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 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.

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. Check out my brief review in the video 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.

Coral Poker

Like Unibet Poker, Coral is 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/£30 when you register and deposit.

I’ve not yet completed a full review of Coral Poker but you can register an account and take advantage of welcome bonus by clicking below.

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.

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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How to Make Money Playing Poker Online

How to Make Money Playing Poker

Most visitors come to Texas Hold’em Questions for help in one way or another. You’re all looking to improve your poker skills. I know some of you play regularly and some play very rarely but ultimately, you’re all looking to start earning or improve your win rate at poker.

 In this article, I’m going to lay out, simply and concisely how to make money playing poker. It is not for mid-stakes players who already crush the games. This article is for the beginners or intermediate players that struggle to make money consistently. If you dedicate one month to the tips in this article, you should have a good shot at making money.  

Play Micro/Low Stakes Cash Games

First things first, if you want to win money next month, you will need to dedicate most of your time and energy to cash games. Don’t get me wrong, there is lots of money to be made from tournaments and we will discuss that shortly. But, if you want to increase your chances of regular income next month, start at low stakes cash games between NL $5 and NL $25.

Four Tables Maximum  

Don’t play lots of tables. If you’re used to playing 6 or more, this won’t be music to your ears but it will be worth it. Stick with a maximum of 4 tables. If you’re not sure how many tables is right for you, read our article on multi-tabling and take the quick test to find out.

Stick with 6 Max Games

I think the 6 max games are the best place to start. You will come across a range of players abilities from nitty regulars to the standard donkey. There will be a sprinkling of tough opponents too but you can recognise these within 20 minutes of sitting. If you ever find yourself on tables with more than two tough players, get up and leave. This is a very important rule you need to employ. There are plenty of games online so please take care with table selection. Need help with 6 max? No problem, download our free PDF guide in our 6 max poker strategy article.

Put in the Volume

Making money playing poker means playing regularly. That means playing a minimum of three times a week. You can’t play once or twice a month and expect to handle variance easily. To overcome short term fluctuations in luck, you’ll need to put in a decent number of sessions. I recommend playing at least 3 to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.  

Play a Solid Tight Aggressive Style

Adapting to your surroundings is a necessary skill as you move up stakes. But at low stakes, TAG poker is the best form to use. It will strike the right balance of exploiting weak opponents who play the most overrated poker hands and the bad loose aggressive players who think they can run you over.

By playing a tight aggressive style, you will be able to get your bluffs through more often against regulars whilst continuing to get paid off from the fishes.

Playing in low stakes games can cause people to enter too many pots and deviate from solid strategy. Don’t fall victim to this mentality. Stick with the TAG style for the month and see what results it brings.

Play on Smaller and Softer Sites

There are plenty of online poker sites with many players around. You don’t have to play on the biggest sites just because there’s more traffic. The simple answer to “how to make money playing poker” is facing weak opponents. They are in abundance on the smaller sites that don’t offer poker as their main product.

Check out our Unibet Poker Review as a perfect example of this. I recommend registering an account with them. If you like the software then you’ll be happy with their competition. The standard is very low. I also find Coral to be a super soft site. You can register below.

Play Tournaments 20% of the Time (1 day)

Tournaments are still a great way to earn money online, particularly in games under $25 buy-in. Whilst cash games can be your bread and butter, there’s nothing wrong with investing time in tournaments too. In fact, it’s a good way to take a break from cash games. Tournaments can give a nice respite whilst also offer the chance to risk a little for a lot of gain. Assuming a working week is 5 days, try dedicating 1 day to tournaments.

Weekends Only

If you’re going to stick with the 1 day a week rule, please let it be a Saturday or Sunday? These are the best times to play online poker tournaments. Weekends tend to offer the best guaranteed prize-pools and also attract social players.

The weekend mtts are full of players lacking tournament poker strategy. They don’t care about m ratio or push/fold strategy, they are playing for fun. As such, they will be making a lot of mistakes! This is why you need to be playing with them.

