How to determine your poker win rate

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Playing poker online can be anything from a fun way to spend an hour right through to a full-time career. But no matter how seriously you take the game, every player wants to improve. Even if its not about the amount of money you win, coming out on top is a great feeling, but how do you know you are getting better?

To know you are improving, you must first know where you are now, so you can quantify your game and how it is evolving. That is where win rate comes in. However, while you may hear players talking about win rate, the poker community kind of takes it for granted you know what that is, and how to calculate it.

But what if you don’t? This guide will give you everything you need to become a master of the win rate, so let’s start off with what it actually is.

What is your Poker Win Rate?

A win rate is a way to quantify how often a player wins a hand of poker across many hands, so they can see performance over time. The reason it matters, is that it is a measurable performance metric that you can use to understand where you are making money, or where you are losing it. But also allows you to see progress. If your win rates steadily improves over time, it is a sign that you are becoming a better player.

 It is not a set rate, you can improve your win rate as you become a better player, and with  software to calculate win rates online players can see how often they win over a set period. With standardized win rate calculations, it means you can see how you rate against other poker players in the world too, which for those who like competition or are thinking of progressing to tournament play, can be really useful.

If the win rate goes down though, it shows there may be a problem with your approach and help you identify areas of your game that need work.

Commonly Used Win Rates

In online cash games such as Texas Hold’em, most poker players use the number of big blinds won per 100 hands played, and you will often see bb/100 in guides that discuss poker success.

It is lightly different for tournament play, and here a win rate is usually looked at in terms of how much the player makes on average for every buy-in they make. This is expressed as a percentage, and referred to as return on investment, or ROI.

How to Calculate Poker Winrates?

While most players today use tracking software to automatically capture data and calculate win rates, it is always useful to understand how it is done. To calculate a win rate in big blinds, you will need two pieces of information:

  • The total number of hands you have played.
  • The total amount you have won in those hands, expressed in Big Blinds.

Now, you can take those numbers, and plug them into this simple formula:

[Profit in Big Blinds/Total Hands Played] * 100.

The result is a value of bb/100 that you can use to compare to other players and your own performance.

As an example, if you had played 10,000 hands of poker and won 250 big blinds in profits, then your win rate would be [250/10000]*100, which is 2.5bb/100 win rate.

Remember, the vast majority of players (around 90%) have a win rate of 0bb/100, so if you are better than that, you are doing well.

Working out ROI for tournament play is a little different, but equally as simple. Here, the data we need are:

  • The total amount of tournament winnings.
  • The total spent on buy-ins for those tournaments.

Again, it is then simply a matter of plugging those numbers into the following formula to calculate your ROI in tournament play.

[Total Tournament Winnings-Total Buy-ins] / [Total Buy-ins*100]

If you have earned $10,000 from tournaments, and spent $4000 on buy-ins, then that formula would look like this:

[10000-4000]/[4000*100], or 6000/400000, which is 0.015. This is usually expressed as 15%.

Winrate = Long Term “Average” Rate

Regarding win rates in understanding your performance, they are not really about performance at a single table or against one opponent, but instead are most accurate when looking at the long term, giving an average of the ups and downs that come with poker life. Whether playing small stakes, free poker, micro stakes levels or tournament play, while win rates are often expressed as big blinds won every 100 hands, they need a much larger sample size to provide accurate performance data.

Think of win rate as showing where you are in reality once you even out the winning streaks and cold patches.

Sample Size is Important – Dealing with Variance in Poker

The other factor to consider in poker is variance. That is, players blow hot and cold. Sometimes your win rate is high, on a good streak. But there are times when it is much lower, when you are blowing cold. Now, calculating a win rate during a hot streak may massage your ego, and a 7bb/100 can trick you into thinking that you are a god among poker players, but you are unlikely to maintain that average over time.

Win rate should be calculated over a longer period to help you get a clearer picture of your performance. That means large sample sizes for games played and bbs won. The larger the better if you want an accurate assessment of your poker performance, and in most situations, it is recommended that a minimum of 100k hands played is needed to achieve some level of accuracy.

