What Stakes You Should Play?

Poker players often make the mistake of wanting to play high stakes Poker when they aren’t really ready.  This happens for a number of reasons, but seldom works out well.  The trick is to determine whether you are ready to move up to higher stakes or not.

There are a number of questions to ask that will help you determine whether the time has come to play higher stakes.

Am I Winning?

The key here is to keep track of how much you are winning and how much you are losing during each and every game of Poker.  Keep a running total if you must.  By reviewing your playing history and keeping track of the figures you will be able to see exactly how well you are playing.

If you aren’t running in constant credit, it isn’t yet time to move to higher stakes as you may lose too much, too fast.

What Is My Playing Style?

In Poker, high variance playing isn’t necessarily a good thing.  There are players who play solid games of Poker, not risking crazy amounts of cash, but winning consistently.  Other players may be referred to as plungers.  They risk all and often lose all.  Players playing a solid game of Poker will need a smaller bankroll in order to move into the higher ranks.  They will show a much smaller variance even at higher levels; meaning that they will take longer to deplete their bankroll in the event of having made a poor decisions run.

Psychology Behind High Stakes

Players often find that suddenly playing at higher than usual stakes comes with a price tag that involves more than just money.  Moving to a higher stake when not yet ready will often result in a poor game of Poker because of the level of discomfort that is experienced by the player.  The size of the bankroll plays an almost none-existent role here.  The money available with which to play becomes irrelevant when the player isn’t playing at optimal levels due to psychologically not having been ready to play at high stakes.

This having been said, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s necessary to push our own boundaries if we are to ever progress to higher levels of play.  The trick is to remember that one can always take stock of the situation and re-calculate where necessary. Take it slow, but if you have the money go big and see where it gets you sometimes, it is all part of the thrill!