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VIDEO: 6 Tips to Better Understand and BOOST Your Winrate

Gareth James Boost Your Winrate

In his latest strategy video, Gareth James takes a look at some tops tips on how you can boost your winrate when playing online poker. Check out the video at the bottom of the page, and read on for all the advice!

1. What is winrate?

Winrate is measured in big blind won per 100 hands aka bb/100. It's normally used for cash games, but can be used in multi-table tournaments, although ROI is more commonly used.

Related: 10 Hold'em Tips: Calculating Your Win Rate

2. Why is it important?

It gives you an idea of how fast you're winning, but also shows you where to focus your attention when it comes to study.

3. What about ROI?

ROI is return on investment. If my ROI is 30%, I expect to make $30 profit on every $100 I spend on tournaments. ROI is heavily skewed by short-term results and is not always a great measure of whether you're winning in the game. However, it can help identify tournament-specific leaks, especially when used alongside your bb/100.

4. What winrates can a solver produce?

MonkerSolver has a neat feature where it can show you the winrates it would achieve if it played against itself. The biggest takeaway from these is that you should be winning a lot more from the BTN than you do from EP and it's normal to lose in the blinds. This is because if you folded every time you were in the small blind your winrate would be -50bb/100. Similarly, the BB would be -100bb/100. So any numbers higher than these like -12.9bb/100 in the SB and -35.1bb/100 in the BB is a pretty big win.

Read More: Poker Positions Explained: the Importance of Position in Poker

5. What can affect your winrate?

We now have formats that encourage you to take -EV lines for chips in order to instantly win dollars. That game type is, of course, PKOs/Bounty Builders. This is bound to affect your winrate. Other things that can affect it are playing against better players, misapplying the theory, not exploiting the population and playing poorly - maybe you're not applying your knowledge as well as you think!

6. How to improve your winrate

First you should aim to learn and understand tournament poker fundamentals to set you up for a great career in MTTs. You should then work on population and player exploits - where are they deviating from the fundamentals? You can't do one without the other. And finally, play in tournaments where you have an edge. If you play against players who are weaker than you, your winrate (and ROI) will go up!


Winrate is an important figure to understand. Together with ROI it can help you identify leaks and show you where to focus your study time. You absolutely can improve your winrate, but remember there are some tournament formats that will lower your winrate. Finally, focus on the things you can control that will have an effect on your winrate like how much you study and what you study.

Gareth James is the head coach and founder of MTT Poker School and the lead instructor for MTT Game Changer, an interactive group coaching program and course aimed at part-time poker players looking to compete with the pros. For more information, click here.

  • Better understand your poker winrate with this helpful video guide from Gareth James.

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