So you’ve been playing online poker cash games for quite some time now. For better or worse, you finally hit a crossroads: do you stay low-stakes or go high-stakes? The answer to this question will depend on a wide variety of factors. To help you come up with the solution, we’ll discuss them one by one.
Before even considering playing high-stakes poker, you must ensure that your bankroll is ready. High-stakes games usually require much bigger stacks and higher buy-ins than low-stakes ones, so if you need more money in your poker-dedicated budget, it’s probably not a good idea to try and venture into high-stakes yet.
A promising sign that you’re ready to play poker online in higher stakes is that your bankroll has a net gain in lower-stakes games. It means that you have had a consistently profitable experience in lower-stakes poker and that your current bankroll size is sufficient for high-stakes games.
Your Poker Skills:
Your poker skills will also significantly determine whether you should stay low-stakes or go high-stakes. High-stakes games are filled with much more experienced players, so if you don’t feel confident that your skill level is up to par, it may be better for you to stay on the lower rung of the poker ladder.
Also, if you still need to fully grasp the more advanced poker concepts such as poker hands odds, pot odds, expected value, and outs, then it might be wise to stay in the low-stakes games until you gain more experience and develop your skills further.
Try a few high-stakes matches if you have a good win rate and you’re starting to get bored with low-stakes games. If you fail, try again a few weeks later. Remember to take it slow and keep practicing until you feel confident enough to handle the higher-stakes games.
One of the most important things to consider when playing poker online is discipline. There’s no denying that you will be exposed to more risks and bigger bets when playing higher stakes. That being said, if you don’t have a good sense of discipline, it might be best for you to stick to lower-stakes games where the risk is lower. Also, if you are easily distracted when playing poker, higher stakes may be too tempting for you to handle and can thus lead to more considerable losses or bad decisions.
An essential part of discipline is tilt control. If you don’t have a good handle on this, then playing high-stakes won’t likely end well for you. It would help if you stayed calm and focused when playing high stakes, which is much easier said than done. If you’re having trouble with that, then it may be better for you to stick with lower stakes until you learn how to manage your emotions better.
Last but not least is your tendency to either chase losses or continue playing after winning big. If either of these patterns occurs, you need to work on your bankroll management. If you still need help understanding how to manage your funds and stay in control when playing poker, then high-stakes games are likely not for you yet.
Different players have different goals when it comes to poker. Lower-stakes games in poker sites are probably your best bet if you’re mainly in it for fun and excitement. On the other hand, there is a higher number of better and more experienced players in higher-stakes games. So, moving up the stakes is a sensible move if you’re looking to learn more and become a better player.
On the other hand, high-stakes games could potentially offer larger profits if your main goal is to make money. At the same time, you need more than your skills to make bank in high-stakes poker consistently. Remember, the competition is much steeper, so you should ensure that your poker skills are up to par before giving high stakes a shot.
Then there’s also the fact that poker has an aspect of unpredictability. Only the best of the best can consistently earn money from high-stakes games, so as long as you don’t have a rock-solid bankroll and the necessary skills, it might be better to temper your expectations or stick with low-stakes.
Your Time Availability:
Finally, your time availability is also an essential factor when it comes to deciding whether you should stay low-stakes or go high-stakes. High-stakes games usually involve longer sessions and higher levels of concentration, so if you need more time or energy to dedicate yourself fully to poker, sticking with lower stakes may be the better option.
There’s also the fact that your skills will be dull if you do not play constantly. If you’re only able to dedicate a few hours a week to playing poker and you want to keep your skills sharp, then low stakes are probably the better option.
It’s All About The Game, Not Just The Stakes
Ultimately, whether or not to move up from lower to higher stakes is a personal decision. You need to weigh all the factors mentioned above and decide if you feel comfortable taking such a risk.
Remember, there is no shame in staying at the lower stakes. What matters is that you enjoy the game, remain disciplined, and hone your skills. Rather than going high-stakes, you can prove your abilities in other ways, such as tournaments. On the other hand, if you’re set on moving on to higher stakes, that’s a great choice too. As long as you take all the necessary precautions, it will be an enriching experience.