Choosing appropriate stakes to play in your Hold`em game is vitally important. If the stakes are too high, you may not have the bankroll to cover the inevitable swings you will experience over the course of your US online poker sessions. If they are too low, the threat of losing may not be significant enough to force you to play your best.
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The highest stakes Hold`em games start at $100 to $200 and increase from there. The famous “Big Game” at the Bellagio in Las Vegas often hosts a game with $4000 to $8000 limits. These games are too high for all but the best and wealthiest to try their hand, but the lure of large sums of money is tempting to many in the poker world. What can you expect when playing in high stakes Poker games .
One thing you can expect is that you will be up against the best players Hold`em has to offer. Good players tend to move up in limits; the cream rises to the top. At the high limit games, you will find the absolute best players, players who will give you all the challenge you can handle. To be sure, there are also “whales,” weaker players with money to burn who are either so wealthy that no other game will entertain or challenge them, or are willing to any risk any amount for the chance to butt heads with poker’s best. However, you will have to navigate through a pack of “sharks” (strong players) to get to those players and their money, and it may not be worth the effort.
If you play in these games, you need to make sure you have a sufficient bankroll. It is probably best to have a bankroll of 300 to 500 times the amount of the small bet in your game to be safe. Money can go very quickly in a high stakes game and you may find yourself broke before you even have a chance to get a feel for the game if you are not prepared.
With the explosion in poker tournaments, many amateur poker players are suddenly finding themselves instant millionaires. They assume that since they beat a big field in a tournament, they are ready to sit down with the biggest names in poker. This is usually a mistake. The best professionals lick their chops at the prospect of a World Poker Tour winner sitting down at their table, and they often make themselves available just for that purpose. If you are fortunate enough to come into a large sum of money, through poker or otherwise, try to make sure you are beating your middle limit game consistently before throwing your hard earned cash down at a big game.
Ultimately, the game that makes you play your best, where you can risk an amount that you can afford to lose, but would still hurt if you lost it all, is probably the game you should play. When moving up, be prepared for stiffer competition, and don’t be ashamed to move back down if things aren’t going your way. Remember that it’s better to turn a tidy profit at a lower limit than break even or lose at a higher one.
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