Poker Bankroll Management When Playing No Limit Texas Hold’em

published on 07/13/10 at 1:52 pm

Poker Bankroll Management When Playing No Limit Texas Hold’em

Today’s topic is poker bankroll management. Many of you will probably already know the concept but IMO it never hurts to be reminded of the basics.

If you’ve been playing poker for some time, you will have your share of bad beat stories to tell. That’s because poker is a game of probabilities (some critics would call it a game of luck but that’s because they don’t know better). Even if you’re ahead of your opponent with a pair of aces on a A93 rainbow flop, there’s always the possibility he catches running 5′s for 4 of a kind. This element of chance is the basis of all variance in poker. Variance combined with your skill set at the tables is what makes your stack fluctuate from hand to hand, and your bankroll fluctuate on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. If you’re a poker novice, your bankroll will most likely decrease because you still have a lot to learn, but even poker pros
have bad runs.

Besides learning all the poker rules, proper bankroll management is your best weapon against variance and the risk of ruin. It goes without saying that you’re much more likely to lose a 100$ bankroll playing NL100$ tables compared to NL5$ tables. With proper bankroll management you will always have enough buyins in your bankroll to outlast bad spells. As a rule of thumb, you will need between 20 to 50 buyins on the level you’re playing to make sure you won’t go broke in the long run.

Before you make your first deposit, make sure you realize the consequences of your bankroll management choice. If you’re looking for quick thrills and the chance of building a bankroll with lightning speed go ahead and put your entire bankroll at stake on one table. Just be aware that you have a low chance of success. If on the other hand you’re looking to sustain your bankroll for a long time then stick to the 20 to 50 buyin rule of thumb. However, following this plan means that you will be grinding it out on small buyin tables for a long time in order to increase your bankroll enough to move up to the next level.

As for me, my grinding days are over. Some years ago I followed a strict bankroll management scheme for about a year and made enough money to pay for a road trip in Asia with my best friends. The trip was the best I’ve ever been on, but I realized that grinding isn’t my cup tea. Nowadays I deposit on average $100 a month into various poker sites and just have fun playing tournaments. If I cash big, I pull out the money and if I go broke I don’t worry too much about it.

If you don’t have money of your own to deposit, or belong to the group of unfortunate poker players in the US who are not allowed to deposit into poker sites, freerolls are a great way to start up a poker bankroll.

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