This is a quite common question for beginners so I decided to write a short article about it.
So what are good winrates?
This of course depends on many things. What is your player pool like, what stakes do you play, do you play fast poker or regular. So this is just my estimation of average winrates you could expect to see at the microstakes.
1-2 bb/100 = marginal winner
3-5 bb/100 = quite ok winrate
5-8 bb/100 = great winrate
8+ bb/100 = Very good winrate
Now, remember that this is just a rough quide. If you are playing NL2 regular on a soft player pool that 3-5 bb/100 might not be that great, but at NL10 PokerStars Zoom it would be good. Another thing you have to keep in mind is that in order to see your “true winrate” you have to play a lot of hands. So don’t get too excited or depressed when you look at your winrate after the first 50k hands.
The problem with many starting poker hobbyists is that they are not too excited to win 3bb/100. Its not a lot of money at NL2. But you should keep in mind that microstakes are not for money, they are for learning. Instead of thinking everything in $$$, you should think everything in big blinds. The last thing you should do is to move to higher stakes without the proper skills just to have a chance to win more money.
How much you can expect to make by playing poker then?
Let’s say you are quite serious hobbyist. You can probably play at least 4 regular tables or 2 zoom tables. That would mean you can put 500 hands / hour. If you can play poker even 1 hour every single day, you would be playing over 180k hands a year. If you play NL5 with an ok winrate of 3bb/100 you would make roughly 270$ per year. Add rakeback and bonuses on top of that and it should be well over 300$.
Those numbers were quite low on purpose, to show you that it is not impossible to make some extra money with poker and buy yourself something nice once a year. But actually it wouldn’t be that difficult to double the amount of hands and the winrate (especially on softer player pools).
Jump up in the limits to NL10, keep the same winrate, tripple the amount of hands you play. That is still doable and it would generate roughly 1800$ / year. That is a nice side income that is not even too hard to get. On some lower income countries that would be over 3 months salary.
Dreaming about getting pro and you want to figure out how many hands do you have to play or how good your winrate must be to make x$/month? You can use this simple calculator I made.