Playing online poker every now and then can help you win a few extra bucks, which is in and of itself a good thing. But have you ever wondered whether you could make money playing poker? Like, really stack papers. Like do it full time and make a living out of it. And not in a hustler kind of way, either, but “as seen on TV.” First of all, you would have to be very good at it, and by “good” we mean a combination of luck and skill. Sure, people who start winning at poker are more often than not dealt good hands, but those who pay attention while they’re doing good are the ones who learn what to do when luck starts to run out.
Win rate. Although it has the word “win” in it, this term is not only used to refer to how much you win over a given period or amount of hands played, but also to how much you lose. A positive win rate means you’re making money playing poker and a negative rate means you’re losing money, but you probably don’t need online poker experts to tell you that. When you think about it, playing poker is like selling grease; four pounds of grease comes to 63 cents, but what if all that bacon cost $27 to begin with? Similarly, if Brett Maverick had to pay a tournament entry fee of $25,000 to enter a major five-card draw poker tournament and then he only made $20,000 in said tourney, he would technically be winning at poker but he wouldn’t be turning a profit.
Time investment. Playing poker requires you to put in the time as well as the money. A casual player who, like said above, spends some time on online poker websites can have a lot of fun and earn enough money to buy the missus a little something. But full time players need to sit at a poker table very often and hit as many tournaments as possible in order to keep a steady inflow of cash coming their way – as well as to engage in a constant learning process. Keep in mind that even good players lose money more often than they win it at most tournaments, so playing in as many tourneys as possible increases your chances of winning one, and winning a big one can make up for the ones you lose.
Stakes. Contrary to popular opinion, playing for higher stakes is not the best way to win more money at poker. Low stakes games attract the unskilled and the inexperienced, so even if you’re only above average you could still clean up – though strong players are not averse to low stakes either. On the other hand, high stakes games are more difficult because they attract mostly the best players. Not to say that as the stakes go up, your win rate might actually go down – and vice versa.