Winning Big at Low-Limit Online Poker Ring Games

“Fifty-cent blinds? We play for more than that at our Wednesday night home game. I’m not going to waste my time and skills playing for pennies. Up the ante and point me towards a high-stakes table. I’m going to win big!”

pokercardsOkay, I’ll admit, I’ve never actually heard anyone utter the above quote verbatim. But I have heard dozens of aspiring poker players express similar sentiments when I told them to start small, and ease their way into playing high-dollar online poker ring games. The reason I offer these words of wisdom to people that are new to online poker, is because playing online is a much different experience than playing in brick-and-mortar card rooms or at your weekly home game.

Online poker is faster-paced; it requires you to learn a player’s tells without actually being able to read that player’s body language; it requires a click of a mouse instead of the handling of chips; and it can trap you into playing loosely with your money when you’re not physically monitoring your bankroll. It takes some getting used to, and no matter how experienced you are at playing poker “in-person,” it’s best to start small and acclimate yourself with the online poker environment before upping the ante.

It may come as a surprise, but playing low-limit ring games also allows you the opportunity to win big bucks. It might take a little longer than it would if you were playing for higher stakes, but even on a $0.50/$1.00 table you can walk away from a session with an extra $50 or $100 in your pocket. That’s not too bad for a few hours of work. Plus you’re gaining experience in the process, which is invaluable for beginners who are trying to become the next Doyle Brunson or Phil Hellmuth.

I must warn you though; winning at low-limit online poker cash games requires you to implement a different strategy than you would use when playing for higher stakes. Your opponents tend to stick around and play more hands on low-dollar tables (hoping to catch lightening in a bottle), and they often play in patterns—both of which are trends that you can use to your advantage now, but which you won’t often see when the stakes increase.

Below are some basic tips and strategies to winning at low-level cash ring games. Keep in mind that different tables will have different types of players, so these situations may not always apply. Study the players you are competing against, and use these tips accordingly.

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Watch For Patterns

Many low-stakes online poker players play on multiple tables at the same time. Because their attention is divided amongst several games simultaneously, and because they can’t closely monitor what’s happening in each hand, some of these players will resort to a betting pattern and play all of their cards in a similar fashion. Some will bet aggressively trying to push you out of the hand. Others are “unbluffable” and call most all of your bets. And the rest will only play the very best hands and fold the rest.

By recognizing these types of players you can beat them at their own game. When competing against the aggressive players, be patient and wait for a good hand. Don’t limp in and call the blind with a marginal hand. Chances are you won’t get lucky on the flop, and when the aggressive players bets or raises, you’ll be forced to fold.

If you’re patient and play only solid hands, you have a much better chance of having the better hand throughout, and you can confidently call or re-raise when they do bet. The same goes when playing against “calling stations” that refuse to fold. Be patient, wait for a hand, and then bet aggressively into them. If they continue to call you win more money. If they fold, you still win.

Now for the players who only play top tier hole cards, you can often wager a good guess as to what they’re holding if they call or raise. Always figure that they have a mid to high pair, or some combination of Ace, King, Queen, Jack in their hand. Then use that information to decide your next move.

Don’t Be Too Aggressive Too Early

Unlike on the high-stakes tables, low-limit players will often “limp in” and call the blinds to see what they might catch on the flop. You can use this to your advantage by not being overly aggressive when it’s time for you to bet. To win more money, you need more people in the hand. So instead of raising pre-flop in an early position with a strong hand (let’s say Ace-King), it may be wiser just to call, and have more players call the blind after you.

Yes, this greatly increases your chances of being out-flopped, but you will still enter the flop with one of the best chances to win the hand. So in the long run, you’ll still win more hands than you’ll lose. If you raise with your Ace-King and everyone folds, all you’re doing is collecting a couple of quarters anyway. So why not let the pots build and try to win a big hand as opposed to just stealing the blinds.

Use Your Position To Your Advantage

Adding to the tip above—if you’re one of the last players to act and you’re holding a big hand, now is the time to bet/raise the blind. If several players called in front of you, and there’s money already in the pot, try and get your opponents to throw in more money before the flop. If they fold, your chances of winning the hand increase. If they call, it’s more money added to the pot that you’ll have a good shot of winning with your power hole cards.

