How to make money at PokerStars: details, strategy descriptions and tips for newbies

How to make money in poker

To make money at PokerStars is an absolutely attainable task for any player. A lot of players live off the money they win in the largest poker room. Initially, a player should choose a discipline that is most suitable to the traits of his character and, therefore, will become the most profitable for him. Can you make money on PokerStars? Here is the answer: it’s possible to have a steady income at PokerStars only if you constantly improve your game level. After reading this material you will figure out the best way to make money in poker, how to improve your game and increase your winnings. In this article, you will also learn how to quickly earn at PokerStars, how to choose limits and disciplines for the game and build up your bankroll.

You should choose the discipline to play based on your preferences: cash, MTT, Sit & Go. In order to steadily earn money on PokerStars, you must select one of them and purposefully play this discipline only. If you are a newbie in poker, then it will be difficult for you to adjust to the distinctions in strategies of the disciplines. Each of the disciplines has its pros and cons. Let's talk about some of them and discuss the strategy to make money at PokerStars.


  • You can end the game session at any time.

Perhaps, the main advantage in choosing a cash game as a discipline to get a stable income on PokerStars is that you can end the game session or take a break whenever you want. If you’ve decided to take a break, it is recommended to leave the table before taking the big blind position in order not to lose money.

  • Fixed profit

Cash game income is the most stable when compared to MTT and Sit & Go tournaments. In this case, you do not need to wait for the moment you get into the prize zone, but you can easily win money in each individual hand with strong hands.

  • You can start to play at micro limits with a meager bankroll

Dispersion in a cash game is less than in tournaments, therefore, you will need only 25 buy-ins ($50) to play at the lowest limit of NL2.


  • High level of rivalry at all limits

You will have to go to considerable lengths to compete with cash game regulars and to consistently earn money at PokerStars. A large amount of available educational material has led to the fact there have appeared a lot of good players even on micro limits.

  • The need to continually improve your postflop game

Taking into account the paragraph listed above, you need to constantly sharpen your postflop game skills in order to have an advantage over weaker regulars and fish. To start working on this issue, you will need to have a program for collecting statistics and a poker calculator.

  • Slow bankroll increment

You should not expect big earnings playing at micro limits. Your main task is to build up a bankroll and move up the limits. You can receive tangible earnings starting from NL10 limit (0.5 / 0.10¢).


  • Possibility to win large prize money when investing a relatively meager buy-in

The dream of any newbie in poker is to invest a dollar and earn a million. This scenario is possible only in MTT. It is this aspect of the game that attracts a lot of amateurs to take part in tournaments.

  • A lot of weak players at the initial stages, who give their chips

It is possible to earn good money in PokerStars tournaments since at the initial stages of competitions there are a lot of weak players who simply strive to give you their chips.

  • Fewer difficult postflop decisions due to the stack sizes

Players’ stacks are equal to 100 big blinds and higher only at the initial stages of MTT. At the late stage, where main money is played, the players’ stacks (as a rule) are from 25 to 40 big blinds. This entails restricted postflop play and often reduces the game to push-fold.


  • Large dispersion, which can include huge downstreaks

Even the best poker players can experience long downstreaks in tournament poker, and taking into account a huge number of tournament players at PokerStars, it will be difficult for a newbie to show stable results, and therefore make money playing tournaments.

  • The need to have large bankroll (200 or more buy-ins for a limit)

Previously, training materials said that 100 buy-ins per limit are enough to play MTT. But poker does not stand still, players’ field is constantly improving and, in the current realities, a beginner will need 200-300 buy-ins of the played limit for a comfortable game in order to survive losing streaks without significant financial losses.

  • Inability to control the game session duration

Earnings on tournaments are contingent on protracted sessions. The game day of a tournament player may last up to 12 hours, with 5-minute breaks every hour. You can’t just leave the tables if you get bored.


  • The perfect option to build up the bankroll

Micro-limit Sit & Go is a great way to make money. The ABC game will be enough to reach the medium limits in these tournaments and increase the initial bankroll.

  • Lack of difficult postflop decisions

In Sit & Go, as well as in the MTT tournaments, the blinds are constantly increasing, and thus, participants’ medium stack is reducing. In the late stages of Sit & Go, especially with a turbo structure, the medium stack can be equal to 10 big blinds, which leads the game to push-fold, without playing postflop.

  • Time and number of players are limited


  • High level of rivalry

This problem is especially visible in the single-table tournaments with a fast structure. All regular players of this discipline know poker mathematics perfectly and make no mistakes. Therefore, it will be very difficult for a beginner to have an advantage in this discipline and thus, to have a stable income in poker.

  • Requires perfect knowledge of poker mathematics
  • Slow bankroll increment
  • The need to play a huge distance in order to get tangible earnings

If you’ve decided on what discipline you prefer, you should move to the next question: «Are you ready to make a deposit on PokerStars or do you want to start making money without investing funds?».

To start playing at micro-limits, you will only need to make a small deposit from $50 to $100 (if deposit amount is less, then you won’t have a necessary margin of safety to play regularly). Having this bankroll you can play the following limits:

  • Cash tables at 0.1 / 0.2 ¢ limit (buy-in per table is $2), but not more than 4 tables.

It is recommended to play full tables (9-max) because in this case, you can make fewer post-flop mistakes than at the short (6-max) tables.

  • Sit & Go tournaments for 45 and 90 people with a 0,25 buy-in or 9-max tournaments with a $1 buy-in, but no more than 8 tables at a time.

For these limits, ABC game is still enough to consistently earn up to $10 a day. Newbies are not recommended to play tournaments with a turbo structure, but if you can raise your bankroll up to $150, then you can start playing Sit & Go for 45 and 90 people with a buy-in of $1. Upon reaching this mark, you can sometimes start connecting MTTs with buy-in from 0,55¢ to $1.

Important: you should not start playing MTT with a $50 - $100 bankroll, since you can lose your money very quickly due to a large number of participants and, accordingly, high dispersion. Beginners are also not recommended to play Spin & Go tournaments. Because of the hyper-turbo structure, the game is reduced to push-fold, and best players of this discipline know poker math perfectly and are able to make the most difficult postflop decisions at micro-stakes.

If you chose a no deposit way in order to start building your poker bankroll, then freerolls are a perfect choice. You need to open the “Freerolls” tab in the PokerStars lobby and select the freeroll that is nearest to play. If all goes well, you can earn up to a few dollars a day and thus build up your bankroll slowly. Also, PokerStars offers private freerolls. You can play them only after entering an appropriate password. To do this, you need to monitor specialized poker forums, watch PokerStars live events and search for the passwords on the Internet.