Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is the process in which a player decides which percentage of his money

Bankroll management is the process in which a player decides which percentage of his money should risk in any gambling game and especially in Texas hold’em poker. If you like to play just for fun then you can play as much as you want, but there are certain rules to follow if you want to be a winning player in poker.

First of all you must gamble with money that you can afford to lose if things don’t go the way you expect. The money a player should use for gambling should not be taken from the money that are used for necessary things like rent, food, bills etc. I’m saying this because if you play with money you can’t afford to lose then this will affect definitely your game most of the time to worse. So you must decide how much money you will use for playing poker.

Remember that no matter how big your bankroll is the bankroll management rules apply for everyone even if for example someone starts with 200$ and another with 5.000$. Also bankroll is the sum of all the money you are using to play poker no matter if you split it to different casinos.

You must know anytime exactly which your poker bankroll is because bankroll affects the stakes you can play. There are cash games on the internet starting as low as 1c/2c and tournaments from 0.10c so don’t worry you can start playing with just 10$.

Cash Games

Again remember that your bankroll should determine the stakes of the poker game you want to play. That is happening because in poker there is variance which means that you can be winning or losing for long periods no matter how good you are because the cards can’t always be on our side. With that in mind let’s see the proper bankroll for limit cash games and no-limit cash games.

In limit cash games 400 limit big bets is the best amount of bankroll you should have and according to your results you must move in higher stakes if you win or in lower stakes if you lose. Here is a big mistake that a lot of poker players do by refusing to play in lower limits until they raise their bankroll again. If you are a good player in the long term you will be winning more money than you are losing and eventually you will move in higher stakes without risking additional money. If you don’t win in the stakes you play in the long term then something is wrong with the way you play so you must move in lower stakes in order to get improved. A critical time to drop down on stakes is when your starting bankroll is under about 30%.

In no limit cash games swings are much bigger than those of no limit and a good starting bankroll is about 40 maximum buy-ins (every maximum buy in is usually 100 BB). It sounds awful but let’s say that you want to play in 5c/10c then your proper starting bankroll should be 10c x 100 x 40=400$. Some authors say that it’s ok to start in NL cash games with about 20 maximum buy-ins but this bankroll apply only to solid players which are not very aggressive and they don’t have too big variance in their play so if that’s your type of play then this is a good starting bankroll for you.

Sit and Go’s & Multi-Table Tournaments

In a SNG with 10 or 9 participants a nice bankroll to start is about 30 buy-ins and depending on your results you must adjust the buy-in higher or lower. In multi-table tournaments the fields are huge. In platforms like pokerstars or full tilt there are many tournaments with fields that many times exceed 6.000 entrants. With that in mind and considering that if you want to make serious money from MTT’s you must finish in the final table the ideal number of buy-ins is 80-100.

Basic Parameter – The style of a player

This bankroll management guide is for an average winning poker player. If your style is aggressive then you must have bigger bankroll for the same stakes than the suggested because aggressive players have bigger swings in their results than these of a tight/aggressive player. On the other hand a solid/conservative player has low variance on his results so a lower bankroll from the suggested will also work fine for him.

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