This article will discuss the importance of poker money management. How to manage your bankroll is not the most complicated subject in poker, however it is definitely one of the most important concepts for new players to understand if they don’t expect to go broke. Unfortunately many new players fail to use good poker money management.
As a player, you must realize that poker is a game of chance, which means you can expect downswings in your bankroll due to bad luck or running badly. It has nothing to do with your skill level, variance affects all players and even winning players can expect to experience big downswings during their poker careers. Even the best poker players in the world will have big downswings where they lose a lot of money.
If your aim is to keep playing poker for a long period of time you should therefore make sure your bankroll is big enough to ensure that you never go broke even if you have a run of bad luck. By having a sizeable roll for the limit you are playing, you can withstand the inevitable swings.
In order to withstand the big downswings which are inevitable to even winning players, I recommend a minimum bankroll size of 30 times the buy-in for cash games. If your bankroll goes under this size you will need to step down one level. For example, if you are playing $1/2 you will need a bankroll of more than $6,000. If you go below $6,000 you will need to go down to $0.5/1 and start grinding there until you have earned enough funds to play at $1/2 again.
If you happen to be running bad or don’t feel like you are playing well at a specific limit, it may be a good idea to step down in limits just to regain some confidence at the tables. Don’t let your ego get in the way of sound money management. Confidence is everything in poker.
If you follow this poker money management advice you can be pretty damn sure that you will never lose your entire bankroll, provided that you play an appropriate poker game. Some would say that 30 times the buy-in is being a bit aggressive with your bankroll so if you want to be more conservative then you could try a larger sum so you have less risk of going bust. In that case I suggest you to invest at least 40 times the buy-in for cash games. Anything above that is a ridicoulusly conservative bankroll, but it doesn’t hurt to be conservative if you are still learning the game.
New player don’t necessarily know if poker is something for them and just want to try it out. If you are in this position feel free to deposit any amount you feel comfortable playing with. Keep in mind that if you are making a first time deposit onto an online poker room, in order to take advantage of the sign-up bonus you should deposit as much as you can afford, as this will enable you to receive a bigger sign-up bonus and your bankroll will look much healthier. By taking advantage of a big sign-up bonus this is basically free money, and you will get to release the bonus by playing in any real money games.
The biggest mistake I see novice players make is they will use their poker bankroll for other means aside from poker. Every person’s financial situation is different and you may have real life expenses like rent, food, entertainment, and whatever else to pay for. But if these other expenses are putting a big dent into your bankroll its going to hurt you.
If you don’t follow proper poker money management, you obviously run the risk of going broke and this will prevent you from being able to play poker. If you jump straight into $1/2 tables or higher and sit down at a table with %100 of your bankroll, then you might lose it all in a few hours. The skill level of players at the higher limits is better so its a matter of when not if you will lose the money, so be smart about it.