Definition of win rate in poker: a winrate is most simply defined as the rate of money you win at the tables. This is shown as bb/100 which means how many big blinds you win per 100 hands.
A quick example of this would be:
- You play 100nl - 0.50/1.00
- You have a 4bb/100 win rate
- This means you win $4 every 100 hands you play.
What is a good winrate in poker?
A lot of players get hung up about their poker win rates and this is normally due to the fact they were probably a lot higher years ago when poker was much easier. Also the ring of “4bb/100 is good” still sounds in their ears. Nowadays (2014) winrates can be seen as this:
- 0bb/100 - Breakeven. Some players see this as amazing as they are rakeback grinders. So if they are getting 50%+ rakeback and promos they will be making lots of money from this. So high volume lots of hands and breaking even could be making them more money than a player with a huge winrate and no rakeback.
- 2bb/100 - Great Work. This really is a super solid win rate and something you should be very proud of. Playing volume and having a good deal will make you a very successful player and put you in a spot that other players admire.
- 4bb/100 - You are bordering on being a crusher! This win rate is huge and 99% of players out there will be extremely envious of this.
- 6bb/100+ - Well you are almost in a world of your own now and you are one of the best out there. If you are beating the games at this level you should be grinding until your brain stops. There is some serious money being made so keep on crushing!
Something to bare in mind is what games you are playing, as well as rakeback and bonuses. These can be worked out as winrates to. You may have seen players saying “I have a 4bb/100 winrate including rakeback”. This could actually mean they have a -2bb/100 - 2bb/100 winrate and be making the majority of their money from rakeback. A pretty rough estimate is if you have a good rakeback deal you can lose -3bb/100 at the tables and still be breaking even overall. This shows how much room there is and how valuable rakeback and bonuses are.
Overall in the poker world most players lose so they will have a negative bb/100 winrate. Most winning players fall somewhere inbetween 0bb/100 and 4bb/100 with very little doing better than this. For those players who do earn 4bb/100+ they should look at moving up the stakes as they could be missing out on earning even more money at their current level.
Whats a good sample size?
Sample just means amount of hands. We need to have a big sample to see if your winrate actually means anything. A few of you reading this might have just played a session and seen you have won +35bb/100 and think you are the next Phil Ivey. Sadly this is untrue. Sessions mean nothing in the long run but its always great if its a winning session. A sample needed to truly see how good we are is 1million hands. Daunting i know but we as grinders can rack numbers like this up easily. Any sample of 100k hands + will give you a decent indication but variance can still bite us in the butt. So just sit back, learn, grind hard and when you see at least 6 figures of hands then take a look.
What else does our winrate tell us?
Once we have our winrate we can actually work out some expected earnings such as what we should average per day, week, month and even year. This is as long as the numbers stay the same. These numbers won’t give us the exact payouts we expect but they do give a solid indication.
Hourly Winrate Calcultion:
Working out your hourly winrate is simple.
- 100nl player 50c/$1 blinds.
- 4bb/100 winrate = $4 per 100 hands
- A standard 6max cash game table will usually play around 100 hands per hour so this also makes it much easier for us to work this out.
= So from the above example if we played one table we would make $4 per hour.
Example of Average Grinder
- An average grinder will be 6 tabling so we work it out like: $4 * 6 = $24. This is now our true hourly winrate (beats flipping burgers).
A few of you reading this may want to know exact numbers. So say you know you only play 82 hands per hour per table you just work it out like this:
- $24 is our earning per 600 hands so per hour its $24/0.82 = $29.26.
- If we are a true grinder who plays 8 hours per day at 100nl 6 tabling at 82 hands per hour making $29.26 we make 8 * $29.26 = $234.08 per day.
- Ensure you have a large enough sample size before critqueing your win rate.
- Anything above 0 is winning!
- Make sure you have a good rakeback deal - This will significantly increase your winrate.
- Don’t pay much attention per session. Winrate is long term!
- Remember variance - Our aim is to play solid poker in the long term to achieve a positive win rate!
Remember, your poker tracking software automatically calculates your winrate per hour (even if you're playing multiple tables)