

One of the easiest ways to generate extra money and build your bankroll is via rakeback schemes. Most of you should already know how rakeback works. If you’re new to it, a simple way of understanding is this:

Any time you play at a poker room you are paying rake in cash game pots or tournament buy-in fees. By signing up to a rakeback scheme you are entitled to a percentage of rake back to you. The amount can vary based on site and scheme but whatever it is, it’s more than $0.

A rakeback scheme will usually pay players at regular intervals e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The more you play the more rakeback you earn.

2] Reload Bonus

The online poker sites are less generous with their bonuses than online casinos but some reload bonuses are quite common. Basically, a poker site incentivises their players to deposit again. The reload bonus is different to other casino bonuses where they tend to attract new customers, a reload bonus is solely for existing customers.

The poker sites have found this to be an effective way of retaining players on their sites. For instance, they may email you if they notice you haven’t played on their site for some time. They may send a promotion stating they will match your deposit up to a sum of $500 for instance.  

To take advantage of a reload bonus you need to be checking emails regularly. We recommend that you don’t have the poker sites emails marked as spam otherwise you are potentially missing awesome promotions like reload bonuses.

3] Freerolls

We’re not a huge fan of the cheap freerolls as a means of learning, but there are other freerolls which should be taken up. Most major sites have a daily or weekly freeroll for active players that pay very reasonably for final table finishes. It’s not uncommon to find freerolls with as high as $5,000 guaranteed. So, if you have time to play and are an active poker player, you are probably eligible for many freerolls without realising it.

Freerolls can be tedious and frustrating when you play hours for a few cents can’t they? But you should always bear in mind the calibre of opposition. The majority of freeroll entrants are terrible and the ones that aren’t bad are often just playing it cos it’s free to enter and therefore not taking it seriously. It doesn’t matter if you play part-time or as a professional, you should strive to play well all the time and if you do that in freerolls you can boost your bankroll.

4] Converting Loyalty Points

Almost all poker sites have loyalty reward schemes in place to thank their regulars. A lot of poker players don’t pay them much heed or check how many points they have accumulated but they can be very useful over time. Many online poker sites like PokerStars offer their players the opportunity to convert points into other practical items like merchandise, tournament tickets and even cash. So, this can be a brilliant way to boost your bankroll and best of all, you don’t have to do anything different than you already are! The only difference is that instead of playing satellites or using points for a mouse mat you can turn it into cash.

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Important Poker Stats & How to Use Them to Improve

Introduction to Poker Stats

The modern era of poker deeply rooted in maths and science. It is no longer just a game played with gut instinct, looking across at the table and trusting whether or not their bluffing. There is far more to it than that…

It doesn’t matter what poker tracking software you are using to display the poker stats; they will all have similar features that can help you. However, many of the pieces of information they share are not essential or may even hinder your game overall. There are several key poker statistics that you will need to grasp and understand though to help you generate a good online poker win rate and that’s what we’ll be looking at in this article. I will also share a few tips on what good and bad stats can look like so you can tweak your game to eradicate potential leaks too.

VPIP – Voluntary Put Money in Pot

The most obvious poker stats of all is the “voluntarily put into pot” or VPIP. Any time you enter the pot either through calling or raising, your VPIP will increase. It doesn’t cover the blinds hence the term “voluntarily”.

Interestingly, this stat alone is not a big indicator as to a player’s capabilities. Obviously, if a VPIP is crazy high like 50% then they are playing too many hands but a VPIP will fluctuate based on a players preferred style of play. A strong loose aggressive player will certainly have a higher VPIP % than a capable TAG.

What is a Good VPIP?

It’s commonly accepted that a decent 6 max poker player will have a VPIP between 22% and 30%. For full ring it should drop to between 17% and 21%.

PFR – Pre-Flop Raise

The pre flop raise % or PFR is one of the best poker stats. It reveals how aggressive a player is before the flop. When you combine this with a players VPIP you begin to get a good idea as to how a player behaves before the flop.

If a players VPIP and PFR are far apart, they are likely to be too timid. Conversely, if a player’s VPIP and PFR are within 1 or 2% they are probably only playing raise or fold poker.

What is a Good PFR?

A decent PFR is likely to be between 18 % and 21% in 6 max games and between 12% and 15% in full ring.

poker software

3 Bet %


The 3-bet poker stat reveals how often a player is re-raising before the flop. Gone are the days when most players only 3 bet with queens or better. Therefore, we need to assess how 3 bet happy our opponents are. It’s important to recognise that this stat only reveals itself when opportunities arise for a 3 bet. A player who has a 3 bet of 10% is therefore re-raising when someone open raised and it folded to them 1 in 10.  

