One of the most common reasons a poker player will go broke is exercising poor bankroll management skills. Many a strong, technical poker player will play the wrong stakes and with too few buy-ins and scratch their head after they lose their bankroll.
Proper poker bankroll management is understanding that the size of your bankroll dictates the games and stakes you should be playing. You may very well be able to beat a high stakes private game, but if it costs you your entire bankroll to sit in that game, clearly you shouldn’t. The reason is simple, poker has a large element of luck in the short term. By exercising poor bankroll management and playing with an insufficient number of buy ins, you are putting your bankroll at stake every time you play.
How Many Buy Ins?
There’s differing opinions on the number of buy-ins required for cash games and tournaments. It’s widely accepted amongst professionals that games involving higher chance require more buy ins e.g. playing turbo sit-n-go’s are very high variance due to the fact that blinds go up quickly and you are playing more all in before the flop poker.
The table below can be used as a guide for the minimum number of buy-ins you should have for different formats of No Limit Texas Holdem.
|Game||Format||Minimum Buy Ins|
|No Limit Texas Holdem||6 Max Cash Game||50|
|No Limit Texas Holdem||Full Ring Cash Game||50|
|No Limit Texas Holdem||9 Player Sit-N-Go||60|
|No Limit Texas Holdem||180 Player Sit-N-Go||100|
|No Limit Texas Holdem||Turbo Multi-Table Tournament (MTT)||200|
|No Limit Texas Holdem||Regular Multi-Table Tournament (MTT)||100|
If you often find yourself going broke and you’re playing with less than 50 buy ins in your bankroll, you need to think about moving down to a level that your bankroll can afford.
Poker Money & Personal Money
Another aspect of poker bankroll management is the ability to separate poker money from personal money. We all love withdrawing and using the money we win on luxuries and that’s great but not if it means restricting your ability to move up stakes or worse, move down. Why not implement a rule where you cash out 10% or 20% of winnings at the end of the month? Sound bankroll management means you are able to play you’re A game regularly without pressure. It is recognising that you are focused on the long term. It also means knowing the right time to move up and down stakes and finding the right level for you. There are players playing higher stakes than they should be and players too scared to move up. Recognising your skill level and reconciling this with your bankroll and the appropriate stakes is a skill in itself. Feel free to contact us if you want a consultation on this.
Poker bankroll management is a key element to being a long-term winning player. It’s importance can’t be understated. It mixes common sense with budgeting skills and self-awareness. Assess your poker bankroll management today and ensure you are properly equipped next time you play.
If you enjoyed this article perhaps you’d like to read our article poker excel spreadsheets?