Not managing your bankroll properly is ruining your chances of poker success

  • Tighten up your game with strong bankroll management
  • Win or lose, know which games to play and when

One of the most common reasons that casino players go bust is because of poor bankroll management.

In learning to manage your bankroll you learn to manage yourself, and with a greater degree of discipline you become a better poker player.

Here are some of the fundamentals of bankroll management which will help you to grow as a player and give you a better chance of coming away from the poker table with a smile on your face.

Have a dedicated bankroll

A poker bankroll is one thing and thing only.
A poker bankroll is one thing and thing only.

If you’re playing for fun or as a hobby, a dedicated bankroll is a good indication of how seriously you take your poker.

A poker bankroll does not pay for dinner, for cinema tickets, a trip to the theatre or fuel costs. Your poker bankroll is for poker only; if you play at land-based casinos and at online casinos

Some professionals may make their poker bankroll and their money one and the same thing, but they take this into account when calculating their playing funds.

Whatever the case, money you need for anything else should never be considered part of your bankroll. Don’t lie to yourself.

Understand your buy-ins

poker buy ins
If you are looking to make a profit then it pays to know your buy-ins.

Knowing how much your bankroll is will dictate the types of games you should be competing in. Understand that various types of poker-based casino game have different variance.

Tournaments have the highest variance so playing them will require a larger bankroll while your standard no limit hold’em game has a lower variance so your bankroll can be much smaller.

A minimum number of buy-ins for a no limit Hold’Em game would be 30, while 100 would be cautious. Simply take any buy-in and times it by 50.

Do you have more money in your bankroll than the resulting figure? If not you either need a bigger bankroll or you need to look for a game with a lower buy-in cost. If you can times any buy-in by 100 then you know you’re golden as you are playing well within your limits.

The exception here is with tournaments for which you may need many hundreds of buy-ins, so although those lottery tickets with big wins always seems appealing, if you’re serious about maintaining your bankroll you need to think about whether you want to get involved.

Winning and losing

poker chips
Keep your chips on the table

Know how to deal with wins and losses. After every win, soberly assess the size of your new bankroll. Hubris will tempt you to move up into larger buy-ins but your bankroll must be the deciding factor when you decide when and where to play.

If you do this you will be working from an evidence-based system rather than your emotions and the swings that can happen when you gamble. Let your bankroll grow naturally without trying to force your way through levels.

Knowing when to walk away is an important part of any bankroll management strategy. Losing about 10% of your bankroll in any one sitting should give you serious pause for thought. It may be time to lick your wounds and leave the game. Rule of thumb: if you’re losing more in any one game than you’ve ever won in a game you need to get up and walk.

Final thoughts

Bankroll management is good self-management and will help you to lock down your poker game. Playing from a dedicated bankroll demands you get honest with yourself and start to assess the types of games you are playing in, how often you win and what kind of money you need to cover your losses as well as what to do when you win big.

For independently wealthy players, replenishing their bankroll may never be an issue, but for mere mortals a strong sense of what a bankroll is should always be a central aspect of your game.

Understand the fundamentals and make sure you check out our guide to the best online casinos for poker to make sure you are playing at the right online casino; we reckon Genting Casino is on the best in the business for poker games.

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