It’s crucial to understand what a decent poker win rate is, both live and online, in order to maximize your hourly rate and practice proper bankroll management. In this essay, I’ll go over the many types of win rates that can be expected for various stakes and games, including online and live versions. We’ll also look at how multi-tabling affects win rates, with the goal of assisting you in achieving your maximum hourly rate.
So, what is a good poker win rate? A good win rate will typically be in the range of 1bb/100 to 10bb/100 or higher. However, determining a good individual personal win percentage is subjective, making a definitive answer impossible. Based on the difficulty of the opponent, satisfactory victory percentages will fluctuate from game to game and even day to day. That’s why figuring out your own personal best hourly rate is far more significant than trying to increase your win rate.
For online gamers, playing many tables lowers the win rate but increases the expected hourly rate. For live players, a greater stake, such as 2/5 or 5/10, with a lower win percentage is typically preferable than a lower stake, such as 1/2, with a higher win rate. All poker players should attempt to achieve whatever gives them the highest hourly rate.
What Is the Definition of a Poker Win Rate?
The term “win rate” is a cash game term that is used by winning players to determine how well they are performing at the tables. Short-term win rates are notoriously volatile, whereas long-term win rates fluctuate slowly. Elite pros, on the other hand, often utilize win rates primarily to track their growth over time or to maximize their hourly rates.
How Is the Win Rate Calculated?
The number of large blinds won per 100 hands played is the current worldwide standard for determining a poker player’s win rate. The win rate is expressed in shorthand by stating the number of large blinds won followed by bb/100. “My win rate over the past 100,000 hands at 50NL has been 4bb/100,” a player would say.
For some heads-up specialists, the victory rate will often range from 0bb/100 (break even) to 20bb/100. Even if someone has lost over a long period of time, the word win-rate is utilized. You might hear someone state that their “win” rate has been negative over time, such as -2bb/100, for example.
How to Calculate Your Poker Win Rate
Most people nowadays have tracking software that determines their win rate automatically. If you’re a live player or don’t have access to such software, here’s a simple formula to calculate your win rate:
You’ll need to know the following information:
- Won amount
- Hands were played by the big blind of the stake.
- Profit/Big Blind/Hands Played
Example No. 1
You’re a 50NL online poker player who’s won $500 in the last 25,000 hands. 4bb/100 = 500/.50/25000*100
Example No. 2
You’re a live 200NL player who’s won $965 in the last 3,500 hands. 13.8bb/100 = 965/2/3500*100= 965/2/3500*100= 965/2/3500*100= 965/2/3
For live players, if you don’t know how many hands you’ve played throughout a specific live sample but know the approximate hours played, multiply the hours played by the approximate hands per hour for that game. Most live 9-handed games, in my experience, see roughly 30 hands each hour.
What Is a Good Win Rate in Online Poker?
The goal of poker is to make the most money possible. As a result, a high online win rate maximizes your hourly rate. This is determined by a variety of factors, including rakeback and the difficulty of the games. When playing only one table, the majority of players will achieve their highest win rate. Most players, on the other hand, will maximize their hourly rate by playing 3-6 tables at once. It also depends on how valuable the poker site’s VIP or rakeback system is, as well as your ability to play many tables at once. The type of reward system given by the poker site is one of the most important aspects in deciding what a decent online win rate looks like.
In order to take advantage of lucrative rakeback and/or bonuses on sites with high VIP awards, you’ll typically benefit from playing multiple tables at once and accepting a lower win rate. On the other hand, on sites without a strong incentive structure, you should strive to optimize your hourly rate by achieving the highest win rate possible and finding the ideal number of tables to play.
On Sites with a Low Player Reward System, Increasing Win Rate
The normal optimal number of tables for any one player lies in the 3-6 range on sites where the incentive system or rakeback is very low or non-existent. You should anticipate to have the highest win-rate achievable in this situation. Sound fundamentals, smart table selection, and the ability to respond to your opponents effectively are the keys to winning. -`
Let’s look at some examples of win-rate ranges that I frequently see folks fall into to see how you stack up:
- -2 to 0bb/100
The slightly losing player. This will make up the vast majority of “serious” players, perhaps 60% of regs. It’s really hard to win at online poker.