Stick to Freezeouts

There are plenty of tournament variants about at the moment but freezeouts are the easiest format to follow. It may be tempting to play a hyper turbo or a bounty tournament, but remember, each variant requires revising your strategy. It’s much simpler and better for your ROI and ITM rate to stick with simple freezeouts.

Summary

As you can see, making money playing poker is very attainable. If you play low stakes games, focus on 6 max and use a TAG style, you’re on your way. Then, dedicate one day a week to tournaments and you’re all set.

The key to winning money from poker is treating it like a business. Make business like decisions in poker and you will increase your chances of winning.

To sum up:

  • Play NL $5- $25 6 Max
  • Play on a soft poker site like Unibet
  • 4 days a week cash games and 1 day for tournaments
  • Play tight aggressive
  • Play a minimum of 3 hours a day
  • Do NOT play more than 4 tables at once
  • Make your tournament day Saturday or Sunday
  • Stick to freezeout tournaments

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The Pros and Cons of Poker Staking

Poker Staking

Anything that involves money interests’ other parties. I remember first playing live tournaments and being surprised when asked to trade percentages. I politely declined but it did make me think what motivates people give up potential earnings and get staked?

Poker staking is something that might be perfect for one and a disaster for another. It depends on several factors, which I will explore in this article. I hope by the end of it, you will have an understanding of what staking is and assess whether it’s for you.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is Staking in Poker?

Staking is where someone else invests the cash for your tournament or cash game. In exchange, you will pay them a percentage of your winnings. This could be up to 50%. Most staking deals run for a number of months or hands. The player being staked usually has to pay back any losses before chopping up the winnings.

The Pros of Poker Staking

There are several benefits to being staked in games. There are three obvious perks that I can see though.

1) No Risk

Playing poker without risk is very appealing to a lot of poker players. When you’re being staked, you are not financially invested. Regardless of your financial position, you won’t be impacted by a bad cash game session or tournament that you bubbled.

Playing poker without risk allows some people to play with more freedom. Not risking your own money also means you have free cash that you would have otherwise used for bankroll management.

2) Support

A lot of staking arrangements involve some poker support through coaching or general advice and support. A lot of the time the person who is backing you will be playing higher stakes. As they have a vested interest in seeing you succeed, they will be available for support, discussion, feedback and potentially coaching too. Learning from an expert for free is an attractive by-product of getting staked. Some backers recommend the best poker software to use or the where to go for the best poker blogs. These are helpful ways for you to develop.

3) Opportunity to play higher stakes

Most players who get staked are playing stakes they couldn’t afford on their own. That actually may be the sole reason why they are getting staked. Mike Matusow is one of the most famous faces in poker. When you see Mike playing big tournaments or high stakes poker, it’s usually because someone has staked him. This is a huge advantage to those who play smaller stakes or perhaps have poor bankroll management skills and need staking to play in bigger games.

The Cons of Poker Staking

Like most things, there are disadvantages and poker staking has some too. I feel obliged to inform you of some of these in this article.

1) Contract

The majority of staking arrangements involve an agreement between the backer and the person being staked. These is usually X number of hands or tournaments being played. This means you can’t walk away from a staking agreement easily. So, if you’re playing well and on a heater, winning lots of money, you have to see out your agreement with your backer regardless.

You may want to go it alone after 10,000 hands but if you’re contracted out to play 100,000, then your hands are tied. Good poker ethics dictate you should see out your contract, even if it means you are giving up a lot of your earnings.

2) Pressure

Being able to play without personal risk sounds fine but if you find yourself on a bad run, you will start to feel the pressure. Nobody wants to lose money but when you’re losing money that isn’t even yours, it feels even worse. This is true for the vast majority of poker players I’ve come across. They almost feel guilty if they bust a tournament or lose a few buy-ins.

Pressure can manifest itself in your play. You may find yourself missing value bets, bluffing less frequently or making bad folds. If you don’t cope well with pressure, poker staking is unlikely to be right for you.

