Can You Make $5,000 Per Month Playing Online Poker?

How to Make $5,000 Per Month Playing Online Poker
People often ask me if it is still possible to make good money these days form poker, and specifically a solid amount like $5000 per month.

Because let's be honest, for most people, even in wealthy Western countries, this is often equivalent to the amount that they make at their full time job.

In some cases, it is actually more.

And who wants to work a boring 9-5 office job when you can play a silly little card game for a living in the comfort of your own home in the case of online poker?

Am I right?

Also, since I wrote this article during the Covid-19 crisis, finding a way to make some good money from home is more important than ever to many people these days.

Ok, in all seriousness though, I do need to point out that playing poker for a living certainly isn't for everybody. And the vast majority of people who play this game actually lose in the long run.

In fact the vast overwhelming majority of people who play poker will never consistently make $5000 per month from this game.

I actually just put out a video on this as well.

But for a few people out there with the right combination of skill, discipline, emotional control and work ethic, the game of poker can be a highly lucrative part time or even full time gig.

So in this article I am going to give you my top 5 ways to start making $5000 per month from online poker.

Let's get started!

1. Get Really Good at Poker and Play Mid Stakes or High Stakes

Ok, so it should kind of go without saying that the #1 way to make a lot of money from poker is to get really good at the game.

The #1 style of play that I recommend for beginners at low stakes is TAG which stands for tight and aggressive.

Basically this means that:
  • You have a tight starting hand selection preflop, only premiums, broadways, pocket pairs, suited connectors and suited aces
  • You are always aware of your position at the poker table and you are always trying to abuse it (i.e. playing most of your hands in late position).
  • You are very aggressive after the flop betting both for value and also bluffing on the right cards, versus the right players
  • You work hard on your mental game to reduce tilt as much as possible

All of this stuff is the basics of a solid TAG strategy these days that all beginners need to know. I discuss it more in this TAG strategy for new poker players video I made:

If ANY of the stuff that I talk about in this video above is news to you, then I would highly suggest reading my free poker cheat sheet as well.

My free poker "cheat sheet" breaks down my overall TAG poker strategy for you step by step, so that anyone can understand it.

Now, learning basic TAG strategy though is very unlikely to get you making $5000 per month consistently from poker.

But it is the absolute basic foundation that you must master before you can even consider moving up the games where you can solid money.

So if you want to make $5,000 per month playing online poker I would recommend that you play at at least the mid stakes games.

This would be the $1/$2 blind cash games (aka NL200) if you play online and $10/$25 blinds cash games if you play live.

If you play tournaments than you will want to be playing at least $50 buy-ins online and $500 buy-ins live in the casino.

The bottom line is that you are not going to make $5000 per month from poker unless you are playing some decently high stakes, and you will need a solid TAG strategy to beat these games as well.

I would also suggest that you start using a good free poker HUD in order to get better reads on your opponents.

2. Study Advanced Poker Theory and Strategy Away From the Poker Tables

But let's face it, in today's competitive online poker environment you are going to need more than a  basic TAG strategy in order to compete with other good players at mid and high stakes, many of whom will be professionals themselves.

So you are also going to need to start studying some advanced poker theories and strategies away from the poker tables as well.

What do I mean by this? I am talking about stuff like:
  • GTO poker strategy
  • Solver analysis
  • ICM theory for tournaments
  • 3bet and 4bet range construction
  • Understanding how blockers work
  • How to count card combinations
  • How to calculate pot odds and implied odds quickly
And so on.

This isn't the old days anymore where all of the high level poker knowledge is controlled and kept secret by a handful of pros. It is instead out there and widely available these days.

So there is no point spinning your tires for months or even years on end trying to figure it all out on your own like I and many others did.

But, you are not going to quickly learn all this stuff by reading a short little poker guide or watching poker videos on YouTube/Twitch either.

You are instead going to need to invest in a good poker training program that only hires top professionals as their instructors.

