How to Move Up in Limits Faster

Whether you’re playing for fun or playing seriously, everyone wants to move up in stakes as fast as possible. Moving up in stakes means more challenging players, bragging rights and, more importantly, the opportunity to make more money.

7 Ways to Play Higher Stakes Sooner

There are several methods that players can try to move up in stakes faster. I’m speaking from experience, as I used to play regularly, and coach a little on the side, too. The following are 7 methods that I’ve used, recommended and/or have seen other players use with success.

1. Study More

Pretty simple stuff. Study more, improve and you’ll win more games. The more games you win, the higher the ROI you earn, and the more often you cash, the more money you will win. The faster you will win it, too.

Don’t forget that you’ll not only move up in stakes faster, but you’ll have the skill set for the next level, too.

2. Find a Backer

If you cannot cover your own action you might consider finding a backer. A backer will give you a bankroll to play on in exchange for a percentage of your profits. If you can prove that you’re a good enough player, and deserving of playing the higher stakes (or at least a shot), then someone is likely to help you out.

Keep in mind that a backer will want your action for so many hands or games. Long enough for them to make a profit, in exchange for taking the risk in backing you for higher stakes games.

3. Sell Pieces of Your Action

If you don’t want a backer (long term), and/or you have some money to cover your own action, you might instead consider selling pieces of your action. This could be to one investor or several. Just let people know you’re looking for short term backing, and if the price (cut) is right, you’ll find people willing to help out. From my experience selling short term action usually means keeping less of the profit (compared to long term backing), but if your shot goes well, you’ll still end up with a large enough bankroll to move up in stakes.

4. Take a Shot

Want to move up in stakes?

Then take a shot.

Obvious, I know, but I think it’s easy to overlook the simplest answers. After all, it’s got to be more complicated than that, right?!

The thing is, some players wait too long to take a shot. The longer they wait, the more money they’re leaving on the table. If you think you’re good enough to play a level or two higher, than set aside 10 or 20 buy-ins for that level and give it a shot. So long as it doesn’t damage your bankroll too bad if your shot doesn’t go well.

5. Blend Stakes

If you don’t want to take a shot, in fear of setting your bankroll too far back, or because you don’t have quite enough money, another option is to blend stakes.

Blending stakes is playing your current games along with the games one or two levels up. You play them at the same time. All it takes is winning a couple of the higher games and you’ll have enough money to give them a full shot. It also gives you the opportunity to see how different the games may or may not be.

6. Play More Games

Another method for moving up in stakes faster is to simply play more games. If you’re playing 5 tables at a time, at an average ROI of $2 per game, and each game takes 1 hour to complete, then you’re making about $10 per hour.

But could you play 8 tables? What about $10?

That additional 5 tables will add an additional $10 per hour to your bankroll. If you played one hour every day you’d add $300 to your bankroll by the end of the month. It wouldn’t take but a month, two or even three to move up in stakes.

Just make sure that you’re not adding so many tables that you’re doing more harm than good.

7. Play Different Games

Instead of playing more games you might consider playing different games. This is especially true for sit and go players. Your goal should be to find a game that you can complete (from start to win) in the shortest amount of time possible, gives you the opportunity for the highest ROI and ITM, and runs often enough for you to play as many games as you want.

The best games in my experience are the 45, 90 and 180 mans. The 45s take about 1 hour to finish. The 90 mans and 180s take about 2 hours each. But if you get a solid strategy down, you can build a large bankroll very quickly, allowing you to play higher stakes faster. The 90s and 180s are still pretty soft as the $20, $30 and $60 levels, too.