Learning How to Build and Manage Your Poker Bankroll

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Jeffrey | Poker Strategy

Learning how to build and manage your online poker bankroll is one of the first skills you should master as a poker player. It could be the difference between having a positive win rate and a negative one.

To build a bankroll, you should have a tried and tested strategy like the one we’ll discuss below.

Give this Bankroll Strategy a Go

Your bankroll strategy should be based on your actual win rate and the amount of variance in the game format you are playing. For this strategy, we will assume that you will be playing No Limit (NL) Texas Hold’em.

If your current win rate is 1 big blind per 10 hands, then our need about 400 big blinds in your bankroll to play without fear of losing it all.

Let’s assume that you want to start at $2NL with a bankroll consisting of 20 buy-ins.

In this example, you would start with a $40 bankroll ($2 x 20).
• When your bankroll hits $60, you should move up to $4NL
• When your bankroll hits $90, you should move up to $6NL. However, if it falls back to $40, you should move down to $2NL.
• When your bankroll hits $150, you should move up to $10NL. However, if it falls back to $120, you should move down to $6NL.
• When your bankroll hits $375, you should move up to $25NL. However, if it falls back to $200, you should move down to $10NL.

By sticking to this aggressive strategy, you will have some significant swings, but your risk of going broke will be minimal.

Bear in mind, that you should move down when things don’t go according to plan. By doing this, you will minimise the chances of losing it all.

Protecting Your Poker Bankroll

One big part of managing your bankroll is learning to protect it. If you are a losing player, then employing the above strategy will not miraculously make you win.

For this strategy to work, you must be a winning player, to begin with. By taking fewer risks and moving up less aggressively, you will significantly reduce the risk of not busting out. However, you will also reduce the chances of building a bigger bankroll to manage.

What it comes down to is whether you wish to aggressively build your bankroll, or simply play to have fun as long as possible. Once you have made that determination, you can decide which method to choose to best preserve/protect or build your bankroll.

Wait Before Cashing Out!

When building and managing your bankroll, you should be careful of cashing out. Withdraw too soon, and you could leave yourself short and at the mercy of variance. Wait too long and you’ll have money sitting around that could be put to better use.

It’s essential when managing your bankroll determine how much you really need to keep the engine turning over. This number will not only be partly based on the 400-big blind amount mentioned earlier, but also on your style of play and the genre of game you are playing.

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