My #1 recommended poker training program these days is my brand new Elite Poker University.

This is the best poker training program available today that top pros rely on to beat small and mid stakes poker games, both live and online.

It includes 17+ hours of advanced poker lessons, hundreds of step by step example hands and "cheat sheets."

If you are serious about taking your game to a world class level, enroll today.

Get $100 Off Use Code: ELITE100

By the way, I don't have time to cover it in this article, but if you want to make big money in poker, then you should of course be studying your opponents and fixing your leaks in PokerTracker too.

What About Hiring a Poker Coach?

Now, you could also go the more traditional route of hiring a coach. This is something that I have done in the past (and I have also coached 100's of students myself as well).

However, I typically recommend a good poker training program like those mentioned above for most people because it is far more cost effective.

For example, when I was last taking on new students I was charging $100 per hour. And if I were to ever start coaching poker again, I would charge quite a bit more than this now, $200 per hour bare minimum.

Now, instead of paying a poker coach $200 per hour you could get lifetime access to my entire Elite Poker University instead.

50+ videos, 17 hours of advanced training, hundreds of example hands and cheat sheets.

This is a much better deal for most people.

So unless you really need that consistent 1 on 1 attention, I typically advise against hiring a poker coach until you get to mid stakes and preferably high stakes.

Because the bang for your buck is much better with a quality poker training program.

My Free Poker Cheat Sheet Teaches You How to Make $1000 Per Month From Poker

Let's face it, making $5000 per month from poker is pretty hard. That is why I wrote a free poker "cheat sheet" which teaches you how to start making $1000 per month much more easily.

Can You Make $5,000 Per Month Playing Online Poker?

Read my free poker cheat sheet in 20 minutes and start using the strategies for yourself immediately at the poker tables.

These are the exact poker strategies by the way that I have used as a 10+ year poker pro. And I lay them all out for you step by step in this free poker guide.

Enter your details below and I will send my free poker cheat sheet to your inbox right now.

3. Develop a World Class Poker Mental Game If You Want to Make $5000 Per Month From Poker

Ok, so what if I told you that learning the right strategy is only half the battle in poker, especially if you want to make $5,000 per month or more?

Well, sorry to break it to you, but it is true.

The #1 thing that separates world class pros like Daniel Negreanu for example from everybody else is world class tilt control.

If you do not learn how to control your emotions when the cards go south on you, there is no way that you are ever going to consistently beat small stakes games, let alone mid stakes or high stakes.

And this is because poker is all about how you deal with the endless series of bad beats, setups, suckouts and coolers.

Poker pros deal with them much better than amateurs, or at the very least, they know how to mitigate the damage by simply quitting for the day.

And in today's games, especially at mid and high stakes, this is an absolute deal-breaker for your success or failure.

Because in today's tougher poker environment you simply cannot afford to be giving donations to other good players via emotionally charged poor decision making.

This is because, most players today simply aren't making enough large glaring errors and fundamental mistakes anymore for you to be able to get away with this.

So for me as a poker pro this means a total lifestyle adjustment. Creating a tilt free low stress life and a zen like state at the poker tables starts the minute I wake up in the morning.

Regular exercise is absolutely crucial to controlling stress levels, encouraging better sleep, cognitive function and so on. So this is why many top poker pros are starting to do this.

I also watch my diet very closely only eating a non-processed low carb, high protein diet with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables.

I know that what I put in my body is absolutely essential to how my brain functions in the heat of the moment, so I don't feed it crap. Only the best food.

Lastly, I have an extensive meditation routine both before and after my poker sessions which allows me to mentally detach from short term results and focus only on what matters, the long term.

You are going to need to find what works for you. But suffice it to say, if you aren't willing to work very hard on your mental game, then there is no way that you are ever going to make anywhere close to $5000 per month from poker.

I have written tons more articles here on my website specifically on how to stop tilting so much.

