Ways to make money on pokerstars (that you may have overlooked)

Everyone who has ever played a hand of Texas Hold’em has most likely done so with the intention of making money. Yes, it’s an amazing game on many different levels, but at the end of the day - or should we say session - we all want to be in the black and not the red. It’s just human nature. When we play any type of real-money game, whether it be poker, blackjack, sports betting, horses or what have you, the goal is always to win. Indeed, our desire to do so is what keeps the gambling industry ticking over so nicely from year to year. So, today, instead of revealing the secrets of how to make money playing poker, we’re going to look at ways in which you can add to your profitability on PokerStars. There are probably hundreds of little tricks that can be used to make a bit more cash when grinding the world’s biggest online poker site. But, based on our experience and that of some professional players we spoke to, these are some of the best ways to bring in extra revenue on PokerStarts.

Competing for Spins Stations in First Chance Jackpots

Firstly, if you like to play spins (snGs), heads-up or any other format where you’re hoping to hit a big multiplier to win lots of money, then there’s an easy way to reduce the cost of entry. Basically, by taking part in First Chance jackpot games, you can earn your way into Spin & Go Stations. Once you reach a station, every first chance game you play increases your battle station. The more battle stations you have, the better your chances of winning an Elite or Chrome spins battle station. Once you reach an Elite battle station, there’s a chance you’ll win an Elite spin battle station every time you play a first chance game. And, once you reach a Chrome spin battle station, there’s a chance you’ll win a Chrome spin battle station every time you play an elite game. Essentially, by playing first chance games, you can find yourself in a situation where the cost of entering one of PokerStars’ life-changing Spin & Go games is $1 instead of the standard $10+. We won $750 for $1 last week! Okay, we spent $83 on first chance games to get into the spin battles stations. However, we also won $1,026. So, our outlay was only $19.64 on that occasion. This is a perfect example of how profitable PokerStars’ first chance games can be. Even though they’re nowhere near as lucrative as spins, they still offer cash prizes, random Flipouts (which give instant prize wins), and, of course, the chance to move up the battle stations and potentially win free games. If you want to learn more about how this innovative special tournament is structured, check out our .

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Using SNAP Poker to Your Advantage

Zorlu1980 is one of many professional players who advocates using the SPINS-CNAP strategy as a way of adding profits to his ROI. In fact, during our conversation, he said “the more SPINS you play, the more CNAP you can play” because first chance games help fund your fast-fold poker action. For those who don’t know, CNAP stands for Compressed Average Net (or loss). It’s a measure of your average profit/loss per minute played. Needless to say, professionals try to push their CNAP up as high as possible and use tools such as filtering and table selection to achieve their goals.

Applying Table Selection and Filtering

Table selection and effective use of the table filters is essential if you want to boost your ROI. Not only does sitting at the right tables increase your CNAP, it helps you accumulate iRanks and move through the loyalty scheme faster. As previously mentioned, rising through the loyalty scheme is important because it unlocks bigger first chance game multipliers and, ultimately, free spins games. Furthermore, earning more stars per million hands played gives you access to better offers in the PokerStars client. As well as giving you an edge against your opponents, you can use the table filters to block certain game formats. For example, you can stop full-ring (6+ players) and heads-up games from loading if you only want to play six-max (eight-handed) games.

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How Important Is Volunteer Capping?

Volunteering to be the max limit bidder in first chance games is an important part of the equation. Of course, you have to be willing to spend money in order to make money. And, more often than not, you’ll need to pay the maximum $10 to win the big money. However, there is a fine art to bidding sensibly in these games. Biding $2 and then folding for the rest of the hand is no way to become a first chance champion. You have to strike a balance between aggression and patience. And that takes skill and practice.

