Micro stakes poker is poker played for very small stakes, usually online. If you’re playing social poker at the kitchen table, like penny ante poker with family members, then you’re probably more concerned with having fun and enjoying yourself than you are with winning strategy. And nothing’s wrong with that. But this post is aimed at people who are considering playing online poker for very low stakes in order to build up their bankroll and maybe move into professional poker play at some point.
The first tip I offer to an aspiring micro stakes poker player is to learn how to focus on taking the correct actions in the short term regardless of the results. It’s almost always correct to raise with pocket aces, for example. If you’re at a micro stakes table where everyone is going to call, which gives you a greater than average chance of losing to a suckout, you should still make the appropriate play. In the long run, you’ll make money making the correct moves.
Since more people are going to be involved in hands at the micro stakes level, some of the drawing hands you get preflop will be more valuable, because you’ll be getting pot odds to play them. 10J suited becomes a much better hand with 5 other players in the pot, because you’re more likely to get a big payoff if the right flop hits.
On the other hand, some plays that work well at higher limits don’t work well at micro stake levels. For example, bluffing in a micro stakes game is almost never the right play to make. Most micro stakes poker players are risking so little money with a call that they’ll call even when they shouldn’t. That makes bluffing a negative expectation move.
The semi-bluff doesn’t work as well at micro stakes poker either. A semi-bluff is when you bet or raise with a hand that probably isn’t the best hand right now, but might be if you hit a good flop. For example, if you have four cards to a straight, you have 8 cards which might improve your hand. You get two ways to win–if everyone folds, you win the pot. And if you hit your outs, then you also win. But in micro stakes poker, the chances of winning a pot uncontested is almost nonexistent.
The key to doing well in micro stakes poker is patience. Wait until you have good cards, and when you get them, bet for value. That’s the winning formula at this level.