The trick with the 3 bet % is to look at what seat they do it from. For instance, a player will rarely 3 bet from UTG+1 facing an UTG open raise. Most 3 bet opportunities are button vs an middle position or cut-off raise, or the blinds against a late position raise. This where players tend to play more creatively as they are reacting to a player who is likely to have a wider range of hands.

What is a Good 3 Bet %?

This is tricky to answer as poker stats are skewed here based on your position. However, generally speaking, a profitable 3 bet % in 6 max poker games is likely to be between 5% and 8%. This drops in full ring to between 4% and 6%.

Fold to 3 Bet %

One of my favourite poker stats of all is knowing how often a player will fold when 3 bet. Many players in the modern era are trying to be aggressive but not reacting well to 3 bets. They like to open raise but won’t defend or 4 bet often enough when facing a pre-flop re raise.

This is certainly one of the most prevalent poker leaks I find through my poker mentoring (see here for information).

What is a Good Fold to 3 Bet %?

I’m going to sit on the fence on this one a little bit. There’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to folding to 3 bets, but you certainly don’t want to be folding more than ½ the time otherwise you are inviting players to 3 bet you with impunity.

Cbet Flop %

Last but not least we come to the c bet flop poker stat. This statistic shares how often a player continues to bet on the flop after a pre-flop raise. Another common poker mistake made in the 2020’s is players continuation betting too much or not enough. Not just that, but when they opt against c-betting they will almost certainly fold to a turn bet.  

If you are facing an opponent who is cbetting over 90%, you can throw in some re-raises or floats to counter them. On the other hand if you are facing a player who continuation bets a low percentage you can donk lead to try and take the pot away. Knowing your opponents cbet flop % and adjusting your plan to them based on your situation is essential to playing the flop well.


What is a Good Cbet Flop %?

Continuation betting is a vast topic with very little literature on it which is why I created a comprehensive continuation betting course. It would be too simplistic to give a “good” cbet % here as it varies based on multiple scenarios. Instead, I recommend you check out our course below.

c bet poker


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Everything You Need to Know About Part Time Poker Playing

Part Time Poker: Introduction

Many players that come to Texas Hold’em Questions for coaching are not necessarily aspirational professionals. The majority are simply looking to capitalize on part time poker playing to make a secondary income for themselves. Like many things in the 2020’s it can be another revenue stream or side hustle that can bring extra income to their household.


The thing to remember is that online poker is not an easy gig. Few generate massive win rates so playing part-time may be the peak for some, even those who may wish to go full time professional. In this article I will highlight the advantages of only going semi-professional and the typical criteria of who it will fit.  

Advantages of Semi Professional Poker


There are numerous benefits to playing poker as a side job rather than your main income. For a start, playing semi professionally removes the massive burden that weights on you every month where you are completely reliant on poker as your source of income. Playing professionally adds a lot of pressure and even the great one’s struggle with this at time. Whereas, if you play part time poker you are not relying on your winnings to pay for your monthly bills. Your side job won’t have to pay for expenses like food, gas, electric and rent.

Another advantage to playing part time is the enjoyment factor lasts longer. Anyone who plays professionally that tells you it’s always fun is fibbing. Most pro’s suffer burnout at some point and you can play too much poker. Playing part-time by definition means you’re playing less than full time hours and therefore playing fresh.

Finally, semi-professional poker ensures you are not restricted in the real world. This may sound odd but speaking from experience, buying cars or moving into a new place can be tricky when you’re job is “professional poker player”. By having a proper job with payslips you will remove the obstacles that professional poker players face. You won’t always have to buy a car outright or pay for 6- or 12-month tenancy agreements in advance.

Who Suits Part Time Poker Playing?

Now you know the advantages, let’s filter those of you who are suited for poker as a side hustle. For a start, you need to be winning regularly and with a decent amount of data behind you. There’s no use saying you’re turning semi professional and have only played 3 months. Even part time poker players know they need lots of data backing up them up.

Discipline

A part time poker player also needs to be disciplined, both with their bankroll management and with their scheduling of time. Most semi pro’s are playing around their day job and study poker too. This means devoting a few hours each evening and possibly more on weekends. If you want to go semi-pro you need to take it seriously and schedule the time in to play. Fortunately, the times you play should also be around the times when recreational players are at the table.

Focused on Poker

Part time poker playing doesn’t suit those of you who are heavily interested in other gambling forms. This is not a snipe at other gambling games but focus should be on poker only. If your bankroll and interests are intertwined with other forms like roulette or blackjack, poker probably won’t be for you as a side gig. There are plenty of online casinos that might be up your street instead. Feel free to visit relevant sites like MrCasinova.com for all the information you need on these online casinos and their perks.

