Let me first start off by stating that strategy at .01/.02 through .05/.10 is as basic as it gets. That is fine though, there is still plenty to learn. We already discussed cutting bluffs out of your game plan and being an aggressive player in this article, so now it is time to learn about the other aspects of play at the lower limits of microstakes online poker.

Play your hands straightforward and do not get fancy. There is no place or need for fancy play at the microstakes. The reason that players make more complex plays is because their opponents are harder to compete with. You do not have to worry about competition at the microstakes as there is virtually none. The vast majority of players, especially at lower limit microstakes, are just awful at poker. If you get pocket aces, raise, if they raise, reraise. Don’t check raise the flop, bet it, bet the turn. They WILL call with worse. They WON’T fold better hands. Get value out of your hands. This is crucial at every limit of poker, but easiest at the microstakes. Sometimes they will have a better hand then you, sure, but that is poker. Don’t discount all of those times where your opponents couldn’t fold a terrible hand, as this is what they view as correct.

Exploit their weaknesses. This goes along with getting value out of hands, but is more than that. If you have a strong hand and they are betting out the minimum, BOMB it. If they bet the minimum on the next street just raise a ton. They won’t fold. Min bets are often draws. If they keep min betting, then on the river a third spade comes or a straight becomes possible and they bet pot, you can fold. They aren’t nearly good enough that they would play the hand so you THINK they had a draw and hit it, instead they just had the draw and hit it. Basically at the microstakes players are making plays that make their hands very obvious.

What can you do to combat your opponents who are inevitably thinking on “Level One?” It is quite simple, start thinking on level two. This should be the next step in your natural progression as a poker player. They are thinking “What do I have?” while you are thinking “What do they have AND what do I have?” That is important, there is very little value in knowing your hand if you don’t have any clue about what they might have. This isn’t to say you need to be an expert hand reader, not at all, just learn to put players on a general range of hands that they might have given a certain scenario. For example, if the board reads 8c Tc Qs Jc 7c and you have As Ad do you really think your hand is the best if they go all-in on the river? Of course not, any club will crush your hand. Throw in any 9 or two pair combinations that are possible and your hand doesn’t stand a chance against their range of possible hands that would go all-in on that board.

If you are folding out your poor hands, being a smart (but aggressive) player, and extracting value from your hands, you should be beating the microstakes without issue. If there was ever a time to apply the concept of “ABC Poker”, that is to play very straightforwardly and basic, this is it. You absolutely do not have to be a fantastic player to beat the microstakes at a good rate. What allows any poker player to win money is the edge he has over his opponents. You will not find a bigger edge over players at any limit than you will at the microstakes.