Why Should Poker Players Start at Low Stakes?
As much as poker is a game that demands great patience, some poker players, and especially newer and very inexperienced players, impatiently want to play for higher stakes. The level of the poker stakes you are playing reveals a lot of information about you.
Juicy Stakes has many stakes levels that also tell us a lot about Juicy Stakes as a great well-rounded online poker room. Actually, cyberspace allows Juicy Stakes to occupy hundreds, if not thousands, of poker “rooms”!
What Does Playing at Low Stakes Reveal about Players?
The first thing that low stakes might mean is that the players are leery of playing at higher stakes because their overall bankroll for poker is relatively small. This actually can help an opponent to use a judicious bluff or all-in bet to cause the low bankrolled player to fold.
Note that we said a “judicious bluff or all-in bet”. That’s because the intimidation factor can work only against an opponent who can be intimidated and that brings us to the second reason some players play at low stakes…
Some Players Love Poker and Simply Want to Play
This can mean that they have the bankroll to play at higher stakes but prefer lower stakes because their main reason to play poker is to….play poker! A player like this won’t automatically fold against an aggressive bet! They might turn the tables on an aggressive bet by making an aggressive follow-up bet of their own!
Some Low Stakes Players are in the Learning Process
This is common among low-stakes players. Poker is a very complex game that requires a keen understanding of human nature, human psychology, the psychology of players with enough money to play at higher stakes levels but are still playing at low stakes, and many more human qualities plus all of the actual poker knowledge that covers the gamut from understanding odds to the deepest understanding of poker math!
A lot of new poker players who are just getting their feet wet play at low stakes because it is a lot safer than paying at higher stakes even if they can afford to do so.
Ironically, part of the learning process is also to understand that some if not all of your opponents in any given online poker game might also be in the learning process. Part of the learning process is to learn how to take advantage of other players who are also in the learning process!
Some Low Stakes Players Tried Higher Stakes
Some players, demonstrating poker impatience, “graduated” themselves to higher stakes only to discover that the competition at higher stakes is a lot stronger than at lower stakes.
What Knowledge Do Poker Players Have to Master?
Here is a very short list of things poker players have to master:
- The strategic idea of position.
- How to read a table.
- How to remember all bets so you can figure out how to proceed on the turn or the river.
- How to avoid limping in and how to avoid revealing your hand if you never limp in.
- How to accept a good win and a bad beat with equal measures of equanimity.
- How to learn from experts and how to avoid putting too much value on the teachings of “experts”.
- How to deal with boredom.
- How to keep an open mind at all times.
- How to embrace folding.
- How to embrace a healthy way of life.
That’s a Lot!
Yes, it is!
Let’s go back and explain a few of these items.
At first, we might say that you should never call the big blind with a poor hand in early position. This is a simplification at best. We also have to compare position with the skill levels of or opponents. We have to evaluate any call or raise in light of who the big blind is and how strongly will he or she defend their blind.
We have to compare our position with the bankrolls of our opponents. A short stack (or a few short stacks) ahead of our bet might allow us to call with a poor hand.
Reading our Opponents
There are some very obvious tells but online it is a lot harder to see a tell. So we have to evaluate the table. This is where our knowledge of human nature comes in.
Ernest Hemingway famously said that an author had to plot out the story and then to put into the telling of the story everything they knew about people!
Poker is pretty similar!
Improving our Memory
There are many exercises people can do to improve their memory. Improving one’s memory is very important in poker as it allows you to dredge up a similar sequence involving the same player from the distant past.
In online poker, you might play in many games with one or more opponents that repeat frequently. By remembering how they played in a game late at night a couple of months before, you might read a bluff for fun and profit or you might read the nuts and fold.
Limping in is a Learned Skill
We need to learn how to limp in without revealing that we are looking for a good flop. In other words, limping in is a kill and to limp in without showing your limp is a very valuable skill!
Sometimes a player will raise in an early position with a marginal hand. Once again the word “judicious” comes to mind!
This is the “nice” way to say learn how not to tilt! Tilt is the bane of many poker players. The most famous obsessive tilter no doubt is Phil Helmuth whose tilts have been recorded for posterity on YouTube. Helmuth tilts a lot. It is an indication of how good he is in all other aspects of poker that he has won so many belts despite the fact that he still has a hard time controlling his emotions, especially after a bad beat!
Experts Know a Lot
But, they don’t know everything!
Trust yourself! Trust your own power of observation. Trust what you see in real-life games. Experts can help in many ways but experts should be the “side dish” or the seasonings that bring the “dish’ to life and your own insights as they happen should be your “main course”.
This is the existential meaning of keeping an open mind. It is also the reason we have to stay the course and fight boredom so we can learn from the next hand and get better at poker.
Cultivate a Healthy Lifestyle
This is a huge subject worthy of its own article. So, for now, we will leave you with the invitation to JOIN JUICY STAKES POKER for the best in online poker.