4. Build Your Own Personal Poker Brand

If you are serious about making $5000+ per month from poker and you plan on playing mid stakes or high stakes one day, then you need to start getting serious about building your personal brand.

It is not enough to just grind it out in your mom's basement anymore and make millions. The games are harder now.

If you really want to have success in poker these days and make solid money like $5k or $10k per month, then you also need to develop your side hustle, which is you!

All big name poker pros these days understand the importance of this. So they have social media accounts, YouTube or Twitch that they actively post or stream on frequently. They are networking with other big name pros and so on.

What all this does is provide them opportunities to get paid sponsorships, brand deals, better rakeback rewards, paid teaching opportunities and so on.

I have been building my own BlackRain79 brand on YouTube, this website, social media and so on for many years now, and it has led to countless opportunities for me away from the poker tables.

Can You Make $5,000 Per Month Playing Online Poker?

Basically, if you are really serious about making $5000+ per month from poker, then you need to start creating multiple revenue streams away from the tables based on your personal brand as a poker player.

People need to know who you are. You need to have a personality and an image. This way poker sites for example will reach out to you with paid offers to be a "sponsored pro" etc.

This is the kind of "variance free" side income that all top poker pros are getting these days. Because it is very important to develop these consistent revenue streams if you want to have large scale success in poker.

If your only goal is to just rely on the money you make at the poker tables, this is just not a smart approach at all.

And it is going to really such when you are getting absolutely killed at the poker tables for weeks or months on end (as will happen to all pros), and you have absolutely no other revenue streams.

Don't be silly. If you are serious about making the big money in poker (i.e. $5000+ per month), then you need to start building your personal brand as well. It is simply part of the job these days.

By the way, I discuss this in much more detail in my new Elite Poker University training. 

Learn EXACTLY how to start crushing small and mid stakes poker games, play semi-pro or even full time pro. Use my proven elite poker strategies to start winning fast.

Get $100 OFF Use Code: Elite100

5. Be Very Selective About Where You Choose to Play Poker and Get Signed as a Sponsored Pro

My last tip for making $5000 per month playing poker is to be very selective about where you decide to play poker.

Firstly, you have to make sure that there are tons of fish (bad recreational players) or there is no way that you are going to make $5k+ per month without playing at a world class level.

Increasingly these days some of the best action is not on the traditional online poker sites or the big name casinos.

Instead it is on online apps and in private games, many of them being based here in Asia, where many poker pros like myself have relocated.

In fact, it is absolutely no secret that some of the most well known poker pros in the world like Tom Dwan only plays poker in Asia now because most of the biggest action is here, and not in traditional places like Las Vegas anymore.

Secondly, building off of my last point, you need to make sure that you are getting the best rakeback and/or bonus deal where you are playing.

Now I don't have the space here to dive deep into how rakeback and bonus structures work. There are countless articles on the internet explaining this already.

But basically, all poker sites and rooms will offer incentives to play on their poker site with rather than on another poker site.

It is up to you to make sure that you are getting the best deal. In some cases you might be able to negotiate this privately.

Now if you already followed what I said in point #4 above, then you will already have a big advantage here. Because this is just yet another benefit of establishing a big name in the poker world.

For example, I have poker sites and poker apps contacting me literally every day begging me to play on their site, with very lucrative rakeback offers and special deals.


Because they want to say that "BlackRain79" is a sponsored pro on their poker site and they know that I can do a lot to help promote their site because I have a large following.

Can You Make $5,000 Per Month Playing Online Poker?

This gives me the leverage to choose where I want to play poker, get the best rakeback deals and even takes advantage of sponsored pro deals (which are basically free money to promote the site).

Now, if you currently only have 14 followers on your Instagram what poker site is ever going to reach out to you with special deals like this?

None of them will of course!

But if you have made a real effort to build up your poker name and brand like I have with thousands and thousands of followers, then yes, they are going to reach out to you often.

