Managing your poker bankroll is key to playing in a comfort zone and playing your A game. Playing in a comfort zone will mean you’re not worried about the money whilst playing, which is essential in order to be a winning player. I have read many articles on how to manage your poker bankroll properly and along with my experience have come up with general poker bankroll guidelines that I believe work at the tables.
What size bankroll you will need depends largely on the game you want to play. Tournament players can go for long streaks without having any significant cashes. Whilst winning cash game players will expect to have profitable sessions more often than not, and the regular winning sessions you’ve booked can help your confidence and game. You might not win as much as binking a poker tournament, but the regular smaller wins in cash games will keep your bankroll healthy.
Limit Cash Games Bankroll
When playing limit poker games I try to only play at tables where my total poker bankroll will cover 300x the big bet. For those who are not familiar with big bets in limit cash games, it is the higher number when looking at the table stakes. For example in a $1/$2 limit cash game, the $2 refers to the big bet. To play in this game, you would want a bankroll of at least $600 to feel comfortable.
No-Limit Cash Games Bankroll
My requirements at a no limit cash game table are a little different. For these tables my bankroll needs to cover 20 max buy-ins. Most online poker sites will set their max buy in at 100x the big blind for regular ring games. For example, a $.10/$.25 NLHE cash table will have a max buy-in of $25. So in order to play at this no limit hold’em ring game, you would want a bankroll of at least $600.
Poker Tournament Bankroll
When I play in SNGs I make sure that my bankroll will cover 40 buy ins. Using the $600 bankroll I could play in SNG tourneys with a $15 buy-in or less. Obviously another important consideration when figuring out which Sit & Go’s to play is your skill level, and the SNGs you play can be tweaked to your preferences.
Scheduled MTTs have more variance than SNGs and hence you will need an even bigger bankroll to properly deal with the swings of the game. When I play in MTTs I make sure that I have at least 100 buy-ins for the stakes I play the most. It can be an emotional rollercoaster when you go deep in a tournament only to bust out due to a bad beat.
Following proper poker bankroll management will help to minimize your chances of ever going broke. That is the last thing you want to happen, because it means you won’t have money to play poker at all. Since the table stakes are usually quite low when you’re playing at online poker sites, this means you don’t necessarily need a huge bankroll in order to have a decent amount of money to play in the games you want to play when you first start playing.