Not only is it possible to profit by playing, many people make their livings at it. That isn’t to say it is easy but it is definitely possible.
The first thing you have to realize is that texas hold’em is not typical gambling or a “casino game”. You’ll find it in many casinos but there is a big distinction between the two games. In a game such as black jack or roulette you are playing against the house but in hold’em you are playing against the other players. The casino or house, makes it money from the rake and it doesn’t matter who takes home the money. They get paid as long as the game continues. So what you are doing is just risking your money against someone elses in a game of skill. As you progress as a player you’ll find that many people, who play regularly even, still consider it a game of luck
What about luck though? No one knows how the cards will fall. That is true, no one can predict how the cards will be dealt. Texas hold’em poker is a game where all the information isn’t available. It is incomplete game unlike checkers, chess, or reversi but that doesn’t mean one can’t play it with a degree of certainty. Math governs all things and in poker its influence is so strong that even if a player can get lucky now and then, good old numbers smacks them back to reality.
How much money can I make at hold’em? That question is too general to answer. The best I can say is that it depends and give you a few stats. I forget whether it is Sklansky or Malmuth (poker experts and writers) that said this but earning about a big bet an hour is realistic in limit hold’em. So if you play a $5/10 game and play 100 hours, your expected rate is $1000. To just throw something out like that is way too general for our article. Your skill and the skill of your opponents governs how much you will make. When you play low limit hold’em and actually know how to play, you can make way more then that hourly rate.
When you move up in the ranks things become much harder because everyone you play with knows the same information that you do, has the same experience you do, and has read all the same books you have. This is where their numbers are about as accurate as you can get. In addition to limit holdem, there is pot limit, no limit and tournament play. It’s also harder to say how much a person can make in these types of games but generally no limit and pot limit are played at a higher rate money wise then limit holdem so you can make more but you also risk more. Tournaments can be played too that have a nice return but be prepared to pay $10k for a buy-in if you want a chance to win the two million dollars The World Series of Poker gives for first place prize!
Texas hold’em poker and other games where one plays other non-casino players can be beaten. Remember that when everyone thinks hold’em is gambling, and that luck plays the biggest role in whether they win or lose, you have found some great people to sit down with. As you learn more about how the game of texas hold’em is played, you will see there is big difference between a seasoned professional and a new player.
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