How Much Does A Poker Player Make?

How Much Does A Poker Player Make

There are many different types of poker players. From online to recreational competition, the amount of money won in poker varies based on factors such as the size of a tournament, its popularity and prestige, and especially the stakes. Those who play high-stakes poker are the best of the best and make much more than mid or low-stakes poker players. For those playing high-stakes poker, it is not uncommon to earn at least $500,000 a year.

Professional Poker Players

Professional poker players’ salaries range drastically as they increase in skill level. Mid-stakes poker players make a decent amount of money, but their earnings can still vary based on the talent of the player. Players at this level can make anywhere from $50,000 per year up to over a million.

The amount of money you want to earn from poker is also dependent on the number of hands you play. If you want to hit $100,000 in earnings, it is recommended that you play at least 1,000 hands each eight-hour work day. For high-stakes poker players, earnings start at about $500,000. The greatest players in the world can make $10 million each year, or higher. This comes out to between $500 to $10,000 per hour. However, it should be noted that there are very few high-stakes poker players, simply because it takes so much more effort to become a pro poker player.

Low-Stakes Poker Players

Low-stakes players have it more difficult than pro players in terms of salary and normally cannot make a living off of playing poker. They usually use their poker earnings as a second form of income in addition to a primary job. Low-stakes poker normally consists of games that are $1/$2 live cash games up to $3/$6 live cash games. Most players won’t start making real money until they hit $2/$4 or higher. This is why it is hard to judge how much the average low-stakes player makes per year or even hourly because the range is so vast. Low-stakes poker players usually don’t make over $50,000 a year, and most won’t even crack $30,000.

Online Poker Players

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, online poker has been growing seemingly nonstop. It has almost tripled in users and has made tournaments more accessible to players. The amount of money one might make playing online varies just like live poker, however, based on the limits of online poker.

Beginning at the lowest limit, an online poker player can make around $150 per month. This is if they play around 50,000 hands per month. While this may seem like a waste of time, the winning rate at this stake is the highest. As you move up to the next stake, NL5, there are fewer beginners. NL5 is a slight boost in monthly profit, at $250 per month. These are the two lowest levels, and are mostly used to hone skills.

Once you get up to NL50, you are going to be bringing in a reasonable amount of side cash. This is when the monthly income becomes $1,250. While the stakes have gotten higher and there is a greater potential income, the players you might be playing against are going to be much tougher and make it a risky game to play if you are not well versed in poker. The highest stakes of online poker, NL100, can bring in around a $2,000 per month salary, or higher.


How much do poker players make on average?

On average, a professional poker player in the US is going to make around $64,000 per year. While this doesn’t include low-stakes players and the income variety that many poker players endure, it is a good average for professionals. Don’t expect to just start playing and make this much money, however, as it often takes a lot of time and skill to work up to this level.

Is being a poker player a good career?

Being a poker player can be very lucrative, but it is also a very fickle and difficult thing to make into a career. The best of the best are living life lavishly, and even some middle-of-the-pack, semi-professional players are making a decent amount of money. The hours are not amazing, as most poker players will spend 8-10 hours on a tournament and 1-3 on just a normal live poker game. As long as one is willing to deal with the hours and put in the work, poker can be a great career.