Playing Poker for a Profit

Most online gamblers stick to a certain game when they log into their favorite casino; they go directly to the slot titles, roulette or the one game they feel the most confident about. More and more of these players are casting an eye at the live poker tables that they see at casinos and websites that seem to springing up in large numbers. A bettor thinking about playing poker seriously needs to know more than just the basics of the game; many factors determine whether a player is successful, making it important to understand it fully before trying to play for money.

Winning Percentage and ROI

How often someone wins the hand at a poker has a definite effect on the level of success that a player will see but it is by no means the only thing. Serious players keep track of their winning percentages as a means of adjusting playing habits to maximize their potential profits. Return on Investment, or ROI, is a formula that players can use to determine the ratio of the money invested into the game with the amount of return they are receiving. Winning percentage will tell a player how often they are winning or losing, ROI tells a player how much money they are winning or losing on average and both can tell a player much about his or her results at the poker table.

Tournaments and Cash Games

Many people, players and non-players alike, watch the large lucrative tournaments that can be seen on the television and online and the large amounts of money that those who finish at the top of the leaderboard receive. Yes, winners at tournaments sometimes leave with vast amounts of money, but it should be noted that generally only 10 to 15 percent of participants in tourneys break even or make money in any given tournament. This leaves 85 to 90 percent of players going home with less than the tournament stake or nothing at all. While tournaments are fun, most seasoned poker professionals will say that cash games in casinos and private events give them a much better chance of coming out ahead.

High Stakes Means High Competition

Some new poker players assume the fastest way to make large amounts of money is to simply play for higher stakes. Luck plays a part in poker but the results are also influenced by knowledge and experience. The lower the stakes that bettors choose to play increases the odds that they will be the shark at the table; the higher the table stake, the more likely the player is going to find themselves the bait to a table full of sharks. As a player moves up into higher stakes play, winning percentage and ROI become important tools in determining whether a move to a higher stakes table is needed to maximize profit.

Fun First, Profit Second

There are other things that players should think about when choosing to play poker as a means to profit and not just as a hobby or a form of relaxation. Time spent playing and outside costs that are incurred due to playing at casinos and private games should also be considered. Those who are only seeing a small to moderate success and are not playing as a sole means of earning should also consider the stress levels that their gaming brings to them. For non-professionals, it should be for the enjoyment of the game first with a possible chance to make a healthy profit coming in second.