Make Money Playing Poker the Zen Way

March 30, 2009 by Zen  
Filed under Featured Articles

Making big money playing poker doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is a keen ability to read people, and knowing how and when to play certain hands. Don’t be fooled though; watching poker shows on TV will not provide you with these skills… in fact, it will probably diminish whatever skills you started with. A lot of you requested that we share our poker strategy with you once you saw the amount of money we were winning. As per your request, here’s how we rake in the big bucks playing poker.

Be Water – Versatility

The first thing we do is analyze what type of game we’re playing. We’ll adapt our strategy based on whether or not it’s a tournament, a no-limit texas hold’em game, or a limit texas hold’em game. If it isn’t a tournament, we’ll look for games with medium sized blinds… usually something like 10/20 in no-limit games. People in these games tend to have bigger bankrolls, but aren’t too poker savvy, which means they won’t stop us from taking their cash. Poker takes a lot of practice to get good at (even with our strategy); so we do a lot of our practicing here. It’s free, and most importantly gives us the ability to play against players that aren’t garbage or too good. This is what psychologists call the zone of proximal learning; meaning we’re playing at a level set for optimal learning. We’ll practice for at least half an hour before moving into real-money games.

Spot the Fish and Sharks

So for purposes of this tutorial lets say we’ve decided to play a 10/20 no limit game. We want to pick a poker room that we know has some fish in it, and very few sharks. To figure this out, we’ll join several poker rooms (4-5) and just observe the games for a while. Fish are usually easy to spot; they’ll play a lot of hands, and rarely raise or bluff. A lot of the time you’ll see them check–calling, or simply calling all the way to the river. Generally, their chips will gradually be eaten up because of the way they play. Sharks on the other hand will do a lot of pre-flop raising, and be extra aggressive. However, they’ll also bluff from time to time. If we spot a shark, we’ll most likely leave that poker room.

Clean them out the smart way

Okay, so now that we’ve found the poker room that we’re going to clean out. We’ll purchase the max buy-in. We do this because fish are easily intimidated, and a lot of the time they’ll back out if we make a large enough bet. Starting off with a pocket pair 10/10 and above means we’re raising pre-flop. Never go all-in preflop though unless you’re in a free tournament(we know you can make money this way, but even A/A can lose after the flop, and you’ll have no money left). If there are only a couple of players in the pot after the flop, and we have the high pair, we’ll raise by a little, just enough to try kicking some players out of the pot (this increases our odds to win). If we hit a triple/flush/full house/straight/Quad after the flop we’ll put down a bet totaling 40% or more of the money in the pot, depending of course which hand we have. There’s no way we can tell you what exactly to bet as a lot of the time this comes by instinct. However, we do insist you learn poker odds, which will help in determining what to bet and what not to bet.

Take out the cash while you’re ahead

Finally, make sure you take out cash as you play. For instance, before entering a game, come up with the amount of money you want to win in this particular game. For us, usually once we double our money we’ll withdraw the winnings. This way we’re stopping ourselves from making foolish decisions. Also, you should always set a stop loss; meaning set yourself the maximum amount you’re willing to lose in a game. Once you lose this money (we’re hoping you don’t), leave immediately — no ifs ands or buts.

If you follow these steps and continue practicing you’ll find your money always increasing. Just remember to help others with it.

See you at the tables

Zen

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