Poker has been among the most exciting and widely popular card games in the US. You can play it for free with friends or use real money or sweep coins. It’s filled with rules and comes in many variations, but it’s one of the few casino titles that’s also a game of skill, which adds a whole new meaning to it and allows players to strive for greatness. 

High stakes poker games are fascinating and lead to an adrenaline rush like no other casino game. They require prior knowledge, which can be acquired by studying the biggest players’ rules and strategies. Then, you can apply all that learning on free or lowstake titles before you get the experience needed to compete and get a chance to claim a portion of the winnings. 

But before you do that, let’s explain what high-stakes poker is and how it’s played. We’ll also discuss the highest-stakes poker cash game ever played so you can get an idea of what the stakes truly are.

What Defines High Stake Poker?

Unfortunately, there’s no exact definition of a high-stakes poker game. Any poker game where large sums are in play can be considered high stakes. This includes high small and big blinds, high buy-ins, and massive prize pools. 

A quick side note: The very concept of a high-stakes poker game shouldn’t be confused with High Stakes Poker, a US poker TV show. However, the show is an excellent example of the game, as players participate in contests with hundreds of thousands of dollars involved every season

The numbers can be very subjective, and some stakes are high for some players and not for others. Here are some numbers we’ve found apply to many high stakes poker players:

  • High-stakes live poker games — The buy-ins usually start at $10,000 and can go up to $200,000 or even millions in some rare cases. Blinds can be as low as $10/$25 but often go to $1,000/$2,000 and higher. 
  • High-stakes online poker games — The buy-ins here usually reach four figures, upwards of $1,000. At the same time, the blinds start at $5/$10 in most cases but can easily go much higher. 

Online players play high-stakes poker on many online poker sites, including PokerStars, but many cash games are also available at social sweepstakes casinos and the best social sportsbooks

What Was the Highest Stake Poker Game Ever?

Many high-stakes poker games are played throughout the US and the rest of the world. Still, some of the best are found on the famous High Stakes Poker TV show and at the ubiquitous Big Game, a high-stakes poker game played in the famous Bobby’s Room at the Las Vegas Bellagio Casino. 

In High Stakes Poker, the minimum buy-ins are typically $100,000, but that number doubled in season five. As for Bobby’s Room, anyone with at least $20,000 can buy in, but players usually start with $200,000 to $300,000. 

It’s hard to determine which was the highest-stakes poker game of all time, especially since many games are not televised or are played behind closed doors. For example, private games in Macau are rumored to have pots in the tens of millions of US dollars. 

Moreover, there’s the often-mentioned Andrew Robl win of a $9 million pot against Tom Dwan. The game wasn’t filmed, but it was discussed on one of the episodes of High Stakes Poker with poker pros Andrew Robl, Jean-Robert Bellande, Daniel Negreanu, Eric Persson, Stanley Choi, Stanley Tang, and Jennifer Tilly. Robl won the pot with Ace-King of Diamonds against Dwan’s Kings. The game took place at the Aria in 2015. 

How to Play High Stakes Online

As you can see, high stakes poker can involve very high amounts. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at what you need to be a high stakes poker player:

  • Large bankroll — A large amount of money or sweep coins if you’re playing in sweepstakes casinos. 
  • Knowledge and experience — Outside of money, the most important things to have are knowledge of poker basics, hand rankings, strategies, and a lot of experience playing the game. 
  • Lots of confidence — If you want to win, you must have confidence in your abilities. If you don’t have the skill and self-belief, don’t play high stakes poker. 
  • Proper discipline — Poor discipline can cost you a lot in high-stakes poker. So, be consistent, fold for many turns if necessary, and always follow the right strategy.

Naturally, this is not a checklist one can easily complete. In other words, you can’t simply start playing high stakes poker online. You must start small, develop your skills, teach yourself proper strategies and plays, and grind in low-limit games to accumulate the knowledge and funds needed. 

As time passes, gradually go for games with higher buy-ins and blinds, and you’ll eventually become a high-stakes poker pro. 

FAQ

What is high stakes in poker?

High poker stakes are precisely what the words say — the stakes are high as large sums are involved. The buy-ins and blinds are high, but the exact figures vary and can be subjective. There’s also a difference between live high-stakes poker and online high-stakes poker, with the latter usually involving smaller figures. 

What is considered high stakes poker?

Any live cash game poker where the minimum buy-ins are $10,000 and above and the blinds can easily reach $1,000/$2,000 or higher but often start from $10/$25 are considered high stakes. With online poker, even games with blinds starting from $5/$10 and buy-ins starting at $1,000 can be regarded as high stakes.

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