People Who Enjoy the Game

Finally, playing poker as a part time job suits people who are level headed, content, realistic and enjoy poker. These are the ideal people to thrive as they won’t be looking at poker as their way to escape their current situation. In other words, if you are working at a grocery shop, hate it and trying to get out by playing poker without enjoying it, you will fail. Sorry if this crushes dreams but the players who win at poker have an interest in the game. They are dedicated to improving and enjoy the game too.

Part Time Poker: Conclusion

I’ve stated before poker isn’t dead and plenty of money to be made for the right players. It’s not an easy way to make money anymore. But, if you’re someone that enjoys poker and dedicated, part time poker playing could be for you. Earning another income stream can help you and your family have extra holidays, pay for cars or even buy property. It can be a fantastic benefit to loads of players around the world. Best of all, can be done without pressure.

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An Ego in Poker: The Hidden Leak for Many

Ego in Poker

Ego is something many people carry with them in all aspects of life. It can be something you have in your professional career, with a talent you have, concerning your intelligence and it’s in poker too. Having a big ego in poker is that it can manifest itself in negative ways and prove costly, harming your hourly win rate and bottom-line results.

We’ve discussed the common leaks before but underpinning many of them is “ego”. When you’ve been bluffed out of a pot, it’s often your ego that is hurt. It might make you want to go after that player and in doing so, at the expense of correct poker strategy. When decisions are driven by emotion and not calculated logic, you’re in trouble at the poker table.

Professionals Lose Their Ego

Ego, in many circles is discussed as a positive trait. But, as most successful people will attest to, it can more of a burden. Those who reach the top have a strong worth ethic combined with a humility that attests to the journey they took to reach success. The best poker players aren’t looking for validation from strangers or peers, they know their self-worth and know their results. They are perfectly happy raking in the money without drawing lots of attention to themselves.

Professional poker players who have made a living for years lose their ego after a couple of years. Riding the crest of good luck in a tournament or a heater in cash games can bolster your ego but the impact of bad variance soon puts things in perspective. Like many attributes for a professional, this comes with experience.

How to Spot Egos at the Table

In a live poker setting they a player with an ego is easy to spot. They are the ones educating the table on how to play poker correctly. They’re also the ones bragging about their latest successes and showing any bluffs with pride. These players aren’t necessarily bad players – some may even be semi-professional. But their ego will harm them in the long run, whether they know it or not. Tilt is one of the biggest challenge’s poker players face and having an ego is likely to increase the opportunities for tilt to raise its head in both cash games and tournaments.

Spotting an ego when you play texas hold’em online is trickier. Few poker players use the chat function these days so you can’t identify them through conversation. There is another way to spot someone with an ego though, particularly in tournaments and it’s through the pre-flop 3bet/4bet.

 In a tournament you may have stolen from the button 100% of the time so far when it’s folded to you. The big blind may get sick of it and 3-bet, you have a hand and 4-bet or perhaps you call and take it away post-flop, much to their annoyance. The next round the same situation happens again. He 3 bets fast and you move all in to which he folds. Now, it’s not for certain he has an ego but it’s fairly predictable of those who have one to repeatedly 3bet when they’re sick of you stealing. This opens them up to getting shoved on lightly from an observant opponent.

Another way to spot them online can be through their aggression levels increasing after you’ve bluffed or won a big pot from them. Again, this isn’t a universal truth that everyone who increases their aggression after losing a pot has an ego, but it there is reasonable probability.

How to Lose Your Ego in Poker

As you can see, ego is unlikely to serve you well in the poker world. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to stop it becoming a problem for you. The first thing you need to do is try to become humbler and realistic. This doesn’t mean remove ambition or anything like that. Most players overrate themselves and if you took a survey of players at a casino, nobody loses…

Try to give players more credit and not overrate your own ability. This will safeguard you from thinking you’re the best all the time and limit the impact ego will have in key pots.

Secondly, you must try to take a long-term view of poker at the table and away from it. Rather than fixate on specific sessions and lost hands, take the view of a decisions impact in the long run. Facing a river bet from an opponent, estimate the likelihood your hand is best over the long run. Think of it over a hundred or a thousand hands. Doing this will remove your attention on just your opponent and look at poker more logically.

Finally, discussing poker with friends, peers or a poker coach can keep your ego in check. Friends will bring you back to earth, other poker players will let you know when you’ve played bad and a poker coach will always be fair with you.  If you are concerned you have an ego and want support, our poker mentor service may be perfect. We offer a poker mentor by email service for a monthly fee.

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Softest Poker Sites: Play With Fishes

Soft Poker Sites

Everyone who is interested in poker training wants to increase their win rate or start winning. One of the easiest ways to accommodate this is by playing weaker opponents than you. It’s simple but that is it. The problem a lot of players have is that they tie themselves to one poker site, not looking for the softest poker sites to play on.

