How to Properly Manage Your Bankroll in Poker

Poker is one of the most famous cards and casino games in the world. It has an almost universal appeal for many reasons. It is easy to learn but has much room for skill expression. It is easy to set up as all you need are cards and chips. You can even play it online with any device that has internet. One of the biggest reasons for poker’s appeal is that it is played with real money. Every game has stakes, making poker incredibly exciting to watch and play. Many poker players focus too much on learning poker strategy and overlook a critical aspect of the game: Bankroll Management. This poker guide will teach you everything you need to know about managing your bankroll, from how to do it to why it is necessary.

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1. What is bankroll management?

In poker, your bankroll is the money you use to play poker. Bankroll management is how you spend that money. Proper bankroll management will help you play poker even through downswings and periods of bad luck. It is important to remember that your bankroll should be made entirely of disposable income, which is money that you can afford to lose. Never try to use the money you need for something else like bills, as while it can be tempting to try and make a profit through poker, you must play responsibly and account for possible bad luck.

2. Importance of bankroll management

Proper bankroll management can be just as paramount as poker strategy. This is because no matter how good your strategy is, there is always an element of short-term variance. Even the top poker pros have nasty streaks of luck, so it is vital to manage your bankroll so you can play even through these streaks. You have to accept that there is nothing you can do to negate variance completely; instead, hold on until the downswing is over through proper bankroll management. Bankroll management also allows you to start playing in higher-stakes games, as without it, you would quickly go broke and be unable to play poker at the top level.

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3. Three core rules

Here are the three best things to remember to manage your bankroll as a beginner properly:

Your money is an investment

The money you set aside to play poker should be money you can afford to lose. You cannot go back when you start playing with money you cannot afford to lose. Playing like that can have serious real-life consequences, so you must always keep this rule in mind. However, you should also be strict with the money that you do use. Thinking “I can refill my bankroll whenever I want” is a terrible idea. You must value your money, as even if you can afford to lose it, you still want to play your best. Otherwise, you will end up throwing money away for no reason.

Choose the proper games

It is crucial to consider the types of poker games that you plan on playing. Especially for beginners, it is much better to find a game type you like and stick to it instead of playing many different games. Your bankroll size also dictates the games you should play. You must pick suitable games to remain profitable with your bankroll size and not based on your recent luck. Playing at stakes that are too high means you could go broke quickly while playing at stakes too low means you are not making the most of your money.

Patience is critical

As you choose your games based on your bankroll, you may wonder when it is time to move up in stakes. You should not make this decision lightly and must consider many factors. One of those is the kind of game you play. Multi-table tournament formats inherently have a lot more variance compared to cash games. A win in a tournament should not mean you should instantly increase your stakes. Remember that the higher your game type’s variance, the bigger your bankroll should be. Variance comes from many things, including the skill level of the players. The better the average player is in the game, the higher the variance.

4. Bankroll numbers

Here are some standard bankroll sizes to help you make your bankroll. Buy-ins mean different things depending on the game. They are the total cost of participating in tournaments, usually represented as the prize pool + rake. For cash games, the buy-in is the maximum amount you can enter the game with, equivalent to a hundred big blinds. Always remember that you can and likely should move down in stakes in response to downswings.

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Why online poker is best

Bankroll management is an important yet overlooked part of how to play poker. The best way to play poker, especially for beginners, is online. Sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room, give you all sorts of benefits compared to live. GGpoker lets you play many games at once, offers signup bonuses that help grow your bankroll, and even has free poker tracking software to take your game to the next level. Sign up today!