How to Make $500 a Month Playing Poker

How to Make $500 a Month Playing Poker
Could you use an extra $500 a month playing poker? Most people would probably answer yes to that question.

And luckily it actually isn't as difficult as you might think. You don't need to be a great poker player either.

A mediocre player could make $500 a month playing poker with consistent play at the lowest stakes online like NL2, NL5 or NL10 or in a live poker cash game like $1/$2 or $2/$5. It will be important to focus on table selection and tilt control in particular though. Making $500 a month playing poker is possible by following these tips.

You don't need to worry though because I am going to explain it all for you step by step in this article. Soon you will be making $500 or even $1000 a month playing poker.


1. The Best Strategy to Make $500 a Month Playing Poker


Now I need to warn you right away, the best strategy for making $500 a month playing poker is not going to be exciting or even that interesting. In fact, it might even be downright boring at times.

But this is because it wins!

Losing poker players love to splash the chips around and make all kinds of big bluffs and hero calls. This isn't the way that a winning poker player approaches the game though.

Playing winning poker at the lower stakes online, or in a small stakes live game, is all about having a tight and disciplined poker strategy. And whether you decide to play 6max or full ring, the strategy is very similar.


So Here's The Deal:

  • You will only play good to strong hands preflop (no exceptions)
  • You will make a bet on the flop most of the time and then give up a lot if they call and you have nothing
  • You will value bet them relentlessly on all postflop streets when you have a decent to good hand

These are the basics. If you want to know exactly which hands to play and which hands to bet I suggest grabbing a copy of my free poker strategy guide.

Study the charts in this short little guide, pin them to your wall. Do whatever you need to do.

The bottom line is this. The correct strategy to make $500 a month at the lower limits requires a lot of discipline and patience. 

It isn't flashy or exciting. It isn't like the poker games you see on TV. There will be no wild bluffs or hero calls. 

As a 10+ year professional poker player myself we refer to this as a "grind." Because this is exactly what it is. We grind it out.

If you want lots of excitement and entertainment go play Fortnite.

Winning poker is much more like a job. You want to win? Then you need to stick with the program and grind it out no matter what.


2. Game Selection in Low Stakes Poker Games


The next key to making $500 a month in small stakes poker games is picking the right games to play in. Now luckily this still isn't that difficult at the stakes I am discussing in this article (1c/2c, 2c/5c and 5c/10c online, $1/$2 live).

If you sit down at a random table in these games your chances are usually reasonable of having one (or more) bad poker players at the table.

What do I mean by a bad poker player?


I mean somebody who is:

  • Playing too many hands (40% or more of the hands dealt to them)
  • Limping a lot
  • Min-betting the pot
  • Calling with way too many hands
  • Making tons of dumb bluffs

And so on. I am sure you know the type. They often call them fish for a reason!

Make $500 a month playing poker

These aren't winning poker players. While I know that sometimes they can be frustrating to play against in the moment, especially if they are hitting all their lucky cards, believe me, these guys are losing big-time in the long run.

They are literally giving away their money over the long run when the math takes over and punishes them for continually sticking their money in the middle as a big underdog.

This is why it is so imperative that you consistently play against these guys. In fact I would go so far as to say that poker table selection is one of the absolute most important "skills" to have in today's poker games.

You just can't ignore this crucial aspect of the game and expect to consistently make $500 a month playing poker. Because most of that money will end up coming from the bad players.

So this is another area where you have to be disciplined as well. If there isn't a player at the table who fits the "bad player" criteria that I outlined above, then you need to leave that table.

And at the lower stakes online there are often dozens of other tables available so there really is no excuse anyways. Even in a live poker game, if you find that you are in a particularly tough $1/$2 game, there is no reason why you should continue playing in that poker game. 

If making money in poker is your goal (which I assume it is since you are reading this article), then you have to always be acutely aware of the players who are seated at your table. 

Don't ever forget the main reason why you are there. It isn't to try and outwit a bunch of other decent poker players. No, it is to get the fish's money!


3. Making $500 a Month Playing Poker Requires a Strong Mindset


The last piece of the puzzle for consistently making $500 a month in small stakes poker games is having the right mindset. 