To improve your win rate, I highly recommend you ensure you are playing on a soft poker site. With so many sites available it’s crazy not to look around. That’s why in this article, I’m going to share three of the softest poker sites I’ve found online. Additionally, I am offering generous incentive for signing up via Texas Hold’em Questions. For anyone that signs up to these soft poker sites (other than Unibet) via the banners in this article, you’ll get 75% off training video membership.

To take advantage is easy:

  1. Click one of the banners in this article
  2. Register an account and make a deposit
  3. Email your player ID to marketing@texasholdemquestions.com
  4. We will verify it and send you a 75% discount code for poker training video membership
  5. Use your code in our store

As we’re an affiliate of these three sites, we will get a kickback in some of the rake generated which helps pay for our ongoing website costs.

Coral Poker

Coral is primarily a sports betting site. These sites are a goldmine for experienced poker players. You get to play online poker with crossovers from other forms of gambling that are playing for fun or barely know the rules.

Coral has been around a long time, one of the oldest sites today, having being launched in 1999. It’s software and gameplay aren’t going to rival the biggest poker sites but who cares? We’re here to make money and this site is awesome for low stakes cash games and tournaments too.

You can play Coral poker on your phone, withdrawals are processed fast and they also offer free tickets worth up to $30 when you register and deposit.

I recently completed a review of Coral Poker highlighting the pros and cons but if you can’t wait to play you can register from the banner below.

888 Poker

888 has been a major poker site for a number of years. They have built a great reputation and continue to cater to part-time players. There’s a few more grinders than at the other two sites in this article but the traffic makes up for it.

The site has a lot of traffic for the fast fold poker form known as Snap. I recommend reading our snap poker strategy article before playing. It gives a good overview on how to beat beginners and how to beat regulars too. Armed with this, you can be well prepared for both of the most common types of opponents you face in these games.

888 Poker is also unique in that they offer a no deposit bonus. Almost no poker sites offer these in 2021.

Read our 888 poker review for more information or click below to register today.

Unibet Poker

There’s no doubt about, Unibet Poker is one of the softest poker sites around today that has reasonable traffic levels. A few months ago, I conducted a Unibet poker review and found the calibre of player very low. This is music to the ears of low stakes players wanting to improve their overall earnings.

The site has their own network and software which is original. They also ban HUDs which is another reason there are less professionals around. I think the competition is low due to the fact the site is primarily aimed at sports betting with poker a side project. This is a common theme in this article as you’ll see later…

Please note that the cash games are not like your normal lobby where you can cherry pick. This can be disadvantageous for those who like to take ages to pick games but fortunately the games are soft so it’s not a problem. I recommend downloading our 6 max strategy guide to familiarise yourself with key concepts.

Finally, the site has both downloadable client and instant play, another neat feature that attracts recreational players. Not having to download the software is an incentive for impatient social players.

Poker Goals: A Complete Guide for the Serious Poker Player

Poker Goals

When I first started playing I just went through the poker aimlessly. Goals seemed pointless because poker was just a game, one that you didn’t have loads of control over the outcome of. But, as you gain experience and take poker seriously, you’ll realise that goals are a useful thing to have in place. They can give you focus, motivation and drive. In this post, I’m going to discuss poker goals, what kind of goals to set, how to set them, how often to refer to them and how to meet your goals.

Types of Goals You Can Set

There’s several types of poker goals you can set. It is important to recognise that what’s important to one person is irrelevant to another. We all have priorities, and they will probably change throughout your poker career too. No goal is more important than any other in this article. So, here’s a list of different poker goals that can be set. As you read through them, single out one or two that might be appropriate for you.

Moving Up Stakes

One goal a cash game player can set is to move up stakes by a certain point. Having this as a goal can be something to strive for when putting in loads of hours online.

Increasing Hourly Win Rate

This is one of my favourite goals to set as it is tangible and shows the extra value. It’s tangible as what you earn extra per hour is a measurement of your success and also valuable to your bankroll.

Hitting a Specific ITM or ROI

For tournament players, success is measured in their ROI or in the money rate. Setting a specific target is a decent goal for tournament players. Most serious tournament poker players will want to measure one or both of these metrics so setting a goal to hit one is great e.g. 20% ITM rate or 40% ROI.

Winning a Seat into a Tournament

Playing a major tournament is a dream for many. Setting this as a goal is a nice way to strive for something special as you’ll never forget it. I was fortunate enough to win seats into a few WSOPE and WPT events and the experience of playing them are amazing, not to mention you get the opportunity to play for life changing money.

