If you’re a frequent poker player or you want to become one, a poker bankroll is something you should take seriously. Regardless of what type of poker you’re playing, Texas Hold’Em or Seven-card Stud, managing your bankroll is a vital aspect of your strategy.
Setting and managing your poker bankroll benefits you in more ways than one – for instance, it helps you play responsibly. But unfortunately, there is a stigma placed on gambling generally; sometimes, what people hear when you mention the word is “addiction.”
Poker bankroll is an essential part of your poker-playing life, and learning what you can about it is important. This article contains valuable information about poker bankrolls, including exactly what they are.
What Is Poker Bankroll?
If you’re thinking “bankroll” has to do with money, then you thought, right – poker bankroll deals with how you spend. A poker bankroll refers to the amount of money you’ve allocated to play with at the poker table. For example, let’s assume you’re a young poker player who grinds $0.50 to $1 No-Limit Seven-card stud games online. To be properly bankrolled, you need at least $10,000 in your bankroll to be able to play comfortably.
You’ll allocate $10,000 for your expenses, vow never to play, and $20,000 for your proper bankroll. If you’re playing poker with real money, you must have a certain amount reserved for living expenses. Normally, we advise players to set aside money for living expenses up to six months before playing poker. Also, you’ll need to avoid intermingling your living expenses and poker bankroll to avoid going broke and borrowing.
How to Obtain a Poker Bankroll?
Building a proper poker bankroll starts with deciding how much you can deposit on a poker site for poker. Most poker sites have cash games with stakes ranging from $0.01/0.02 to $0.02/$0.05, meaning you can start small. On the other hand, some poker players don’t start with funds but build their bank rolls from scratch. Meanwhile, the goal isn’t to quickly build a poker bankroll but to go at your pace and build what works for you.
If you want to build from scratch, there are four poker bankroll formats you can use:
- Cash Games
This is the first direction to consider if you want to earn quickly from playing poker for as low as $10. You’ll play games with 1c/2c blinds and at full-ring rather than flat-ring, as recommended by experts.
If you have a $10 bankroll, you can enter a multi-table poker tournament again and again. Most of these tournaments are played with low stakes; you can play with as low as 50c and still win handsome prizes.
- Sit n Go
You only need a bankroll between 50c and $1 to enter sit-n-go games. However, it would help if you were careful about entering these tournaments because basic strategies are often insufficient.
This strategy is great if you want to save your small bankroll from crashing before earning real winnings. In addition, the bankroll format is available in tournaments and cash games, helping you eliminate junk hands.
What Is a Good Starting Poker Bankroll?
The general rule for poker bankrolls should be between ten and twenty buy-ins. If you want a real chance at winning, you’ll need to ensure you don’t play poker on a bankroll of fewer than ten buy-ins. Every professional poker player will recommend playing with less than ten buy-ins; fifteen to twenty buy-ins are better if you’re an average poker player. However, we recommend starting with 50 buy-ins per limit if you’re playing poker for real money.
By “just starting,” we mean you’ve only been playing poker in the past year or two with low winnings. To earn a lot of money from playing poker, you must take your bankroll management seriously. Below are our recommendations for a good starting poker bankroll for each online poker limit:
- $100 for 1c/2c
- $250 for 2c/5c
- $500 for 5c/10c
- $1,250 for 10c/25c
- $2,500 for 25c/50c
- $5,000 for 50c/$1
A good starting poker bankroll should be what you can afford; that’ll depend on your personal and financial state. Choose an amount well below your financial limit if you have a low tolerance for losing money. Apart from being able to afford the bankroll, it would help if you were okay with losing it – because there’s a good chance you will.
How Much Should Your Bankroll Be for Poker?
Your bankroll for playing poker should be at least thirty times the size of the poker stakes you’re playing for. For example, if you’re playing $0.50/$1 cash games with a $100 maximum buy-in for the table, you should have $3,000 (100×30). Most of the time, you would need to have close to fifty times the buy-ins for cash games. Conversely, you may need up to 100x your average tournament buy-in.
We recommend having more for tournaments because the variance is greater; you need a high number for a real winning chance. Meanwhile, if you’re a pro (or a beginner seeking to widen your horizon) playing tough cash games live or online. Your buy-ins should be 10x the size of the stakes you’re playing for in the game.
How Many Big Blinds Should Your Bankroll Be?
The number of big blinds you start with isn’t as important as the progression of levels. Below is a structure for the number of big blinds your poker bankroll should be:
- 25/50 if you’re in level 1
- 50/100 for level 2
- 75/100 for level 3
- 100/200 for level 4
- 125/200 for level 5
- 150/300 for level 6
- 200/400 for level 7
- 300/600 for level 8
- 400/800 for level 9
- 600/1200 for level 10
- 1000/2000 for level 11
- 1500/3000 for level 12
- 2000/4000 for level 13
- 3000/6000 for level 14
- 4000/8000 for level 15.
Setting and managing a poker bankroll is important for many reasons. One of the most prominent reasons is that it reduces the risks of you going broke, which will be disastrous. Moreover, taking your poker bankroll seriously shows that you mean business and want to make it big while playing poker.