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What are the differences when playing poker at a lower stakes game compared to playing at a higher stakes game?

Let’s first take a look at what doesn’t change, it’s what poker players would call the math or calculate the pot odds.  Players describe the number of chips they have by how many big blinds with antis and not the amount of cash.  This is why players would analyze how many units you could win compared to the bet.  Now understand, poker is never just about the math.  If this was the case it would make poker very boring.

Let’s look at poker from the psychological side.  The fact that looking for tells from any player can be a challenge, would be putting it lightly.  Players observe and listen for anything that may help them to win.  As the stakes get higher, play changes as does the skill level.

At a lower stakes game:

Many of the players are not as skilled.  There are usually a few good players playing in the low stakes game but understand that most low stakes players will have a limited understanding of the game.  That many players are more likely to call and are actually a lot harder to bluff against.  A lot of these players play mainly to have fun and playing tight against them would be recommended.

At the higher stakes:


Some percentage figures pre-flop

Their skill level is usually higher.  Poker players who want to test their skill level here sometimes get lucky in the short run, but it could get expensive in the long run.  Players that are able to adjust their play, will have a chance.  This level of play will usually filter out most of the bad players so in order to be better at a higher stakes game, a player will have to master their body movements, control their emotions and remain calm.

To recap:

A lower stakes game will have more poker players who call and hope to get lucky. Whereas in a higher stakes game, players will notice a lot less calling, more bluffing and a lot more thinking.  It is advisable to learn math, for every level because it doesn’t change at any level.

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