- .1 to 2bb/100
The slightly winning player. Just beating the rake is an accomplishment, something like 20% of regs will fit this category. These players could be big winners with a bit more knowledge and practice.
The solid regular. Maybe 15% of regs do this well. These guys study the game, are fundamentally sound, and actively take notes. Players in this win-rate range are maybe just a few leaks away from a much better win rate. Everyone in this group strives to break into the next category of players.
The Crusher. There will be a few dozen players on a site that crush the stakes, but that’s still likely less than 5% of regs.
The elite player. The upper echelon, there may only be 1 or 2 players on an entire poker site that win this big long term. This is the top 1% or less of poker regs. What separates these players from everyone else is their ability to adjust to the table dynamic better than their counterparts.
Ignition, Bovada, Bodog, and BetOnline are examples of low player reward sites.
On Sites with a High Player Reward System, Increasing the Win Rate
Many players will find that “bulk multi-tabling” can get them the best hourly rate on sites with high rakeback and/or VIP awards. Pokerstars and America’s Cardroom are two examples of sites where this has historically been the case.
The latter has a promotion known as “The Beast,” which is essentially a weekly rake race. However, in order to get the most out of the offer, players are compelled to play 20-24 tables at once, and frequently for more than 50 hours per week. Except for the most dedicated endurance athletes, such a regimen is difficult to sustain. Most players will discover that playing fewer tables and optimizing their win rate at those tables will result in the highest potential win rate. On these types of sites, the following are some typical win rate ranges:
-2 to 0bb/100
While players at this win-rate appear to be losing players, they likely still maintain a decent hourly rate, assuming they play enough volume to make up for their table losses.
.1 to 2bb/100
This is typically the best win-rate anyone can hope for on a tough site with a high rakeback or player reward system. Players in this category may be among the biggest winners on the site, assuming they are mass multi-tabling.
Players with this win-rate are the crushers who are likely playing 3-6 tables and exploiting the mass multi-tablers who are not paying close enough attention to realize it.
Win rates of this site on sites such as Pokerstars or on the Winning Poker Network are extremely rare. In difficult poker environments that are attractive to regs, it’s really hard to achieve a win-rate any higher than 4bb/100. Even so, high rakeback and VIP rewards can make you a lot of money with even seemingly modest win rates.
Pokerstars, America’s Cardroom, and Black Chip Poker are examples of high-rewarding sites. By the way, if you decide to go multi-table, I recommend investing in a good table management software tool to help you get the most out of your game.
Choosing the Right Number of Online Tables to Boost Your Hourly Rate
I made a chart a few years back to assist me to figure out how many tables I should play. It ultimately came down to how much money I could make per hour at each table. Naturally, as I added tables, my win-rate per table fell until I was practically a break-even player at one time. This information has to be weighed against my hourly rakeback rate. I was able to determine the ideal amount of tables to play using this information. Here is the chart I used; feel free to fill in your own data and see if you can determine your best hourly rate.
Downloadable Hourly Rate Calculator with Multiple Tables
Alternatively, if you already have a large database and have played numerous tables, your tracking programme will most likely be able to assist you in determining your best number of tables. A screenshot of the right report in Hold’em Manager 2 is shown below.
Using GTR to Determine the Ideal Number of Tables
In my book Automatic Poker, I explain a method for determining the ideal number of tables to play at. GTR, or “gradual table reduction,” is the name of the technique. Basically, you start with a certain number of tables, say 12, and then eliminate them one by one as you double up or win a large sum of money. When you’ve reduced the number of tables to just a few, it’s time to call it a day. Do this dozens of times, and your tracking software will be sufficiently populated to provide you with solid data on what your optimal multi-tabling number is.
Don’t think you’ve got the patience for it? You most likely already know what your ideal number is. You’re definitely already playing too many tables if you find yourself timing out at tables or getting hustled through decisions. Start with two tables and add one every 5 minutes or so, according to my advice. When you find yourself struggling to keep up with the activity and make sound decisions, it’s time to move back one table. You’ve just discovered the ideal number of tables to play at.
