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Bankroll Management

July 14th, 2010

Poker Bankroll Management Tips

Poker bankroll management defines how you should use you current bankroll to eliminate risk and variance from your game.  While poker is a game of skill, there is no question over the element of luck and chance that predominate the game.  Because of this, your required to use your bankroll in specific way to eliminate the variance and bad beat within the game.

Playing Cash Games

When you’re playing cash games, you’re required to buy-in to a table with enough chips to cover 100 big blinds.  For instance, if you want to play at a table with 10p/20p blinds, you’re going to need £20 or more to buy-in.  The figure is high because you have be able to cover the variance and risk associated with poker.  You may lose chips in the blinds before you’re dealt a good hand, so you need to be able to cover these factors.

Another important tip, is that you should have a total bankroll of around 30-50 table buy-ins for the level of cash games your playing.  This is to stop you risking your entire bankroll in one game of poker.  Even the best players in the world have to stick to these guidelines. Over 80% of online poke players lose money.  These players usually won’t stick to bankroll management strategy, which is why many of them are losing money.

Tournament Bankroll Management

Tournaments are fun, exciting, and trendy nowadays.  The big point to remember is that tournaments carry a lot of risk – the number of entrants involved in comparison to the number of payoff places in a typical tournament means you’ll probably need to play a number of tourneys before you make any money back.  This makes bankroll management even more important than cash games, because the variance is much higher.  Just make sure you only enter tournaments you can afford to play 40 times over with your current bankroll.  You can’t expect to hit 1st place prize in massive tournaments in one attempt. 

Example: You want to enter a $10 MTT (multi-table tournament).  This means you’ll need a total bankroll of 40×10 = $400.  You’ll need at least $400 to be able to play this type of tournament.  Most importantly, the figure is even higher for re-buy tournaments, because you’re expected to be willing to sacrifice up to 5xbuy-ins for each re-buy tournament you enter (this is an important part of re-buy strategy, which requires you to play much riskier, and the chances of busting out are higher).  For a $10 re-buy tournament, you’ll need a total bankroll of 5x10x40 = $2000.

Playing SNGs

SNGs (Sit and Goes) are like smaller tournaments with only 6 – 50 players.  The rule of thumb here is to have enough bankroll to cover around 30 SNG buy-ins for whichever game you’re playing.

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