What is a Good Winrate?

This depends on your goals with playing poker really. The majority of online poker players actually have a win rate at or close to zero, they play for fun and are happy with that. Anything above that is, by definition, above average, and above 5bb/100 would be considered very good indeed. AT 10bb/100 you would be an exceptional player.

For micro-limit games, the very best players can achieve over 20bb/100 and as much as 40bb/100, anything over 10 would be a superb performance.

Even in tournament play, many people hover around the 0% level, that is, they simply don’t win. For online tournaments, getting to 10% or more would be a great achievement, with 20% or more ROI an exceptional performance.

In live tournaments, it is possible to achieve a 100% ROI, but is unlikely. Above 40% is doing well.

How do you get the best poker winrate?

Calculating win rate allows you to track your overall performance over time. But what if you want to improve it, what can you do to help?


Poker may be gambling, and the cards are random so have an element of chance, but it is a game of skill. Knowing how to approach any hand, to maximize your cards, to exploit weaknesses in opponents’ games all take skill. That is why in poker, the person with the best hand is not always the winner.

Building on skills through online courses, poker forums, poker training videos, studying games and more can help you improve, use better strategies and in turn, win more games.


As important as it is to build skills to make the most of any situation, it is also just as important to know when to bow out of a hand or stop altogether. Having discipline to stick to your strategy and walk away from a hand or a table when things are not working for you can boost your overall win rate by preventing losses that could and should be avoided.

It is always tempting to go for it, especially if you have lost a few hands, but you have a strategy for a reason, stick to it.

Bankroll Management

Effective bankroll management is also a good way to boost your win rate. By maintaining an appropriate bankroll, you are always in a position to take advantage of any opportunity that comes, maximizing your wins when it matters.

In turn, that can boost your overall win rate.


Table position matters more than many players realize. Adopting different strategies depending on your table position allows you to maximize the advantages of certain positions, while minimizing the disadvantages of others.

Understanding table positions also allows you to target those positions when less experienced players are occupying them, again allowing for improved win rates.


The more games the better. It really is that simple. Not only does experience help you improve over time, but it also smooths out the variances that are a natural part of every poker player’s experience. We all get hot streaks and cold streaks, by averaging out over more and more games, the less those highs and lows affect your overall performance. There are tools that show how your play fluxtuates, such as a poker variance calculator, and if used with a poker tracker can be a good indicator of how win rate can vary over the shorter term.

How can a poker bot help you increase your win rate?

There are two ways you can use a poker bot to improve your win rate. The first is to use it to help you win games. Many poker bots today can play autonomously, that is, you set them running and they play poker for you on their own. But another way to use them is to provide guidance during games. Think of it like a poker coach who will display suggestions for you in real time on the screen. This can help you make better choices and with that, win more games.

The other way you can enjoy an improved win rate with a poker bot is by using them to learn. Playing against a poker bot is a great training tool, one that can quickly help you improve your game and build your poker skills. Again, as you improve, so will end up winning poker games more often.


How do you calculate your win rate in poker?

To calculate your win rate in bb/100, just use the following simple formula.

[Profit in Big Blinds/Total Hands Played] * 100.

Is there a standard formula or method for determining win rate?

Yes, use the following formula to calculate win rates

[Profit in Big Blinds/Total Hands Played] * 100.

Should the win rate be calculated over a short-term or long-term period?

Long term. All players have winning streaks and times when they do not win, known as variance. The longer the period used to calculate win rate, the less those ups and downs affect the result.

Are there any tools or software available to help track and analyze win rate?

Yes, there are a number of tools and poker bots that can track the information you need as you play, and even work out win rate for you.

What are some common misconceptions about win rate in poker?

Win rate is very much an average over the long term, what it doesn’t mean is that you will achieve that level of success every time you play. It is not set in stone either, you can improve your win rate, but it can also go down too.


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