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Perfecting Your SPINS Strategy

As with any form of poker, a successful SPINS strategy relies on having a solid foundation. That means learning the basics, understanding the intricacies of the game and polishing your A-game to a mirror shine. From there, you need to develop your own playing style, track your results and find ways to plug leaks. In general, you need median or slightly better than median holdings to make SPIN & GOs profitable in the long run. Anything below median holdings (-1.5% to -2%) makes spins -3 to +3 rewarding, but not more. And anything above median holdings (+1.5%) makes these games lucrative. Therefore, improving your overall game, blocking wasteful games and bidding wisely are three keys to maximising your profits from PokerStars’ lottery-style games. However, minimizing variance is perhaps the most important factor.

Reducing Variance in SPINS Games

PokerStars SPINS are designed to have high variance. That’s what makes them exciting and lucrative. However, sometimes variance can work against you and cause problems. It only takes a couple of unlucky games to eat into your profits and, at times, it can feel as though you’re playing a losing game (-3 reward). To minimize variance, you need to play within your bankroll and never chase your losses. In addition, we’d suggest setting aside a specific portion of your bankroll for SPINS and nothing else. For example, if your total bankroll is £500, you could allocate £100 for spins and stick to £10 games ($10 x 10 = £100). Whether you win or lose, never dip into your SPINS bankroll for anything else. Likewise, never transfer funds from your main bankroll or another source into your spins bankroll if you go bust. Indeed, setting up a dedicated spins bankroll and sticking to £10 games (or equivalent in dollars/euros) will help reduce variance and keep you within your limits.

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Can You Make Money on PokerStars Playing Zoom Poker?

Yes! That’s the short answer. The longer, more detailed response would be something along these lines: yes, you can make money on PokerStars playing . However, you need to treat it like any other variant and find a way to gain an edge over your opponents. Table selection and the use of table filters are two of your best friends when it comes to SPINS and fast-fold poker. Because you’re being whisked away to random tables whenever you fold a hand, traditional table selection techniques don’t really work. However, you can select the SPINS-CNAP strategy (as explained above) and also use the standard table filters to block certain games. For instance, you may only want to play $10+ SPINS and four-max and six-max zoom poker cash games. By selecting these options, you’ll ensure the majority of tables you join fit your criteria. Moreover, you can use the advanced search filters to find specific metrics. For example, you may want to play against players with vs.-buckets (how their opponents rank in vs.):

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  • vs. Good: -0.5% to -1.5%
  • vs. Great: -2.5% to -3.5%

By facing players in this ranking, you stand to make money. Of course, the aim of the game is to climb the ranks and face inferior opposition. However, for the purposes of making money on PokerStars SPINS and zoom poker, this advanced filter is very useful indeed. Another helpful tip, courtesy of pro player Joao “jgarvinh” Garvin, is to track your earnings:

This is an excellent way to see which competitors are weak and make mistakes. Indeed, even the best players in the world leak money to opponents from time to time. By volunteering to be the maximum bidder and exploiting leaky players, you should be able to make a bit of extra money on PokerStars’ SPINS and zoom poker games.

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How Profitable Are First Chance Jackpot Games?

First Chance jackpot games aren’t as lucrative as SPINS, but they do offer instant prize wins, cash prizes worth thousands of dollars, and the chance to win annual prizes worth $12,000. If you enjoy traditional five+ card Jackpot Sit & Gos, there’s every chance you’ll love First Chance games. They work in exactly the same way, except you’ve got all these additional benefits and pathways to higher prize pools.

Making Money From Spin & Go Freerolls

We mentioned earlier how competing in first chance games can help you earn your way into free Spin & Go games. Well, winning freerun spins is great, but they’re not as lucrative as the ones you pay to enter. However, if you consider the fact that they’re free, the high variance of SPINS, and the fact that you can turn tokens into tokens and then exchange tokens for cash through (which pays out up to 20x value), it’s definitely worth trying to win as many free games as possible. All you need to do is play first chance games and battle your way to the top.

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Get Paid to Learn New Skills: Tournaments & Mix-Max Games

Finally, you can make money on PokerStars SPINS by switching things up and playing mixed-sized games and tournaments. As part of the SPINS-CNAP strategy, you can opt to play a mix of four-, six- and nine-max games. This feature whisks you off to available tables regardless of the number of seats and standard table selection isn’t available. However, mixing up your SPINS game and looking for tables with three or four seats (rather than six or nine) can be a great way to make money. And, if you spot a nine-max table with seven or eight empty seats, it’s probably best to skip that one!