Don’t Be Afraid To Move On

If the players on your table are playing tight, get up and find a new one. There’s not much use in playing low-limit ring games if there are only two players to the flop. Yes, it will offer good online poker practice competing heads-up with your opponent. But there will hardly be any money in the pot for you to win. Find a table filled with loose players who like to play a lot of hands (preferably tables with a 35% or greater player/flop average). You’ll have a better shot of winning larger pots more frequently. Take a look at the table information in the online poker room lobby before taking a seat. Look for tables with higher average pots and average players to the flop.

Be aware though, other online players will be using the same tactic. Once a table gets hot, more and more “vultures” will try and join. Soon enough, all the “loose” players who were giving their money away will be gone, and you’ll be surrounded by the better players who came to prey on them. Once this happens, it’s time to pack up and move on again.

Forget Everything You Just Read

Once you’ve made the decision to play for higher stakes, most of these tips will need to be thrown out the window. The competition will increase dramatically, and you won’t be able to take advantage of loose players or betting patterns. When it’s time to up the ante, be sure your game is at the highest level. Read all the articles and tips on thepokersource.com, and hopefully down the road you can become the next great online poker pro.


Texas Hold’em Tournaments Miami- Miami Poker Rooms

Miami pokerLooking to play Texas Hold’em in Miami?  Check out our list of the best South Florida Poker Rooms.

Best Miami Poker Rooms

MICCOSUKEE RESORT & GAMING

500 S.W. 177th Avenue, Miami

(305) 925-5555

Poker Games Offered

NO LIMIT HOLD’EM- $1/$2 ($100 min/$200 max), $1/$3 ($100 min/$300 max), $2/$5 ($200 min/$500 max with $100 minimum re-buy), $5/$10 ($400 max/$1,500 min with $200 minimum re-buy), $10/$20 ($800/no max)

LIMIT HOLD’EM- $2/$4 ($40 min), $2/$5 ($100 min), $5/$10 ($200 min), $10/$20 ($300 min)

LIMIT OMAHA HIGH/LOW- $2/$4 ($60 min), $5/$10 ($2oo min)

POT LIMIT OMAHA HIGH ONLY- $1/$2 (100 min), $2/$5 (200 min)

SEVEN CARD STUD- $2/$4 ($40 min), $5/$10 ($100 min)

SMALL POKER TOURNAMENTS- 7-Card Stud, Texas Hold’em, Omaha High/Low

MIAMI TEXAS HOLD’EM TOURNAMENTS (MULTI TABLE): Every Friday and Saturday night at 8PM Texas Hold ’Em $60.00 buy-in/no re-buy

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SEMINOLE HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO HOLLYWOOD

1 Seminole Way  Davie, Florida

(954) 327- 7625

Texas Hold’em Tournaments and ring games offered daily. Seminole Hard Rock is also the host casino for several World Poker Tour Events.

February Poker Events

High Hand of the Hour

High hands of limit games win $150, High hands of no limit games win $250, plus a $65 tournament entry.

Runs Sun-Thu 8am-2am (every two hours), Fri 8am, 10am, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm and midnight. Sat-2am, 4am, 6am, 8am, 10am, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm and midnight.

$1/HR Poker Rewards

Earn up to $1/hr while playing Texas Hold’em and other poker games. Don’t forget to sign up for a player’s club card before sitting down at a table!

$5,000 Full House Drawing

Earn a full house or better and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win $5,000. Drawings are held Sundays and Thursdays at 5PM.

Guaranteed Money Texas Hold’em Tournaments

MONDAYS @ 6:30 PM

$300 Buy-In $20,000 Guaranteed Money

TUESDAYS @6:30

$150 Buy-In $12,000 Guaranteed Money

WEDNESDAYS @ 6:30
$75 Buy-In $3,000 Guaranteed Money

FRIDAYS @ 11AM

$150 Buy-In $10,000 Guaranteed Money

MON, TUE, WED & THU @ 11AM
$35 Buy-In $1,500 Guaranteed Money

Daily Texas Hold’em Tournaments

SUN- Noon ($150 Buy-in), 6:30 PM ($100 Buy-in)

MON- 11 AM ($35 Buy-in), 6:30 PM ($300 Buy-in)

TUE- 11 AM ($35 Buy-in), 6:30 PM ($150 Buy-in)

WED- 11 AM ($35 Buy-in), 6:30 PM ($75 Buy-in)

THU- 11 AM ($35 Buy-in), 6:30 PM ($65 Buy-in)

FRI- 11 PM ($150 Buy-in), 6:30 PM ($65 Buy-in satellite)

Hone your game before you sit down at the tables! Play online for FREE at PokerStars.com

