When it comes to playing poker, how you manage your bankroll is a significant indicator of how decent a player you are. If your bankroll (the amount of money you set aside to play poker) is constantly dwindling to nothing and you’re forever recharging it, then you’re not really a poker player at all and should quit before you get into serious debt, or at least take some time out to reassess your strategy. The general rule is that your bankroll should not interfere with your other financial commitments.
The key aspect of bankroll management is never to risk an amount of money that could see you land yourself in any kind of financial trouble. Every poker player will tell you they experience periods in their poker career where things just never seem to go right, even though they are playing as well as they’ve ever played. You should never takes risks in re-establishing your funds when you experience the same.
You should never risk your entire bankroll in one game or tournament. The amount you play with should be a fraction of your complete bankroll. If you lose that fraction, then you walk away as you’re done playing for the day. You re-adjust your playing funds for the next day depending upon how much your bankroll now contains.
You must decide what kind of player you are as this affects how you should manage your bankroll. If you just play for fun and the amount you wager doesn’t really affect you financially, then you can be pretty loose about your bankroll management. If you’re a serious player who relies upon poker to fund part of their lifestyle, then you must be much stricter.
Of course, if you’re a professional player, then you must adopt the strictest bankroll management policy going, as it’s your sole source of income.
The easiest rule to stick to is to set a limit on your bankroll and never player higher than this limit permits. A good rule of thumb for this, if you are a recreational player, is never to risk more than 10 percent of your bankroll at any cash-game or tournament. If your bankroll stands at $200, then you sit down with $20, and quit the table if you lose it.
For serious players and professional players the rates are much higher. A serious player should have 30 times the buy-in rate for a cash game or tournament in their bankroll, meaning they must have a bankroll worth $150 to enter a $5 tournament. A professional player should have 100 times the buy-in. These rates apply to sit and go tournaments or low stakes cash games.
In multi-table tournaments the risks and swings are much greater, so the rates go up to 50 times for serious players and 200 times for professionals. Fixed limit games are the riskiest of all and you shouldn’t play them unless you have 300 times the buy-in in your bankroll.
If you’re starting out in poker, you won’t learn to manage your bankroll if playing for play money. For bankroll management it’s better to play low stakes rather than with free money.
The key to bankroll management is to have enough funds so your lifestyle is not affected by the losing streaks you are eventually going to encounter. If you stick to these management and maintain a succinct playing strategy, then you’ll enjoy the game more and are more likely to be profitable in the long run.