I am starting playing poker and I would like to track my results to check if I am winning, loosing or flat. This is e.g. useful to decide whether I can start playing higher stakes or if I should change my strategy.

The issue is that I have no idea when to decide that definitely I am going well/bad rather than I have luck.

How many hands played should be representative sample to figure out how good I am here?

I am usually play limit hold'em on 6 players table.

  • 1
    @vlzvl's points are good, but I wanted to suggest that you use a tool like PokerTracker or Holdem Manager to track your progress. You don't mention it, so it sounds like you might not yet be using one. In addition to the benefit of tracking your wins and losses, you gain a lot of granularity in seeing your success by position or against particular opponents, or to help notice spots where you're being too tight or loose. PokerTracker support site has training videos to introduce you to the interesting parts of the app, and their support forum is helpful when you have a non-obvious question. Aug 5 '15 at 16:49

This is open to discussion, but you generally need to have thousands of hands and i mean 2 digits, like 50k+, to determine your real winrate, filtered by all the lovely downswings, tilt, luck, boredom.

I don't know what is your sample size but if you're starting now as you said, i recommend to stick to microstakes a long time. That is because in microstakes you'll be able to play your ABC game, acting in the basic of ways learning stuff and paying as less as possible.

There are even good players that still playing (multitabling) microstakes because they're profitable.

The higher the stakes, the less winrate in general you'll have as well.

So, if you have a 3bb/100 winrate in microstakes after 2000 hands and you think you're crushing it, if you climb to higher stakes, you may end up losing. Remember that higher stakes players are players that climbed their way (well, most of them).

In addition, higher stakes needs higher bankroll as well. You may be surprised by how you much you required to have before venturing into the higher stakes (and i mean the higher end of the microstakes, not higher).

Instead, if you become good you could try multitabling adding 1 or two tables, increasing your profitability (if you're good) but consuming the same time.

Finally, remember that a good winrate is one that is positive: a 1bb/100 is pretty good in a large sample size; it means you're already doing something good. There's also a good article here. I remember one post in 2+2 forums about a guy that was (really) crushing 6-max microstakes. His winrate? 6bb/100 in 100k hands.


I actually do not suggest doing cash tables if you are new to the game. You need to learn position poker and what it means to be utg, sb, bb, and dealer. I say this because when you are playing microstake cash games people don't do the normal or usual play they would do in say a 5/10 dollar game then a .05/.10 cent game. When you play at these small stakes the game is more dependent on luck than skill and there is virtually no bluffing. If you enter a MTT (multi-table tournament) the prizes are exponential what the buy in is so people feel more obligated to play "good" poker. Once you start making it to the final table more often than not then you should feel comfortable palying at 1/2 dollar blinds. which usually yeild smart poker players in return they are more predictable. Also follow what the guy said above me he has some good points, but I highly suggest you play at least 50 MTTs before you do any cash games if you are new. Good luck on the felt and don't get sucked in by two checks and an all in on the river lol.

BTW I just want to make this clear. MTT and multi-tabling are two completely different things

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