Nosebleed poker: what it is and how to play it

It is no longer a surprise that English adjectives abound in poker. "Nosebleed" is an adjective added to high stakes online poker games.

The term is used to reflect the pressure felt when betting large amounts of money in a game. It is a dramatization, of course, but this is how one word is used to talk about those high-stakes games that handle high numbers and are suitable only for high stacks.

Nosebleed poker games: what are they?

"Nosebleed" as a qualifier is an anglicism that is very often used to speak, in a colloquial way, of poker games in which large amounts of money are handled. A volume so large that it would be capable of giving anyone a nosebleed, hence the term.

Its use is somewhat ambiguous, that is, there is no limit at which a poker game can be called "nosebleed". However, the use of the NL 5,000 barrier has become widespread to speak in these terms, games in which players enter with 5,000 euros and, in total, the jackpots accumulate several thousand euros.

These games, for example, a NLH 25€ / 50€, can form huge pots of more than 30,000 euros, being able to change hands in each hand, depending on the development of the game. These are exciting games, perfect for thrill-seekers.

What makes nosebleed poker so special?
  • The size of the pots.
  • The show they offer.It attracts famous professional players.
  • If they are televised, they are a springboard to fame.
  • These are higher games than High Stakes.

The high stakes poker levels are from £5/£10, i.e. NL 1000 for Texas Hold'em No-Limit. Above the high stakes would be the 'nosebleed' levels. For some experts, high stakes would go up to NL 2000, but for others, even the NL 10,000 level is still considered 'high stakes' or high roller poker. 

Nosebleed games

These are the highest possible games. On the Internet, depending on the poker room, we can find very high betting levels. Especially in those rooms that do not divide the players by countries, since in this way the market of players has a greater number of players and more possibility that more players willing to play in high level games and 'nosebleed' appear.

What makes nosebleed poker different?

When we talk about nosebleed games, poker acquires another meaning. It is no longer just a game of skill, it is a game in which you win or lose much more than money.

The reactions of the losers are a poem that many enjoy analyzing, and is that the tension that is accumulated by the amount of money that is bet and the mental wear that involves making constant readings of the game makes that only after the showdown is perceived from the outside the tremendous pressure to which the players who participate in nosebleed poker games are subjected.

It is worth remembering that there is no fixed cap on the size of the pot in nosebleed games. Poker is a game that always follows dynamics that have one variable in common: money. The amount of money that can end up in the pot will decide how strategies are approached, just as the betting money is able to influence the risks the player is willing to take.

Therefore, this is the aspect that mainly makes nosebleed poker different compared to the other types of games, a factor that entails changes at all levels of the game: strategy, risk, tells, odds calculation, the tilt, the equity... everything is seen from another perspective when the pot reaches several zeros.

Tips for playing a nosebleed poker game

To know how to defend yourself in a nosebleed poker game, it is recommended that you follow these tips:

  • Think long term. A false move can compromise you indefinitely.
  • Fight the tilt. If you are overcome by a vortex of pessimism and you start to concatenate mistakes unbecoming of you, it's time to quit.
  • Start with small stakes. Nosebleed poker is visceral. If you start betting heavily, you will soon burn your chips.
  • You need to work on mental burnout. These games tend to take their toll on less trained players. You must be confident and cold-blooded enough to bet in high stakes games, as nosebleed poker punishes the unwary, the untrained and players who shy away from big pots.

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