3) Makeup

Makeup is embedded in practically every staking agreement. It is a way of ensuring the backer gets paid back any losses before their player can take some of the profit. For example, you’ve lost $500 in the first month, then win $700 on the second month. You are only entitled to $100 ($500 for the makeup, then the $200 split 50/50).

Makeup is a huge component of poker staking as it forces you to pay the backer his investment. It’s very difficult to get out of an agreement without paying them back. You either need to pay it back from your own money, quit playing or be released from your backer. As you can see, the freedom of staking is not so free after all.

Conclusion

You need to give it a lot of thought before entering into a staking contract. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. There are great benefits but also some serious disadvantages too. Texas Hold’em Questions doesn’t offer any staking arrangements.

When we play, we want to win money for ourselves and not share it. We adopt this mentality in our coaching too, wanting you to win money for yourself. This is why we offer various methods of coaching for players with different needs. We offer 30 minutes free consultation to chat. You can book in a session by clicking below.

If you are interested in staking, do some research, speak with backers, find out their contracts and weigh up if it’s right for you.

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Poker Multi Tabling – What’s Right For You?

Poker Multi Tabling Introduction

With the explosion of internet poker, came the opportunity to play more poker and quicker. The 21st century, so far, can be summed up by instant gratification and convenience. This extends to poker where we can play an great deal more than we can play in live poker, where we are restricted to slow deals, one tabling and players who take time over their decisions. Cue poker multi tabling… The ability to play lots of tables and hands at once is something that has allowed players to become expert in the time it would take a live player decades to learn. This speed of learning has meant becoming an online professional poker player is a reality. In this article, we will explore some truths about multi-tabling and also offer a quick test for you, to see how many tables are right for you.

Giving Up Some Edge for More Earnings

One thing you must realise when choosing to add tables is the edge you are giving up. This is just part and parcel of the game. For every table you are adding, you are giving up a bit of focus and attention overall. This can be problematic for people who struggle with decision making and have a small win rate already. But, for those who crush their stakes and are competent multi-taskers, it’s less of an issue.

Our goal is to earn as much as possible in as little time possible. So, if the data shows you can earn $8 per hour on average 2 tabling and $7 an hour 4 tabling, clearly 4 tabling is the wiser decision as you will be earning $12 more an hour overall.

Prioritise Decisions

When you’re only playing one or two tables, there’s no such thing as prioritising decisions really. Very rarely, do you have two difficult decisions at the same time. This is far more prevalent when you multi-table and something you need to incorporate into your game. Prioritising decisions is about giving full attention to the more important hand.

If you have trouble assigning priority to one over another, consider the round of betting and pot size first. If you’re pre-flop in one with nothing committed and facing a pot bet on the turn on another, clearly the latter is more important. In time, this will come naturally and is usually only a challenge at the start.

HUD Stats More Important Than Ever

If you play one or two tables, the HUD stats are useful but you’re not reliant on them as such. You know from observation players tendencies and the HUD is there for insurance and a guide. As you mult-table more, you will have to rely on the HUD to help you. If you’re playing 8 tables, you can’t trust your eye alone. You won’t be picking up as much so you need the stats to help you. It’s simple maths. If you’re playing two tables of 6 max, you have 10 opponents, or less if you have the same opponent. By comparison, 8 tables have potentially 42 different opponents. Not easy to remember them all and how they play is it?

I highly recommend ensuring your HUD is properly setup and revealing only the most relevant of stats. Visit our poker resources page for poker software.

Deciding How Many Tables To Play

It can be tricky choosing how many tables to play. There are a number of factors that need to be considered:

How likely are you to tilt?Playing more tables will not be for you if you struggle with tilt. With more tables and hands, comes more variance and more bad beats and coolers.
Concentration levelsIf you have excellent concentration, playing more tables won’t harm you as much as it will others.
Current win-rateIf you’re a big winner, you can probably safely add more tables and maintain a decent win rate. If you’re breaking even though, you will surely start losing. Win rate is very important when poker multi tabling.
Decision-making speedAre you a slow thinker and like to take your time? Multi-tabling won’t be for you. However, if you can make good decisions fast, you will be at home playing lots of tables.
HUD competency There’s no use having a HUD if you struggle to use it effectively. Anyone who can look at HUD stats at a glance and use it accordingly will be confident multi tabling. You need to be able to look at it in a few seconds and know what to do.