One of the biggest hurdles that you are going to encounter at these stakes is dealing with the legions of terrible poker players and all the bad beats they are going to give you. 

Believe me, I know this very well as someone who has arguably played more hands than anyone in history at these limits and made over $44,000 in the process.

These guys are really going to test your patience!

Some of them just don't even have a fold button at all. They will chase every draw. They will call you down the whole way with bottom pair, make totally ridiculous bluffs and on and on.

Example Video of a Bad Poker Player Giving Away All His Money


Now while these are all terrible poker strategies and they will pay dearly for it in the long run, the bottom line is that they are going to hit their miracle cards once in awhile. And you need to be prepared for that.

For instance, if they chase an inside straight draw (4 outs) from the flop to the river, they will hit it roughly 16% of the time. 

Is it a smart idea to stick all your money in the middle with 16% equity? No of course not. But at the same time you still can't deny them their 16% equity.

Fish get to make good hands sometimes too. 

So yes, they will hit that ridiculous draw 16% of the time. Sometimes in fact they will get really lucky and hit it several times in a row. And believe me, it will sting, badly. 

It is frustrating to play against these players sometimes when they are hitting all their miracle river cards but you always have to remember that this is what keeps them playing and re-depositing their money again and again. 

If they didn't get a chance to get lucky sometimes, like in a game like chess for instance, then they would just quit. That 16% "tax" that you and I have to pay every once in awhile is a tax that helps keep the games profitable. 

Because this is what keeps the bad players coming back again and again.

So you need to recognize this and not allow yourself to get overly frustrated and go on tilt when they get lucky and hit their ridiculous river card. And yes, even if they hit it several times in a row. 

You need to be prepared for the fact that this will happen sometimes. And in the lower stakes poker games it will happen even more often because you find more players who love to chase every draw and garbage hand.

This is always a good thing for you in the long run though. 


4. Semi-Pro Poker Requires Consistent Play


The last thing that I want to mention is that if you want to make a good side income playing poker, such as $500 a month, then you are going to have to play somewhat consistently. And by that I mean at least a few days a week.

In fact at the lower stakes like I am talking about in this article it would be ideal if you simply got into the habit of playing every single day even if you only have a little bit of time.

Get yourself a good setup and a dedicated poker room as well (if possible).

side income poker $500 a month

And the reason why is because the amounts of money that is typically involved in these games is small. This is especially true online where I am talking about the $2, $5 and $10 buyin games. 

If you want to make $500 a month at these limits that is a lot of stacks to earn!

So this is why I would highly recommend playing consistently which is easier to do online because of the convenience that it offers. 

But I would also suggest learning how to multi-table online poker games as well. I would suggest learning how to play a minimum of 4 regular tables at a time but more is always better. 

If you play a fast-fold game like Zoom, Snap or Fast-Forward, then you don't want to be playing this many tables because the hands are dealt way faster in these games. But still, you should aim to play 2 tables of Zoom style games. 

Because at the end of the day, it is really just all about the grind at these stakes. In fact, it is essentially one big numbers game at these limits.

The more hands that you play, the more chances you have to win. There will be numerous set backs every month like I mentioned before. 

But this is all about the long run. You need to forget about what happens on individual days or even weeks sometime. Your profit at the end of the month is the only thing that matters.

Play consistently and multi-table if you play online poker and you will give yourself the best chance of consistently turning a nice profit every month at the poker tables. 


Final Thoughts


Making $500 a month playing poker is something that a lot of people dream about. It isn't exactly "going pro" kind of money in most western countries. But it is still a nice side income that many people could use. 

And the good news is that it really isn't that difficult to achieve this if you stick to a solid fundamental strategy, play in the right games and play consistently. 

I don't want to make it sound overly easy though either. After all, if poker were such an easy game where you could just sit down and print money, then everybody would be doing it. 

The facts are that most people lose at poker over the long run. And one of the biggest reasons why is because they go on tilt and blow all their winnings every time the bad players get lucky against them.

