Bankroll Management Tips

One of the biggest mistakes poker players make is not implementing proper bankroll management. Even the best poker players go on bad runs, and if you are not playing within stakes suitable to the amount of money in your account you can easily go broke.

Some simple rules to follow for bankroll management for Texas Holdem are as follows:

  • 20 Max Buy-ins for No Limit Holdem Cash Games – For example: If you want to play 1/2 NL Holdem the max buy-in is $200. Proper bankroll management would state that you should have at least $4000 in your account to play these games.
  • 40 Buy-ins for SNG Tournaments – For example: If you typically play $20+1 SNGs, you should have at least $840 in your poker account.
  • 300 Big Blinds for Limit Holdem – For example: If you want to play 5/10 Limit Holdem, your bankroll should be at least $3000.

Many players are probably reading the numbers above thinking that these numbers are way too high, but the reality is you will go on bad runs playing poker, and experience bad luck from time to time, so you need to implement a strategy to handle this. If you are currently playing $1/$2 NL Holdem with only $200 in your account then you are never going to make money playing poker unless you get extremely lucky. 1 bad hand with this little in your account could bust your entire account. Instead, drop down to lower levels and master the game there first. Sure, it may seem like you are playing for peanuts, but if you can’t master the lower games moving up to the bigger games is a complete waste of time.

As you build your bankroll at the level you should be playing at based on the size of your roll, you can slowly move up. Constantly monitor your bankroll, set goals for yourself and once you reach your goals move up to the higher level. If you go on a bad run at the higher level don’t be afraid to drop down a level to meet the basic bankroll strategy listed above.

Other Factors to Consider For Bankroll Management

  • Get Rakeback – Rakeback used to only be offered to players that played a lot of poker to reward them for their loyalty. Nowadays any player can get rakeback when they sign up at a new site. Simply rakeback means you get a % of all rake you contribute to the site back in your player account. This amount large or small can help you grow your bankroll over the month, even if you just break even from playing poker.
  • Set Goals – This was briefly touched upon above, but if you are playing without a goal in mind then you are playing for nothing. Start with setting a realistic goal for yourself (ie. To double your bankroll within 2 months and move up 1 level). Once you reach your goal, set a new goal and try to push yourself even further (ie. The same goal, except in 1 month instead of 2).
  • Personal State – If you are in a bad mood, or don’t really feel like playing poker, DON’T! Most of the times that people lose the most money playing poker are due to their current mood. Get yourself a comfortable chair to play in, and make sure you are in “the zone” to play poker. Everytime you log in to play poker online, you should ensure that your main reason for being there is to meet your bankroll goals and to win some money.
  • Tilt Management – If you are having a bad session and have lost a few buy-ins or several SNGs in a row, don’t be afraid to stop for the day. If you let this get to you and affect your play you are only going to lose more money, which is why it is best to just take a break at this point.
  • Play With Money That You Can Afford To Lose – If you are playing stakes that are too high, or the money means too much to you, this will show in your game. You should feel comfortable about putting all of your money in when you know you are ahead and not be afraid of getting “sucked out” on. If you are worried to risk a buy-in then chances are you are probably playing too high for your bankroll.

This article has been written by my friend Graham at Bankroll Boost, a site that helps players get a boost for their bankroll!