A Guide To Grinding At The Poker Tables

Grind is on the mind and if you’re going to become a pro poker player, or just one that knows their stuff, you have to know what poker grinding is and how to do it right.

What Is Grinding In Poker?

Grinding, also known as rounding, is to play steadily for profit on a set limit without taking very much risk. A grinder often has the potential to make and win large bets. But, he or she will choose to play on a limit far beneath their abilities to ensure they make a profit.

In short, a grinder will “grind” away until they reach their set goal. These players generally will stay away from aggressive moves in favor of safe play. Unlike a lot of poker players whose goal is to make as much money from each hand as possible, a grinder is completely fine with winning small pots.

It should be noted that "Grinder" is also used to refer to players who play poker for a living. Similarly, these players will play very often until they reach their set goal. For the sake of this article, we’re going to discuss grinding the table to win small pots.

Where Can They Be Found?

Grinders can be found in most types of poker; especially in lower and middle limit tables. The vast majority will be found multi-tabling. It’s not uncommon for these players to be making bets at 8, or even 10, tables at a time.

How To Do It The Right Way

Poker grinders rarely take big shots. The money comes trickling in, but on a steady basis. A good poker grinder may have their losing streaks, but not often. When they do lose, it won't be very much. If you’re going to grind, there are a few things you should take note of before you begin.

Bankroll management: This is vital. By keeping a proper bankroll coordinating with the level you are playing at, you will be able to build a “healthy” cushion against variance or the natural balance between good and bad luck.

Choosing a site: A serious grinder will take into consideration all aspects of the gaming operator. Headline bonuses, rakebacks, promotions and fees are just a few things they will look at. The balance between high stake and low stake players is also relevant; you want an even amount between the groups. All these considerations will affect the overall decision of what a grinder is willing to bet.

Math is essential: You don’t have to be a math whiz, but you do want to determine your hourly profits and ensure you are pulling in adequate amounts of cash. In order to do this, many grinders will play at multiple tables. This takes time to learn, but it is a viable option if you remain patient

Consistent analysing: Serious grinders constantly analyse their own game play. They know what their strengths and weaknesses are and find ways to make improvements wherever needed. Grinders often take advantage of poker software which can be useful to evaluate hands and overall game strategy.

Advantages Of Being A Grinder

A lot of grinders play at multiple “Sit and Go” tables. These players may occupy themselves with 8 or more tables at a time. Take for example a buy-in of $10 at a sit and go table. Ten percent is a sufficient ROI (after rake); therefore, the player is making $1 per Sit and Go. It doesn’t seem like much; however, if they can manage 20 of these per hour; they’re grinding $20 per hour win rate. Not too bad; double your money and you can bring in $50 an hour. Although the ROI may seem small, it can add up.

Throughout your game play, you are bringing in steady amounts of cash and lose very little. A grinder’s losses (if they have any) are usually small; therefore, they can easily overcome them. This is the primary advantage of being a grinder.


As appealing as grinding may sound, it is not easy. It takes a great deal of patience, willful learning and stamina when playing on small or mid stake poker tables. It can take thousands of hands and long hours before you begin to turn a decent profit. It also takes self-control. Think about it. You will be playing against other individuals who win huge amounts of cash, while your own winnings are miniscule in comparison.

Managing Your Bankroll As A Poker Grinder

As a poker grinder you must know how to manage your bankroll. There is a lot to be said about bankroll management, but we’ll keep it short and to the point for now. First, the type of poker and your style of a play have a part in bankroll management. Generally speaking, you should have between 30 and 50 buy-ins for whatever game you’re playing.

A grinder is all about winning; for a positive bankroll, set your goals and stick to them; even if you’re on an unlucky streak. At the tables, start with small wagers and keep track of your buy-ins. All too often players forget to do this, lose their money and think the site is rigged. Remember, don’t play more than your bankroll allows.

Finally, poker is all about having fun. Once you’ve met your goals and you’re bankroll continues to grow, don’t forget to take some out. Use it to invest in something else or treat yourself to that gadget you’ve been eyeing for a long time. When you keep all of your money in your bankroll, not spending it on anything exciting, you risk losing interest in your strategy and the game. As a result your play and profits will be headed downwards.

Ultimately, if you’re going to be a grinder, have a plan, develop goals and practice as much as you can. The more variables you can cover, the better the chance you will have at growth, profit and even pleasure.