Rules for Managing Your Bankroll in No-limit Texas Hold’em

Written on:May 13, 2009
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It can be difficult to manage your bankroll playing online poker or in the casino card rooms. It is even difficult for the most amazing poker players in the world. When playing no-limit Hold’em, especially with cash, managing your bankroll properly is most likely more important to your long-term success than any other part of the game. This is why it is important to exercise strategies for bankroll management when playing cash games and tournaments. This is especially true because the amount of money required to comfortably play in different variations of no-limit Hold’em is quite different.

How you manage your bankroll depends on your personal circumstances as well. If you are lucky enough to make a comfortable living, then you may be fine depositing $50 to $100 weekly. But if you are a college student not making a lot of money, but wants to accumulate a little bit of money, it is important to strictly manage your bankroll. If you do not exercise self-control, you may go broke sooner or later. This is how variance comes into poker play, especially when playing no-limit Texas Hold’em.

All About Variance

To create a good example, we are going to ignore rake impact although it does have a huge impact in real life. But let’s just say that after playing 1000 $10 sit-n-go poker tournaments, you make an average profit of $4.30 per game. This means you have a return on investment (ROI) of 43%. You have experienced both good and bad variance when playing these 1000 games. During the good periods, you probably made an average of a $20 profit per game. During your bad periods, you may have broken even or lost money. This is considered variance, which is experienced any time you have a short term deviation from the profit you expect to make in the long term. This is the very reason why you must practice proper bankroll management. If you ignore the ups and downs that poker is known for, a short bad luck run can exhaust your bankroll. So make sure you practice bankroll management so that you have a reserve of buy-ins that will allow you to weather the variance storm.

Below is a chart that shows a bankroll strategy that works for single table sit-n-go’s. Don’t forget that the skill level of your opponents increases as your buy-in level increases. This means you will need to have more buy-ins in your bankroll. This will prepare you for potential variance, since it will be more difficult to keep your ROI the same as your levels increase.

Cost per Sit-n-Go Buy-ins in Bankroll Total Bankroll
$5.00 20 $100.00
$10.00 25 $250.00
$20.00 30 $600.00
$30.00 40 $1,200.00
$50.00 50 $2,500.00
$100.00 100 $10,000.00

Next is a bankroll management scheme sample for no-limit hold’em cash games. You’ll notice here that the skill level of your opponents will increase with your blind levels. This means you will need to have a bankroll of more big blinds in case of variance. You will definitely have to work harder to maintain your ROI as your stakes increase.

Cost per Big Blind Big Blinds in Bankroll Total Bankroll
$1.00 1000 $1000.00
$2.00 1200 $2400.00
$4.00 1400 $5,600.00
$10.00 1500 $15,000.00
$20.00 1750 $35,000.00
$50.00 2000 $100,000.00

Now go find one of the best online poker rooms to play.

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