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Moving up

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When should I move up in stakes/limits?

This is a difficult question to answer, and no one will be able to say that you are definitely ready.

First, you need to ask whether you are properly bankrolled for the target limit you want to play. A good guideline is 300 big bets, but bankroll requirements vary. But you must also be prepared to step back to a lower limit if you find you're taking a beating and your bankroll is dwindling. Players go broke all the time because they are too proud to step down when they're losing badly.

You also need to ask yourself if you are mentally ready to take on the higher limits. If you're a 3/6 hold'em player, making a move to 9/18 or 10/20 can be psychologically difficult. While we try to believe it's "just chips" we're playing with, it's easy to start seeing $20 as dinner rather than one big bet.

There's nothing wrong with taking a shot at a higher limit if it doesn't jeopardize your bankroll for your current limit. If you're building toward the higher limit an occasional foray into the higher game to get a feel for the competition is fine. You just have to be careful and if you take a hit don't try to make it up at the higher limit.

The decision whether or not to step up is one we all face at some point. Don't be too proud to stay where you are if the games are good. An important part of poker is selecting the right game; if the right game is at the lower limits, choose it.

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