That depends on how good you are.I’ll outline the most common win rates below, but be aware your specific win rate will depend on how difficult your game is, the rake, your consistency, and a host of other factors.
I believe my job as a coach is to tell it like it is. Most people simply lose. If you’re a long term winner in poker, it means you’re in the top 5-10% of poker players worldwide. That feat alone is something to celebrate.
While the following breakdown is simplified, I’m going to divide win rates into several categories so you can approximate where you stand. Ideally, you have kept diligent poker records over a large sample size, so you know your hourly rate. Then, you can see for yourself what your true win rate is, and simply plug in the numbers to determine how much you can make per month.
If you’re not already keeping records, please, start now (download the app Run Good). Depending on how often you play, you can accumulate a statistically significant sample in as little as several months. You’ll need at least 500 hours of live playand 50,000 hands online to have meaningful data.
Based on my experience in playing and coaching poker over the years, here are what I believe to be long term sustainable win rates in live poker.
Excellent Pro: 12BB/hour
Solid Pro: 10BB/hour
Moderate Pro/Serious Grinder: 5BB/hour
Straightforward, Tight Recreational Player: 2.5BB/hour
What does the breakdown at a given table look like? I know you’ll hate this, but it really depends on the level of competition.
If there’s an epic VIP, then of course one can expect a higher win rate. At a table full of nits, 10bb/hour may be the ceiling. But on average these things will even out over time, and I believe the above win rates are loosely what one can expect.
I’d estimate in the average nine handed poker game, one or two pros will win in the 10bb/hour range, and another player will win at 5bb/hour. Perhaps one more player will be a slight winner or breakeven, but the rest will be long term losers. Keep in mind that poker is a zero-sum game, which means the winners can only win as much as the losers are losing, minus the rake.
Therefore, the fastest way to increase your win rate is simply to play with more inferior players.
Naturally, that the more one moves up through the ranks the harder it is on average to achieve the above win rates. This is true because bigger games offer more opportunity and with that comes tougher competition.
Therefore, it may be easier to win your target amount at a lower stake game because your hourly rate will be higher. (You’ll also experience less variance).