You don’t have to be a high roller to enjoy online poker. In fact, there are more cash games and tournaments available with low limits than high limits. In this article, we’ll help you get started with broadening your knowledge on the subject. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of playing low limit poker and give it a try yourself.
Here’s what you’ll find in this article:
- What poker games fall under low limits?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of playing at lowest limits?
- An overview including strategy for cash game tables
- An overview including strategy for poker tournaments
- Keep in mind the extra costs for depositing
- Is low limit poker for you?
What poker games fall under low limits?
In land-based casino poker, the lowest limits in a poker game are €1 / €2 – with a buy-in of between €50 and €400. When you play poker online, you’ll find games that start a lot lower. Almost every poker site has low limit tables of €0.01 / €0.02 blinds. Your maximum buy-in for these is €2, but you often don’t need a full stack to participate. As you can imagine now, the players play quite aggressively and wildly at this level-which makes it easier to beat the game.
If the above tables are too low for you, you still have options to play with a higher limit. Cash game tables have buy-ins ranging from €5, €10, €25, €100 to €1000 or higher if there is a special event coming up. The level of play changes dramatically at poker tables with limits of €0.10 / €0.25 and higher. This is the lowest level where the more experienced players generate their income.
Tournaments stare with a buy-in of €0.50 to €1.00. These games often appeal to a large field of recreational players. To win these tournaments, you have to endure a lot of bad-beats (when you are way ahead, losing the hand) and survive.
Low limit tournaments are available from between €2 and €10. Above this level you will find players who often have a reasonable amount of experience behind them and have developed some knowledge of poker strategy over the years they have been playing poker online.
In this article we discuss limits where you can join an online poker site with a deposit between €10 and €50, and how best to approach these tables.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of playing at lowest limits?
Getting started with online poker is easy, even with the lowest budget available. While there are many advantages to starting at a low limit, there are also a number of disadvantages to consider. Here’s what you should look for:
Games that are easy to beat: With so many opponents who don’t apply strategy or are too inexperienced, you are able to make a good profit because you have an advantage over weaker players.
Lots of table choice: Not only can you enjoy all kinds of formats low limits, there will also be a large choice of tables, which means you can find plenty of profitable situations.
Poker bonuses and perks: Poker sites usually offer a poker bonus for the lowest deposits (including larger ones). Look for extras like tournaments (free-rolls) for beginners.
Frustrations running high: Frustrations arise easily at the lowest limits because it is inevitable that you will get bad-beats around your ears. Opponents sometimes go with every 2 cards and get lucky, cracking your aces for example. Keep in mind that with a little reasonable play you should already be able to make a profit in the long run.
Large tournament field: Low limit tournaments attract a lot of players. While it makes the pot nice and tasty, it also means that you have to play for hours to reach the final table (or you have to play an Ultra / Turbo tournament with very fast structure blinds).
Loyalty points are harder to come by: Poker site loyalty programs require you to collect points from “real money” games. At the lowest limits, this is very slow. With high limits, you climb up faster, thus benefiting from extra privileges and/or extra poker bonuses.
Cash game tables with low limits
In Cash games, the chips in front of you have an actual cash value. If you win a £10 pot, your balance is increased by exactly this amount. There are 4 main forms of these games on almost every online poker site:
- Full Ring: Play with 9 or 10 players.
- 6-Max: 6 players maximum at a time, and sometimes 4-max.
- Heads-Up: Play against one opponent.
- Fast-Fold: As soon as you discard your cards, you move to a new hand on a new table, with players from a large field.
The poker sites offer a legion of games for these low limits. They are characterized by loose/passive play, with players watching every flop. With little money on the line, players are more likely to go for less.
If someone has any chance at all of getting anything left, even if it takes two cards, for example, they will go with you until the last card to sometimes end up beating you after all.
The strategy for beating these games is simple. You get an immediate edge on the field simply by playing fewer hands. By discarding your cards more often, you have a stronger advantage when participating in pots.
By avoiding the “passive” style where players call the big blind every pot. And only playing good hands aggressively, then you are guaranteed to have a better chance of winning money. Learn how best to play from position and your edge will be increased even more.