To Play X Number of Hours

A lot of poker players struggle to put in the time they want to play. Setting a goal to play X amount of hours a week or month is a good goal to set as you have that frequent reminder.

Master a Certain Strategy or Concept

If you are a beginner or intermediate poker player, working on a certain area of your game can be a great goal to set. It’s impossible to conquer a complex game like Texas Hold’em quickly. That’s why picking specific areas to focus on and master can be a brilliant idea. This is true for poker games at live casinos too.

How to Set Poker Goals

How you set them is up to you. There a few ways you can go about it. I liked to write them up, print it off and stick them somewhere that I can see. Others like to set goals on their mobiles as a list. Then, when you hit them you can tick them off (very satisfying!). You could also write them on your calendar or notepad – whatever works for you.

Two other things to consider about poker goals is time and difficulty. Firstly, goals need a time limit on them, otherwise you’ll have the same goal for 10 years. There’s nothing wrong with setting multiple goals within a larger goal though. For instance, if you want to move up from NL $25, you may set goal 1 to be move to NL $50 in 3 months and a second goal to reach NL $100 in 12 months.

Secondly, the difficulty of a goal needs to strike a balance between challenging but realistic. Winning the WSOP is not a realistic goal when it costs lots of money and you have to face against 10,000 players. Conversely, winning a SNG with 9 players is too easy. A goal of making a top 3 within the next 50 tournaments is a more realistic but also challenging goal to set.

Example of how to set poker goals.

Changing Your Goals

It’s good practice to refer to your goals every once in a while. I recommend doing this once a month, pick a date like end of month or first of month, and see how you’re doing. If the goal is unrealistic or too easily completed, you are free to change your goal(s). There’s no law saying once you have set a goal, you must keep it. Perhaps you change the format or game you play, then you can add or change your current poker goals to more appropriate ones.

How to Meet Your Poker Goals

It’s all well and good setting challenging, motivating poker goals but it’s another thing to actually hit them. Meeting goals, in life and in poker, requires dedication and hard work. If you’ve set decent goals, they won’t be easy to hit so you will be pushed to reach them. But that’s brilliant as it will make the prize more satisfying and rewarding.

Ultimately, it depends on the goals you’ve set how you will meet them. Below are a few tips based on the types of goals mentioned earlier.

Goal How to Reach it
Moving up stakes Track your win rate, pick your games carefully and ensure you are playing the optimum amount of tables. Set stop loss limits so you protect your bank roll when you run bad too and exercise proper bankroll management.
Increasing your hourly win rateTo improve your win rate is similar to moving up stakes except you need to work harder away from the table too. Improve your knowledge by reading poker books, working on your leaks and discussing poker hands. We offer hand history review service for players to identify potential leaks and suggest improvements.
Hitting a specific ITM or ROI You need to take mtts seriously, pick the right games, play on soft sites and have patience and emotional control. Tournaments are mental warfare and you need to be mentally strong to secure a decent ITM rate.
Winning a seat into a tournamentIf you’re keen to satellite into a major live tournament, you need to do some research online. Find the best satellites and spend some money and time finding out which satellites to play.
To play X number of hoursTo meet this type of goal requires freeing up time in your week and setting priorities. It might mean sacrificing football on a Saturday or a Friday night drink with friends.
Master a certain strategy or conceptTo fully grasp a key poker strategy is not easy. You can spend countless hours online reading material or watching YouTube content but how do you know the content is correct? I recommend discussing with a poker coach or taking a course. We offer two poker courses, one on bluffing and one on continuation betting. These courses took me months to create and a labour of love for players wanting to fully grasp these fundamental aspects of poker. Go to our poker courses page for more information.

Conclusion on Poker Goals

As you can see, setting goals is a practical thing to use for a poker player. It keeps us motivated and something to aspire to. Its also something to measure against. By setting goals, we can see how close or far away we are from reaching where we want to be. I’m a big fan of them and highly recommend you start setting goals. You can expect to reap benefits of them just by thinking and writing them down.

If you are not very organised and want to start tracking your performance, we offer a unique reporting service. We use poker spreadsheets to enter your data and produce monthly reports specific for you. Click below if this is of interest and take advantage of our free quote too.

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Ways You Can Find Good Live Poker Tables in 2021

The table you are on determines how much money you make playing poker. At times, you might need to change tables to make decent money. This is not based on superstition. While your luck in poker is never dependent on the seat or table, you sit at, and your profits could be. Read on to find out how.

What Renders a Poker Table Profitable?

There are several factors that will determine whether a poker table is profitable or not, among them being:

  1. Loud tables tend to be more profitable than silent tables. A loud poker table means that players are having a good time. When players are having a good time, they are more likely to spend more money – thanks to alcohol.
  2. Take account of the players at the table. If recognized good poker players surround a table, it would be wiser to sit at a table surrounded by amateurs. As a smart player, you want to play at a table where you can make money.

