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Bankroll management for successful poker players

22 Apr 2020

888 Poker gives some advice to poker players for managing their bankroll.

Nothing worth having is easy to achieve. Poker players also have this conventional wisdom carved in their minds, and it is clear to everyone that the long road to the top requires a lot of effort and dedication.

If bankroll management were easy no players would ever go bust.

If bankroll management were easy no players would ever go bust. (photo by Pixabay)

A successful poker player continuously improves his game by taking post-game study sessions, reading the latest poker strategy article from a coach, or participating in poker communities around the globe.

But no matter how advanced a poker player is or what stakes he plays, there is one concept he should never forget: bankroll management.

Some people may say that bankroll management is nothing complex, never play stakes outside your limits and keep some safety buy-ins in the cashier. Well, if bankroll management were that easy, no players would ever go bust.

But managing a healthy bankroll involves many emotional aspects, and that's where it got complicated. You must not be afraid, of course, no one said that playing poker would be easy, but it is not impossible! It requires effort and dedication, that's all.

Bankroll Management: Four Easy Tips

As we have said, managing your bankroll isn't rocket science, but still, you need to have a clear strategy to build up your poker career with a solid background:

1. Watch out for poker variance

Poker variance is a reality for poker players. You can play your best game, always make the right choices, but still suffer from temporary losses. An EV graph can show a profitable line going up, but a results line going down in red. There is no variance vaccine; the most important thing is to determine if you are just running bad or making bad calls.

Once you are positive that it's just a downswing, define whether you need to take a short break, improve your game with a new course, hang out with friends, visit training forums, or just slowdown in hopes of getting good results because you are playing the best you can.

2. Stay safe

The most common advice on bankroll management. We cannot say whether having 20 or 50 buy-ins for cash games or playing only MTTs less than 2% of your entire bankroll is good advice. But we can certainly say that a safety shell is needed. What's the difference between having 20 and 50 buy-ins? Well, you will need $200 or $500 to play $0,05/$0,1 No-Limit Hold'em tables.

How can you decide that? It depends on you. Ideally, no less than 20 buy-ins are the right decision. The bankroll won't be the same for a shark who crushes his stake than for a newcomer who is just learning how to play. The less skill you have, the more safety you will need.

Keep in mind that having enough money in your cashier will allow you to overcome any downswing or temporary adverse situation that you find during your game. And it's never wrong to have some extra money in case a new Black Friday rises.

3. Never play outside of your bankroll

Your bankroll is the only indicator of the stake you should be playing.

Your bankroll is the only indicator of the stake you should be playing. (photo by Pixabay)

When you are running on a "hot streak," you might think it's a good time to try a higher stake. After all, luck is on your side. This is a direct path to disaster. Your bankroll is the only indicator of the stake you should be playing. Of course, skill is also crucial, but you cannot play No Limit $100-$200 without enough money just because you master it. It’s simple as that.

4. Use a poker tracking software

Any poker software will do the job, from a free spreadsheet to a complete bankroll management tool. What's important is to keep a record of your results, so you can review when you had a good or a bad session, and also be sure of the rake you have paid, for example. The last point is crucial; to build a bankroll, you need to take advantage of the suitable rake structures and decent rakeback deals.

Mastering your bankroll is as important as knowing the rules of the game. Developing your strategy is very important and using the little tips listed in this article will help you create it and support your career.
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