Full ring cash games (9 or 10 players max) at the micro stakes level can be profitable with the right bankroll management, table selection, hand selection, aggression, and most importantly time. If you are new to the game of limit holdem and playing poker online.
Table selection is just as important as hand selection. You must be at the right table to make a profit. If you are a beginner, I recommend playing at one table and if you clearing a bonus then 2 to 4 tables. First when choosing a table you want to use the filter to find the stakes you want to play. Micro stakes range from $0.02/$0.04 to $0.25/$0.50. Once you have picked the stakes you want to play then look for the tables with plrs/flop percentage between 35% to 40%. (Plrs/flop is players per flop average. For example, 10 players at the table and on average 3 players see the flop is 30% plrs/flop.)
Once you find 1 to 5 of those tables, look at the average pot size of the tables. You want to pick the one in the middle and not the highest or lowest. Let me explain why before you say to “yourself why not the highest?” You don’t want to play at the lowest average pot size because it’s not enough money there and most or all of the players at the table play tight. You will face close call bad beats and wonder why you not winning. Now the reason you don’t want to play at the highest pot size because this is a table full of aggressive players. It will cost far too much per hand to see the flop, turn, and river.
The ideal table to play at is one that is loose and passive. Players hand range is open and they are callers not raisers. They just want to see the river as cheap as they can. So a tight aggressive playing style is the best way to profit from these tables.
Hand selection pre-flop is very easy. It’s what you do after pre-flop that will either make money or lose money. Playing tight aggressive with a little smart thinking is the key to winning. So first let’s go over the hand selection by position.
- Small blind (SB), Big blind (BB), and Under the gun (UTG) – AA, KK, QQ, JJ, 1010, AK, AQ, AJ, A10 (suited and off suit)
- Middle position (MP) – Same as above with a few more hands; 99, 88, 77, and KQ (suited and off suit)
- Cut off (CO) and Button – Same hands as above with the following; 66, 55, 44, 33, 22, and ace suited with anything.
Yeah, the theme is playing pairs. Micro stakes players make the mistake of over playing pairs and chasing straight and flush draws. With a solid pair or set it’s easy to win a nice size pot. Now let’s go over how to win with the hands above. Always pre-flop you lead out with a raise. This mask your aggression with pocket aces. No one can tell when you holding pocket aces because you always raise pre-flop.
When holding AA raise as much as you can. Unless you see a potential straight or flush on the board (3 cards with same suit or counting up like 456) then you just bet all the way to the river for showdown. Now if one of your opponents raise or re-raise then that’s a clear sign they have the flush or straight and you should fold the hand.
When holding other pairs you want to do the same thing. However, you also want to keep an eye out for higher pairs. For example, when holding pocket jacks and you see a queen on board you don’t want to raise a lot. Betting or calling is the safest way to reach showdown without losing too many big blinds.
When playing low pairs you want to somewhat fish for the set but not all the way to the river. For example, if you holding pair of fours on the button and a four don’t come on the flop, calling a bet to see the turn is ok to see if you make your set. I don’t recommend going to the river because somebody most likely has a higher pair then you.
Playing non-pair hands, you want to focus on making a pair, straight, or flush. I don’t recommend chasing it to the river though. Remember, we want to save big blinds as much as we want to win. If you have the straight or flush draw on the flop then going to the turn is ok. Now if you playing against an opponent known to bluff or chase a straight or flush then by all means chase it to the river right along with him.
Playing with the nuts on the flop or a very strong hand on the flop, raise, re-raise, and raise the re-raise. You want to cap flop, turn, and river to win a big pot. I don’t recommend doing this with pocket kings as many of you may think that is a strong enough hand to push that hard. Your opponent can very well be holding pocket aces and the only reason he or she is willing to raise and re-raise you.