If all the players at a table are pros, your chances of making decent money are lower than if you are a pro seated at a table full of amateur players.

Make sure there is money on the table. If you intend to play a $200 max buy-in and everyone else at the table is wagering $40 stacks, that’s not your table. There isn’t enough money in play in such a scenario, and you would be playing against short stacks. This increases the probability of you being shoved on, and that subsequently raises variance.

Finding the Best Seat at a Poker Table

Wondering how to play Live Hold’em? Below are three of the significant factors you should consider when picking a live poker table seat:

  1. Comfort: You must make sure that you have picked a comfortable seat or position. If you are not comfortable, you cannot perform at your best. If there is a player who looks like he hasn’t left the poker room to take a shower in a week, he probably hasn’t. Stay away from this person.
  2. Line of Sight: If you are visually impaired, make sure you are in a seat where you can see the entire board correctly. Some seating positions can limit your view. Taking seat 1 on an oval table, for instance, might limit your sight of seats 9 and 10. The best poker table seats are 3, 4,7, and 8.
  3. Left of the Biggest Stack: You should also consider the players at your table. As a general thumb rule, you should sit on the left of the biggest stack. If you are playing against people you know and one is known to be a loose and aggressive player, you should sit to his left. It would be best if you also sat on the left of any better player than yourself. 

With an absolute maniac on your right, the game can get very easy. All you have to do is wait until the right-hand pick him off. Once you have the nuts, trap him for his chips.

With a nut hand on your left, you will be forced to act before him, and the game will be pretty much the same. The only difference would be that the hands you would limp with at a standard table, you now have fewer chances to play them.

It doesn’t make sense limping with poker hands you are not willing to call into a rise with if the person on your left rises every hand.

Picking a Good Table in Online Live Poker

Online poker has gotten more challenging over the past decade. You cannot join any table and expect to do just fine. If you want to make decent money playing online poker, you should sharpen your game selection skills.

To win big in poker, you do not have to be the best player at the table. As long as you are better than most of your competition, your chances of winning are high.

Flops/Limping/Fish

When you are a pro at game selection, you will only play those games that you stand to win. An average player who is excellent at game selection is more profitable than a good player with zero game selection skills.

When you sign in, make it a habit to check the lobby. To find a good table, sort your lobby results by viewed-flop percentage. When more people view the flop, there are multiple-pots, which translates to more limping and subsequently more fish.

The percentage marking a good poker table varies from one online casino to the other and from limit to limit. The higher the percentage, the better the table.

Hands Per Hour

You cannot rely on the viewed-flop percentage alone. Some tables will have a high percentage because they have been playing shorthanded. You can tell whether a table has been playing shorthanded by looking at the hands per hour. The more hands there are per hour, the higher the chances that the table just filled up.

The best six-handed poker game should not be getting over a hundred hands per hour. A table with a 50 percent viewed-flop and 150 hands per hour is one that just filled up and has no good chance.

Colour-Code Weak Players

Leading online casinos will allow you to add color-coded notes. You can practice tagging the fish you come across in specific colors. This way, you can tell tables with recognized fish whenever you look at the lobby.

Colour coding is not for fish alone. You can code competitive regulars, short stackers, and bad regulars as well. With such an analysis, you can quickly tell bad tables and good tables by looking at the lobby.

Starting Your Own Tables

What other way to get good tables than creating some yourself? Sit at an empty table and just wait. The chances are that short-stacked fish will join you. The fish will attract more players, and the games will start in no time and don’t worry about bots. They are not as common as people make out.

Alternatively, you can join a regular sitting alone. With two regulars seated at a table, the third play, in most cases, will be a fish. This is an excellent strategy for semi-competent players.

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How to Study Poker: The Right Way

Studying Poker

Even the least academic of poker players recognise that studying poker is necessary to improving. Texas Hold’em is the most popular of poker variants in part due to its complexity. There are skills players possess naturally that can help them win but there are almost always multiple areas that require hard work and dedicated studying to ensure they generate a decent win rate.

Realising study is one thing but knowing how to study poker efficiently is another matter altogether. In this article, I hope to offer various ways of studying that should accelerate your learning. Provided you are willing to put in hard work and effort, you should expect to see positive results within weeks.

Schedule Study Time

People are creatures of habit. We like routines and schedules to keep to. Studying on a whim may seem fine but it’s not likely to see you putting in enough time. Furthermore, you are less likely to return. When we do things randomly, it seems productive at first but once we stop doing it for a while, it’s a chore and hard work getting back into the swing of it. This is especially true for studying poker.