This is why it is absolutely crucial that you understand how this thing works going in. You are going to take countless bad beats at these stakes in particular. Depend on it and expect it.

But as I always say, the one thing you can't do in this game is fight the math and expect to win in the long run. Play the right strategy and keep your cool when they get lucky, and you will win when it matters.

Make sure you pick up a copy of my free poker ebook to learn the complete strategy I use to consistently make money playing low limit poker.


Let me know your thoughts below on all this. Do you consistently make $500 a month playing poker?

Make $500 a month playing poker

15 comments:

  1. When you mentioned about chasing every draw it mead me realise why your bb/100 drops as you move up - players aren't chasing that crazy draw anymore and your win rate suffers because of it. Always play the fish! Perhaps also recognising the 16% tax is a good way of rationalising the beats you occasionally take too. I might have a little think about that the next time tilt starts creeping on. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya I think that is a huge part of why your win-rate goes down when you move up. Glad this article helped!

      Delete
    2. Great post as usual. I keep thinking about trying this but am scared of cash games...you make it sound possible though aaaghh! Damn you Nathan and your brilliant writing lol
      I should read your guide first and get the math second nature.

      Thanks my friend ��

      Delete
    3. Hehe thanks Mort! If you are already doing well in MTTs or SNGs there is no need to switch over though. You should play to your strengths.

      Delete
  2. Hi Nathan, just wondered how many hands a month you play? I just started and played 16,000 hands last month and made just over 200 dollars at 0.05/0.10 2 tabling Zoom (still trying to deal with spewing when tilted issues). I'm aiming for 1000 hands a day this month. I think 2 tabling Zoom I get about 250 hands per 30 minutes. Are these numbers about right to you?
    Great post as usual btw :-)
    Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paul,

      I am not Nathan but I play fast fold poker as well. I can't play on Stars since I'm American but I play on Ignition Poker and it has Zone Poker which is almost identical to Zoom on Stars. I can confirm that I also can get about 250 hands/30 min when I 2-table. So you'd likely need to play about 2 hours per day to achieve your goal of 1000 hands per day.

      Good luck my friend!

      Jason

      Delete
    2. Hey Paul,

      It changes drastically depending on my life. Anywhere from 20k hands in a month to 300k in my craziest grinding days.

      Delete
  3. Timely article, Nathan. I was starting to get discouraged about grinding it out at the micros. Reminds me to keep at it and play consistent, solid poker. The results will come if I do.

    Thanks as always for giving back to the poker community,

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jason glad I could help.

      Delete
  4. Living in a low cost country will motivate a micro grinder much more since he knows the purchasing power of 500-600$.On the contrary 600$ in a country such as Switzerland are pennies so why spemd hours grinding your butt when cleaning toilets for 4h/day will make you 4 times as much?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup good points Jimmy. People from all over the world read my articles. And poker is just one way to make a side income.

      Delete
  5. yes jimmy i agree a lot of players waste their times IMO

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ok. You recommend to use HUD and to play on easiest poker sites. But easiest poker sites from your list restrict the use of third party tools, have anonymous screen names and limit multi-tabling.

    So what to choose? PokerStars with my HUD or UNIBET, for example, where you can't exploit bad players?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Hey Tapac,

      The #1 site on my list allows HUDs, allows third party tools, no anonymous names.

      https://www.blackrain79.com/p/poker-sites.html

      Sites that place restrictions aren't necessarily bad if there are plenty of fish there. That is why I include those other sites. Fish is my #1 criteria.

      Delete
  7. Man this is the 3rd time trying to type this and my last.. you all are relying on a random number generator possibly set up by artificial intelligence or rain man himself.. you all forget math can be really super tricky especially with huge numbers.. you study 2 million hands and look at just the %.. please don't stop there because your not done.. just because the number is the same does not mean every single situation was legit and it's simple to mimic the odds of something to give you an allusion.. it's also simple to bribe a gaming investigator group, especially when you literally make tens of thousands + a day.. the reason they are not legit is simple, legit poker is boring and repetitive and they also know they can't ride this horse forever so they capitalize quickly before they end up on the news.

    ReplyDelete