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How to Make Money with Online Poker

Novices often wonder if playing online poker for money is doable. Since this is a game where dynamics and trends keep changing, a more appropriate question would be, "Can I personally profit from it?". Before determining your potential winnings, it’s crucial to consider whether you possess the necessary strategy and psychological skills to be a profitable player.

How long does it take for the game to become your source of income? Generally, it can range from several months to a couple of years for most individuals. However, only some manage to make great strides in this field. Within a few months, one can progress from a neophyte to an intermediate reg, whereas another gambler might never beat micro-stakes in Texas Holdem (or any other variation).

Is it Possible to Make Money with Online Poker?

In today's reality, pursuing poker as a means of income requires considerable commitment, passion, and a strong drive to succeed. 

Are you ready to invest countless hours into grinding and parsing your play?

Keep in mind that even with diligent off-table work and correct decision-making, seeing sound results could take some time. However, you will find yourself in the black in the long run.

Key requirements to swiftly become a winning player include the following:

  • playing at least 3 hours every day;
  • daily study of game strategy;
  • watching educational video content (VODs);
  • being active and open to discussing various game strategies with more seasoned players;
  • using dedicated poker software and regular game analysis.

Our team strongly believes that one should only venture into online poker real money action after gaining confidence in your mastery. For beginners, it is better to hone their skills through play money games and freerolls.

What’s Average Player's Salary?

This is actually an unanswerable question. Poker is not a typical fixed-salary job; every professional inevitably encounters downswings. Sometimes people can make their yearly profit in just a single day, while during downswing periods, they may go weeks/months breakeven or even suffer tremendous losses. However, shedding some light on card players’ average earnings is yet possible. An essential factor to comprehend is that amounts and earning rates can vary greatly according to the selected format: tourneys or cash games.

Only through constant motivation and practice can you make a living playing poker. Well, how much time is then needed to become a winning reg? Several additional factors influence it, and we’ve pinpointed them below:

  • time spent playing NLHE, PLO or whatever other disciplines
  • time dedicated to examining strategies (basic & advanced)
  • qualities of the content under study
  • practical application of poker math
  • personal skills and abilities to learn, diligence, and motivation
  • limits (stakes) you play

    Did you know?
    Did you know?

    According to the Hendon Mob rating, Justin Bonomo has won the most in the field: nearly $62 million (as of July 2023).

    how to make money with online poker

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    How to Make Money Playing Online Poker

    Game strategy plays an important role here. Mainly, the TAG (tight & aggressive) approach is recommended for making a decent income. It means that you should carefully select your hands and play most of them in position post-flop. Also, don’t forget to learn to use HUD and exploit the weaknesses of your opponents to your advantage. You should study and follow the latest tendencies to stay ahead.

    Earning funds through virtual poker is a broad concept covering several sources of income. Which is best: SnG, MTT or Cash? Let's now discuss the main disciplines.

    Single-table competitions

    Sit & Go’s are a fantastic option for novices to start earning money, as they offer less variance compared to multi-table tourneys and require a smaller bankroll. Although prizes may not be massive, you won't need to spend hours or even days playing. SnG kicks off at any convenient time and may last only a few minutes. Most poker sites deliver this format with a wide range of limits to suit your preferences.

    Features of multi-table tournaments

    MTTs are in high demand because of their colossal guarantees. One can buy in just $100 and potentially win several thousand (or even a hundred thousand) dollars. A prime example is the aforementioned top-ranked tournament player on the All Time Money List – Justin Bonomo. In 2018, the American won the $1 000 000 Big One Drop at the WSOP series, earning as much as $10 million for first place. This result is still his best live cash.

    Justin Bonomo poker pro

    It strikes the attention that all three WSOP Big One for One Drop champions are in the top 25 of the List. In 2012, winning the tournament with a million buy-in brought Antonio Esfandiari more than $18 million. In 2014, Daniel Colman took down the event and earned $15 000 000.

    But, there is one noteworthy caveat. Portals like The Hendon Mob and similar often accentuate the total prize funds won while ignoring the expenses people incur through buy-ins. The net profit of a tournament player calculates by subtracting total buy-in costs from money earned. Their real prizes are often much lower than many assume.

    Example from Daniel Negreanu’s experience
    Example from Daniel Negreanu’s experience

    The year 2013 marked a significant milestone in the pro's career, and in the latter half of it, he released his actual results and shared them with the public.

    The Canadian competed in 51 events, and his total earnings amounted to an impressive $944,126. However, it's worth noting that Daniel only managed to get in the money in 11 tournaments out of those 51. If the guy hadn't secured two significant victories (WSOP APAC and WSOP High Roller), he would have gone into the red that year.

