Mar 23 2010

Moving Up in Limits

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

Poker is a competition where players look to move up in the ranks. In video games you go on to the next level, but in poker, players move up in limits. The difference between a video game and poker should be clear. With each level that you move up in poker, more money will be at risk. This just can’t be said for a video game player, unless of course the player is betting on their success. Even though video games and poker are very different, they still have many similarities.

Many great video game players have made the transition over to poker and have experienced great success. You must maintain the same composure that you had at your prior level when you make the leap into a new limit. A 100NL player will get destroyed by 200NL players if they decide to play weak and passive. A strong aggressive approach is almost always going to pay more dividends than a scared approach. If you ever heard the phrase “scared money doesn’t make money,” now is the time that you can apply it. There are many players who get scared when they move up in limits, but this can only be detrimental for you both mentally and financially.

Sample Sizes

Sample sizes are incredibly important when moving up in limits. Players should always make sure that they can aptly beat one limit before they decide to move up. A proper sample size will depend on the limits and types of games that you are playing. For example, a sit n go player won’t need to play the same amount of games as a tournament player in order to get an accurate sample size. Cash game players have it the easiest when it comes to sample sizes. 50,000 or so hands is sufficient when moving up in limits. 100,000 would be even better, but a 50,000 hand sample is usually going to be fine for a player who is looking to move up the ranks quickly.

Moving Back Down

If you want to move up in limits, always be prepared to move back down. This might sound like odd advice, but it is extremely important. Many players will take shots at a higher limit, but they won’t always go well. When things don’t go as planned, all that you have to do is move back down and regroup. Moving back down will damage some player’s egos, but sometimes this is a good thing. Use each failure as a learning experience.


Your bankroll should play a major role when deciding whether or not to move up in limits. A properly rolled player will typically play better than someone who is running on fumes. Build a solid bankroll at the limits where you are comfortable, and take a shot at the bigger limit games when you can afford to take a hit. Don’t let a few buy ins throw you off your game. Remember that the money has changed, but the number of big blinds hasn’t. If money is a secondary thought, you are going to be better prepared to take over the game.

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