Bankroll Management 101


Bankroll Management 101

Practicing good bankroll management is essential for players who are looking to move up in limits and be profitable at the tables. Buying in with a large portion of your bankroll at a single table is a sure fire way to end without any chips or money in your pocket. Even the best players on the planet go on downswings that can last for tens of thousands of hands despite their abilities. The only way for players to guarantee profit in the long run, is to practice good bankroll management at all times.

One of the first things any poker player should do when thinking about bankroll management is to know their long term and short term goals. While some players are looking to generate a full time income off the game, others just want to have some fun after a long day at work. Professional players should have at least 100 buy ins if not more, based on the current stakes they are playing. Downswings and running below expected value can be brutal for professionals both mentally and financially. It is essential that their bank accounts can withstand an extended downswing. A good tip for those on a downswing is to drop down in limits for a day or two. The easier level of play combined with the smaller stakes often help players rebuild their confidence and some of the bankroll they need to win at high limits. Professionals that play games with more variance like Omaha should have an even bigger buy in to deal with the increased swings and emotions.

Recreational players on the other hand need a much smaller bankroll to be successful on the felt. Since these players are not depending on their winnings from the tables to pay bills and put food on the table, recreational players have much less strict bankroll management guidelines. Recreational players could use an aggressive bankroll strategy with as few as 25 buy ins. While at least 50 is preferred, recreational players that are just looking to have some fun can get away with smaller bankrolls.

Another factor that could affect your bankroll management is the win rate. Players with large win rates will experience fewer down swings than those with lower win rates. If you are able to easily beat a certain limit, it might be worth playing with a smaller bankroll in order to move up quicker. Those players that break even or are marginally profitable will experience massive swings, in both directions, and it will take hundreds of thousands of hands for their true win rate to stabilize. It is even possible for some players to lose money at the tables but still show a profit after bonuses and rakeback. Players like this need a massive bankroll as they will regularly have 10 buy in downswings.

One quick and easy way to build a bankroll is to look for bonus and rakeback plans. Casinos often have deposit bonuses and giveaways. Often all that is required is a real money deposit and a few hundred hands of play to clear the bonus, and after that the money is all yours. If you only play on one site, be sure to check out other sites that offer the same game. They often have first time player bonuses, giving you even more free money.

Knowing how to manage a bankroll is an essential skill for poker players to possess. Without it, they will almost always end up broke. The guidelines provided above give a good framework for players to follow at first. The best way to master bankroll management is to be honest with yourself about your true financial goals on and off the table, as well as your win rate at different limits and develop a bankroll personalized bankroll management plan.

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