What You Need to Know About Twitch Poker
If you’ve ever fantasized about getting paid to hang out online, make new friends, and play the games you love, all without leaving your home, then it’s time to stop dreaming. Your wishes are now well within the realm of possibility thanks to Twitch, the planet’s leading live video streaming platform.
While Twitch is best known for its live video game streams and esports competition broadcasts, the site is also home to content from dozens of categories. Whether you’re looking for music broadcasts, talk shows, in real life chats, shopping hauls, product unboxings, relationship advice, sports, or just about anything else you can think of, there are endless Twitch live streams happening right now. Plus, you can watch even more content on demand.
Given the growing popularity of online poker, it shouldn’t be shocking that the world’s greatest card game is well represented on Twitch. It doesn’t matter if you want to interact with other poker fans, need to learn the tricks of the trade, or are ready to show the world what you’re made of. There’s room for you in the Twitch poker community.
If you’ve cut the cord and ditched cable TV for good, you’re certainly not missing much, especially when it comes to poker. The golden era of poker on tv ended more than a decade ago. Yet at the same time, it’s much easier to watch poker than ever before thanks to Twitch.
Twitch is a goldmine of poker content. No matter what time of the day or night you log on, you can expect to be informed and entertained. The site is filled with endless streams of poker action. You’ll find everything from live tournaments and cash games to tutorials, hand highlights, and people talking about the game.
Most of the big poker sites regularly host shows designed to help you get more out of your game. And while Twitch is a great way to catch poker masters at play, even the amateurs are fun to watch.
When major poker events like the Winning Poker Network’s Venom tournaments or the World Series Of Poker online take place, Twitch.tv is the best place to check out the action. And let’s not forget that Twitch live poker is never more than a click away. You can even watch the best and biggest Twitch streamers on demand whenever it suits you.
Becoming a Twitch Poker Creator
As much fun as it is to watch other people play poker, Twitch’s biggest benefit is that it can transform you into a content creator almost instantly. You don’t need a broadcast license, fancy hardware, business plan, or any sort of expensive gear to start streaming. All it takes is a free Twitch account, a modest computer setup, a stable internet connection, some free software, and a little time. Even if you aren’t tech-savvy, you can be streaming alongside the best Twitch channels today.
Here’s how to stream poker on Twitch in five easy steps.
1) Create your Twitch account.
Just visit Twitch.tv, click the sign-up button, and fill out the registration form. Don’t forget to pick a great name, although it’s not hard to figure out how to change your Twitch name later.
2) Find a Twitch friendly poker site.
If you’re planning on streaming your poker play, you’ll need an account in good standing at an online cardroom such as ACR Poker. Nearly all the top online poker sites work well with Twitch.
3) Download and install broadcasting software.
Broadcasting software is responsible for capturing the video and audio from your webcam as well as your poker client.
We could spend an entire article comparing and contrasting the various options for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. At the end of the day, your choice will come down to personal preference, but both free and paid broadcasting software is available.
Twitch Studio, OBS Project, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, Vmix, and Lightstream are just a few of your choices. Check out help.Twitch.tv/s/article/recommended-software-for-broadcasting for links to the latest versions.
4) Fine-tune your settings.
Before you start streaming, you’ll want to consider how your stream looks to your audience. Try adding a Twitch poker overlay. You might need to adjust the backdrop or the placement of your desk, webcam, and computer depending on the lighting in your room. Most importantly, you’ll want to add a delay of 4 to 5 minutes when playing poker on Twitch. Otherwise, you run the risk of viewers seeing your hole cards in real time and beating you at the tables.
5) Start playing and streaming.
Congratulations! You’re officially a Twitch poker streamer. Launch your broadcasting software, fire up your poker client, share your screen, and let the world see you in action.
A Few Things to Consider Before You Begin
You don’t need to spend a lot of cash to get started as a Twitch streamer. You can pretty much get away with using any half-decent Mac or PC, assuming you have a stable internet connection. If your connection can handle FaceTime and Zoom calls, you should be good to go. Of course, you can adjust the quality in your broadcasting software if your connection can’t keep up.
Keep in mind that poker software isn’t particularly demanding when it comes to hardware requirements, especially when compared to esports and console-quality games.
Of course, if you plan on becoming one of the most followed Twitch streamers, you’ll want to consider upping your game at some point. Popular streamers will tell you that a microphone that’s separate from your internal webcam can go a long way. It also looks more professional on the stream. Obviously, the content you create is of greater importance, at least up to a point.
How Twitch Streamers Make Money Playing Poker
If you’ve ever asked yourself “how much does the average Twitch streamer make?” you’re not alone. With 2.5 million users watching streams at any moment, it’s obvious that Twitch is a big business—and who wouldn’t want a piece of the action?
Before you get ahead of yourself and fire off a letter of resignation to your boss, it’s worth understanding how both novices and the best Twitch streamers make money. New Twitch users generally rely on donations through Streamlabs, PayPal, Venmo, and other payment apps to make small amounts of money. Think of it as a digital tip jar on your live stream.
If you’re a novice, you can also sell your own swag like mugs, stickers, phone cases, and shirts using one of the many services that can create merchandise on demand. Novices are also free to join the affiliate program at any number of online retailers and poker sites. We’ll discuss the benefits of poker affiliate programs below. Twitch also has its own partner and affiliate programs, but these are just the names of the site’s monetization tiers.
Poker players who already have a following on other social media sites or in the real world often establish brand partnerships. By aligning with a brand, you could get free merchandise to promote, use, or give away on your Twitch poker stream, which can help you build your traffic.