    Daniel Negreanu poker pro​​

    Generating earnings at cash tables

    Unlike tournament users, cash grinders have a more consistent income. However, it's essential to have sufficient bankroll and psychological stability to be profitable in this format in the long run. Cash players’ skill is evident from the limits they are beating. Most novices start at NL2 and gradually move up the stakes. In the current landscape, a skilled online gambler can aim to win around 5-7 big blinds/100 hands at mid-stakes.

    For instance, an NL50 (0.25/0.50¢) reg with a 5BB/100 win rate can earn $2.50 for every 100 hands played, $25 for 1,000 hands, and $250 for 10,000 hands. Savvy players typically aim to play around 2,000 hands per day at regular tables or up to 5,000 at ZOOM (or alternative fast-paced games). While people may experience ups and downs, their win rates will ultimately align with the accumulated profits over the long run. On this occasion, we suggest watching a video on how to make a solid income per month:

    What’s the major source of profit in any format? Fish (weak opponents), so be engaged in searching for such individuals. They betray themselves by the following actions:

    • post big/small blinds without waiting for their turn;
    • play lots of starters and move on to the flop even having the worst ones like 2-7 offsuit;
    • call any bets with a drawing hand, hoping to hit a straight, flush, etc.;
    • place minimum bets on the flop and check a lot;
    • often shove ANY two cards preflop;
    • fish is vulnerable to tilt.

    Alternative Ways of Earning Funds

    How else can you make money playing poker online? There are other options to generate income that are worth discussing. These ways provide opportunities to boost your start-up capital and obtain additional finances while adhering to specific nuances.

    Freerolls
    Freerolls

    Building an initial bankroll can be challenging for micro-limit gamblers. Freerolls require no entry fee but offer real prizes (typically cash or tickets to more pricey tourneys). The advantage is that the competition here is naturally weaker, giving you better chances to win and boost your bankroll.

    Promotions of various nature
    Promotions of various nature

    Online rooms run different promos and special offers regularly. Most operators provide gifts to newcomers upon registration: no deposit perks or additional bonuses on the initial top up, to name a few. Taking advantage of them can result in a steady monthly income, albeit less significant than direct winnings.

    Rakeback deals
    Rakeback deals

    If you plan to occupy yourself with Internet poker intensively, it’s advisable to consider rakeback (player refund) options available before registering with a platform. The more hands you play, the greater the potential cashback. Professionals can benefit from rakeback significantly, sometimes returning up to 70% of fees. You can find the exact percentage in online room reviews on Cardmates.

    Backing
    Backing

    This term refers to the practice of investing in a player. Even those who do not know how to play poker can earn profits through backing (but they should be good at recruiting experienced and skilled individuals). A backer purchases a portion of the player's buy-ins and receives a predetermined share of their winnings. Note that backing also carries risks: you won’t get anything if your ward losses.

    Final Thoughts

    So, can I make a living playing poker? Well, it’s not as easy to do as it sounds. Even the best players do not win every time they join the table. This is a dynamic game, so users of all skill levels (both newbies and experts) need to enhance their game constantly. In addition to choosing the right format, you need to make sure that you are familiar with the latest strategy trends (3-betting isn’t as a powerful weapon as it used to be earlier).

    Staying updated is essential here, and one effective approach is to explore current strategies, watch educational videos, and consistently analyse your table behaviour. Moreover, having competent friends within the community can help increase your chances of success.

    FAQ

    🏆 Can you actually make money from online poker?

    During the early 2000s, Internet poker proved to be a lucrative activity, even for micro-stakes users. As competition grew, it became more challenging to earn a solid profit. Nonetheless, tens of thousands of gamblers worldwide still make a living from the game. Yet, achieving profitability requires more effort, constant skill refinement, and studying advanced strategies. Effective methods of learning include working with a coach and utilizing ad hoc software.

    💰Can you make $100 a day playing poker?

    It can be quite challenging as online poker doesn't guarantee daily profits. However, achieving a consistent income (in the long run) is quite possible. Tangible earnings can be obtained at NL25-NL50, and if your room offers a favourable cashback %, your monthly revenue will be even higher.

    🎯 Which online poker game is most profitable?

    Generating income is best in classic Hold'em and standard PL Omaha (newbies should focus on full-ring tables and micro-stakes tournaments). These disciplines have a plethora of educational materials and software tools to aid players. Comprehensive strategies have been developed for them, so now all that's left is to delve into them and gain proficiency.

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