Poker Multi Tabling Test

We’ve created a test for those of you unsure how many tables to play. The test only takes a few minutes and will give you an indication as to how many tables to play.  All you need to do is take the quiz below. Once completed, you’ll get a grade which suggests how many tables. Please remember this is not a test on your ability or anything like that. There’s no perfect score. What’s right for one won’t be for another.

Texas Hold’em Questions Poker Multi-Tabling Test

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“When the online poker gods smile” by Ryan Harvey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Poker Stop Loss – Work Yours Out

Poker Stop Loss

Losses will happen in poker players. It’s inevitable and par of the game. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting down for the first time or Daniel Negreanu, you will suffer losing sessions. Losing affects people differently. Some have excellent emotional control but a lot of player’s suffer from tilt. We’re human, not robots, and taking a bad beat or being on the wrong side of a cooler might affect how you play. One of the ways to protect your bankroll is to setup a personal rule called a poker stop loss. In this article, we will look at what a stop loss is and how it can help you.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is a Poker Stop Loss?

A stop loss is a fixed rule that triggers you quitting your session and stop playing after a certain number of buy-ins. It is should be an objective number not based on personal feelings.

Different Types of Stop Losses

There are a few different stop losses you can enforce. You can use a few simultaneously or only use one. 

Daily Limit Stop Loss

Setting a stop loss based on a daily limit is a good idea as it give’s breathing space. Some players find this particularly useful if they usually play a few sessions in a day. FYI – This is useful to implement for casino games too, particularly NonStopCasino sites, which have less information on problem gambling and less regulation too.

Table Stop Loss

If you are multi-tabling, having a table stop loss is usually to prevent you losing against potentially stronger opponents. The theory behind it is ok but it doesn’t protect you from tilting on other tables does it?

Session Stop Loss

This is the most common type. It’s easy to understand and follow. If you hit your stop loss, you quit. It’s important to ensure you have sufficient time between sessions though, otherwise, you can bypass stop loss by counting it as a “new session”. I recommend at least 4 hours between starting a new session. Otherwise, if you play again 1 hour later, there is a risk of you being in the same mindset as before.

Considerations for Setting Stop Loss

The amount you set should depend on your emotional control, experience, playing style, proneness to tilt and format you play.
The more experienced, less prone to tilt and shorter handed games you play, the higher stop loss you can have. Some of these measures are easy to assess. You know if you play heads up or shorthanded, you know if you’ve played 6 months or 6 years. But when it comes to rating your likelihood of tilting – you need to be honest and ruthless with yourself. Think back to the last few sessions where you lost. At what point did you feel your game suffering? How likely are you to spew, make bad calls or silly bluffs? Now, rate your proneness to tilt based one the above scores.

1) Cold as ice. It takes a lot to get you off your game and you have a professional attitude.
2) Luke warm. You are generally very composed even after 1 or 2 buy in losses. However, a bad run of hands and several losses will start to affect to your game.
3) Heart on sleeve. You don’t take well to losing buy ins and start to make silly mistakes pretty quickly.

Texas Hold’em Question’s Stop Loss Calculator

Choosing a stop loss for yourself can be tricky. The most important thing is to find out what is right for you and sticking to it. Treat it as a rule and don’t deviate it from. Also, if you feel like you are playing bad before the stop loss, quit before it. That’s an incredibly important thing to remember. The rule is there to protect your bankroll and losing more but if you are already playing bad, leave the game.

I’ve created a stop loss calculator. Run through the table below, tallying up your scores. Use the key at the end to find out how many buy-ins should have as your stop loss.

