What level of BB/100 are successful cash players able to achieve, and how does this vary with different game sizes?

Put another way, what is a typical BB/100 for a good cash player at:

  • Online micro stakes (e.g. $0.02/$0.05)
  • Online mid-stakes (e.g. $1/$2)

...and what is a typical BB/100 for:

  • In-person mid stakes (e.g. $1/$2)
  • In-person relatively large stakes (e.g. $5/$10)
  • In-person big stakes (e.g. $10/$20+)

There isn't likely going to be a simple answer to this question, but I think it is both useful and possible to have some generalized sense of what hourly rate is possible. There do exist poker players who effectively earn a salary by playing poker, and deriving the hourly rate from that is just a function of time at the table and the difference between net buy-in and net cash-out.

One example of the practical utility of this question - suppose that I want to enter into tournaments and then play cash games around the tournaments to attempt to recoup costs (travel, entry fees, etc). Whether or not this is feasible depends on what kind of hourly rate I'm able to achieve and at what stakes.

  • 1
    it isn't as easy to quantify BB/100 for in-person games I'm sure, since there isn't a computer constantly counting the number of hands, many players might measure hourly rate instead.
    – quantif
    Aug 5, 2021 at 3:03
  • There is really no right answer here. The reason being is that the average EV is negative, rake and tips make it negative. In limit cash games some people published a number based on optimal play saying it was 2 big blinds and hour (2+2 publishing mid 80's). No limit of course is different. At any rate this was based on zero sum, and one needed to subtract rake and tips out of that to come up with their real rate. Players I know whom still play limit think it is now near 1 BBPH because they do not get many live ones anymore.
    – Jon
    Aug 5, 2021 at 23:12
  • I see what you're saying @Jon , average is EV is negative and the rake/tips add up.
    – quantif
    Aug 6, 2021 at 15:01
  • but even so, there are people who play cash games and turn a net profit every year, isn't this true @Jon?
    – quantif
    Aug 6, 2021 at 15:02
  • I think that while there isn't necessarily a simple and straightforward answer, there would seem to be some generalized benchmark that is based on actual and recent play
    – quantif
    Aug 6, 2021 at 15:04


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