More Miami Poker Rooms

MAGIC CITY CASINO

450 NW 37th Ave, Miami

(305) 649-3000

SEMINOLE CASINO HOLLYWOOD

4150 North State Road 7, Hollywood
(954) 961-3220

MIAMI JAI-ALAI

3500 Northwest 37th Avenue, Miami
(305) 633-9661

GULFSTREAM RACE TRACK

901 South Federal Highway, Hallandale
(954) 454-7000

MARDIS GRAS CASINO

831 N. Federal HWY, Hallandale Beach

(954) 924-3200

CALDER RACE TRACK STUDZ POKER CLUB

21001 Northwest 27th Avenue, Miami Gardens
(305) 474-5700


Full Tilt Poker Promotions- August Events

Full Tilt Poker has an exciting collection of events lined up for August. Check out these value-added tournaments and cash back sign up bonuses.

Don’t have an online poker account? Sign up for Full Tilt Poker here. It’s free!

The Big Little Tournament

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When: Every other Sunday- August 15, 29;  September 12, 26;  October 10, 24

Buy-in: Buy-in directly for $2.20, satellites: $0.35 or 5 Player Points

Prize Pool:$100,000 ($80,000 guaranteed)

Late Night Poker

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When: Qualifiers will be run on August 15 & September 26

Buy-in: Buy in directly for $300 + $22, or play your way in through a satellite (check site for schedule)

Prize Pool: $12,000 Prize Package and chance to compete for $500,000 on television.

$100,000 Free-roll First Deposit Tournament

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When: September 5 (event), Qualify by August 31

Buy-in: Free! Make your first real-money deposit on Full Tilt Poker in August and you’ll receive free entry!

Prize Pool: Win your share of $100,000— for free!

100% Deposit Bonus

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When: Ongoing

Buy-in: Deposit money into your real money account and Full Tilt will match your deposit up to $600! Visit Full Tilt for details

Prize Pool: $600 of free money just for signing up!

Poker Millions

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When: Qualifier August 22, Satellites to the qualifier run daily

Buy-in: Buy in directly to the Qualifier for $640, or play in a satellite for as little as $26

Prize Pool: Win a $32,000 Prize Package to Europe’s most television poker tv show where you’ll play against the pros for your share of $1.4 million!

Sign up for your free Full Tilt Poker account today


July Online Poker Promotions and Bonuses

Check out these exciting online poker promotions offered this summer at PokerStars.

Sign up for your free account now and get in on the action!

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new-player-bonus-header $600 First Deposit Bonus

Enter the bonus code ‘STARS600‘ and PokerStars will match 100% of your deposit up to $600. Once you’ve made your deposit simply play online and collect your bonus.

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empire-state-holdem-headerEmpire State Hold’em Championship

Win your $2,500 seat in one of poker’s most prestigious live poker events.  Satellites are being run in a variety of different buy-in amounts, each with Main Event prize packages that includes your tournament entry, expenses and six nights stay at Turning Stone Casino Resort Hotel in Verona. To register, open the PokerStars lobby and click ‘Tourney’ & ‘Regional’. The Main Event takes place August 14-18.

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micromania-headerMicroMania Month

PokerStars is dedicating the month of July to micro-limit players who like to win big bucks while playing for small stakes. Visit PokerStars and check out all the exciting tournaments, live event qualifiers, cash games and value-added player bonuses available for micro-limit players. Enter the code ‘MANIA’ and receive a first deposit bonus up to $600. You’ll also receive a $1.10 Micro Mania ticket with a chance to win big bucks in any of the $1.10 tournaments offered.

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mdc-header-comMillion Dollar Challenge

Win a spot on poker’s most exciting game show, the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge. Finish in the top 20 in one of the four daily freerolls offered until July 18, then submit a short video of why you should be selected for the show, and you could be playing poker on the big screen for a chance to win $1 million and compete against the top poker pros.

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women-headerPokerStars Women

PokerStars is offering a number of satellites to live women-only poker events held throughout the world. If you’re a female poker players looking to test your skills against the poker elite, simply click the Events tab at PokerStars and you can win your seat and expenses to live events in the Bahamas, Monte Carlo and London. Visit PokerStars to learn more.

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TT-headerMillion Dollar Turbo Takedown

Play for $1 million and an Audi TT- for FREE!!! The Million Dollar Turbo Takedown is held the last Sunday of every month and can be entered for 3000 Frequent Player Points (FPPs). No cash buy-in is needed. Don’t have that many player points? No problem. Satellites are offered every day for you to win your seat for only a few FPPs..


