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When to Move Up the Limits in Poker

Moving up in limits is a natural progression through the game of poker. You start out playing at a limit that you can afford and then once you win enough to afford a higher limit, you move up. You do this because it is easier to make more money at the higher limits because you are playing for more money. The higher limit that you are playing at directly corresponds with how much money you will make. You aim to win at 5 big bets per 100 hands. Winning players do win at this. If you are at a higher limit, the big bet is going to be higher and therefore when you win 5 of them you are winning more money.

It is recommended that you have 30 buy ins for the limit that you are playing poker. To take a shot means that you are only a few buy ins short of moving up and you move up anyways. With this you have to set an amount of buy ins that you are willing to lose before you move back down. The faster you can get to the higher limit games the faster you start making more money.

Setting Rules

When you are playing poker you need to set up some rules for yourself to follow. This is important because you have to be disciplined to be successful at poker. You must set up how often you are going to play compared to how often you will study poker. You must decide how many hours you are going to dedicate to poker each day. You have to decide what means of education you want to use. All of these things are great rules to set up for you and more importantly they are great to follow.

When deciding all these rules you must also decide how you are going to take shots at the higher limits. If you decide that you want to take a shot at the next poker limit when you only have 15 buy ins then you are making a horrible mistake. If you move up and lose then you are even further from your goal of 30 buy ins at the next limit because you lost even more. This is very dangerous because it not only loses money, but it puts you closer to the risk of going bust. If you go bust you have no more money to use to try and win more. This means your poker career is over.

When taking a shot you should have between 25-27 buy ins at the higher limit. Now the lower you set this number as the more you are risking having to build back up if you lose. You set this number because it will only take a few wins to actually make enough money to be properly bankrolled for the higher limit. If you succeed at this then you have successfully taken a shot at the higher limit.

A lot of times taking a shot doesn’t work out just that way. Since you are moving to a higher limit there are better poker players than you are used to playing against. This means you are playing a game in which your odds of winning have lessened. If you play against these poker players and lose then you are forced to move back down in limits. This is why you set a 1-3 buy in limit to move back down. If you take your shot and lose the set amount of buy ins then you simply move back down. If you don’t move back down you are running the risk of going bust.

Learning from Mistakes

There are a lot of poker players who will take a shot and then not move down when they are supposed to. These players are set back even farther than they would have been had they lost their set amount of buy ins, moved down and still lost a few buy ins. Here is an example of what happens when you don’t move down when you should.

Let’s say that you are playing at $20NL. You started with $600 and have worked it all the way up to $1,350. Since you have 27 buy ins you decide to take a shot at $50NL. You have already planned that if you lose two buy ins then you are going to move back down. You win a buy in and then lose one. This repeats a time or two and then you lose three buy ins. This now means you have to move back down. You are at $1,200 now. You only have to win another $150 to be able to take a shot again, but you decide since you went back and forth with winning and losing that you can still handle the higher limit with your skill. After that you proceed to get it all in with pocket aces preflop against any random two cards and they win four times in a row. You are now down to only $1,000 and must work up another $350 before you can take a shot again. Not only are you further back than before, but you also missed out on the money you would have been winning with your time at the lower limit.

Most players must experience this on their own before they really understand how important it is. Moving back down does a lot of damage mentally to the poker player. The above player for example would move up to $50NL they would feel a sense of accomplishment. They are no longer a $20NL player because they are now $50NL players. When that player then loses enough buy ins to have to move down they feel ashamed and disappointed. They feel that they are better than the lower limit and are embarrassed that they had to move down. That player doesn’t yet realize that moving up and down in limits is part of the natural progression of the game.

Taking Shots at Higher Limits

It is very important that poker players realize all that is involved with taking shots. There is no definite way to tell how your experience is going to be with it, but as long as you follow the rules you set for yourself you will be moving up successfully in no time.