Proper poker bankroll management is as fundamental to professional poker players as their chip stacks. Whether it is real poker in a land-based casino or simply online poker played from the comfort of your own home, poker bankroll management is paramount since it helps players refrain from spending too much money on a poker table.
With living expenses on the rise, coupled with the element of luck in poker, proper bankroll management is a must-have for every poker player out there.
To that end, we at LV BET have gone ahead and prepared a post tackling the aspect of bankroll management strategy. This way, you’ll get to not only keep track of your bankroll but also avoid losing money that could be spent better.
WHAT IS POKER BANKROLL MANAGEMENT?
If you’re into the poker scene, you’ve probably come across the term poker bankroll management. A bankroll is the amount of funds that you have to play with; in other words — your bankroll is your poker budget.
All successful poker players have one thing in common, that is, good poker bankroll management. Not only do poker players require solid skills and knowledge of the game to play, but they also require good money management abilities.
Without proper poker bankroll management, even top poker players may be at a disadvantage. The bottom line is that learning how to have good bankroll management in poker goes a long way toward your longevity as a player.
Poker bankroll management is how you manage the money set aside to play poker. Poker bankroll management strategy has little to do with how you play the game or the win rate — it is all about your buy-ins and stakes.
Proper poker bankroll management is vital to successful play and is instrumental in ensuring that you can stay in the game without depleting your funds too quickly. After all, if your entire bankroll is depleted, you won’t be able to keep playing poker, to begin with.
POKER BANKROLL MANAGEMENT FOR NEW PLAYERS
If you’re a cash game player, it doesn’t matter if you’re a new poker player or a veteran; the more money you save, the better your longevity at poker will be. New players should generally allocate more money than others since the chances are that their inexperience, coupled with bad luck, will cost them quite a large amount of money.
To tighten their grip on their bankroll management, poker players who are still new to the game should watch professional players play a poker cash game, since this will help them not only move up in stakes, but also teach them about decision making, table reads and more.
BANKROLL MANAGEMENT FOR PRO PLAYERS
Pro players are usually quite familiar with bankroll management tips, if not, they probably wouldn’t be professional players to begin with. Among the must-have poker skills is the ability to know when a hand is worth committing to or not — that is the most basic, yet important, skills that must be nurtured if you wish to solidify your poker career.
Nevertheless, setting aside some poker money is something that must happen, regardless of your experience within the game. Almost every poker site enables its players to set limits to their spending, as does LV BET.
In order to that, log in to your online poker account on LV BET, click on your username and select ‘Responsible Gaming Tools’. You will be taken to a page that details your spending. Simply select ‘Set Limit’ to impose time or financial restrictions on your account.
HOW IMPORTANT IS BANKROLL MANAGEMENT WHEN PLAYING POKER?
On a scale of one to 10 (ten being the highest), we’d place the importance of poker bankroll management at 10. Every cash game player should look into setting aside a strict budget to play online games, and online poker is no different.
When practised for a long enough period of time, online poker bankroll management becomes second nature. Serious players tend to stick to their original buy-ins, without as much as considering the possibility of topping up their balance if they lose their entire amount of money.
The higher stakes played, the more crucial this practice becomes. Just because bad luck or bad decisions have lost you a portion of your bankroll, doesn’t mean that you must put all your money on the line. Doing so usually never ends well.
HOW TO PROPERLY BUILD A POKER BANKROLL?
Building enough money to play poker for a stretch of time is the starting point that every poker player must take off from. The difficulty of collecting enough money for a poker session will differ for everyone since that depends on your life circumstances.
Having said that, there are some ways through which you can either get a better bang for your buck, or even get free money.
- A casino bonus – almost all online poker sites offer some kind of casino bonus to reward their players once they place a deposit. Whether it is a Welcome Bonus or a Reload Bonus, a casino bonus grants you more chances of playing than your money is worth; that is, it grants you a number of funds proportional to your deposit. As always, paying attention to the bonus’ Terms and Conditions is an absolute must, so make sure to do that before claiming anything.
- Free funds – although it is quite rare, a No Deposit Bonus will grant you free funds that you could use to play poker cash games. Before claiming a No Deposit Bonus, you’ll want to make sure that the bonus wagering requirements aren’t too strict since that would make it all that much harder for you to withdraw your winnings.
THE IDEAL SIZE POKER BANKROLL WHEN STARTING OUT
There is no one-size-fits-all bankroll for every player out there since that will depend on a plethora of factors.
Firstly, your bankroll will depend on the budget available for gaming. It’s important to avoid betting money that you cannot afford to lose, which is why we strongly advise against spending money that is needed for other, more vital purposes.
Secondly, the size of your bankroll will depend on the stakes of the cash game being played. This is a very important rule when it comes to managing your poker finances. High-stakes players will have to set aside a much larger sum than lower-stakes players do.