What if I play on multiple sites at different times of the day with different hands per table hour?
There is an easy way to figure out your optimal tables on each site if you multi-table on more than one site at the same time, or if you play on different sites at different times or days. You do not need to use the GTR “method” on every site. All you have to do now is calculate how many hands you play per hour. This data can be found in your Hold’em Manager or PokerTracker programmes.
Holdem Manager Hands Per Table Hour
This information can be seen in HEM’s “overall” report page.
Filter the poker site where you used the GTR method and load the “overall” report, then add the stats hands/hr and mt ratio to get the data you require. To determine your exact hands per hour on each table, divide the mt ratio by the hands per hour. In the case above, my average hourly rate per table is 64 (232 divided by 3.63= 64). Take the hands per table hour and multiply it by the number of tables you determined using the GTR technique. Let’s suppose six is my ideal number of tables: As a result, 6*64= 384. As a result, 384 hands per hour is my ideal number.
Filter for the other site you’re playing on and repeat the calculation. If the number of hands per hour differs, divide it by your optimal number of hands per hour to determine how many tables you should play on your second site. Let’s imagine I’m playing 95 hands each hour on my second site: 95 divided by 384 is approximately 4. As a result, on the first site, I should be 6 tabling and on the second, I should be 4 tabling.
What Is a Good Win Rate for Zoom (Fast-Fold)?
Because most players will play a significant number of hands per table, fast-fold poker will have lower win rates per table. A solid win percentage in Zoom type games varies from 3bb/100 to 6bb/100, according to anecdotal data I’ve heard. Elite regs can reach as high as 8bb/100 on occasion, although this is the exception rather than the rule.
What Is a Good Win Rate in Live Poker?
The strongest players at any given stake are expected to win around 7 big blinds every hour, according to the consensus. It’s important to note that I said “bb per hour,” not “bb per 100 hands.” It’s far easier to talk about how much money is made per hour than it is to talk about how much money is made over larger hands of the same size for live players who play a lot fewer hands than their online counterparts. Nonetheless, in this section, I will use both ways to make it more digestible for all types of gamers.
There are often fewer alternatives for live players when it comes to possible stakes. Let’s go over each of the different stake levels that most casinos provide.
What Is a Good Live 1/2 No-Limit Win Rate?
Even the lowest stakes online games are often substantially softer than live 200NL games. As a result, extremely high win rates are achievable in certain games. In live 1/2 cash games, a really skilled reg might expect to earn around $20/hour, or 30bb/100 (10bb/hr) or higher.
What Is a Good Live 2/5 No-Limit Win Rate?
The quality of the player pool in 500NL is usually rather high. In these sports, the average tourist will not be sitting down, and there will be a lot more regulations. Even so, the average live 2/5 reg will not be as excellent as a great 50NL online player. I’m sure there will be others that disagree with me, but this has been my experience. As a result, win rates will almost probably be lower at 2/5, but a genuinely excellent player may accomplish somewhere in the $30-$35/hr area over a big sample size with a little game selection.
What Is a Good Live 5/10 No-Limit Win Rate?
In your local 1000NL live game, the best players in the area will usually play. Even yet, there will normally be 3-4 somewhat weak players in the mix. For good poker players, this makes the games beatable. At 5/10, a good winning reg may expect to make in the area of $50 or $60 each hour. Again, game selection is crucial to your success.
Based on your win rate, you’ll need a certain amount of money.
The most crucial piece of the jigsaw for long-term success in poker is having enough money in your bankroll to comfortably weather the inevitable fluctuations that every player must face. Nonetheless, the bankroll requirements aren’t set in stone and should be based on a realistic assessment of your skill level. In general, the better you are, the milder your downturns will be. As a result, better players can be more aggressive with their bankroll management, whereas marginal winners who are still learning the game must be extremely cautious.
Personal Factors Affecting Cash Flow Management
The quantity of buy-ins you should keep varies on your skill level and personal circumstances. If poker is a source of revenue for you or you are one of the finest players in the game, you should err on the side of caution. If poker is your primary source of income, though, I recommend being exceedingly cautious and maintaining a large bankroll. Professional poker players should set aside at least 6 months to a year’s worth of living expenses from their poker bankroll.
