Poker ROI – What is Poker ROI and How is it Calculated

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By Mark R. Holland

ROI Stands for ‘Return on Investment’ and is a commonly used way of calculating your profits in poker. The exact method of calculating ROI will vary depending on which form of the game is played. A more useful figure for poker players may be ‘hourly rate’ which takes into account the time spent playing.

1) Calculating Poker ROI for Tournaments / Sit and Goes
ROI for tournaments is expressed as a percentage of your original buy-in. It is standard in poker to remove 100% (buy-in) from the calculation at the end. For example:

You play 100 tournaments each with a buy in of $10 + $1 fee and end up with a total bankroll of $1600.

ROI = (1600)/(1100) or 145% – remove the 100% (standard format) and you have a ROI of 45% for those tournaments.

2) Calculating ROI for Cash Games
ROI for cash games becomes a little more difficult. This is because you need a time frame over which to calculate your return. The standard poker format for this is to use 100 hands. For example.

You play 1000 hands of poker over a single session and make $500 profit. Your buy-in for the game st the start was $200. ROI is thus 50% per 100 hands. It is also common in poker cash games to calculate profit as the number of big blinds won per 100 hands. In this example with blinds at $2/$1 you could note your profits as 25 Big Blinds per 100 hands.

3) Hourly Rates – A More Useful Number?
ROI in both of the above examples does not factor in the time you spent playing the game. To get a truely useful number you need to divide your total profit by the time at the tables. This figure can then be used to compare different formats of the game, buy-in levels or different poker sites to see which is the most profitable.

Mark R Holland is an online poker pro, blogger and writer for high-quality poker sites. For great poker strategy articles and tips covering SNGs, Poker Tournaments and Satellite Qualifiers visit Online Poker Tournament Strategy Tips today!

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The key factor is selecting the right poker site – you will never achieve a good return in SNGs if the site you play at is full of other winning players.

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