You can win even when you lose with proper bankroll management

The principle of bankroll management is imperative to becoming a successful poker player. Without the skill of proper money management even the most successful poker pros or entrepreneurial geniuses would just go broke. However, before we get started with the intricacies, here are the basics of bankroll management for the game of Texas Hold ‘em.

  • 20 buy-ins for No Limit Hold ‘em
  • 300 big blinds for Limit Hold ‘em
  • 40 buy-ins for sit and go tournaments

Bankroll Management: What is it?

Often abbreviated within the poker community as BRM, bankroll management put in simple terms is where one plays within his/her limits to avoid losing all their money, i.e. bankroll. This could be for any reason like, bad run of cards, distracted game play, and poor skills to match the others or anything else. But these are some factors that poker players must expect from time to time.

Playing with a little foresight to not burn a hole in your pocket is called “playing with your bankroll”. Now if you go on to play at higher limits, where the chances of incurring huge losses are higher, then you are “playing out of your bankroll”.

Why should you care about bankroll management?

The main reason to choose your limits with efficiency in poker is due to the element of variance. Variance is the ups and downs of poker game, where players fluctuate in between good runs of cards and bad runs, resulting in a differential graph plotted with profits and losses.

If you play for a good length of time, then you will experience periods wherein you will either be losing money constantly not because you are playing poorly, but because the cards are just falling your way. So, if you do not have enough funds in your bankroll to absorb these major downswings, you may just end up losing it all.

All poker players, regardless of their abilities will experience variance in their game play. But proper use of bankroll management allows them to deal with this variability and still continue to play without going completely bankrupt.
Thus, every time you sit at a poker table, be it live or online, you must provide yourself with the best opportunity to win maximum amount of profit and maintaining the risk of going broke minimal. And that’s exactly where you must apply the rules of bankroll management.

What are my ideal limits to play at?

In cash games:

Pot limit and No Limit Hold ‘em:

For players playing pot limit or no limit poker game, then the most recommendable bankroll size is 20 times the buy-in amount of where you wanted to play. So, the best chance of making money at a $1/$2 game where the maximum buy-in amount is $ 200, you should cap your bankroll to at least $ 4000.

Yet another way of applying bankroll management in your game is to put a maximum of 5% of your entire bankroll on the table at any certain point in the game, this will work out the same as having 20 times the buy-in amount for the game.

Limit Hold ‘em:

If you are more of a limit hold ‘em kind of a guy, then the best rule of thumb to go by is to have 300 Big bets as a minimum for the limit one wishes to play at. So, when playing $1 / $2 limit Holdem, maintain a bankroll of at least $ 600.

Tournament Games:

For tourneys the best recommended bankroll limit is to have enough so that you can afford 40 buy-ins to the levels of tournaments in the ones that you wish to play. So, concurrently if you want to play at $ 10 + $ 1 Sit and Go’s you must have a bankroll of $ 440.

In closing thoughts:

If you are poker player with intentions of making money from the game, it is essential that you exercise good bankroll management skills. If you do not then you are simply setting yourself up for frequent losses, which will be hard to prevent. This will be regardless of how great you may be at the game.

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