What Stakes do Poker Pros play?

When most people think of professional poker players, they envision grinders who make their living in $25/$50 cash games and above. But while these high stakes players may steal most of the headlines, the truth is that poker pros are found throughout a variety of stakes. This being said, let’s take a closer look at what stakes you have to play in order to make a living with the game.

It All Depends…

There is no set cutoff as to what stakes can provide you with a healthy living. And a large part of being a full-time pro depends upon where you live. For example, countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and France have high costs of living. So pros usually need to play at least $1/$2 games and above, even as multi-tablers.

Contrast this to countries like the Ukraine, Mexico, Brazil and Romania, where cheaper costs of living make playing lower stakes more realistic. In some cases, pro grinders in these nations could play $0.05/$0.10 and above with some multi-tabling.

Win Rate and Multi-Tabling

We’ve mentioned multi-tabling a couple of times already because this is extremely important in regard to making profits – especially if you’re trying to earn a living at the lower stakes.

And of course you’re going to need a good win rate as well. The exact win rate needed depends heavily upon what stakes you are playing; for example, an American playing $1/$2 NL Hold’em will probably need to earn 10 big blinds an hour (depending upon daily hours played) along with some rakeback. But a pro $0.10/$0.20 NLHE player from the Ukraine might be able to get away with earning 10 big blinds an hour at this level.

So as you can see, there are all different types of stakes that pros play. And a multitude of factors go into deciding what limits a person has to play to earn a living.

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