Low stakes poker refers to poker games where buy-ins are smaller, often less than $100, making it accessible to a wide range of players. And when we say a wide range of players, we really mean every type of poker player you can think of! These games are particularly popular with recreational players, beginners who are just starting out to play poker and players who play poker for entertainment rather than as a main source of income. The appeal of low stakes poker lies in its affordability, lower risk and the opportunity to learn the game without significant financial pressure.
The atmosphere of your typical low stakes games is often more relaxed and social. This attracts players who enjoy the camaraderie and fun of the game as much as the potential winnings. As a result, low-stakes poker tables tend to be filled with a mix of players, from curious newcomers to experienced amateurs looking for a relaxed game.
It’s no surprise that a variety of low deposit poker sites are competing for new players with welcome bonuses and low stakes cash games that run around the clock. The question is: How do you beat these games to the max? Let’s take a look at low stakes poker strategies that may sound bizarre at first glance, but are very effective in emptying the stacks of your opponents!
Forget pre-flop & river bluffing
Low stakes poker is all about players limping, playing way too many hands out of position and over-valuing hands post-flop. If you only played around 20-22% of your starting hands in 6-max poker and never loosening up, you would do absolutely fine. For full-ring games with 9 players, you’d want to aim at 14-16% VPIP.
While many recreational players at low stakes cash games fold their unimproved hands on the flop or the turn when facing a bet, once they get to the river it’s rare to see them giving up hands like top pair with a weak kicker or second pair. The river is a great street to value bet your strong made hands to the max, but bluffing the river is usually the same as outright burning money at low stakes games!
Make larger pre-flop opening raises & 3-bets (against loose players)
Given the nature of the player pool, a GTO-mimicking solver-approved approach with consistent pre-flop raise sizes by each position is usually not the right hammer for maximizing profits. Try making large openings and 3-bets with a solid range against players who are super loose with their hand selection: This way you capitalize on your edge when holding a strong starting hand. You should mostly stick to 3betting strong premium hands like TT+, AQo+, KQs.
Bet & raise way bigger with the nuts (against sticky opponents)
Let’s say you flop a bottom set or a nut flush on a dry board. By betting a bit larger on the flop than you’d usually do, the final pot on the river will be much bigger if you opponent sticks around. And boy do they stick around in low stakes games – even with hands like Ace high or bottom pair!
C-bet a lot more against the blinds in single-raised pots
You raise a suited connector on the button or from the cut-off and get called by the Small Blind or the Big Blind, a passive player who likes to see many flops. Since they’re not going to check-raise bluff you a lot, you can go for a continuation bet with almost any hand that has some type of backdoor equity or connection to the flop.
Make crying folds on the river (against opponents who don’t bluff enough)
This adjustment is one of the most important ones you can implement while playing low stakes games, so pay close attention:
Passive players are not only fun to play against, but extremely profitable opponents too. Why you might ask? Well, you can read them like a book whenever they spur to life with a big bet or a raise!
This concept is taken to the extreme on the river. If you have a strong hand like top two pair but a passive player raises your bet, you can let your hand go as they’re very unlikely to be bluffing you. It will feel bad for a moment, but you’ve probably saved your money by folding!
Ace King – A pre-flop fold when facing aggression from passive players in low stakes games?
Lay down relatively strong pre-flop hands (against passive players)
River is not the only street to play smart by over-folding against aggression in low stakes games. Same goes for preflop raises when you hold a pair of Queens or Ace-King AKA The Big Slick and a passive player 4-bets you. They rarely have anything other than Kings or Aces, and some players are so passive they only had Aces in this scenario. Unless you have the proper implied odds to hit a set with your Queens and you are deep-stacked, it’s time to click that fold button again.
Compare rakeback deals at different online poker sites (a no-brainer)
Superior strategy is one way to win in poker, but a lot of factors outside the tables affect y
our winnings – sometimes even more than how you play! Rake collected by the house in low stakes games is relatively large, and beating the games requires you to both table select & grab a good rakeback deal at the poker site you play at. Rakeback can make a massive difference in your winnings over the long run.
Now, if you’re looking to crush low stakes games online or at your local casino, re-read this article to memorize the strategies we just laid out for you. Playing ABC poker with solid opening ranges and folding more when facing aggression will take you quite far at low stakes poker. Have fun at the tables and go crush em!