What Percent of Poker Players Make Money? (Guide)

What Percent of Poker Players Make Money? Are They Really Profitable?

(Featured image: courtesy of WPT)

Poker isn’t just a game of cards. It can also be a way to earn a decent amount of constant income. Not many players can achieve this, but those who did have gone through trial and error countless times.

Profitable poker players rely on their instincts and experience to earn money, but let’s examine what percentage of players are actually winners and why.

We’ll also cover the best training courses/platforms/coaches that’ll help your crush it on the felt!

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What Percentage of Poker Players Are Profitable?

A small percentage of people who play poker can honestly say they make a large profit.

Around 5-10% make sizable profits after the rake, while up to 30% can say they are somewhat profitable. The rest are either struggling to get a hold of the psychological side of the game or are constant losers by default.

Multiple reasons affect this low percentage of sizable poker winners. Things like long-term dedication, overcoming rakes, and getting into sync with the game’s psychological mechanics are key to winning.

By the way, here’s the list of the courses/coaches to consider:

Training Name

Reasons to Invest

Elite Poker University

Great choice for beginners & enthusiasts


Interactive, advanced poker training

PLO Mastermind

Best resource for PLO players

D. Negreanu MasterClass

Solid foundation for aspiring players

Phil Ivey MasterClass

High level strategy for experienced players

The Effect of Long-Term Playing on Poker Winnings

Playing poker in the long-term increases the chances of higher and more frequent winnings. This is because the player starts to get a feel for the game, gains experience with betting, and is less afraid to get into the game with each new hand.

What percentage of poker players are winners in the long term greatly depends on whether they’re live or online players. When you summarize both playing methods, around 10-15% are in the winning percentage zone.

Long-term playing effects on live players

Poker players who play poker live are far more experienced than those who play online. Human interaction is key to poker. Being able to outsmart your opponent while looking them in the eye is the most crushing moment for a player in the game. This sort of thing is unachievable online. 

This is why players who play live poker regularly have increased chances of higher winnings. But character plays a huge role here. 

While some players develop their character and make it strong over time, others may end up even worse. As it turns out, around 10% of players who play live poker over the long run can become “professional people readers”.

Long-term players are also considered those who have played over 100.000 poker hands over several years, with players of various experiences and stakes.

Long-term playing effects on online players

On the other hand, for a player to become a professional in poker only from playing online, they have to go through roughly 250.000 poker hands.

The increase in the number of hands needed here is because online poker is more dynamic and fast-paced, lacking all forms of direct human interaction. 

This makes players less likely to become skilled at predicting when the opponent has a strong or a weak hand of cards.

When comparing players who are frequent winners to players who are frequent losers at online poker, the first were the ones who kept at it without discouragement, while the latter gave up quite easily. 

Strong will and desire to learn the game were major reasons why only a small percentage of online players (around 10%) are successful high-stakes winners.

Considering the Rake on Your Winnings

Rake is often used to describe how the house of poker gets its cut from the winnings. At the end of the day, there has to be something in it for the house (casino), right?

The percentage, called “rake”, is what the house collects after each played hand. To clarify, players in poker don’t play against the house. They play against each other, with the house winning a small percentage from the hand.

You should understand the rake as 2-10% commission fees that go to the house directly from the winning pot in each hand. Poker rake is often fixed, with amounts between 3-5%.

The trick with rake is that small-limit games with low-level players are affected more negatively than higher-limit games and professional winners. That is because the smaller the limit, the higher the rake, and vice versa. 

Experienced high-stakes players are not at all worried about the amount of rake. This value is nothing when you compare it to their winnings. 

So, a house hosting a table with $2 blind and a table with $100 blind will withdraw the same 3-5% of rake from the total pot.

Thinking Like a Pro – What Makes a Profitable Player

What percentage of poker players make money is greatly determined by their character, play style, and the experience they’ve gained over the years. Here are some traits that make professional players successful winners with lucrative poker income:

They know when to fold

Experienced players aren’t afraid to fold, even when there’s a large pot standing between them and their opponent. They know that folding a weak hand can lead them to a possible victory in the next one, and they don’t let their emotions get the better of them into going all in.

They know when to bet big

On the contrary, experienced players also know when it’s time to bluff and outsmart their opponent. A poker expert knows how to read body language signs, count and keep track of the cards, and know exactly when to go all in. 

They “check” more often than you think

Checking is a way for many professionals to win, as they “extort” the loss from their opponent this way. They only wait to see what their opponent does and follow with a call or a fold. It may seem cowardly, but it is a method that truly works and outsmarts many opponents.

Best Poker Courses to Raise Your Edge

1. Elite Poker University

This is a fairly recently launched course by Nathan Williams, aka BlackRain79. He’s often referred to as the King of the Microstakes online with his impressive track of earnings.

Elite Poker University is the perfect choice for beginners and advanced enthusiast poker players who’d like to improve their skills on the felt.

BONUS: Use the code NETWORTH at the checkout to get $100 discount!

Check out the FULL review here.

2. Solve for Why

This platform was originally created by Matt Berkey and it gets better and better with each new year.

They offer online courses, in-person interactive workshops in Vegas, as well as Poker Out Loud TV which will help you understand how poker players think and why they make the moves they make.

Some refer to it as the ultimate destination for serious poker players.

Click here for further details.

3. PLO Mastermind

This is a platform created by Fernando Habegger, aka JNandez, specifically for PLO enthusiasts.

Whether you’re into regular PLO or PLO5, this is definitely the place for you. JNandez is amazing in Omaha, and he’s working with some of the top level coaches to bring the best material to you, too.

Without a doubt, this is THE place for Pot Limit Omaha players.

Click here for further details.

4. Daniel Negreanu MasterClass

Eeeeeveryone knows who Daniel Negreanu is.

But did you know that he also had a course where he shares his poker strategies?

By investing in his masterclass, you’ll be gaining a solid foundation from one of the best all time winners in poker. While it’s aimed for the intermediate level, beginners may appreciate it too.

Check out the FULL review here.

5. Phil Ivey MasterClass

Last but not least is Ivey’s masterclass.

I recommend this course only for advanced/intermediate poker players. If you want high level strategies from one of THE best players of all time, then this training is for you.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to get inside the mind of a world-class champion.

Check out the FULL review here.


Now that you know the approximate percentage of people who make money from poker, will you be discouraged from giving this card game a shot? Or is the percentage value even more than what you expected? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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