What New Players Should Know about Low Stake Poker
Here at Juicy Stakes Poker, we accept new players every day. We try as much as we can to help new players get their feet wet playing poker online. We always recommend starting out at low stake poker all the while being aware that poker players usually want to move to higher stakes as quickly as they can.
So, to further assist new players (and possibly some who have been with us for a while already) we would like to dive into the value of low stakes and what considerations a player should make before he or she goes on to a higher stake level. Keep in mind that here at Juicy Stakes, we have many more stake levels that low, medium, and high.
The border between low and medium, or between medium and high, is higher than our lowest stake level and higher than our lowest medium level.
How to Navigate the Game of Poker
Playing at the right stake level for you is just one of many parameters a new player has to learn and understand. We say that until you feel that you have pretty much mastered the art of navigating a poker game, you should stay at a low stake level.
Navigating a game of poker does not mean being expert in every aspect of the game. Poker pros might say that even though they have won a lot of money and awards as professional poker players, they have not yet mastered every aspect of poker.
As great a player as Phil Helmuth is, he has yet to master control of his emotions! Poker is a very challenging game! But players can master enough to justify moving up to a higher stake level!
Online Poker is More Popular than Ever
The first thing we would like to impart to new poker players is that there are literally millions of people playing poker online. Unlike land-based poker tournaments, where the same players show up time and time again, online poker plyers rarely play against the same people in subsequent sessions.
You will be playing against people from all over the world! Until you get a strong sense of the type of players in the game at any given moment, we advise you to minimize risk. That means playing at low stakes.
Make Poker a Career
If you are thinking long term and you want to make a career out of playing poker, you will need to study the game in all its aspects. Here we will talk about stakes. We will focus on stakes as we talk about many other aspects of poker such as money and time management, understanding poker dynamics, dealing with stress, and controlling your emotions.
What Do Low Stakes Mean for Time and Money Management?
Online poker players should play in short sessions when they are truly new to the online poker milieu. Experienced players, especially players who see playing poker as the source of their livelihood, play in very long sessions.
As a new player, you won’t know right away if a player is new to competitive poker or an experienced player who likes to play at low stakes. Simply protecting yourself against the possible poker shark is reason enough to play at low stakes.
About Money Management
The money management side of playing at low stakes is pretty obvious.
We would like to add something about winning or losing money. At low stakes, you should never expect to win a lot of money nor should you lose a lot of money. If you play at low stakes, that fact alone, because you are not worried about the bottom line, makes it easier to learn how to deal with stress, pressure, and emotional highs and lows.
In other words, playing at low stakes is extremely good for a wide range of poker skills that you will have to learn and master.
Time Management Teaches about the Value of Time
We tell new players to play in short sessions. We also tell them to pay attention to every hand, even to take notes. Then, later and at your leisure, go over every hand and decide what you can learn from that hand.
There may be nothing to learn from a hand or you might see how one player manipulated another player over the course of a hand.
Playing short sessions allows you to take notes on a relatively small number of hands. Then, when you go over the hands, you won’t feel that it is a drudgery to do so.
We can see how “short sessions” can filter into other everyday activities that most people see as drudgery. If you see shopping, cleaning, cooking, washing the car, and many other boring activities as nothing more than one minute activities strung together, you might be able to find interesting elements in any one minute segments that take away the boring aspect of the activity and make it suddenly interesting!
Practice Means Developing Skills
The discussion about money and time management can be extended to include your ability to learn new poker skills. In fact, it is all about learning new poker skills. Playing at higher stakes involves three elements that can and often do make the adjustment to that higher stake level.
If you have developed better poker skills so that you feel ready to advance to higher stakes, be advised that most of the players you will encounter at a higher stake level will have gone through a similar process!
There is greater risk being exposed to better players.
This is an inevitable result of higher stakes. At low stakes the pot is still relatively small even after a series of bets and raises. At higher stakes the same series of bets produces a bigger pot.
Along with bigger pots, you will be pressured to make better decisions. Your ability to handle stress and pressure are essential elements of knowing when you are ready to enter a higher stakes game.
Be Sure of Your Emotional IQ
The stress of poker at higher stakes means that your emotions will be challenged in ways that they may never have been challenged before. Most players have to go through a period of adjustment to be able to stay at higher stakes. A player’s emotional IQ is a reflection of their overall poker skill.
If you lose a bad beat at low stakes, it’s not a big deal because the stakes were so low. At higher stakes, a bad beat can have a significant price tag. Being emotionally mature means being able to shrug off a bad beat at a higher stake level.
This is not an in-borne skill; it is learned. Be sure that you have learned it before going to play at higher stakes.
Juicy Stakes and Online Poker
We feel that it is a lot better to gain the necessary experience at low stakes poker while playing online. Online poker is the perfect medium for short sessions. You can come back to the game the next day or later while at a land-based poker room, your playing flexibility is severely limited.