So if you want to make a lot of money playing poker, it is important that you not only play where they have the most fish, but also where you are being offered the most in terms of rakeback, bonuses and potentially a paid sponsorship as well.

This is yet another reason why you should be building your brand and image from the very beginning as a poker player. The bigger name you have, the better deals you will get.

Final Thoughts

Making $5,000 per month from poker puts you in a category where you earn more than most people do in their regular full time jobs.

In other words, it is quit your job and go pro type of money for some. This is how much I was making from poker per month when I originally went pro as well. So it is a good goal to shoot for.

However, for poker beginners, I would aim to make $1,000 per month from poker first. As this is a much easier goal to manage, and doable with a little bit of hard work for most people.

But can you make $5,000 per month playing online poker these days? Yes, but it isn't nearly as easy and quite frankly, most people will never earn even close to this much.

Many people still think they can just pick up poker quickly these days and get rich and live a life of total freedom traveling the world.

But what you see from poker pros on Instagram is only the rewards of years and years of hard work. Of playing absurd amounts of poker. Of working on their game endlessly day and night.

Not only mastering the basic TAG strategies to crush the lowest stakes games but also learning the more advanced stuff like GTO poker strategy, solver analysis and so on.

And also working extremely hard on their mental game in order to have much better emotional control and consistently good decision making at the poker tables.

Luckily for you there are many high quality and cost effective poker training programs like my Elite Poker University available today to shorten your learning curve tremendously.

None of this stuff even existed when I was first cutting my teeth and learning my painful lessons in this game 15+ years ago.

Lastly, you are also going to need to develop a world class level of tilt control if you want to compete in today's mid stakes and high stakes games and make $5000+ per month from poker.

Because this is truly what separates the elite from everybody else these days. Poker pros aren't running around telling their bad beat stories to anyone who will listen like most amateurs do.

They are instead learning from their losses.

Could I have played this hand better? Did I get the maximum value? How did I react emotionally to this bad beat/cooler? How can I react better next time?

And finally, I would also highly recommend that you start building your personal brand and image right now as a poker player. The advantages to this are literally too numerous to even name them all.

Making $5,000 per month from poker will be a lot easier if a poker site offers you lucrative rakeback deals or a paid sponsored pro position.

But if you are an absolute nobody in the world of poker, with 12 followers on Twitter (and two of them are your mom and younger sister), then no poker site on earth is ever going to offer you this.

This is why all top poker pros understand the importance of marketing themselves these days.

Yes, as silly as it might sound, the social media followers do matter. Having a poker YouTube channel, a Twitch stream or a website like me, absolutely does matter.

And if you have any aspirations to go pro or even semi-pro one day in this game, you would be very foolish to ignore this side of the game.

Lastly, if you want to know the complete strategy that I have used as a 10+ year poker pro, 3 time poker author, all while traveling the world, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.


Want to join a poker community full of serious players to discuss your poker hands and get feedback on your poker strategy?

I just created the brand new BlackRain79 Poker Talk Facebook Group. We have almost 6,000 members already and the poker discussion is excellent.

Join right now for free right here.

How to make $5,000 per month playing poker


  1. Great article Nathan as usual. I've got aspirations of turning pro. As you say $5000 even here in the UK is a very good wage especially as 'gambling' is tax free.
    I'm quite sure half this total would allow most to live a very decent lifestyle particularly in a cheaper part of the UK I currently live in London.
    My goal is to achieve this kind of earning and get away from the rat race of a big city.
    All the best mate

  2. This is a very well thought out and also well-written article. Thank you!

  3. In Denver can't play for money online here if so can you tell me how thanks

    1. There are plenty of poker sites and poker apps that accept real money players from the US.

  4. Playing poker South Fl past 16 years one of the better articles pertaining to the game.
    Rookies should jump on these insights and take advantage of what these pros are offering. The financial rewards are there knowledge is power and that is what is being offered.

  5. Thanks again for taking the time to write a great article. enjoy the sun and maybe some day I will make over there and can meet in person.. T