High stakes poker sites make the once-distant world of high roller poker accessible to everyone. If you have the bankroll to support a foray into the big games, you can test your skill at the highest levels without leaving the house or even putting on your pants. All you need is your computer and a bank account.
Whether you’re planning on joining the action yourself or just railbirding the big game, the following poker sites will give you what you want. I hand-picked these sites for their safety, ability to process large deposits and selection of nosebleed limits.
100% up to $1,000
-Highest No-Limit Games: $10/$20
-Highest Fixed-Limit Games: $30/$60
100% up to $2,500
-Highest No-Limit Games: $5/$10
-Highest Fixed-Limit Games: $5/$10
200% up to $1,000
-Highest No-Limit Games: $10/$20
-Highest Fixed-Limit Games: None available
The definition of “high stakes” understandably varies from one person to the next. I can remember a time when I thought the $3/$6 no-limit games were just insane. I couldn’t believe people were actually able to plop down $600 at a single table. Nowadays, the stakes go as high as $500/$1,000 online where people can buy in for up to $100,000.
The highest games often play even bigger than what the stakes would suggest. Whenever two skilled high level opponents go at it, it’s not uncommon to see each of them in for half a million due to the simple back-and-forth swings that accompany aggressive play.
To put it in perspective, the biggest online poker pot of all time occurred at a $500/$1,000 pot limit Omaha game between “Isildur1” and Patrik Antonius. Both had stacks greater than $600,000 and both landed strong hands on the flop. They eventually got it all in on the flop to generate a pot worth $1,356,947. Antonius dragged it in after his made straight held up against Isildur1’s wrap draw.
Making a Deposit
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to give the big games a shot, it’s time to deal with some logistics. Moving a significant sum of money to any poker site requires a deposit method capable of large transfers. The first thing you can do is log in to the poker site of your choice, visit the cashier and see if they have any high limit deposit options.
Most poker sites have at least a couple of deposit methods that can handle transactions upwards of €100,000 at a time. That should be plenty for all but the highest of high stakes players. If you need to deposit even more, you’ll want to contact your poker site and tell them how much you need to deposit. The odds are they’ll find a way to get you started. Any decent poker site will do everything it can to accommodate high volume players.
You can also take a look at my high deposit poker sites page for more information about making big deposits. That page offers a few more details about which deposit methods are the best for large transactions. You’ll see deposit limits, fees and general advice about funding your account.
Are High Stakes Games For Me?
Joining a game of high stakes poker is not a decision to be made lightly. Although you will certainly encounter the occasional fish, the overall level of play at high limit tables is significantly tougher than at the lower level games. Many of your opponents will be seasoned vets who have worked their way up the ladder and advanced their skills over an extended period of time.
The most important question to ask yourself is if you can afford to lose every last penny that you risk at a high stakes game. No matter how skilled you are, there’s always a risk when you put money in play. If things don’t work out your way, will you still have a bankroll? Will you still be able to pay the bills and feed the kids? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” it would be best to wait a while before you take your shot.
The skill of your opponents is the second biggest thing to keep in mind. If you do have an edge in the game, it’s going to be a smaller edge than what you may be used to. As you seek to extra value from the slimmest of advantages, your variance is guaranteed to increase. Make sure you have the bankroll to support large swings in the wrong direction.
One of the best things you can do to help yourself is to put aside all thoughts of how much money you’re actually playing with. Set aside some of your bankroll and consider it lost. What you have at the table is nothing more than virtual chips. If you think about how much money is actually in front of you, it tends to turn you into a more passive player. Aggression is what wins, so don’t treat your money like it’s something valuable. You’ll lose it all doing that.
I would also recommend that you be prepared to move down in stakes any time you start to feel too much heat. If your opponents feel too aggressive, seem too adept at extracting value from made hands or are too effective at bluffing you off strong hands, it’s time to move down or find an easier table. You have nothing to prove in poker. It’s all about making money. If you’re not making money at a table, there’s no point in playing there.
Having a lot of money makes you a target no matter who you are or where you go. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about walking around with cash at a live casino or making a six figure deposit online; you have more to lose than the average person.
The number one thing you can do to ensure your money is kept safe is to only play at high stakes poker sites with name recognition. There are absolutely zero reasons to do business with shady, lesser-known sites. Besides, the most well-known poker sites are the ones where you’ll find the most action. Don’t settle for anything less than the best.
You should also pay extra attention to your computer’s security. Keep your antivirus programs up to date and don’t use your main poker computer to visit questionable websites or download files. Those are good ways to pick up trojans and grant hackers access to your private banking information.
Safety also includes monitoring who has physical access to your computer. If you dig around on the internet, you’ll find a few instances in which high stakes pros left their laptops out while visiting Vegas and staying in hotels. One well-known pro found a trojan on his computer after returning from Las Vegas a few years back. He eventually discovered that he was specifically targeted by someone with a trojan virus installed via a USB stick.
The moral is to be careful, be vigilant and keep your computer secure at all times. You never know who may be out there waiting for an opportunity to get their hands on your money. A few basic safety precautions will take you a long ways.