PointsExperienceBankroll ManagementFormatPlaying Style Proneness to Tilt
5> 5 Years> 100 Buy-insHeads upLAGIce Cold
3Between 1 and 5 yearsBetween 50 and 100 buy-ins6 Max TAGLukewarm
1< 1 Year< 50 Buy-insFull RingNittyHeart on Sleeve

Have you added your points up? Find out what stop loss limit to employ from the table below:

ScoreStop Loss Limit
> 2010 Buy-ins
Between 15 and 208 Buy-ins
Between 6 and 146 Buy-ins
< 6 3 Buy-ins

Disclaimer

The table above is a guide to help you calculate how many buy-ins you should set for you stop loss. However, if you ticked heart on sleeve for proneness to tilt. I recommend moving down 1 in the table above. For instance, if your total was 12, move from 6 buy-ins down to 3. Your proneness to tilt is one of the biggest factors to setting a stop loss so it holds more weight than the other aspects.

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When is it Right to Move Up in Stakes?

When to Move up in Stakes

A question asked by thousands of poker player’s, judging when to move up in stakes is a skill in itself. Without context or analysis, one might think it’s right to move up when you can afford it and have a large bankroll. The question of when to move up in stakes is a little more complex than that though. There are factors to consider that should determine whether it’s correct to make the move to the level above.

Bankroll Management

First and foremost, before moving up stakes, you need to look at your bankroll and ensure you have sufficient amount to play without risk of going broke. There’s a lot of debate over what is the correct level of buy ins. I advocate 50 buy-ins for cash games. If you’re playing NL $50 (25c/50c blinds) and considering whether to move up in stakes to NL $100, you probably should have at least $5,000 in your bankroll. I don’t mean $5,000 in your savings; I mean your bankroll specific for poker. That’s an important distinction, we don’t want you playing with money saved for holidays, do we?

Some of you may read this and be shocked, playing with 5- 10 buy ins thinking you’re conservative. The truth is that there is variance, bad luck and your own poor play you have to overcome in the long run and that means having a bankroll that can sustain the swings involved.

Mentality

Players sometimes can’t handle moving up, it impacts their game and they hate being out of their comfort level. It causes them to make poor decisions, nit up or tilt easier. Does this sound like you? If you are a long-term winner at your current level with a decent win rate, perhaps it’s best to stay there.

Not everyone is destined for high stakes poker, few can get there and stay there. If you’ve had trouble in the past moving up and have a problem with the psychology, spend some time reading books on the mental side of poker and improve that aspect before moving up.

How Much are You Winning?

It’s staggering that some people don’t track their winnings efficiently. It’s critical to understanding which game is best for you, to track your profitability. Whether that’s ROI for tournaments or hourly rate for cash games. Before considering moving up, you need an accuracy and clarity on what your actual win rate is. I think that hourly rate is the best metric to go by.

Time is precious to all of us. We want to earn the most amount for as little as we can, right? If you need help tracking how well you are doing, click the banner below after reading this article.

Sample Size

If you’ve taken a shot to get to your current level, played a few thousand hands and considering moving up again, forget it. Poker results can’t be judged on 2,000 hands, 10 tournaments or 20 SNGS. Volume is what counts. Its why strong players will look at yearly results, not daily. Look at tournament players, they are playing serious volume, exercising their edge over countless tournaments to prove out their ROI. They know they are a “loser” the majority of the time but the top 3 finishes will be hundreds of times their buy in. You need a solid amount of data to rely on and interpret before taking the decision to move up in stakes.

Final Thoughts

My advice is to move up when you have sufficient information that supports your decision to move up. If you have the right mentality, a sustained win rate, lots of hands and the right bankroll, then it’s probably time to go for it.

Once you move up, make sure you give yourself a proper chance. Don’t lose a few buy ins and drop a limit with your tail between your legs. If you’re a proven winner with the right tools and dedication, there’s no reason you can’t beat the game above.

I also want to point out it’s fine to take the occasional stab at higher stakes to see the standard of play, test yourself against better players and learn.  

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