Managing Your Poker Bankroll
Sunday, 18. December 2011

“Bankroll” is the term used to describe the total amount of money that a player sets aside for the purposes of playing poker. Players should only use a certain proportion of their bankroll whenever playing, thus a player’s bankroll will determine the betting limits of the games in which they participate. The ultimate goal of any player is to build their bankroll slowly and steadily increase the limits of the games that they participate in.

One’s bankroll can easily deflate very quickly after a few large losses. Managing you money in poker is a very important skill. Luckily, to manage your poker bankroll, you only need to do a follow a few basic guidelines:

• Decide on your bankroll first. Decide how much money you can afford to lose each game. Then, depending on how often you play, decide how much bankroll you have per game. For example, if you have one hundred dollars to spend on poker each month, then you may be able to play four games that cost $25 or one medium-stakes game that requires all $100.

• When calculating your bankroll, realize that it’s often best to have at least 20 times the cost of one game before starting play. If you are playing a low stakes and limit game in which a game costs about three dollars, you should arrive at the table with at least sixty dollars. If you don’t any loss could wipe out your entire night’s bankroll, leaving you with nothing to do on poker night. Some experts recommend bringing 50 times the cost of one game to the table each time.

• When calculating your bankroll, don’t forget to budget for poker supplies and incidental poker expenses. Transportation to poker games, fees to enter tournaments, costs of lessons and poker books, cost of food during games and other expenses can add up over several poker nights. Subtract these expenses from your total bankroll to make sure that you know exactly how much money you can be betting each month.

• Based on the size of your bankroll, decide which sort of poker you can afford. If you have a limited bankroll, then you will likely need to play low-stakes and limit games or games with a pot limit to ensure that you don’t lose all your money at once.

• Be sure to consider all the ways you play poker when you decide on your bankroll and how to divvy it up. For example, if you play online poker, poker at a regular poker night, and poker slots, you will want to divide your poker bankroll among all these forms of play to make sure that you have enough for each.

• Keep track of your total and your bankroll. This is crucial. In a notebook or using a computer program, keep track of your bankroll. Begin with your bankroll for each game and not how much money you bring back or lose after each game. Tally up your total losses and wins weekly, monthly, and yearly. This lets you see how much you are spending and winning. If you win extra money, you will be able to see how much you can spend each month. For example, if you have a good month and win thirty dollars, you can add thirty dollars to next month;’s or next week’s bankroll. If you enter a week or month with losses, you may need to wait a week or month before your new bankroll amount (from your disposable income) can be used.

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