Poker bankroll management is a vital part of your overall strategy at playing poker, regardless of what variant you’re playing. If you want to make real, big winnings from playing poker, this is something you need to take seriously. The ability to manage your poker bankroll greatly determines how much success you will have as a professional poker player.
This article contains everything you need to know about poker bankroll management, providing some answers to frequently asked questions about poker bankroll.
Poker Bankroll: What Is It?
A poker bankroll refers to the money you intend to play poker with, which is typically separate from your living expenses. You must only set aside the money you can afford to lose because the chances of losing are high. So, set aside enough money for your living expenses; then, determine the amount you want to spend at the poker table. Having proper poker bankroll management means being able to pay rent and generally sustain yourself even if you lose your bankroll.
There are natural variances if there’s a constant in poker and having a large bankroll helps you withstand them. This, among other reasons, is why the best poker players have large bankrolls, which new players should emulate. It doesn’t matter what level you are at playing poker; having a small bankroll is bad; you will go broke. On the other hand, if you’re playing live cash games, your bankroll should be large enough to cover 20 buy-ins.
What Does “Risk of Ruin” Mean?
The principle of risk of ruin is where your risk of losing everything goes with each bet. Two factors generally determine the percentage of your risk of ruin: your skill level and the size of your bankroll. Playing with a larger bankroll will reduce your risk level; the more poker-skilled you are, the lower your risk of ruin.
Meanwhile, this rule only applies if you’re a winning poker player; no bankroll is big enough if you always lose. Furthermore, avoid moving up in stakes because you have a large bankroll; higher stakes make losing much easier.
Tips for Tracking Results for Improved Bankroll Management
Tracking your results accurately will help you improve your bankroll management, further reinforcing the importance of accurately tracking your results. When tracking your results, you want to be looking at the venue, type of game, and hourly rate.
First, consider where you’re playing the poker – are you playing a live game, or you’re playing online, in a casino, or somewhere else?
- Type of Game
The type of poker you play can impact your game, from cash games to multi-table tournaments and tournaments.
If you play poker online, you can calculate your hourly and overall win rate using database software. On the other hand, if you play live poker games, you should always keep track of your hourly rate.
Top Tips for Managing Your Bankroll Properly
Every poker player understands the need to properly and smartly practice poker bankroll management, but not everyone can do it. While maintaining a proper poker bankroll is pretty simple, even the good ones constantly struggle with their career finances. The best poker players have witnessed the consequences of not managing their bankroll properly; that’s how delicate it is. However, it remains the fact that you need to have smart bankroll management to stay in action and grow.
Bankroll management is an important skill every poker player should have. Below are four strategies that can help you manage your poker bankroll properly and smartly.
- Separate Personal from Poker
First, you must separate your finances from those set aside for playing poker. Professional poker players view it as a serious business; to them, playing poker is more than playing; hoping luck smiles on you. Therefore, when building your poker bankroll, you must first set aside finances for living expenses from what you intend to play poker with.
Don’t miss your private funds with your bankroll, like you won’t use your funds for business trips. The worst thing that can happen is you lose your entire bankroll, but you’ll still be able to pay your bills.
- You Can’t Stop Variance
Variances naturally happen in poker games, and that’s not something anyone can control. A prominent difference between a recreational and professional poker player is one holds to his game during downswings while the other doesn’t. You must stop trying to extend a winning streak by playing conservatively; only take it one hand at a time.
- Avoid Miscellaneous Spending
When you enter the casino or go online to play poker, focus on playing poker to avoid unnecessary spending. For example, if you enter a casino, there are beautiful sceneries that will tempt you but that you must avoid. Some of those include the luxuries of drinks, massages, food, and more; they’re great, but that’s not what the bankroll is for. Every penny you spend is a big blind you cannot use later, so spend wisely to avoid being left hanging.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Move down in Stakes
It is the same thing everywhere; nobody wants to go back down when they’ve tasted the top. However, you must maintain flexibility and not be afraid to move back down in stakes when necessary. For example, moving down may be the solution if you’re getting poor results from high-up stakes. Unfortunately, players often need to repeat this process a few times before they can move and stay up in stakes.
How Can You Increase Your Poker Bankroll?
Experts recommend that poker players looking to get a regular income should make cash games their anchor. You can’t rely upon tournaments as a source of income if you play live games because the variance is much more extreme. However, cash games will let you steadily and safely increase your poker bankroll.
While these tips can help you manage your bankroll smartly, you may not get it right immediately. Whether you’re a recreational player or want to go pro, mastering poker takes time and wit to master poker. Therefore, you may want to make friends with expert poker players to learn their playing and bankroll management firsthand. In addition, they can teach you how to sharpen your mental game by reading opponents and spotting.