What you can Expect to Win per Hour at the Poker Tables
One of the main differences between playing poker in a live card room and playing at an online poker room is the amount you can expect to win or lose per session. Since more hands are dealt online with a virtual dealer (the dealer does not have to physically shuffle and deal) you can expect to play more hands online, and, if you’re playing well, win money faster than you could in a live card room.
Having a realistic outlook of what you can expect to win per hour of play at the poker table is an important aspect of any player’s game. Knowing the numbers is a great way to keep your feet on the ground when you experience a run of good or bad luck.
The accepted average win rate for a live card game is one big bet per hour. This means that at a $10/20 Hold’em game you should be clearing $20 in profits an hour.
Doesn’t seem like much? Well, when you consider the speed of a live game, tipping the dealer, and the house rake, you’re actually doing pretty well to clear a big bet or a big bet and-a-half per hour.
Many people use the same formula to calculate the hourly win rate for an online poker game, however you can expect win more online.
There are several reasons you will usually average a higher win rate playing online poker rather than live. First and most importantly, you will play many more hands per hour. So, if you are a consistent winner you will obviously win more playing online.
How much more? A player who averages one or one and a half big bets per hour in live poker could instantly double that by playing online. Therefore, you can expect to win two or three big bets per hour playing online poker.
There is more to the increased profits online than just game speed. You also need to consider that you’re never tipping the dealer in an online poker game, and more often than not the rake will be slightly lower online than in a live card room.
Other factors to consider when playing online poker are the bonuses or player rewards you receive for your play. Since the online poker room has the ability to deal much more volume, and has the obvious advantage of having less overhead than live card rooms, you can cash in on promotions and rewards that ultimately increase your win total and expected hourly win rate.
One example of this would be player points or rake back. You should look at the value of points or cash back and add that to your eventual expected win rate. In terms of cash this is easy…if you earn $2.00 an hour in rake back that should be considered in your expected hourly win rate.
With player points you will need to assign a value to the points you earn per session. Can they be redeemed for cash, or used to enter freeroll tournaments with cash prizes? If so, the player points have obvious value.
Exchanging your points for cash means that each point would be worth a certain (small) amount of money. Simply calculate how many points you earn per hour, find the cash value of these points, and then add this to your hourly win rate.
If your points can only be used to enter freerolls, take the total prize pool of the freeroll and divide that by the number of players in the tournament. This will give you a rough idea of the assumed buy-in and cash value.
It’s obvious that you’re not always going to win exactly the estimated hourly rate. The important thing to remember is that your estimated hourly win rate is how much you can expect to win playing poker over the long term. This includes hours when you win $500 or lose $300.
The idea is to play consistently and have realistic expectations. By knowing what you can expect to win over time, you will be able to stop while you’re ahead in a, and cut your losses when your luck is running bad.
Since you do not have expectations of winning $1,000 an hour playing poker you are setting yourself up to succeed in the long run. Above all else, remember that poker is a marathon not a sprint. By calculating the average hourly win rate for your game you will be able set profit goals and monitor your success as a poker player over several sessions.