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 Coral 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. You can also get 75% off our training videos if you join too!
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.
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.
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 Coral
- 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