Before you move up in stakes, make sure that you are experienced enough in the game to hold your own and win money frequently. If you’re unable to so do, you might need to stick around lower-stakes games — there’s no shame in that.
The last factor that influences your perfect poker stack size when beginning a new session is your preferred game type. If your game type is more on the aggressive end (with frequent bets and raises), then you may need a more sizeable bankroll. On the other hand, players who play conservatively can get away with a smaller bankroll.
BANKROLL MANAGEMENT FOR CASH GAMES
Whether it’s No-Limit poker cash games or Pot Limit Omaha, one thing that every professional poker player knows is that the bankroll requirements change depending on the type of poker game being played.
It is said that No-Limit Texas hold’em games require a smaller bankroll compared to Pot-Limit Omaha, since the variance tends to be greater in the latter game.
The general advice that most players abide by is that players should never have more than 5% of their bankroll in play at any point during a cash game. This is one of the best ways to keep track of your bankroll and avoid losing a large portion of it in one go.
BANKROLL MANAGEMENT FOR TOURNAMENTS
Evaluating the average buy-in to play tournaments is something that every player ends up doing once they’ve racked up enough experience playing poker cash games. Minimum buy-ins would be somewhere around 50 buy-ins, whereas the average buy-in would range from 300 to 450 buy-ins. Multi-table tournaments usually require a bankroll of around 150 to 300 buy-ins.
For players with a very low budget, freeroll tournaments are a great option since, as their name suggests, there are no buy-ins required to participate. This is why the advice to “just play freerolls” is more than legitimate, as long as your budget aligns with the bet limits.
GOLDEN TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR POKER BANKROLL
What makes a winning player in poker is their ability to stick around until nobody else can. That isn’t just the case in multi-table tournaments since all land-based, online and live poker cash games adhere to this saying.
To that end, here are some poker bankroll management tips to help you make the very most out of whatever amount of money you have allocated to playing at an online poker site.
TIP #1 – CHOOSE THE RIGHT POKER GAME
Are you looking to play poker recreationally with a group of friends or as a hobby? Or perhaps you want to build a solid foundation that will allow you to play poker competitively in the future? Regardless of your intentions, choosing the right game can make or break your poker experience.
Don’t hesitate to try out a variety of games before you commit to real wagers, there are many variants of poker available and not all may be to your liking. Online casinos are perfectly suited for this task, as they offer you the option to play an extensive variety of poker games and other online cash games.
At online casinos like LV BET, you will find popular poker games like Texas hold ‘em, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud and many others. On top of that, you can also give it a go in games with unique twists and turns, like Side Bet City or Texas hold ‘em Bonus, to experience all that poker has to offer.
Stick to games that you feel most comfortable participating in at your current skill level to keep the balance healthy. If you’re not enjoying a particular game, there’s no harm in trying out something new — you never know which poker game may catch your fancy. On top of that, your familiarity with different poker games will help you gain a better understanding of the inner workings of this entertaining card game and will, undoubtedly, improve your gameplay over time.
TIP #2 – TREAT YOUR POKER GAME SERIOUSLY
One of the most important steps to poker bankroll management is to treat your poker table seriously. Keeping a cool head and not giving in to random whims is a good way to employ better bankroll management. After all, you’ll be the one suffering from an early knockout if you either splurge your bankroll on aggressive play or generally lack the concentration required to play a few profitable games.
If you don’t feel like playing poker seriously, you’re better off playing demo games or free poker tables, which, however, will almost never include real cash prizes.
TIP #3 – DETERMINE YOUR BANKROLL SIZE
To increase your poker bankroll, you must first establish your playing budget. Make sure to separate your bankroll from your personal finances; this is your entertainment budget and you must use this money exclusively for betting.
Treat your poker bankroll like you would an outing to the cinema or the theatre, and do not expect to see a return of these funds. Never play cash games with money that you cannot afford to lose. That is the number one rule of betting on casino games.
TIP #4 – DO NOT WITHDRAW MONEY FROM YOUR BANKROLL
There is no better way to completely counteract your bankroll management strategy than withdrawing money from your bankroll, especially if it is done to play other games. The only purpose of your poker bankroll is to play at some poker tables. Don’t use it to try a few spins on a slot machine!
If you’ve played poker and ended up with a larger bankroll than you started with, feel free to use your winnings as you see fit. The key takeaway is to never spend your poker money on any other game that isn’t poker.
TIP #5 – BUILD YOUR BANKROLL GRADUALLY AND USE YOUR POKER WINNINGS TO BUILD IT
Slow and steady wins the race, and consistency is key. Hyper-aggressive play can be a viable poker strategy, but starting out with smaller buy-ins and lower stakes may be more advantageous to you in the long run.
