The Profitability of Playing Poker: How to Calculate Your Poker Winnings

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Playing poker can be an exciting and potentially lucrative endeavor. Whether you’re a casual player or aspire to go pro, understanding the profitability of poker is essential. In this article, we’ll explore how to calculate your poker winnings and evaluate the overall profitability of the game.

Calculating Poker Winnings

Before we delve into the specifics of profitability, let’s first understand how to calculate your poker winnings. The formula is relatively straightforward:

Profit = Total Winnings – Total Buy-ins

By subtracting the total amount you’ve invested in buy-ins from your total winnings, you can determine your net profit. This formula provides a clear picture of how successful you’ve been in your poker endeavors.

Factors Affecting Profitability

While the basic formula for calculating poker winnings is simple, it’s important to consider several factors that can impact your overall profitability:

1. Skill Level

Your skill level plays a significant role in determining your profitability in poker. Skilled players have a higher chance of making profitable decisions and outplaying their opponents. Continuously improving your skills through study and practice can greatly enhance your profitability in the long run.

2. Bankroll Management

Proper bankroll management is crucial for long-term profitability. It involves setting aside a dedicated poker bankroll and only using a small portion of it for each game or tournament. By managing your bankroll wisely, you can minimize the risk of ruin and ensure that losing streaks don’t wipe out your entire funds.

3. Game Selection

The game you choose to play can significantly impact your profitability. Different poker variants and formats have varying levels of competition and skill requirements. It’s essential to select games that align with your skill level and offer favorable odds for profitability.

4. Table Selection

In addition to game selection, choosing the right table is equally important. Look for tables with players who are less skilled or have smaller bankrolls. This increases your chances of making profitable decisions and capitalizing on weaker opponents.

5. Volume of Play

The amount of time you dedicate to playing poker also influences your profitability. Generally, the more hands or tournaments you participate in, the better your chances of realizing long-term profits. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance and avoid burnout or playing beyond your bankroll’s limits.

Profitability in Poker

Now that we’ve covered the factors affecting profitability, let’s discuss the overall profitability of playing poker. It’s important to note that poker is a game of skill with an element of luck. While luck can influence short-term results, skill is the determining factor in the long run.

Profitability in poker is measured by two key metrics:

1. Win Rate

The win rate represents the average amount of money won per hour or per 100 hands played. It’s a measure of your skill and success in poker. A positive win rate indicates profitability, while a negative win rate suggests a need for improvement.

2. Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is commonly used to evaluate tournament profitability. It calculates the percentage of profit or loss relative to the amount invested in tournament buy-ins. A positive ROI indicates profitable tournament play, while a negative ROI signifies a need to reassess your strategy.


Calculating the profitability of playing poker involves understanding the basic formula for calculating poker winnings and considering various factors that impact your overall profitability. By continuously improving your skills, practicing proper bankroll management, and making informed game and table selections, you can increase your chances of long-term profitability in the game of poker.

Remember, poker is a skill-based game, and while luck can influence short-term outcomes, it’s your skill and decision-making abilities that ultimately determine your profitability. So, hone your skills, make wise choices, and may the cards be in your favor!

BenzPoker ( is an all new multi-variety poker platform offering various poker games such as the famous Texas Hold’em, Omaha 5 / 6 card, Triton Short deck and many more.