Poker is one of the most versatile games in the world. It’s many things, from a casual game you can enjoy at home to a competitive sport with million-dollar tournaments. This variety is one of the biggest reasons people love the game: anyone can find a form of poker that suits them.
Another significant reason for poker’s popularity is that you can earn from it! In the age of online poker, poker as a source of income has never been more appealing. If you’re skilled enough, you can make a decent living grinding poker games. If you plan on doing this, we’re here to help by giving you critical tips to ensure you make a consistent profit. Let’s get started!
Photo by Unsplash
Settle on the right format (cash games)
If you’re dead set on grinding the game for a living, you need to know which format you should play. The two primary ones are poker tournaments and cash games; the two cash games are almost always the better choice.
The biggest reason cash games are the favorite of most grinders is that they are consistent. Tournaments have an all-or-nothing format, where the winner takes the most significant portion of the prize pool, and over half of all participants get nothing.
In a cash game, you can buy back in after an unlucky streak – something you can’t do in a tournament if they don’t offer rebuys or the time window has elapsed. The steady blinds and 1:1 chips-to-cash ratio of cash games also mean you can dedicate 100% of your focus to poker strategy instead of learning advanced concepts like the Independent Chip Model for tournaments.
Find the right stakes, and move up when possible
Once settled on cash games, you need to find the best stakes for earning. Moving up in stakes too quickly is one of the most common mistakes for people trying to become poker grinders, and it can absolutely crush both your bankroll and your spirit.
You need to understand that moving up in stakes doesn’t just take skill; it requires a bigger bankroll. No matter how good you are, luck is still a factor. One unlucky streak is all it takes for you to go broke, which is why you need a bankroll big enough to handle the worst possible scenario.
If you’re already settled on a stake level you enjoy, don’t feel pressure to move up. Only do so after giving it much thought, accounting for the bigger bankroll you’ll need and the stronger opponents you’ll likely face.
Photo by Unsplash
Seal your leaks
“Leaks” in poker are the mistakes that consistently lose you money. It can be tough to detect them, and you might even think your strategy has no leaks. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case. Every newer poker player makes mistakes, and some specific ones are prevalent.
We have two big tips to help you fix these leaks. The first is looking at the most common leaks and analyzing your gameplay to see if you’re making those mistakes. There are countless guides online, but the most common leaks include playing too many hands, playing too passively, over-bluffing, and over-calling.
If you’re still having trouble spotting your own leaks, don’t be discouraged. If you don’t play online poker, we highly recommend it over live if you’re trying to become a poker grinder. Besides the unrivaled convenience of playing from home, it lets you use poker tracking software.
These specialized programs analyze all your hands, finding patterns and establishing an overview of your playstyle. They can see things you never would have found on your own, allowing you to detect your leaks by analyzing hundreds or thousands of games. While many poker trackers are paid, they’re affordable and an essential tool for the modern-day poker player.
One part of the game often overlooked by most players is the mental aspect. Poker can be an extremely frustrating game since you play with real money, and the element of chance can make it feel like you lost when you didn’t deserve to.
While the game can be frustrating, far too many players let this affect them, and they begin to play “on tilt.” They let their emotions influence their gameplay, playing while angry and not in a clear state of mind. This, inevitably, makes them play worse, causing them to lose and play on tilt again in a vicious cycle.
Fighting the urge to play on tilt can be tricky, and every person is different. We recommend taking ample breaks and scheduling them so you’re never playing poker for several hours at a time. Besides tilt, mental fatigue is also a genuine issue, so you need breaks during a session.
This last tip is for more experienced grinders. If you’re doing decently well but looking for a way to boost your earnings even more, we recommend multi-tabling.
The ability to multi-table is one of the most appealing online poker features for experienced grinders. By playing many games simultaneously, you can increase your winnings exponentially!
However, multi-tabling is not a simple multiplier for your profits. Focusing on many games at once is hard, and your overall gameplay quality will undoubtedly decrease. Practice it first, and try the various techniques to help you focus on many games at once, like switching to four-color mode, where each suit has a unique color so you can recognize them easily.
Photo by Unsplash
Good luck on your poker journey!
We hope these tips helped you. Remember, poker is a grind. You won’t see huge profits overnight, but this also means you shouldn’t get discouraged over one unlucky streak. Keep playing to improve, and the winnings will come naturally!