While your wins will be relatively smaller, this is a cost-effective strategy to manage your bankroll and ensure that you are able to avoid substantial losses during your gameplay. If you are a new player, this approach may be the most appropriate for your skill level and will allow you to enjoy the game without feeling the burden of significant financial losses.
TIP #6 – BE READY FOR A LOSING STREAK
High stakes or low stakes, online games or live games; it doesn’t really matter when a losing streak heads your way. The truth is that losing streaks are inevitable, and your experience within the game sometimes won’t help.
Instead of neglecting the possibility of a losing streak, an experienced player expects it at some point. In the event of a losing streak, we recommend playing tight and betting less chips in an effort to lessen the damage. Being patient to see the bad moment pass will help greatly in poker.
TIP #7 – DON’T SPEND YOUR BANKROLL ON BONUS BETS
If you are playing Live Casino poker tables, you will encounter a variety of bonus bets. Bonus bets often have higher payouts, but don’t forget that these additional bets may deplete your bankroll faster. Don’t underestimate the element of chance and avoid going broke by taking the variance into account.
Along the same vein, be wary of variance. Variance (also referred to as “swings”) is the measure of uncertainty, which accounts for the wins and losses in poker. In other words, poker variance is the downswings and upswings you will experience when playing a poker round. It is expected that your poker bankroll will decrease and increase as you play more hands and games, especially since different poker tables have varied betting markets.
TIP #8 – ALWAYS TRACK YOUR GAMEPLAY AND CONTROL YOUR BANKROLL
Regardless of which game you choose to play, bankroll tracking is extremely important to keep tabs on your betting. One of the advantages of playing at an online casino is easy access to your comprehensive betting history, which can often be found directly on the user interface of the game.
Looking over your betting patterns and gameplay choices will help you make better, more responsible decisions in the future. This way, you can easily review your previous moves and figure out what you did right (or wrong) to help you improve your gameplay in the next round.
Online casinos also offer a handful of Responsible Gaming tools for your convenience, which can help you manage session duration, wins/losses and deposit amounts. Making use of these tools will help you improve your win rate and manage your casino gameplay in all cash games, not just in poker.
TIP #9 – AVOID RISKY MOVES
Keep in mind that if you are on a losing streak, there is no guarantee that this streak will end. Do not make any desperate moves in an attempt to recuperate your losses and recover from a hit to your bankroll.
This is especially important in competitive play, don’t let the game’s variance tilt you — stick to your financial means, your strategy and have fun. Never gamble in an attempt to win big. Poker is a game of both skill and chance; thus, losses are inevitable.
TIP #10 – USE CASH OUT STRATEGIES
During poker sessions, it is important to have a cash out strategy — and sticking to it. This is especially imperative to experienced gamblers and those who enjoy poker on a professional level. Regardless of whether you are playing recreationally or not, knowing when to cash out will help you increase your bankroll and avoid unnecessary losses, even if you have an incredible win rate. We recommend researching a handful of strategies and giving them a go in free-to-play demos online. There are plenty of online tools at your disposal, so make sure that you cover all the bases before diving into gameplay with real stakes.
CONCLUSION – POKER BANKROLL MANAGEMENT IS STRATEGY OR PSYCHOLOGY?
In the context of betting, bankroll management includes both an element of strategy and psychology. In fact, the two go hand in hand if you really want to build a bankroll and stick to it.
Layout out a strategy and keeping tabs on your spending is a wise decision, but being psychologically prepared to stick to it no matter what is key. Without one or the other, the bankroll management poker strategy is bound to fail. It is important to stick to your bankroll, even if it means calling off a poker session prematurely.
✅ Is it worth keeping your poker bankroll separate from other funds?
Yes, it is important to make sure to separate your bankroll from your personal finances. Treat your poker bankroll like you would an outing to the cinema or the theatre, and do not expect to see a return of these funds. Never play cash games with money that you cannot afford to lose.
✅ Does managing my poker bankroll protect me from going broke?
Yes, sticking to a predetermined bankroll will safeguard you from damaging your personal funds. To that end, being disciplined enough to stick to your bankroll is fundamental.
✅ Can I use my poker bankroll on other games?
No. The very first rule of poker bankroll management strategy is to restrict your poker bankroll to poker tables. If you wish to try out other games, build a bankroll for said games and try them out later.
✅ Are the limits different for online and live poker?
Yes, and the best way to check them out is to consult the game instructions or, in the case of live poker, ask your dealer.
✅ Are there any poker tools and apps to manage my bankroll?
Although you can find several tools and apps to help you manage your bankroll, they are not really necessary. Drafting a general bankroll framework can be done on your own, without having to download any mobile applications.