Take this to the bank: 5 Tips to Manage Poker Bankroll

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You’ve probably heard (or seen) these sentiments echoed on multiple sites: manage your poker bankroll, be sure to manage your bankroll for responsible gaming, and/or that money management is key to a tight game strategy—But what are some tips you can use to manage your bankroll? We take a look at 5 things to consider to help you manage your money and stay in the game.

1.Know your Game

One (slightly) advanced way to help you manage your money better is to know your game – mainly, what’s your game edge? What’s your average ROI? This is especially helpful to know if you plan to enter a tournament.

If you have a higher edge over competition in a tournament with many participants, you probably won’t see a significant cash-in even with a tendency to win. During these events, you can play with a smaller bankroll, as you won’t likely see higher cash-ins even with larger amounts. However, if you tend to lose or have an ROI less than 5%, you’ll need a lot more buy-ins to statistically ensure you don’t lose a significant amount of your buy-in—or all of it.

Obviously, you should expect losses if you play poker, but knowing these numbers can help you determine how much money you want to dedicate to a game, or a tournament.

2. Make note of registration windows

See an online poker tournament with a mega-long registration window? Maybe you should avoid it, especially if you’re a beginner — this might seem like a no brainer, but the longer a registration window is open, the more players can enter it. This means you’ll have to play much longer to get a minimum-cash, and 7-8 hours of play can easily overwhelm a newbie.

On the topic of registration windows — the earlier you register, the better value you get for your buy-in. If you participate in a tournament with a $2,500 buy-in and a big blind of 20 will give you 150 big blinds to start the game.

3. Keep Poker Bankroll Separate from the Rest of your Cash

fThink of this as your ‘grown-up’ piggy bank. If you prefer online poker, we recommend simply opening a free savings account through your bank (or setting up another type of payment account or deposit method, like an e-wallet) where you only keep funds to play poker.

If you want to keep some money separate for cash poker games, invest in a security cash box, and use it store your extra dollars. Don’t use this money for anything else, and stick to a budget — don’t draw money from other accounts, but use your winnings to maintain a ‘float’ for your next game.


4. Don’t be afraid to lower the stakes

You don’t have to be Mike McDermott playing at the end of Rounders every time you’re at the felt. Maybe you want to save money and reduce your bankroll, or maybe you haven’t won enough to pad it to your liking, or to the amount of money you’re used to playing with—If this is the case, don’t be afraid to move down to a lower stakes game. Even if you’re not winning huge amounts, think of this as temporary, or even just practice for the whenever you do build up that bankroll, and have the cash to back you up in a high stakes game.

5. Save Money on Casino-Related Expenses

Often, a poker game comes with a lot more to spend on than just your buy-in — there’s drinks, food, parking costs, tips, and sometimes, even more casino games that your friends (or you) are tempted to play with your winnings.

Try to limit these extra costs — we personally recommend visiting an online casinos, where you can play poker whenever you want, without having to buy expensive drinks, food, or even leave your couch.

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