Building a poker bankroll

The toughest thing for most casual poker players to manage and maintain is their poker bankroll. If you’re reading this and you’ve played real money poker online at some time in your life, you’ve likely had difficulties in managing your bankroll. It’s not an insult, it’s reality for 99.9% of online poker players and it’s something that we could all improve upon. For the small percentage that are managing their ‘roll and never had to make more than their initial deposit, congrats! You can stop reading now.

The rest of us would likely agree that this statement applies to them:

“I’m a casual player and only toss $50.00 or $100.00 at a time into my Cake Poker account. I may play a few Sit and Go events and hit up a weekend Guarantee Tournament, other than that I just mess around.”

If that’s accurate, read on because if you only take one or two the following points and integrate them into your bankroll management it will pay dividends.

Bankroll Building Tip #1 – Play the appropriate limits based on your bankroll size. In our article titled No Limit Poker 101, I talked about playing the right limit using some basic math. Here’s the same chart I put up there:

.5 / 1 NL = $300.00

1 / 2 NL = $600.00

2 / 4 NL = $1,200.00

3 / 6 NL = $1,800.00

4 /8 NL = $2,400.00

5 / 10 NL = $3,000.00

Pretty straight forward and it’s based on the generally accepted rule of having a minimum of 300 Big Blinds (or Big Bets) in order to be able to survive the swings that take place when you play poker for any length of time.

Bankroll Building Tip #2 – If you’re looking for stability, stay away from No Limit games. Yes, this is a NL Strategy website but if your knees get weak at the prospect of losing your entire stack in one hand of poker, stick to Limit Poker. Your bankroll will not experience the same type of variance and your ego will stay intact as well.

Bankroll Building Tip #3 – Take advantage of Poker Deposit Bonus offers as part of their loyalty programs. Most sites will match your first deposit up to 110% and then release the bonus into your players account as you earn Frequent Player Points. Some of the best Poker Loyalty Programs are from Full Tilt and Poker Stars, check out each site for specifics on how you can earn points. Speaking of great Loyalty Programs…

Bankroll Building Tip #4 – Stick to one game. If you play 2/4 NL on a daily basis, stay away from higher limits until your bankroll is ready. Same goes for SNG’s and tournaments. Definitely resist the temptation to head over to the online Blackjack or Casinos that some poker rooms offer! That’s the quickest way to erase your bankroll (and something the Casinos guys would love for you to do).

Overall, it’s an ABC 123 type deal. Just stick to the basics until your bankroll can take HUGE swings and dips. Then you can have a little fun but not too much fun, because then you’re back to zero again. And then you’re back here reading this same article again, hoping for a different result the next go-round. And we don’t want that :)

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