At the end of the day, you want to feel at ease at the poker table. You should never be concerned about going bankrupt or losing a buy-in. If the quantity of money being bet at the table causes you to adopt a conservative approach to your poker game, you are not appropriately bankrolled, according to a good rule of thumb. Regardless matter the stakes, we should constantly seek to make the most +EV play. You should handle money as if it were a set of large blinds, and ignore the dollar quantities.
Bankroll Management in Real Time
Like a live player, managing your bankroll might be difficult because there isn’t normally a separate “wallet” where you can keep it, as there is on online poker sites. If you’re a dedicated poker player, you might want to open a separate bank account to keep your poker funds apart from your other assets. Make sure you have a debit card for that account because you don’t want to be carrying a significant chunk of money with you when you go to the casino.
Whether you choose to play conservatively with your bankroll or aggressively try to build it up to high stakes, always play within your means and follow a consistent bankroll management strategy. Here are some suggestions for programmes to watch:
Live Bankroll Management that is Conscious
If you choose to be careful, the following guidelines for live poker games with 100 big blinds buy-ins are recommended:
- $6,000 for half of it
- $20,000 for 2/5
- $50,000 on a scale of 1-10
- More than 5/10- 60 or more buy-ins
Live Bankroll Management that is Aggressive
For whatever reason, you can play with a considerably lesser bankroll if you are fortunate enough to be able to take a more ambitious approach to bankroll management. Just keep in mind that as the quantity of money you have behind you gets smaller, your “risk of ruin” increases dramatically. I only propose this strategy if you don’t mind going broke or if you have the discipline to reduce your stakes if things go wrong.
- $2,500 for half of it
- 20 buy-ins if the score is 5/10 or above.
What if I only play for fun every now and then?
If you only get to play once in a while and don’t want to set aside money for poker, there’s nothing wrong with buying a few buy-ins at a casino and playing. However, I strongly advise you to only take the amount that you are willing to lose. Your methodology should once again be dictated by your level of discipline.
Bankroll Management via the Internet
In general, I tend to be a little more cautious when it comes to managing my online bankroll. Due to multi-tabling, the games are usually significantly tougher online, and swings happen much faster. Even so, I prefer to be much more aggressive at the micro stakes before moving up to a more aggressive strategy as the stakes increase. I’m only going to give you the amount of suggested buy-ins for the sake of simplicity. This is due to the fact that the amount of money a player will choose to sit down with will differ from one player to the next. One of the reasons I usually buy in for 30 to 40 large blinds is because of this. It enables me to play for a greater stake with less money than my “full” stacked opponents!
Online Bankroll Management with Caution
If your win rate is modest, like 2bb/100 or below, I recommend constantly using a conservative bankroll management strategy. This comprises both experienced multi-tablers and newcomers to the game. Keep in mind that bankroll grows faster than skill.
Conservative Buy-in Requirements Suggested by Stake
- 2NL: 20
- 4NL/5NL: 25
- 10NL: 25
- 25NL: 30
- 50NL: 35
- 100NL: 40
- 200NL: 50
- 400NL: 60
- 600NL: 75
- 1000NL+: 100
Online Bankroll Management That Is Aggressive
I would recommend going aggressive with your bankroll management plan if you are a huge winner, say 6bb/100+ and play 8 tables or less. Just be sure you’re willing to downgrade if your bankroll falls below the minimal minimum.
Aggressive Buy-In Requirements Suggestions Stake by Stake
- 2NL: 15
- 4NL/5NL: 20
- 10NL: 20
- 25NL: 20
- 50NL: 20
- 100NL: 25
- 200NL: 30
- 400NL: 35
- 600NL: 35
- 1000NL+: 40
If you’re having a good run, there’s nothing wrong with putting aside a few buy-ins to try your luck at a larger stake. Let’s imagine you’re a 100NL player who wants to get into the 200NL rapidly. After you’ve built up a comfortable cushion in 100NL, you can add one or two 200NL tables to your sessions.
