How to win your first $ 100 in online poker?


All of us were once new to poker. And I think the first goal for most new players was to win $ 100.

And $ 100 is a good bar as an initial goal, because it is fairly easy to achieve, and almost any player with a little patience and tenacity can do it. The good news about setting these small intermediate goals is that it will help you start to gain confidence in your game, rather than if you initially raised yourself some kind of too high a bar and, without reaching it, would give up and give up everything.

After you earn your first $ 100, you can set a new goal – to win $ 1000, and therefore $ 10,000, and so on.

So, in today’s article, I’ll pretend I’m new to poker again. Here’s what I would do to win my first $ 100 in online poker.

What games should you play?

The first thing you need to do is decide in what format to start the game. I would advise you to choose something that is easy to understand and master, even for a beginner.

This is why I usually suggest: cash games .

For those who are not in the know: cash games are when you take a small amount of money at the table and try to increase it. The blinds do not change and the game, in theory, never stops. Cash is perhaps the best place to learn the basics of poker and make money.

When it comes to limits, I highly recommend starting with the lowest ones, which are NL2 online.

Yes, I understand, for some people it can be boring and inconvenient, because the sums of money here are very small. But the best thing you can do when you start your poker career is to start playing with the simplest fields . And the lowest rates always create the weakest competition.

Plus, if you are a complete beginner, then I would also recommend 9-max tables at first, instead of 6-max. The point is that 9-max tables are generally slower and easier for a beginner to master.

What bankroll do you need?

If you play online, then I would recommend starting with NL2 cash games with about $ 40 back . You will always need to have some money (bankroll) to start playing poker.

Yes, I know a lot of stories (this was in my case as well) when players, without investing at all, unwound from some freeroll. But often it didn’t happen the first time and it took a lot of time.

Yes, and such stories are not straightforward that there are many, and moreover, today I realize that it was wasted time . It would be much easier and faster to deposit $ 40 and not waste extra time in my life. And since time = money, it was a really bad idea.

Yes, you can also try your luck in freerolls, but again, in my personal experience, this is a waste of time, especially if you can afford to allocate some fifty bucks for the game.
The fact is that you will need to beat thousands of other players in the tournament, and all in order to win some absolutely ridiculous amount in the freeroll. Trust me, this is not the best use of your time. You will have to be incredibly lucky and will have to play several hours to win some ridiculous $ 5 as a gift.

Again, this is stupid, so the best thing to do is to just cash in a small amount of money ($ 40) and deposit to get started.

Your goal with that $ 40 is to turn it into $ 100. I would recommend starting with one NL2 cash game table. From now on, you will begin to gradually build up your bankroll by applying a simple but fundamentally solid strategy against the many bad players that live at these limits.

Try multi-tabling

One of the top tips for taking your $ 40 and turning it into $ 100 in micro stakes cash is to try playing multiple tables at the same time.

The beauty of online poker (compared to live casino poker) is that you can play multiple tables at once. This will allow you to dramatically increase your hourly winrate, which will ultimately help you reach your goals much faster.
In fact, wild multi-tabling has been one of my biggest “secrets” to success as an online poker pro for over 10 years. I was multi-tabling just insanely – 24 tables each. And this allowed me to receive a very tangible total income even at micro-stakes.

But at the same time, it is important to say that you need to be able to select the correct number of tables so that you feel comfortable, that is, so that you have time to make quality decisions in every hand. For some, this may only be one table. And this is completely normal.

Learning to play 4, 8, or 15 tables at once, as some do, is not something you learn overnight. It comes with experience.

Play TAG-style to earn your first $ 100

So let’s talk in more detail about the poker strategy that you will need to use the first time. You must play a tight-aggressive (TAG) style for maximum success.

If you do not know what it is, then the TAG strategy consists of:

  • Carefully choosing the starting hands that you decide to play preflop.
  • Striving to play in position as often as possible (BU and CO).
  • Play aggressively postflop most of the time.
  • Frequent value bets and rare bluffs at micro stakes.

In fact, the TAG strategy is a little broader than described above, but these are just a few of the fundamentals. Unfortunately, a detailed analysis of the TAG strategy is beyond the scope of this article, but it is very easy to find materials on the Internet, including free ones, on this topic.

The TAG strategy is very simple. In short, in essence, you have to learn to play the opposite of what most people (fish) do. You must learn to be disciplined, play only good hands, understand the importance of position at the table, value bet strong hands, and stop bluffing and slowplaying a lot. Again, this is basically the exact opposite of what most people do!

With this very simple no micro stakes strategy, I can almost guarantee you will succeed.

The most important thing here is to stay disciplined, regardless of your short-term results.

What about MTT tournaments?

Many people enjoy MTT tournaments more than cash because of the thrill of winning and in general the ability to turn a very small amount of money into a large one.

For example, at one time I won a tournament where the buy-in was only $ 2, and I turned it into $ 800. Sounds powerful, doesn’t it?

But as elsewhere, there is a catch here too. The variance in tournaments is usually much higher than in cash games. This means that you will go through much longer and more intense streaks of failures (downswings). And this is a very big problem for players, especially if you, as a beginner, are not ready for this and start with a tiny $ 40 bankroll.

Even a good profitable player can easily, absolutely through no fault of his own, burn the entire $ 40, even if he only plays in cheap tournaments with a buy-in of $ 1 or $ 2. This is because variance (ups and downs) is common in poker.

In a big MTT tournament, it will take an incredible amount of short-term luck to make it to the final table and take the top spot.

And absolutely all MTT players (even if your name is Phil Hellmuth) can perform poorly at short distances, and sometimes they can be unlucky for months or even years.

You only hear about successful tournament players when they suddenly shoot, catch a streak of good cards, and make a lot of money. But most of the time they actually lose. This is the “behind the scenes” that usually no one ever talks about. And since your bankroll is so small, you just can’t afford it!

This is why I generally do not recommend starting with tournaments until you have enough bankroll (say $ 300 +) to resist variance much better.

Final thoughts

Earning the first $ 100 in poker is an important milestone and a huge achievement for every player.

And the great thing about achieving that goal is that you can now pursue much larger goals, like making your first $ 1,000 or your first $ 10,000 at the poker tables.

The most important key to building your first $ 100 bankroll is to start by playing micro-stakes cash games full of fish, using a very simple tight-aggressive strategy.

Most likely, after some time you will want to multi-table, and here it is important to determine the correct number of tables for yourself, so that you are not bored at the same time, and you have time to think and make the right decisions.

In general, I would suggest avoiding MTT tournaments for now until your bankroll gets bigger.

If you follow these simple tips, I’m sure it won’t take you long to earn your first $ 100 in poker!

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