So you don’t have $150 to start playing. You’ve already lost money and if you deposit any more money in your poker account your Wife/Girlfriend/Mother is going to kill you. Don’t worry! You can still play for real money.

Some sites offer a promotion that GIVES you free money to play! Use this to build your bankroll. Check out the no deposit bonuses at

The Rake

The higher limits take less of your rake away, allowing you to keep more of your money.

The Players

The players aren’t any better! Until you reach stakes above the $1/2 level in LHE, the players play just as badly. Even games such as
$2/4 are very beatable. It’s not until you get past $3/6 do you really see an improvement in players.

You will see more tight and improved players as you increase limits, but those are easy to spot if you know what to look for.
At the micro-limit games, you could go insane trying to win a lot of money because some players will play any two cards.
Expect your variance to be much higher at the micro-limits because of all the fish there. The lower the level you play at,
the higher the swings you will receive. Moving up will decrease the intensity of the swings as well as save your sanity.

Moving Up in Micro-Stakes, $.02/.04 to $.05/.10

Don’t expect too big a jump in play here for the players. They are just as bad. I would try to avoid the $.02/.04
play and get past the $.05/.10 level as quickly as possible. 15,000 hands takes some time to complete,
at least a month depending on how much you play.

After you get comfortable playing, you need to multi-table.
You will inevitably get bored playing one table of $.05/.1 and by playing more than one table,
you allow yourself to play more ‘by-the-book’ and not focus on the bad beats.
Try and get up to being able to play 3 tables at the same time. Playing 3 tables,
you can generally clear 150 hands an hour while still surfing FTR.
Time flies when you are having fun.

An important note: Never think of your bets as “Money,”
think of them as chips with amounts on them. If you ever say to yourself, “Oooh, that guy raised $8,” at a 2/4 game,
then you are outside of your expertise. Move to $.25/.5 once you have $150.

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Building Your Bankroll & Moving Up
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