Maybe you took a shot and lost. Maybe you went on a tournament binge. Or maybe your no-limit hold’em cash game isn’t where it used to be. There’s no shame in moving down, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Look at Tom Dwan. The $50/100 PLO games “durrrr” is grinding today are one-tenth the size of what he was playing two months ago. His bankroll, however, is well on its way back up to where it used to be. If you’re down and out and looking to get back in business, six-max $10 buy-in no-limit hold’em might be one of the fastest ways to get there.
Where can I play?
Virtually every major online poker site spreads $10 buy-in no-limit hold’em with $0.05/0.10 blinds. PokerStars and Full Tilt have the highest traffic and, therefore, the most to offer in terms of the number of open seats at any given time, as well as choice when it comes to table selection.
How much do I need?
Ten dollar six-max NLHE is the perfect limit to try if you’re down to the last $100 to $200 in your online poker account. That’s equal to between 10 and 20 buy-ins; 10 being at the low end of what you should have to start playing and 20 being a much safer amount to keep you from going entirely busto.
Should I multi-table?
Absolutely. For our purposes here, we’re assuming you have at least some experience at no-limit hold’em. Total novices should, of course, start with only one table. To keep from growing stunningly bored, however, you should consider playing at least 3 to 4 tables. With a decision always in front of you, it will be easier for you to concentrate on the game rather than other distractions like surfing the internet, instant messaging, or watching television. The more zoned in you are at the task at hand, the more you’ll pick up on your opponents’ tendencies.
How much can I earn?
When it comes to the serious grinders, the top 25 players by volume at the $10 level on Full Tilt Poker earned an average of 2.28 BB/100 according to PokerTableRatings.com. Each of those players logged at least 75,000 hands, some as many as 200,000. It’s certainly possible to see a greater win rate in the short term, however. Nine of the 25 biggest net winners at $10 NLHE have played fewer than 50,000 hands at that limit and six of those nine played less than 25,000 hands.
Should I move up?
The standard line here is to say “move up when you feel ready and are adequately rolled to do so.” However, the difference in an average player’s skill level at $10 NLHE and that of a $25 NLHE player is pretty substantial. If you’ve won 25 buy-ins at $10 NLHE, start thinking about moving up. But before jumping in, spend some time reading strategy texts, watching videos, and discussing your play with a peer to make sure that you’re ready. Also consider posting some of your hands on a forum like Pocket Fives or Two Plus Two to get feedback from some more experienced players.
In our next installment, we’ll talk basic strategy, adjustments to make for six-max games, and how to exploit weak players. Stay tuned.
Ready to start building your own bankroll? Open an account at one of our online poker rooms today and get on the grind.