In addition to mixed-sized games, SPINS players may also want to dabble in mixed-buy-in tournaments. As well as the standard SPINS tourneys (where you pay an entry fee), you can take part in free events and purchase satellites starting from $0.01 (USD). These tournaments come in a variety of different buy-in levels, for example:

  • 100% x $1 to $10.
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There are also some events that have a range of 200%, for example:

  • 200% x $1 to $20.

Now, if your skills lie in the lower reaches of SPINS, it may be worth using your SPINS-CNAP strategy to grind up through the mixed SPINS tournaments. Satellites start at $0.01 and, let’s face it, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out that investing $1 to try and win $100 is profitable if you have a positive return on investment (ROI).

More Tips for Making Money on PokerStars

Eric ‘Richenatre’ Lynch is another member of Team PokerStars Online that we turned to for advice on making money on PokerStars. He agreed with everyone else that the best way to boost profits was to improve your skills. However, he also pointed out that taking part in the Stars Rewards loyalty scheme can be lucrative:

When you think about it, free cash is essentially free cash. Yeah, you have to play in order to receive spins and access to special tournaments. However, if you were already planning to play a certain amount each month, receiving extra rewards for doing so is fantastic.

Another top tip from Eric is to set yourself goals:

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It’s so easy to get caught up in the emotions of poker. One minute you’re on a heater, the next you’re pouring yourself a massive glass of reality because you’re on a dire cold run. Goals give you something to focus on and work towards. It might be something small, like beating median line, or it could be something huge, like achieving supernova elite. Either way, targets are good for your mental state and can actually sharpen your focus and help you make more money.

Using Cash Games to Top Up Your Bankroll

Cash games aren’t necessarily the best way to make money on PokerStars. Unlike SPINS and mixed-buy-in tournaments, your opponent is a real person (for the most part) and they aren’t always going to play perfectly to explode your bankroll. However, if you’re having a bad day, moving to the cash game lobby can sometimes be the best thing for your frame of mind. Sitting down with a set number of chips and a clear target (such as X amount of money in Y amount of time) can allow you to switch gears mentally. Instead of paying an entry fee and having to navigate a tournament tree, you simply concentrate on playing good poker, hitting your targets and walking away with a nice topping up of your bankroll. As Eric says, goals are good for your mental state. Sometimes it’s nice to reset and make some money in a different format. Of course, you can also use your SPINS and MTT profits to generate an income in cash games.

Can You Guarantee a Way to Make Money on PokerStars?

No. Absolutely not. No matter what anyone tells you, there is no guarantee you will make money playing poker on PokerStars or any other site. What we can tell you is that there are various avenues you can explore in order to bolster your bottom line. From SPINS to cash games, via first chance jackpots and fast-fold poker, there are so many ways to play on PokerStars. Finding new and creative paths to profitability is all part of the fun. And, more often than not, the small wins will offset the losses and leave you with a pleasing profit at the end of your session. So, if you want to make money on PokerStars, remember these key pointers:

  • Competency counts. Improving your abilities will always lead to increased profits.
  • Track your results. Use PokerStars Home Game tools or a third-party service to monitor your results and pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Use the tools available. Loyalty schemes, table filters, advanced stats - use everything at your disposal to gain an advantage and reduce stress.
  • Have a back-up plan. If the SPINS aren’t falling for you, head to the mixed-buy SPINS or try your luck in cash games.
  • Stick to your limits. Bankroll management is crucial. Having a set amount of money you can lose before getting burned is essential.
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Now you know how to make money on PokerStars SPINS, why not pop over to our poker blog for more tips and tricks? Our guide to explains how the system works and how you can use it to your advantage. Perhaps you’ll pick up another way to bolster your SPINS profits? Maybe you’ll even discover a new strategy for crushing the virtual felt? Either way, read our latest blogs, guides and features now!