The Importance of Bankroll Management
The single biggest mistake that poker players make is not properly managing the bankroll. This mistake is made not just by beginning poker players, but by experienced professional players as well. However, not only is it one of the most common mistakes, but one of the most destructive as well.
As a poker player, you must realize, no matter how good you are, the game has a lot of ups and downs. In the poker lexicon, this is referred to as variance. Even the best players in the world go through periods experience variance. Poker is made up of luck and skill. Over the long term, skill always wins out. In the short term, luck produces variance.
A bankroll is what helps weather the short-term luck storms and keeps you playing long enough for things to turn around. A good poker player beats the game by winning over the long haul. It is the long-term use of their skill that ultimately defeats luck. Proper bankroll management is crucial.
The math of a proper bankroll is pretty simple. You want to insure that you have enough money to handle the inevitable swings that all players face.
A good starting point for this is 200 times the large bet. For example, if you are playing $0.25 – $0.50 limit hold’em, a bankroll of $100 is required. If, however, no limit is what you want to play with your free poker money, the bankroll issue gets a little more complex. Perfect bankroll management calls for you to have 40 buy-ins. Therefore, if the max buy in for the game is $1, you would need a bankroll of $50. If you get a free bankroll, maybe you find it difficult to follow this rule. However, you certainly do not want to buy in for more than $5 if you have $50 as a free poker bankroll.
In no limit games there are many other factors that go into determining your proper bankroll. Player aggression, skill and ease of reloading the bankroll are all factors. In most cases, it is best to get your feet wet with some limit play before diving into no limit games.
More Bankroll Considerations
• Your bankroll should be money set aside for poker and nothing more.
• Playing in a limit that is higher than your bankroll allows is the absolute, number one, best way in the world to insure that you will run out of money faster than you had intended.
• If your bankroll falls below a comfortable level for the limit you are playing, then the proper move is to take a deep breath and move down to a lower limit until your bankroll has returned to a higher level.