Bankroll Management is a term we hear too often in the poker circles in India, but it is the most important aspect of poker if one wants to be a successful poker player.
How many times have we heard of a player cashing in 6 digit numbers at games online and live and a few weeks down the line there is gossip about how broke is. How many times have we heard of a player striking gold on small stakes and then shifting gears to higher stakes and then going bust? Familiar conversations for all of us.
So here we are here today talking about one of the most important aspects or strategy of poker. Mastering this is more important than any other aspect of poker, and will determine your success and future as a poker player.
The term “bankroll” refers to the amount of money you set aside exclusively to play poker – whether it is online or offline, and how to manage this fund and grow it is called “Bankroll management’.
It is separate from all the other finances in your life. Treat it like an investment fund that you have to be very selective about investing. One wrong investment or not knowing when to exit and you could go bust..
The reason why you should choose your limits carefully in poker is due to “Variance”. Variance is a term used to describe the “up and downswings” of poker where your bankroll fluctuates, resulting in varying profits and losses.
If you play poker for long enough there are going to be periods of time where you will consistently lose money, not because you are playing badly, but because you’re not hitting the cards, and there is nothing you can do about it . This means that if you do not have enough money in your bankroll to absorb these big downswings, it is very easy to bust your bankrolls.
Therefore every time we sit down at the poker table, whether it is live or online, we want to give ourselves the best opportunity to win a maximum amount of profit whilst keeping the risk of going broke minimal. This is where the rules of bankroll management come into play.
The “Numero Uno” of all rules in poker. In poker, there is every possibility to lose a hand and your stack, even if you have played the hand in the most perfect way possible. There is also a hustler waiting to provoke you to pay more when you are “TILTING” in hopes of recovery. NEVER risk an amount of money that could get you into financial trouble away from the poker table, especially if you are tilting or experiencing a downswing.
More often than not there are three kinds of players, and each of them has different reasons, expectations, and goals from the game. it is very important for you to know what is it that you want or rather why are you playing the game. This will help you select the right level and stakes of the game to reach your goals.
Always have a set of limits and budgets for any style of poker that you play. Bankroll limits vary for each game style. Always remember two things:
a) You don’t have to play every hand, there is the hand dealt approximately every 4 minutes.
b) There is always a tomorrow if you are not running well or tilting on a particular day.
Don’t play or try to get into the quicksand called “Recovery”. Money lost is not yours anymore, but the money you have is still yours and you can decide when is the best time to use it. Live to fight another day.
As a poker player, you start playing at a limit that you feel is too high, you should stop – even if you can afford to keep playing. It is easy to get nervous in these situations, which can lead to you no longer enjoying the game and making poor decisions. A competent poker player only plays within the limits in which he or she feels comfortable.
Bankroll management is a very tricky subject. It depends a lot on the kind of player you are, what formats of the game you usually play etc. To try and simplify it as much as possible, below are the different formats of the game and the bankroll required to play your game.
There is two main aspects that dictate bankrolls.
a. What should your average buy-in be depending on the blinds.
So buy-in depends on the game style of the player, but basically, it should be big blind x 50.
For e.g. stakes are 5-10 blinds, the big blind is 10 so the buy-in should be 10*50 =500.
b. How many buy-ins should you have behind to start playing?
Having a comfortable bankroll is very important. The reason being it is virtually impossible to win every time you play poker, and if you don’t plan your bankroll you can bust your bankroll even before you realize it. The rule of thumb for managing your bankroll is that you should never risk more than 5% of your bankroll in any one sitting, also play stakes where 5% of your bankroll is equal to 1 buy-in of 50 blinds that particular stakes.
Stakes: 10/20 blinds
Min buy-in stack: 20(big blind)*50(no of bb’s)=1000(min stack to sit on the game)
Bank roll: min buy-in @ 5% =1000*20x=20,000.
In the table below is the bankroll and min-buy-in calculations for each stake commonly played online and live across India.
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