Sep 17, 2017
5 Quick Fixes for Micro Stakes Poker Struggles
By RTR Dennis
Micro stakes poker makes a great starting point for aspiring online poker pros. The limits are low, and you can face easier competition while preparing for higher stakes.
But I say "easier" with hesitation because there are plenty of solid micro stakes players. And you're not alone if you aren’t winning money at this level.
But the good news is that you can quickly fix your micro stakes graph. Let's cover 5 easy ways to win at online poker's lowest limits.
1. Make Sure Your Bankroll is Large Enough
Many micro stakes players place a $20 minimum deposit and start playing. And why would you need any more to play $0.01/$0.02 or $0.02/$0.04 no-limit Texas hold’em?
The reason why you need more is because even micro limits require some bankroll padding. And $20 only gives you 10 cash game buy-ins for $0.01/$0.02 ($2 buy-in). You're going to be even shorter on buy-ins if you play a higher limit.
You should have at least enough to cover 30 buy-ins at the respective cash game stakes you play. This means depositing $60 or more to play $0.01/$0.02 NL; $120 to play $0.02/$0.04; $300 to play $0.05/$0.10; and so forth.
Having enough buy-ins ensures that your bankroll is less likely to bust. Furthermore, you can better keep track of your bankroll this way.
2. Set Goals before Playing
Another mistake that micro limit players make involves not setting goals or planning anything out. Instead, they just sit down and start playing. Sometimes these players will even add more tables or randomly move up in stakes.
This is fine if your only goal with poker is to have fun. But if you want to improve and move up limits the right way, then you need goals in place.
A big reason why is because you want to concentrate on beating a certain limit. Once you can do this over a reasonable sample of hands, then you can confidently move up.
One example of a goal includes increasing your bankroll from $120 to $300 before moving from $0.02/$0.04 to $0.05/$0.10 NL. This ensures that you've experienced some success at your current limits and have enough funds for 30 buy-ins at $0.05/$0.10 NL.
3. Keep Your Emotions in Check
Micro stakes poker features some of the worst cases of tilt for two reasons:
- Players care less about losing their small bankrolls.
- Most low-limit players aren't experienced in checking their poker emotions.
Even skilled poker players have trouble dealing with their emotions after a bad beat. So it only makes sense that low-limit players will suffer more from tilt, where you make poor strategy decisions out of frustration.
The biggest source of frustration for most poker players is bad beats. But you can help get over this by understanding the odds behind different scenarios.
Here's an example:
- You're playing $0.01/$0.02.
- You have A-K on a flop of Ac-Kd-3c, giving you a two pair.
- You're isolated with an opponent who's been playing overly aggressive past the flop.
- You go all-in with your remaining $1.50.
- The opponent calls.
They flip over Qc-9c for a flush draw. The last two cards dealt are 6d and 7c, thus completing their flush. You get angry because they made a poor call and still beat you.
But again, the key is to understand the odds behind this situation before going on tilt.
You made the right decision here and had the best chance to win the hand. And you'd earn long-term profits off this opponent if you kept playing against them. After all, they only had a 35% chance of completing their flush draw, yet still called with two overcards on the board.
However, the opponent got lucky this time and won. You just need to forget about this play and concentrate on making the right decisions.
Another thing to note is that the micro stakes are full of loose players who will call with almost anything. You'll even get multiple players who call big raises while chasing flush and straight draws.
All of these instances guarantee that you'll sometimes lose as the favorite. This is why some players say they don't like the micros because "other players don't respect my raises." But the key is to keep getting your money in the right spots and letting favorable odds work themselves out.
4. The Best Play is Folding
The micro stakes make it tempting to raise and call in spots that you wouldn't with more money involved. But you still need to be patient in low stakes poker to succeed.
This means that you'll hit the fold button quite often. Sure it's tempting to call with a straight draw when you only have to pay $0.20. But this is one-tenth of your bankroll in a $0.01/$0.02 game.
Plus, the micros feature lower quality players than what you'll find at higher limits. It's to your advantage to continue folding because you know better opportunities will come around.
Now, some players will find it boring to keep folding in such low stakes games. And most won't be satisfied with walking away with a $0.10 profit for an hour session.
But the goal is to show yourself that you can beat a limit before moving on. And this means playing solid poker while concentrating on how many big blinds you win per session. Don't think about the low amount of money you're winning – think about how you're beating the game instead.
5. Watch Twitch Streams for Strategy
Poker has steadily seen more-convenient forms of strategy appear over the years. And Twitch streams are one of the best ways to learn nowadays.
Many poker pros and semi-pros now stream their online sessions via Twitch. This gives you a chance to see how an experienced player thinks about hands and analyzes opponents. You can even ask the streamer strategy questions through the chat feature.
One great thing about Twitch streams is that you don't have to pay for the content. Most streams make their money through Twitch ad revenue. Some still offer subscriber-only content, but you can always find pros with free streams.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to find micro stakes Twitch streamers. This is easily done by googling "Twitch micro stakes" or "Twitch micro stakes strategy".
From here you can look at the available options and choose somebody to start watching.
Conclusion on Quick Micro Stakes Fixes
There’s nothing quick about conquering the micro stakes. Instead, you should spend some time working on your skills while making consistent profits.
But the tips that we’ve discussed are quick ways to turn things around if you’re not currently winning. Once you put these techniques into practice, then you’ll have an easier time making money in the micros.