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Poker Bankroll Management: How To Keep On Playing

Poker is a fun game that can be very rewarding. However, it is important to make sure you are playing with money that you can afford to lose. Many players make the mistake of not managing their bankroll properly and end up losing all their gambling money, walking away from the table defeated and empty-handed.

Poker bankroll management is an important side of the game that’s somewhat separate from your in-game strategy, yet crucial for your long-term success. In this article, we’ll talk about all the things to consider when creating your bankroll management plan. By following these tips, you can stay in the game for the long haul, without endangering your finances.

Why Is Bankroll Management Important for Poker Players?

Organizing your poker bankroll is vital if you want to be a consistent winner in the long run. Poker is a game of variance, which means that, just like with blackjack and other casino games, even the best players will have losing streaks. A properly managed bankroll will ensure that you can ride through those challenging periods.

Your bankroll management is going to work differently based on whether you’re a casual player or if you’re making a living playing poker. But in both cases, you will benefit from a good poker bankroll management strategy, and we will show you how to manage your poker bankroll to suit the level at which you like to play.

If you’re a casual player, you don’t want to be left without your playing funds, and you don’t want to end up investing more money than you could afford either. Keeping tabs on your spending ensures you’re not reaching into funds reserved for bills and living expenses. That way, you also keep track of how much the hobby is costing you, too.

For professional players, building a poker bankroll is essential for having a clear overview of wins and losses and keeping your balance in the game. There will be times of prolonged losing streaks, and it’s important to wait those out and not make desperate plays against your better judgment.

Bankroll management for poker pros also means that they don’t overindulge and start spending on a lavish lifestyle during a winning streak. If they get into a losing streak, they need to have enough funds to finance poker games where they can make their livelihood.

How To Build a Poker Bankroll

Poker is a game of odds and skill. Like any other skill, it takes time and practice to master. It can also be expensive, which is why it’s important to have a bankroll that can cover the costs of playing.

Starting a poker bankroll can be daunting, but there are a few simple steps that can help. First, set aside some money that you’re comfortable losing. This will help prevent tilt if you have a bad session. Second, start small. Stick to low-stakes games until you’ve built up your bankroll.

Once you’ve reached a comfortable level, you can start to up the stakes. You can use a spreadsheet on your computer or poker bankroll management software to monitor your progress.

How To Manage Your Bankroll

It doesn’t matter if you are a pro or a casual player, the principles are basically the same. You want to consider the types of games you will be playing, and you want to have a budget set aside that you’ll need for the games you want to play.

We provided you with an overview of the budgets that different games require. There is an average estimate for the casual player, and the professional player should have double the amount in their bankroll to have their livelihood properly protected. These figures are useful whether you’re playing at an actual poker table or on an online poker platform.

Cash Game Bankroll Management

For no-limit cash games, you should have 40 buy-ins in your bankroll, or at least 20 buy-ins if you follow a more aggressive strategy.

Blinds Buy-in Bankroll
$0.01/$0.02 $2 $40-$80
$0.02/$0.04 $4 $80-$160
$0.05/$0.10 $10 $200-$400
$0.25/$0.50 $50 $1000-$2000
$0.50/$1.00 $100 $2000-$4000
$1.00/$2.00 $200 $4000-$8000
$2.00/$5.00 $500 $10,000-$20,000

For limit games, your cash game poker bankroll should be in the amount of 300-400 big blinds.

Blinds Bankroll
$0.01/$0.02 $6-$8
$0.02/$0.04 $12-$16
$0.05/$0.10 $30-$40
$0.25/$0.50 $150-$200
$0.50/$1.00 $300-$400
$1.00/$2.00 $600-$800
$2.00/$4.00 $1200-$1600

Poker Bankroll Management for Tournaments

For online multi-table tournaments, our recommendation is to have 150-300 buy-ins as your bankroll backup.

Buy-in Bankroll
$1 $150-$300
$2 $300-$600
$5 $750-$1500
$10 $1500-$3000
$15 $2250-$4500

In live tournaments, things tend to move slower than with online events, and your bankroll can be more conservative. You should usually have around 50 buy-ins in your bankroll to make sure things run smoothly, even if your luck seems to be running out.

Tournament buy-in Bankroll
$20 $1000
$50 $2500
$100 $5000
$200 $10,000

Your bb/100 Rates

Bankroll management in poker makes sense if you’re winning more than you’re losing. If you have trouble getting to grips with your basic poker strategy, and can’t find a game where you can make more money than you lose, then you’ll need to improve your game before you start thinking about long-term strategies.

In poker, the bb/100 rate is a statistic that measures how many big blinds a player earns per 100 hands. You can use a poker bankroll calculator to assess a player’s profitability and it’s an important tool for making long-term decisions about how to play the game.

A high bb/100 rate indicates that a player is earning a lot of money. If you have a 1-4 bb/100 rate that means that you are doing really well, and a 5 bb/100 rate and higher is an excellent score that is good enough for professional players.

You can use metrics such as bb/hour or $/100 to monitor your games, but bb/100 makes a good framework for both high stakes and low stakes poker. That makes it a great statistic you can use to develop responsible bankroll management before you start investing big.

Although poker skills can benefit you in other areas as well, if you want to apply your bankroll management prowess to sports betting, you should know that they differ and look for tools and statistics that are best for that job.

Poker Bankroll Management App

While you can do your statistics in a spreadsheet on your computer, you can also use one of the apps specifically developed for the purpose of bankroll management. The good thing about these apps is that you can keep statistics for various poker games that you might play during the month.

For example, you can learn how successful your cash games are compared to your tournament play, or you can compare your Texas hold’em stats to your Omaha hold ‘em games.

You can use your poker bankroll management chart to lead overall statistics of your wins and losses. Take a look at which games you’re more successful in and favor those next time you choose a game, and start working on your strategy for less successful games.

Final Thoughts

People start playing poker because it’s fun, it’s exciting, and if you win some money, the game becomes just that little bit more enticing. If you want to stay in the game you have to learn to balance your ups and downs, your winnings and the losses, because you’re sure to see both sides of the game.

Whether you prefer to play live or online, poker bankroll management is equally important for professional and casual players alike. A properly managed bankroll will ensure that you can weather these storms and come out ahead in the end.

FAQ

What is a good poker bankroll?

If you are playing for fun then you don’t need as big of a bankroll as someone who is trying to make a living off of poker. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 50 times the amount of money you plan to buy in for a tournament or sit-n-go, or 400 big blinds for cash games. This means that if you want to play in $100 tournaments, you should have a bankroll of at least $5000.

How do poker pros build their bankroll?

Building a poker bankroll can be a challenge for even the most seasoned pro. There are a number of important factors to consider, such as game selection, table selection, and betting strategy. However, perhaps the most important factor is poker bankroll management. By managing your poker bankroll carefully, you can minimize your losses and maximize your chances of success in the long run.

What is a good BB per 100 hands?

A 1-4 BB/ 100 is a good rate, 5-10 BB/100 is excellent, and anything over 10 BB per 100 hands is an amazing winning rate.

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