When you are playing poker, bankroll management is absolutely essential. It really cannot be underestimated as to how important it is, new player or pro. Until you are comfortable with your poker skills and the strategies you adopt, it is sensible to set limits and make sure you stick to them. Set stop-loss targets as well as stop-win targets. This means you stop playing a session after you win or lose a particular amount of money. It's also of paramount importance that you don't start to gamble. That means taking your whole bankroll to the table in a hope of doubling up or playing recklessly to try and build a stack fast. A player will witness natural fluctuations that accompany the game. This is also regularly known as swings and roundabouts. The element of the game that is luck (.i.e. the cards that are dealt), mean that sometimes you can play a perfect hand or session and come our a loser. Its therefore very possible to play perfect poker and lose money. Taking your entire stack to the table is asking for trouble. It's only a matter of time before it either takes a big hit or is wiped out completely.
If you are playing cash games you want to have between twenty and thirty times the maximum buy in. This will create a limit at which you are comfortable playing. For example if your maximum buy-in is a 1-2 blind NL the buy in amount is often two hundred dollars. That being said you will want a minimum bankroll of four thousand dollars to play comfortably at these levels. You want a larger bankroll for shorthanded play or heads up play.
If you are participating in tournaments it is best to ten times the tournament buy-in (minimum!) as a starting point. That means if you have a $200 bankroll, you aren't buying into a tournament of more than $20. This allows for the natural variance in poker that will see you bust out of a good number of the tournaments that you play in.
In general, you should be using the following rules:
1. Your bankroll should be higher as the volatility increases
2. The more you end up relying on poker earnings the more conservative your bankroll management should be
3. If you are very temperamental the stronger the rules should be in order to help protect you from bad decisions made under stress. It's probably an idea to stop playing if you aren't in the right frame of mind.
4. Don't play to double up quickly. If a double up comes, great. Play your A-game and try to take as much out of each pot as possible (or lose as little as possible in each hand).
As online poker has become increasingly popular, people from many different countries have started playing games. As a result, online poker games are being played using all sorts of currencies from around the world. This is different from conventional poker. And while there is a preference for U.S. dollars on most major online poker sites, there are other options available for players who cannot pay in U.S. dollars. In fact, most websites have facilities available for people who cannot pay in U.S. dollars. Poker players can often pay and hold money in their country’s currency, until they exit games with many offering you the ability to change currency as and when you see fit. This ensures that fluctuating currency rates do not affect the money people have used for betting within games. An additional benefit is that sites make it possible for players to get their money back at the same currency rate as when they entered at. This ensures that the player will be not lose any money due to fluctuations in currency rates. It's important to work out how to use your money so that you limit the damage that currency fluctuations will cause having to change money from currency to currency.
Even the best players in the world have at some stage burnt through their bankroll - the good player will have learned a lesson from this, Here are some of the tips from the experts in terms of how to adequately protect your poker bankroll.
1) Don't play outside of your limits / bankroll
Limits are there to safeguard your game - don't ignore them. Don't jump straight into high stakes and blow your bankroll in quick time. Additionally, have a bankroll and when it's gone, it's time to stop. Your bankroll needs to be big enough to cope with the swings and variance that every poker player sees. When putting your bankroll together, put only what you can afford - this is a good habit to get into and a must if you're serious about making money online. Once you have your bankroll, choose your limits in line with what we suggested above. Don't play above the limits which best protect your bankroll. Remember, it's sensible to review each losing session to understand if you were unlucky or you contributed to your negative equity.
2) Always play your A - Game
This might seem like an obvious one however to play your A-game, you need to understand the factors which contribute to you doing this. More importantly, understand the factors which make you play badly. This can be simple distractions like the phone ringing every 5 minutes, having the TV on or playing a video game while playing poker. It might even be having other people in the house. Work out the surroundings that make you play your best game and make sure that each time you play, everything is set up to give you the best chance of doing so. It's also advisable to take the game seriously. That means you want to be focused on the game (so playing computer games at the same time isn't a good idea:) Further to this, your emotional state is important. If you're in a bad mood or have had a bad day in the office or maybe have had some bad news - this isn't conducive to playing your A game.
3) Know when to stop
This ties in to point 2 and can save you a LOT of money. Knowing when to quit can save you from squandering a good chunk of your stack. When we are not in a good frame of mind and start tilting chips away..pack it in and take back to the tables when you're in a better frame of mind. Tilt is the one element that has blown more bankrolls than any other factor put together. This might be down to a bad play on your part or someone hitting miracle cards - unfortunately the element of luck that exists in poker means that this is always going to happen from time to time. Learn to recognize when you start tilting and take time away from the tables. This will be a bankroll saver and will improve your profitability dramatically!
4) Don't Micro-manage your bankroll
This is one that many players fall foul of, consistently monitoring their bankroll during play. There are swings in the game and your balance will go up and down, hopefully you are a winning player which means over time, you are making more than you lose. Checking your balance every few hands can have a negative effect on your play, especially if your bankroll takes a small hit through a bad run of cards. This can act as a depressant and cause you to start making bad decisions, which will ultimately cost you more. Accept that you will take a few hits and focus on keeping your best game in play. Many novice player take a few hits and then start gambling to get their balance back up ...needless to say, this can act as a bankroll killer.
5) Learn from your mistakes
This was an important less on for me personally. Let's assume i set myself a limit of $500 bankroll for the month. I deposit $500 and start playing. Over the space of the month i lose the whole bankroll. I know not to go over my bankroll so wait until the next month and deposit another $500 and start again. Same result. It's easy to get into this type of situation where you convince yourself that you just got unlucky. That might be the case however your bankroll management isn't good enough as that would mean that the variance killed your bankroll 2 months on the trot. Unlikely.
Make sure you put your game under the microscope and find out where you went wrong. Were your decisions sound? Look at the hands that cost your the most money. Maybe share them on one of the popular poker forums and start a discussion. make an effort to iron out any mistakes you made before committing any more chips. You need to find out what adjustments you need to make to become profitable.
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This is something that always surprises me that many players don't do. In the same way that when we run a business, or indeed a website, it's difficult to know where to make improvements without tracking what your doing to see what's working and what isn't. Poker is no different. In my experience, many players don't track their results as they don't want to man up to the truth of the matter - that their losing money. Take responsibility for your play. I would want to be the first one to know if i was playing losing poker. Track how much money your putting in and how much you are withdrawing. Track each session. What you start with and what you finish with.
It's your losing sessions that you want to pay particular focus to. Whilst there might be things you can tighten up on in the sessions you come out ahead, get into a winning frame of mind. When you don't win, find out why. It might be you played the losing hands perfectly and just got unlucky, but don't be scared to look and find this out. The better your financial tracking, the better equipped you will be to learn and get better, which will ultimately lead to more consistent results.