Managing Your Poker Bank Roll
In poker, your bankroll refers to the amount of money you have in your player account. Bankroll management is managing this to effectively play within your financial means. One of the most common mistakes in poker is new players playing outside what their bankroll can support. By following a few simple bankroll strategies, a player can drastically increase their winnings.
How much to Start with
One of the most common questions new online poker players have is; ‘what size bankroll do I want to start with?’ The answer to this question depends on a whole multitude of variables such as player style, the type of game they wish to play, and what financial risk they are willing to undertake.
While the answer to that question depends on a bunch of different factors, there are still some good general rules of thumb to go by.
Understand and Learn the Game
Poker is a relatively simple game, and is easy to learn. However to giving away your player bankroll, LEARN THE BASICS BEFORE YOU PLAY WITH REAL MONEY.
There are thousands of players out there waiting in poker rooms to just take your money. They are good, and many make a living off playing poker against unskilled new players. To avoid becoming one of these ‘fish’, that feed the ‘sharks’, either start out practicing and honing your skills on small stakes tables, or with play money.
The Internet is full of sites spewing tips, tricks and strategies to improve your poker game play. Take advantage of this fact, read several articles on a topic, not just one.
Choosing a Game
There are many variations of poker. Texas Holdem, Draw, Stud, Razz, Omaha poker, are all popular formats. These games have many common elements, though also differ considerably. If you are new to poker, a good starting game is either Texas Holdem or Omaha poker.
Tournaments or Ring Games
There are two common types of games played. These are poker tournament and ring games. Ring games are cash games with fixed level blinds, where you can take a seat and play for however long you choose. Tournaments on the other hand are larger events with a set buy in, and play down till there is a winner remaining. The top places share in a larger cash prize.
There are also many free roll tournaments. These are poker tournaments with a free entry, to eligible players. These are a great way to practice playing in tournaments and a great way to increase your bankroll with no financial risk.
Limit, Pot Limit, or No Limit
The limit of a game refers to the size of the bets allowed. A limit format game will have bets the size of the big blind only. Pot limit games will have a betting limit the size of the pot, and no limit games…well they have no limit to the size of the bets allowed.
The limit is a big factor in choosing a game type your bankroll can support.
For limit games your bankroll should approximately be 300 times the size of the big blind. Ie for a bankroll of $600, you should be playing no higher than $1/$2 limit games.
For No Limit games, your minimum bankroll should be 20 times the recommended buy in for the game. Ie. With a bankroll of $400, you should be playing no stakes higher than a $20 recommended buy in which will most likely be $.10/.20 cent blinds.
These are generalised rules and different experts will give different ballpark figures regarding bankroll management. Another commonly accepted principle is that you buy into a game with 50 times the big bet, and have a bankroll of 250 times the big bet. Others will claim 100 times the big bet is sufficient enough of a bankroll. It ultimately comes down to personal choice, and how much risk you are willing to take.
Although poker is a game of skill over the long run, luck plays more than its part in the short term. Losing streaks happen to all players, and one of the fundamental ideas behind good bankroll management is that you will be able weather you’re losing streaks.
In doing this, there may come a time where you have hit a rough patch and your bankroll can no longer support the stakes you were playing. Don’t be afraid to drop down stakes. Doing this will enable you bankroll to support your game play better, and will help you to push back up to the higher stakes rather than lose a lot of cash.
Hope this helps and as always good luck on the tables.
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