 In order to study poker properly, we need to set aside a block of time each week for this. It’s not terribly important how long, even 1 hour a week is a start. You can always add more time in due course. The key thing is to make studying part of your routine.  

Pick One Focus Area at a Time

You won’t conquer poker in a few study sessions. In order to grasp a topic fully, I recommend picking one area to focus on at a time. Prioritise the areas you want to study and stick with each until you are satisfied you have a strong understanding of the key elements. Naturally, each area will be different, both in enjoyment and hours of study required. It’s not a race though so be prepared to stick with a topic.

The danger of casually moving from one to the other is that you are unlikely to understand either area in entirety. Bouncing from value betting to 4 betting is unproductive as you’ll probably end up confused.

Review Hand Histories

One of the most productive and effective ways of studying is to review how you’ve played. Most poker sites allow you to download hand histories. The more common method of extracting hands is using poker tracking software.

Reviewing your hands is a great way to find errors. The key is to understand why you are doing something wrong and find a solution. The fix can be as little as adjusting your flop c-bet percentage on dry boards.

Hand history review sessions is an excellent way to study but it’s even better if you are doing it with someone. Sometimes the other person will have another viewpoint or see something you miss that enables you to find a better way of playing that scenario. This is not a shameless plug for our hand history review service as you can do hand history reviews with poker friends freely.

If you want a specialised service though, we are here to help. Our hand history review sessions are charged at £90 per hour. We are flexible and can do it one of two ways:


1) You present the hands to us and we will record our analysis, or we can discuss it on the phone.

2) You record a session of poker with our screen recording software. Upload it to our portal. We review it with you on the phone or record our analysis.


Most players we coach have 1 or 2 hours a month hand history review time with us. If this is something you may be interested in, fill in the form below and we will be in touch, or visit our hand history review page for more information.

Hand History Review Session

Ask Questions

In order to study poker well, one needs to challenge themselves and those who are teaching. Asking questions is a great way to learn. Rather than parrot information back from a teacher, a good student is not afraid to ask questions, no matter how simple it may be.

Remember, you only need to ask a silly question once. A poor student will not ask the question and may continue to make the same mistakes. Joining a poker forum and asking questions is free and a decent way to study different aspects of poker. A small disclaimer is that the range of quality in posters answers will vary so take it with a pinch of salt.

Texas Hold’em Questions was founded on asking questions and we still offer our free question service. We even publish the best questions and our responses in our blog (subject to approval from the questioner).

Take a Course

Nowadays you can take a course in anything to master a subject. This has extended to online poker where there are various courses online. Taking a course is a fantastic way to absorb all of a subject area in full.

In 2020, I took a long time to dedicate myself to creating two fundamental poker courses. After many weeks of thought, content creation and hard work, we now have two online poker courses. They focus on continuation betting and bluffing, areas I consider essential to winning poker. They are content heavy, in PDF format with 9 and 6 modules and quizzes at the end of each. If this is something you may be interested in, visit our poker courses page for more information.

Conclusion

To become a strong player who consistently wins, you need to work at your game continuously. Players are evolving and changing based on new strategies and theories. In order to exploit them, you need to set time to study, otherwise you may fall behind your rivals. This is true all over the world, on UK, Australian and Indian poker sites.

If you need support, we are here to help. Our poker mentor service is a great way to get introduced to coaching and can be trialled at only £50 for month 1. You get unlimited communication and it’s all done via email. If this is of interest, visit our poker mentor page. There is sometimes a waiting list but if there are spots available, we’d love to help you ASAP. Alternatively, you can book in a free 30 minute consultation call if you like? Click below to do this.

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Poker Win Rate: What’s Good & How to Work it Out?

Introduction to Poker Win Rates

Some poker players are happy to know they’re winning and don’t give their win rate much thought. As you gain experience and take poker seriously though, you’ll want to dive into it and find out exactly how you’re doing. This is where we measure performance and results through a metric called “win rate”. In this article, we’re going to look at how to measure win rates in cash games and tournaments, what a good win rate is and how variance impacts win rates.

Cash Game Win Rate

Most poker regulars do not need to compute their cash game win rate. It’s automatically calculated using their poker tracking software. However, with more poker sites banning the use of HUDs, calculating your own win rate will be more important.

The poker win rate in cash games is measured in big blinds. In order to calculate it we need to know the number of hands played and the total profit in big blinds. These two figures are needed as the typical win rate is measured as “big blinds won per 100 hands” AKA bb/100.

Cash Game Win Rate Formula:
Profit in bb/number of hands X 100 = cash game win rate in bb/100

So let’s say you played 10,000 hands and won 200 big blinds.

