- »How To Beat Micro Stakes Online Poker Games
How To Beat Micro Stakes Online Poker Games
Online poker is as busy as ever and many of you are jumping into it for the first time. We recommend starting in micro stakes cash games and tournaments, you must learn to walk before you can run.
Micro stakes are the most popular stakes in the online poker world. Companies show you the glitz and glam of high stakes, but the majority of the action is at micro stakes tables. We consider micro stakes to be cash games with blinds of $0.01/$0.02 to $0.05/$0.10. Buy-ins of $0.01 to $4.40 are micro stakes tournaments.
With that out of the way, let’s get started on telling you how to beat micro stakes games online.
Tight Is Mostly Right in Micro Stakes Games
Games with small blinds and buy-ins tend to be quite loose. The main reason behind this is players don’t have a lot of money invested so tend not to care as much. Higher stakes players sometimes drop down to micro stakes to blow off some steam if they’re running bad. Also, sometimes but not always, players are grinding these stakes because they’re not skilled enough to play any higher.
You make most of your money in poker by adopting a style that is the opposite of your opponents. Play looser if they are all rocks, play tighter is they are loosey-goosey. You should, mostly, play tight-aggressive poker at the lowest stakes.
This means having a solid starting hand selection. All pairs are playable, as are Broadway hands, suited aces, big aces, and suited connectors. Remember that position is king in all forms of poker so play tighter in early position, looser in late. Learn more about that here.
Keep Matters Simple At Micro Stakes Level
The majority of players at this level lack the knowledge and skills to understand elaborate bluffs. They simply look at their hands and rarely give a second thought about anything else.
Running a bluff is an art form. It’s essentially telling a story that you have a better hand than your opponent. What’s the point in telling a story to someone who isn’t listening? There isn’t one. Your bluff may seem well thought out and plausible, but your micro stakes opponent looks at the board, sees they have second pair and is calling you all day long!
Keep things simple in these games. Value bet your strong hands and learn when to give up.
Micro Stakes Players Will Pay Your Off
Being able to extract value from hands separates winning from losing poker players. There’s no point in flopping a set if you don’t get paid off with it. Micro stakes players love to pay you off, thankfully.
The best way to extract value is to bet your hands. These players tend to be calling stations who call bets with any piece of the board or a draw. This means you should be prepared to bet the hell out of your strong hands, especially if you’ve had a bet called.
Don’t be afraid of slow playing hands either if your opponent is loose-aggressive. Well-disguised hands such as sets are perfect to slow play against an aggressive opponent. Check-call your way to the river before sticking in a raise on the end.
Overbetting is a good way to extract value from the strongest of hands, particularly preflop. Micro stakes players are prepared to dust off their entire stack preflop with a wide range of hands. This means if you raise with a hand such as kings or aces and are three-bet, a big four-bet is usually the correct play. Call their inevitable shove, obviously, and expect to see pocket tens, jacks, ace-queen and ace-king a lot of the time.
Listen To What Your Opponent is Telling You
The late Kenny Rogers famously sang, “you gotta know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em” and this is true in micro stakes games.
Your opponents will tend to play what is called ABC poker. They bet when they have a hand. They don’t bet when they don’t have a hand. Calling is a different matter entirely because they’ll call while on a draw, for example.
Not paying off your opponents and conserving chips is a great way to boost your winrate. That player who has check-called all the way to the river of a 3h-2d-Qc-Jd-6s board only to come out firing or raising on the river almost always has five-four or pocket sixes in that spot.
It can be frustrating to fold to these types of players, but it is vital to your success.
Follow Bankroll Management; Think In Terms of Big Blinds
Just because the stakes are low doesn’t mean you should disregard bankroll management. It is still important regardless of you playing micro stakes of the nosebleed stakes.
It can be demoralising to play for two or three hours only to win $3.28 at the $0.01/$0.02 tables because it seems like a waste of time. Don’t think like this. Realise that the time you’re investing is part of your poker education and journey.
Also, try to think in terms of big blinds instead of the monetary value. In the above example, you only won $3.28 but that is 164 big blinds. Thinking like this also stops you making silly calls because “it’s only $1.20” to call.
Above all, enjoy your time at the micro stakes games. They can be great fun and the players there are more relaxed than higher stakes. The fact you can win money from your new “friends” is an added bonus!