One of the quickest and easiest ways to make a small but relatively reliable side income on the internet is by playing small stakes online poker cash games. Cash games are where you actually put your own real money on the table and so do your opponents.
They are not to be confused with tournaments where you pay a buy in and then play with a bunch of chips which don’t actually have any real monetary value attached to them.
And by low stakes I am talking about the games where you have as little as $2 or $5 on the table in front of you. Since the amount of money on the line is so meaningless to most people, many of your opponents will be complete beginners or casual players.
Therefore, if you learn how to play a very basic tight and aggressive strategy (also often called TAG) versus these types of players, you can expect to startturning a consistent profit in these games in a very short period of time.
Playing Multiple Tables Allows You to Win More
Now you might be asking yourself how much money can you really make at online poker when playing for such a small amount of money? This is where the beauty of online poker comes in with the ability to multi-table.
Being able to play many tables at once allows you to scale up your winnings to the point where it is very possible to make a meaningful side income playing even at very low stakes. In the business world we would often refer to this as economies of scale.
Some people work their way up to playing 2, 4, 10 or even more online poker tables at a time. So as you can imagine, even if you are playing for a very small amount of money on each table, the multiplying effect means that you can actually make a considerable amount with this volume based approach.
Learn to Play a Tight and Aggressive Poker Strategy
In order to consistently beat the small stakes poker games you will need to learn a tight and aggressive strategy. It is by far the most effective strategy against the loose, passive players that you will often face at these limits.
The basics of a tight and aggressive strategy are to be very selective about which hands you choose to play before the flop and then to play them aggressively.
So to give you some actual numbers, I would suggest playing only:
- The top 15% of hands dealt to you at a 9 person table.
- The top 20% of hands dealt to you at a 6 person table.
You should fold everything else.
The top 15% of hands roughly equates to all pairs (22, 33, 44 all the way up to AA) and all broadways (AK, KQ, JT etc). In a 6max game you can also add a few suited connectors (98s, 87s) and a few suited aces (A9s, A8s) in order to get you to the top 20% of hands.
Furthermore, you should always raise if you are the first person to enter the pot and you should try to play the majority of your hands when you are in position. This means when you are seated on the dealer button or close to it.
The reason why playing aggressively with a relatively small but strong range of hands like this works so well is that many of your opponents will be playing a lot of bad cards.They are casual players after all who often only play on one table at a time. They get bored waiting for good cards.
So by playing better hands than them you will be more likely to make the higher pair, the better flush, have the better kicker and so on. This advantage in starting hand strength is one of the biggest reasons why it is possible to beat these players on a consistent basis even with just a basic understanding of the game.
Play Tight and Aggressive After the Flop as Well
The best small stakes poker strategy to use after the flop is also tight and aggressive. And the same principles apply as well. You will want to be selective about when you bet, raise, check, call or fold.
Also, while it might sound counter-intuitive at first, it is very important not to get tricky against the casual players. The best strategy is to bet or call when you have a good hand such as a pair or better. And you should check, call or fold when you have a weak draw or nothing at all.
You do not want to get into the habit of trying to bluff too much against players like this because they will simply call you down. You have to stay patient against them in order to win.
With that said though, you should frequently make a bet on the flop (called a continuation bet) even if you did not connect with the board. Often you can get them to fold by simply keeping up the aggression that you started before the flop.
It is important to remember to slow down if they call you on the flop though. Usually you will want to check and give up if you still have nothing on the turn or river and they are still in the hand with you.
The Keys to Consistently Beating Small Stakes Poker Games
If you follow the basic tight and aggressive strategy that I outlined above and start slowly learning how to play multiple poker tables online, then it is very possible to start making a consistent profit in these small stakes games.
Most of the players who you are playing against will be complete beginners. Some of them barely even know the rules of the game yet. Remember to use a patient and simple tight and aggressive play style and avoiding making any fancy moves against them.
They might get lucky against you on certain days. However, in the long run you will be able to consistently beat the small stakes online poker games with this strategy.