Becoming A Twitch Poker Affiliate
If you’re serious about becoming one of the best Twitch streamers, you’ll want to set your sights on becoming a Twitch Affiliate, which is the site’s first monetization tier. The Twitch Affiliate program is generally invitation only. Luckily, it’s not hard to qualify. Typically, you’ll need to have broadcasted on seven separate days and for at least 500 minutes in total. You’ll also need a minimum of 50 followers.
Twitch Affiliates have access to three new revenue streams: subscriptions, virtual cheers, and game sales. Viewers who purchase monthly subscriptions will be given special perks like exclusive chat room access and merchandise discounts. Twitch top streamers typically get to keep 50% of the subscription fees.
Virtual cheers are essentially a way for viewers to tip streamers through the chat window. Users can purchase a package of bits from the chat window and mete them out to their favorite Twitch streamers as they see fit. Streamers then get a cut of every bit used in their stream’s chat.
If you branch outside of playing online poker, you can peddle games and add-ons right on your Twitch channel. When players make a purchase using the buy-now button, you’ll get a 5% commission. It’s that easy.
Earning Twitch Poker Partner Status
The absolute top Twitch streamers are known as partners. To qualify as a partner, you’ll need to apply. After you’re accepted, you’ll be able to make money through all the channels available to Twitch Affiliates, but that’s just the beginning.
As a partner, you’ll get a cut of revenue from ads that appear on your page. Once the word gets out that you’re a partner, you can expect brand sponsorships and even formal endorsement deals.
Increase Your Twitch Poker Earning Potential
You don’t have to be a top Twitch streamer to earn extra cash playing online poker. Instead, consider joining your favorite poker site’s affiliate program.
While the structure and remuneration of affiliate programs do vary, many of the best-known poker sites will pay you cash for every user you send their way, provided they sign up, deposit, and play. Keep in mind that taking part in an affiliate program is a separate undertaking from becoming a Twitch Affiliate, which requires a minimum of 50 followers. Signing up as an affiliate of a poker site typically involves filling out a form and getting approved, which is easier than it sounds.
The most popular affiliate programs give you tools to attract players and engage your audience. For example, WPN Affiliates, which powers multiple brands including Americas Cardroom, has an enticing welcome package and big tournaments that make it simple to convert players.
When choosing an affiliate program, it’s wise to align yourself with brands you actually plan on using. This isn’t just a question of integrity. Rather, it has to do with simple logistics. The best way to drive traffic to a poker site is by streaming the live holdem action as you play. As a poker Twitch streamer, you’ll be inviting your viewers to join you at the table—and they expect to see you there.
Who knows? If you have a large audience, can create captivating content, and have the poker skills to match, you could end up with a formal sponsorship deal or two in your young streaming poker career.
Frequently Asked Questions About Twitch Poker
Can Americans stream poker on Twitch?
Americans are free to stream poker on Twitch. As a general rule, you can stream poker as long as playing poker is legal where you live and you have reached the legal age. Even in jurisdictions where poker isn’t legal, there is no issue streaming live holdem games that use play money.
No matter what the rules are in your area, you can always watch other people’s streams.
Who are the top Twitch streamers?
Although the top Twitch streamers are subject to change, no list would be complete without including names like Ninja, shroud, summit1g, Riot Games, Syndicate, ESL_CSGO, and imaqtpie. As far as Twitch poker goes, ALOHADANCETV, LexVeldhius, runitup247, and Spraggy are some of the most watched streamers.
Can Twitch streamers see who is watching?
Yes, Twitch streamers can easily see who is watching. Just check out the viewer list, which displays all the viewers who have Twitch accounts and have connected to your chat. You can access the viewer list by clicking on the list button, which you’ll find next to the settings button.
You can also check out the viewer count, which displays the active number of viewers watching simultaneously, including those that aren’t registered.
How do I gain followers on Twitch?
There are lots of ways to attract Twitch followers. You can start by following top Twitch streamers, watching their streams, and being active in their chats. If you’re engaging, other viewers will likely check out your streams and reward you with a Twitch follow. Of course, creating interesting content and streaming frequently will give people a reason to follow you. You can also promote yourself on other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat as you try to become one of the top streamers.
Despite what you might have heard, you don’t have to dress provocatively to get twitch followers. If you’re entertaining, insightful, or have something interesting to say about poker, you shouldn’t have any trouble growing your channel organically. Putting in a little effort can go a long way, even if it takes time.
How much do Twitch streamers make?
The amount of money Twitch streamers earn varies widely. Streamers who are new to the platform earn next to nothing. Yet if your Twitch follower count is at least 50 and you meet a few other conditions, you can become an affiliate, which lets you earn money from donations, advertisements, and subscriptions.
If you manage to increase your audience considerably, you can become a Twitch partner, which is where the real money is. The top partners earn tens of thousands of dollars per month, not counting lucrative sponsorship deals. A few elite streamers earned over a million dollars last year. Keep in mind that streaming poker on Twitch isn’t as popular or lucrative as playing video games like League of Legends, Fortnite, and Call of Duty.
How much do small Twitch streamers make?
Small Twitch streamers don’t make much at all, especially in the beginning. But once you build your audience, create enough interesting content, and become an affiliate, it’s not hard to earn hundreds of dollars per month.
How much do Twitch streamers make per sub?
Most Twitch streamers get to keep 50% of the subscription fees. Given that monthly subscriptions cost $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99, individuals earn $2.50, $5.00, or $12.50 for each subscription. Streamers who have reached elite status get to keep a greater share of the subscription fees, in some cases as much as 70%.