(200/10,000) * 100 = 2bb/100

And that’s all there is to it. The key to working out your cash game win rate is ensuring you know how many big blinds you’ve won and the number of hands you played. In online poker, you should be able to get this data from poker software or the client. In live poker, you will need to tally up your hands as you play.

What is a Good Cash Game Win Rate?

“Good” is a subjective term when discussing win rates in cash games. There are many factors to what contributes to a strong win rate; location, calibre of opponents, rake and stakes to name a few.

The table below is a rough guide on what a good win rate is in each setting.

SettingWin Rate (BB/100)
Live Poker Cash Games10 to 25 BB/100
Online Poker Cash Games3 to 10 BB/100

As you can see, there is a discrepancy between live and online poker cash games. It’s well established that live poker is far softer, with players lacking the same technical skills as online. Therefore, a strong cash game player can potentially win 10 or more big blinds per 100, with over 20 being extraordinary.

Conversely, with cash games online much tougher, a win rate over 3 is considered a strong win rate. The major online poker sites attract most of the better players.

If you want to maximise your win rate, stick to softer sites. Coral poker is very fishy with potential for high win rates. Click below and register an account to find out.

Tournament Win Rate

Your tournament win rate is simply the return on investment or ROI. To work this out, you simply divide your profit by the amount of tournament buy ins and multiply by 100%.  This is the common way to measure tournament success. The formula basically shows how much you earn per dollar. This is in contrast to cash games where you work out how many big blinds you win per 100.

Working out your profit is a simple case of taking your total cashes and deducting the amount spent in buy-ins.

Tournament Win Rate Formula
Winnings/Amount Spent in Tournament Buy ins * 100

So if you’ve won $5,000 and spent $6,000, your ROI is 83%. Please note – this means your cashes are $11,000. We deduct the amount spent first to arrive at winnings.

$5,000/$6,000 * 100= 83.33%

What is a Good Tournament Win Rate?

Like cash games, tournament win rates are dependant on the setting. Again, your ROI is likely to be dependent on the types of tournaments you play.

If you are randomly entering turbo tournaments or a bounty tournament where you lack the expertise in strategy, your ROI will suffer. The table below is a guide as to what I think a good tournament win rate is for live and online poker tournaments.

Setting Win Rate as ROI
Live Tournament Poker 50 – 80%
Online Tournament Poker 20 – 40%

If you’re generating over 80% ROI in live tournaments, you’re doing fantastic. Likewise, anything over 40% for online poker is exceptional.

The table above should give you a good idea on what strong tournament players can expect to achieve. Are you near it? If not, why not join our training video membership? Most of our content is tournament based and may help you increase your ROI a few percentage points? You can take advantage of our free trial by clicking below.

The Impact of Variance on Win Rates

The word that most serious poker players hate “variance”. Most poker tracking software has the ability to show you where you should be after X number of hands based on your data.

If you’re on a heater and showing 15 bb/100 but run the simulation of where you should be without variance, you may actually be at 1bb/100. This is a huge thing to remember as sometimes players make decisions like moving up stakes on the back of a good run of cards.

On the flip side, a player may lose confidence and drop down a few levels when they’re running bad when they in fact should be crushing.

In the long run, variance should not play a big part. The laws of probability show that it’s unlikely to have a big influence on your win rate over serious volume. I’m talking over the course of over 100,000 hands plus, or a year of playing.

Hourly Rate

This article has focused on win rates for cash games and tournaments. Whilst bb per 100 and ROI are key metrics to measuring success, I think hourly win rate is the most important metric of all. It is possibly the easiest and simplest way to calculate how you’re performing.

All you need to do is work out how much you win in a session and divide it by the number of hours played. So, if you played 8 hours and won $320, you’re averaging an hourly rate of $40.

This formula can be used in tournaments too. Naturally, it needs time to bear out in order to find out how much you can expect to make per hour from tournaments.

The key to understanding your hourly rate is to only judge it at intervals e.g. monthly or quarterly.

A True Hourly Rate Needs Data and Time

You need plenty of data to properly account for short term fluctuations. A good day you may win $100 an hour and a bad day you’re losing $80 an hour. That doesn’t mean you played exceptionally and awfully, it could have been coolers or bad beats.

The hourly rate can also be impacted by number of tables you play. You may find that 4 tabling NL $50 is more profitable for your hourly rate, albeit it at lower win rate when compared against 2 tabling NL $50. I think generating the best hourly rate is far more important than being able to boast of earning X BB per 100.

If you’re keen to improve your hourly rate, I suggest taking a look at our poker excel dashboard services. We can create a dashboard and report to you on a monthly basis. The report includes various measurements of performance and recommendations too. Click below for more information where you can also download a sample report and get a FREE quote too.

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