Just make sure you don’t reload on those tables; once you blow out, your run is gone, and you should switch to a 100NL table. Otherwise, carry on as usual until the session is finished. You might strike it rich and quickly build up your money. In the worst-case scenario, you can either keep playing 100NL or save up a few more 200NL buy-ins for another try.
Purchasing a seat for less than 100bbs
Buying in for less than the normal 100 large blind stack, in my opinion, is the ideal method to quickly develop a bankroll while simultaneously reducing your exposure to a volatile online poker environment. My desired purchase size is 30 large blinds. I’ve been playing with this stack size for a long time and enjoy the versatility it provides in my poker career. Aside from being a lot of fun to play, buying in small amounts might save you a lot of money. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of two different bankroll management strategies. The left-hand plan is for a regular 100bb player, whereas the right-hand plan is for a 30bb short stacker.
Short stacking is considerably preferable to long stacking when it comes to risk management.
What Is the Winning Percentage of a Typical Professional Poker Player?
In most cases, a pro will earn money in 60-70 percent of his sessions. Even yet, this isn’t really a stat to keep track of because your playing style will have a role. If you’re a hyper-aggressive loose player, you might only win about 55 percent of your games. However, because you’ll almost certainly win big on your winning sessions, you’ll be able to keep a high win rate with this strategy. A tight player, on the other hand, may have reduced variance and win 80% of his sessions, but book considerably smaller victories. To summarise, don’t worry about how often you have winning sessions; instead, make sure that all of your individual decisions are +EV. Your victory rate will take care of itself if you do that.
What Is the Difference Between Win Rate and Return on Investment (ROI)?
When poker players talk about their win rate, they’re talking about how many large blinds they win each hour or per 100 hands, depending on who you ask. ROI (return on investment), on the other hand, is a percentage that is used to quantify success in tournaments and sit ‘n gos. This percentage simply indicates how much money a player anticipates winning for each dollar spent. A 25% ROI, for example, means you win 25 cents for every dollar you put in. So, if a player spends $100,000 a year on buy-ins and has a 25% ROI, he or she will make $25,000 profit.
How can I keep track of my win rate?
With a pencil and piece of paper, you could theoretically keep track of your victory rate. However, that would be a time-consuming task that would be more bother than it is worth. Fortunately, regardless on whether you are an online live player or not, there is a range of tools available to keep track of your win rate (and ROI).
Monitoring the Online Win Rate
Purchase poker tracking software, such as Hold’em Manager or Pokertracker, to keep track of your win rate online. As you play, the application will automatically pull down hands and provide you with a wealth of facts to review, including your win rate.
Screenshot of Positional Poker Stats in Hold’em Manager
Monitoring the Live Win Rate
Keeping track of a live poker win-rate takes a little more effort, but it’s not difficult if you keep track of how many hours you play and how much you win each session. There are various apps available today that can assist you in determining your victory rate. Poker Bankroll Tracker for iOS and Android, as well as Poker Income Ultimate for Mac, appears to stand out from the crowd and are both free.
What Is a Good Win Rate in Limit Poker?
When compared to no-limit, win rates are usually substantially lower. In fact, the game’s biggest winners often win at a rate of roughly 2-3bb/100. Anything under 1 bb/100 is excellent.
What is the most effective approach to increase my win rate?
To avoid coming across as a knucklehead, the greatest method to boost your victory rate is to forget about it. Instead, concentrate on developing +EV moments through solid fundamentals and sound lines. If you’re playing online, I recommend playing no more than two tables at a time for a large sample size and until you’re confident you’re a winning player. Finally, the best method to improve quickly is to improve slowly.
If you’re having trouble winning at poker, you should check out my beginner/intermediate poker instructional. I don’t tell you how to play specific hands in specific areas in the guide. Instead, I provide you all of the foundational knowledge you need to develop your own profitable lines of play based on strong principles. It essentially gives you a viewpoint on what it takes to win and a route for getting there. I hope it inspires you to get out there and crush!
Overall, knowing what constitutes a solid win rate in poker will present you with an objective to aim for. Even so, after you’ve decided where you want to go, it’s essential not to get overly fixated on having the highest victory rate possible. Instead, concentrate on refining every poker decision you make, and the money will come eventually. Best of luck!