Improve Your Earn Rate in Real Money Poker
If you want to be play real money poker seriously there is more to learn than how to play the game. Money management and stat tracking are just as important. Every player has what is called an earn rate – literally what they earn in financial terms when they are at the tables – and every player strives to increase that earn rate whenever they can.
The introduction of online poker rooms in the late 1990s bought real money poker right into people’s living rooms, meaning that people could enjoy the real money game without the expensive and inconvenient trip to a real live casino. The following tips are designed to help online poker players improve their earn rate in real money poker but they can easily be adapted if you happen to play live poker for cash as well.
Know What Your Rate Is
The first step to improving your earn rate in real money poker is determining exactly what your current earn rate actually is. The best way for an online real money poker player to begin doing that is for them to keep a record of statistics from every game they participate in. It usually takes at least a month before you will have a fairly accurate idea of what your current earn rate is but most people find that the extra effort is worth it.
The easiest way to begin keeping these records is by using a poker tracking software program. There are a great many different ones out there. The most popular ones can cost between $60 and $80 for a PC version but there are an increasing number of lower cost (even free) trackers becoming available for real money poker players to use. If you are a smart phone fan there are even apps for both the iPhone and Android based devices.
In addition some online poker sites regularly offer discounts and specials on poker tracking software (a couple even offer it free) so you should keep an eye out for those offers too, especially since that usually means that your data is easier to import.
These softwares and apps track things like variants limits and the stakes you played as well as what tables you were playing, for how long and how many people you were facing. After using them for a while patterns do begin to emerge that help you determine what your current real money poker earn rate is.
Using a poker tracking software puts a lot of data at your fingertips, both about your financial successes and losses and the way you play in general. Even the most successful of the professional poker players tend to use a poker tracking system (even though for them it is often more for tax purposes) to help them keep track of their “action” If you do not want to use a software you can keep track of various stats in a Microsoft Excel type spreadsheet instead, but that does take a lot more work!
Analyze Your Stats
Once you have begun keeping records of your games in a poker tracking software or a spreadsheet you need to start looking at just how you win in order to figure out the best way to improve your earn rate. Look for things like rooms where you seem to have an easier time than others, or at things like do you play better at a full table or in a heads up situation? At higher or lower stakes tables? Once you can see winning patterns emerging then you can begin eliminating the losing habits and your poker earn rate should begin to increase.
Is Multitabling a Good Idea for You?
In online poker rooms most of the time the options are available that will allow a player to play at several tables at one time – a practice known as multitabling. Some players think that playing this way is one of the best ways to increase their real money earn rate quickly. after all if you are making $20 an hour at one table stepping it up to make $60 at three tables would be a great idea right?
Multitabling is not easy though and you may actually be decreasing your earn rate by playing this way. Once again though you can look to your stats for an answer – are you really doing better when you muti task in this way or are you going to earn more by focusing all your skill at one table at a time?
Know When to Play
These days you do not have to be sitting at home in front of your PC to play online poker. You can play on your laptop on the way to work, at work on your lunch break (although your boss might not approve) and there are a few apps that have been approved for smart phones that even let you play real money poker using your iPhone or Android based phone.
All of this is great but will you really be playing your best game in these situations? How well are you going to be able to concentrate on the train on the way to work with all the noise and distractions around you? Or when you are trying to listen out for your boss to come back (and when they do you have to quickly navigate away to something more work appropriate? )
Online poker being played for real money is best played when you are free of as many distractions as possible and can really concentrate on what you are doing. That means that at home in the peace and quiet of your own living room probably is the best place to play.
You should also only play when you are alert enough to. Playing at midnight when you are drowsy and half asleep is not very conducive to playing your best poker either. A huge part of the real money poker game is about your mental acuity and quickness, so it is best played when you have had plenty of rest.