Why Low Stakes Poker Games are the Hardest to Dominate

The enigmatic and virtually unbeatable realm of low stakes poker.

Hard to Beat Low Stakes Poker Online and LiveDo you consider yourself to be a good poker player? Are you aware of pot odds and expected values? Can you calculate these numbers in your head at the drop of a hat? If so you should be playing mid to high stakes poker games, because all of that knowledge will get you nowhere in at a low stakes table.

Inexperienced players often assume that there are only two differences between low and high stakes poker games. The first and most obvious is the cost to play them. The second would be the skill level of the opponents at the table. Presumably, high stakes games are teeming with professionals and semi-pros who possess many of the qualities detailed above.

In truth, there’s one more difference between these stake levels, and it’s the only one you should really be paying attention to. Live and online poker games with high stakes require an elevated level of skill to beat. The low stakes variety depend a lot more on luck. You would probably be better off playing online slot machines, or at least apply your mathematical skill to blackjack instead.

The Problem With Low Stakes Poker Games

A low stakes table could have limits ranging anywhere from $0.01/$0.02 (online) to $1/$2 (live). It doesn’t take much to buy into these games, and costs very little to participate in a pot. Even in $1/$2 no-limit games, it may cost only a few dollars at most to see the flop. As such, players have a tendency to call, even when they’re holding a terrible hand like 5-9 off-suit.

Because of this, you’re going to find a lot more people paying to see the flop than you ever see would in a mid or high stakes game of poker. And when this happens, the odds of someone hitting a lucky hand, such as rivering that 5-9 into a straight, increase dramatically.

The point is, if you follow basic protocol, only betting and raising with a strategically approved starting hand, you’re inevitably going to lose more of those hands than you should. Bad beats run rampant here.

At any other stakes, players are delighted to see loose players at the table. It gives them an edge. It gives them someone to take advantage of. We call them “fish”, ripe for the devouring by all skilled “sharks” at the table.

If You Choose To Play Low Stakes Anyway…

Maybe your bankroll doesn’t allow for a higher stake range at the moment. If you still want to play, there are a few adjustments you’ll need to make to your strategy. The most important is to never institute a straight up bluff.

At higher limits, you can establish yourself as a tight, dominate player, by folding all negative starting hands. Then, placing a substantial raise will have the intended effect – striking fear into opponents and coercing them to fold. When properly applies, this works like a charm!

Unfortunately, low stakes players are different in two ways. Number one, most of them aren’t paying attention to what you’re doing, and won’t even consider whether you’re bluffing. Number two, it’s still a cheap game, so there’s every chance at least one of them will make the call.

If you do decide to bluff, make sure you have enough outs to make a hand.

Here’s a few other good tips

1. Never underestimate your opponent. They may be more skilled than you think.

2. Play tight, but not too tight. You won’t always need a high pocket pair or suits to win, but make sure you have a justifiable reason to play the hand.

3. Don’t let yourself go on tilt, no matter how frustrating it gets. This is low stakes poker, you have to expect bad beats.

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