The importance of proper bankroll management

Proper bankroll management is one of the essentials, if you want to ever become a successful poker player.

As we all know, the variation in the game is huge and short term luck plays its part. No matter how good you are, you are going to get beaten occasionally and will end up on some nasty losing streaks. In order to cope with them you need to be prepared mentally and have big enough bankroll to survive and ensure your skills have the runway required to end up on top.

Depending on the type of poker you are playing, there are different rules for bankroll management you will have to follow. In this article we will take a look at the main types and concentrate on players that are not professionals, but are decent and are doing some extra money with poker. If you are pro and depend only on your income from poker, then you should be much more conservative.

Another important thing is to actually have the discipline and strictly follow these rules. I’ve seen countless players refuse to move down a level and bust their whole poker bankroll. Don’t be one of them and have some patience – dropping levels might seem demotivating, but it will preserve your money.

No limit and pot limit cash games

If you are playing no limit or pot limit cash games you need about 50 buy-ins for full ring tables and about 75 buy-ins for 6-max tables. For example if you are playing at the $0.25-0.50 level full ring tables, where the buy in is $50 you will need $2,500. It might seem too much, but even if you are a winner at your level, you still will occasionally suffer from long losing streaks and such bankroll will help you survive.

Fixed limit cash games

Not a lot of people are playing fixed limit these days, but still we will cover this one too. Variation here can be a killer too, especially at lower limits where people tend to think that the limited betting size means they have the odds to chase some bad draws or pay with their bottom pair to the river. Of course, this is a great thing for each decent player, but it leads to higher variation. This is why you need at least 500 big bets for the level you are playing at. For example, if you are playing at the $1-2 level the bankroll required is $1,000.

Sit and Go tournaments (single table)

SNG tournaments are extremely popular nowadays and many players develop in this area. They can be very profitable, but as all the other types of poker, they require certain safety measures. Normally, you need about 30 buy-ins for the level you are playing. However, this applies to normal speed single table SNGs. If you are playing turbos or bigger ones, you need a bigger bankroll, since the variation is tougher.

Multi table tournaments

Good old tournaments are one of the most profitable types of poker, since they attract a lot of fish with their guaranteed prize pools. This gives many good players the opportunities to win huge amounts of cash, but they could be very tricky. Since the lion’s part of the prize pool is given to the final table, you will rarely hit big and will need the bankroll to stay alive until this happens. The recommended bankroll is about 100 buy-ins for the level you’re playing. This is adjustable however – if you are regularly playing tournaments with 250 players or less, you could be a bit looser, but don’t go too far.

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