Low limit cash game tables have a high variance. With so many players going along on every raise with marginal hands, there is always a risk that someone will make a “suck-out. This means they beat you on the fourth or fifth card, even though the odds are against them.
Keep in mind that this style makes them lose money in the long run. As long as you turn to the usual ‘ABC Poker’, then you will make long-term gains in online poker at the low limit tables.
Low limit poker tournaments
The lowest buy-in poker tournaments are free. These are known as ‘free-rolls’, and are often used for promotional purposes or are part of the loyalty program.
At reputable poker sites, you have to compete against thousands of players for real money prizes. These fields include players who don’t care (all-in every hand), and players who have some idea of how poker works.
To get into the money in these types of tournaments is tricky, because you have to survive the situations where players have formed a good hand on an unusual flop with any two cards.
While there are a large number of players who do take the game seriously as you play tournaments with real money buy-ins, the standard games are still quite weak. The loose and wild players in the first blind levels create a dilemma.
Playing against these types of players is risky because you never know what hand they are playing with. At the same time, if you don’t take their chips, you have to fight for it in a later blind level against stronger players.
Again, ‘ABC Poker’ will win here in the long run. Playing better hands than your opponent, and playing them aggressively from position is the right strategy.
You need to build up a stack, because the real payoff from these tournaments comes when you make it to the final table. Playing too cautiously to get into the money is not a profitable poker strategy in the long run. There are many tournament forms to choose from at the low limits.
These include rebuys, turbos and tournaments where every player has a bounty – where players are rewarded with a sum of money if they are eliminated from the tournament.
We recommend you try the satellite tournaments where you can qualify for tickets with higher buy-ins for a low fee.
What other low limit poker tables are available?
Sit N Go tournaments are a good way to build up your balance with your small deposit. The most popular form is with 1 table, where 9 players maximum can participate, and 3 players get paid out. The winner gets 50% of the full prize pool.
The strategy for the Sit N Go tournaments with more tables (multi-table) is different. You have to play tight in the beginning, and learn the math for the “all-in” or “fold” strategy when there are only one or two players left to be eliminated.
Lottery Sit N Go tournaments are fast-paced and an enjoyable variety. These games allow low limit players to win big prizes. Most important is the random prize pool involved, which is determined only after the game has started.
The exact forms of this vary from site to site, with the 3-handed and super fast blinds being the most common form. It is possible to win up to 10,000x your original buy-in through these games.
It’s not just Texas Hold’em Poker where you can play poker with low limits. There are plenty of fun Omaha Poker variants that are still growing in popularity in the Netherlands. These games have four cards instead of two cards.
Then you have the choice of several Omaha variations such as ‘Pot Limit’, ‘Hi-Lo’ or even a variant where there is a 5th and 6th card. In short, plenty of choice, and it starts from low limits of €0.01/€0.02, which make these games very accessible for even the smallest balances.
Depositing at poker sites with low limits
If you make small deposits at a poker site every time, you don’t want to pay extra fees. This can take a large part of your balance. Usually you can deposit between €10 and €20 to start playing. This varies per poker site, and the method you select to deposit with.
We recommend that you look at the bonus terms and conditions carefully before making a deposit. You might find that a small deposit gives you extra benefits like free entry to tournaments or doubling your money (100% poker bonus up to a certain amount).
In the Netherlands you can deposit money with Trustly, Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, Bank Transfer, Paysafecard, Neteller, Skrill and PayPal. Pay close attention to whether the payment method you choose is eligible for the poker bonus. Many of the poker sites indicate that e-Wallet deposits are not eligible for the bonus (for example, Skrill or Neteller).
Enjoying online poker does not require a large balance. Games start with low penny levels and tournaments of less than €1. The low standards of play, and the lack of knowledge of your opponents at these levels mean that you should be able to beat these level s.
Again, don’t forget to take into account the loose and passive style that can cause a lot of frustration. Especially if a bad player gets lucky and hits his 1-outer (only card in the deck that can help him beat you).
With a solid, aggressive approach, and a long-term view, you can end up moving higher in limits before you realize it. Find comprehensive guides on poker on our website with helpful advice and tips to apply while playing online poker.