Pay Attention!

daydreamMy online poker career was burdened from the start by a psychological flaw that I’ve carried with me since childhood—my horrible attention span. Blame it on my wild imagination that’s always dreaming of fishing the deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream or backpacking Alaska’s pristine wilderness; or accredit it to an undiagnosed case of OCD or ADD that prohibits my ability to stay focused over a long period of time. But the fact of the matter is, when I get bored my mind wanders, and I get bored easily.

As you probably guessed, a poor attention span is not a positive character trait to have at the online poker tables. When I first started out I played mainly in large online tournaments with low buy-ins. I didn’t have much of a bankroll and I was lured in by the prospect of taking home a nice sum of cash for a relatively small investment. One thing these types of tournaments had in common, aside from the large number of players entered, was they all took an extremely long time to complete—often four hours or longer. So in order to have success I had to stay focused for more than just a few minutes at a time. Needless to say, I did not fare too well.

The main problem wasn’t necessarily my inability to pay attention; it was my lack of patience when I was dealt a poor stretch of cards. After a while I would get bored clicking the “Fold” button time and again and would play hole cards I had no business playing, simply because I needed some action. It didn’t take long before I squandered my chips away missing flops and chasing ghosts down the river. I knew I had to be more selective with my decisions if I wanted to succeed, and I knew I had to find a way to be more patient at the tables.

My solution—surf the web and watch TV to stay entertained between hands. What a horrendous idea! Now I was playing cards I should be playing, but playing them poorly as I had absolutely no read on my opponents. While searching EBAY for electric swordfishing reels and center console boats I couldn’t afford, I completely lost touch with the game, thus putting my chips at a major disadvantage.

Eventually, I convinced myself that if I ever wanted to have success playing online poker I had to commit to playing for several hours at a time with complete focus on the game. It was a difficult task at first, until I found a small trick that did wonders—I actually started typing words in the blank “note” boxes provided at online poker sites such as PokerStars.

I found this accomplished two things. One, it kept my focus on the game. By taking notes on not only how my opponents were playing but also on my own game, my eyes never wandered from the monitor and my brain never went on vacation to Cay Sal.

The second thing it did was allow me to keep track of how my opponents played in various situations. This wasn’t a huge advantage as players are constantly rotated in and out during large tournaments, but there were times when I played my cards differently simply because I had a read on my opponent. And when I finally did reach a final table and had to battle it out with the same opponents all the way to the end, the little white boxes paid huge dividends and I finally won my first online poker tournament.

Now, the moral of this article is quite simple, stay focused. But that’s easier said than done, especially when your dog starts barking or your buddy calls and needs a ride home from work.  Yet to succeed at online poker you must commit yourself to the game and eliminate all distractions. Reserve a set amount of time to play online poker each week and make certain that time is for you and only you. Keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t surf the web or watch television while playing. Instead, study your opponents, watch how they play and learn from their strategies. It will make you a better poker player. Watching South Park reruns, as entertaining as they may be, will not.

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Play Better Poker- Learn from the Pros at Full Tilt

logo“To become the best, you must first learn from the best.”

I don’t know who uttered the above quote, or even if it was spoken by a historical figure worth quoting. But regardless, it’s excellent advice for novice poker players with ambitions of one day winning it big at the tables.

As with any trade, we study the masters in our field and use their knowledge to better our own skills. Nowhere is this truer than in the poker world, where many of the pros you see on TV earned their starts after reading one of Doyle Brunson or Phil Helmuth’s books on poker.

Today, with the emergence of online poker, there is a completely new and valuable tool for beginner poker players to hone their skills—online poker schools and tutorials.

One online poker school that is molding the next generation of poker players is Full Tilt Poker’s Poker Academy. Full Tilt Poker Academy offers interactive learning tools, over 200 instructional videos, rewards programs, free entries into online poker tournaments, and more.

Watch videos on “Bankroll Building,” “Bluffing,” “Knowing When to Give Up,” “Online Tells,” “Sizing Up Opponents,” “Short Stack Play,” and more. Plus Full Tilt Academy offers lessons and videos by the best in the game, with tutorials and advice from Patrik Antonious, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Phil Gordon, Gus Hansen, Jennifer Harmen, Howard Lederer, and loads of other professional poker players.

And best of all, it’s free to attend Full Tilt’s Online Poker Academy. Just visit Full Tilt Poker and sign up for a free account.