Cash Game: Bankroll Management

Becoming a successful cash game player means being a professional banker: you absolutely must take your bankroll seriously.

Even though many people have side jobs to help support their bankroll, making sure you have enough money for the game at hand is crucial.

This is especially important for cash games because the swings can become so high a small bankroll won't be able to handle them.

For instance, in a No-Limit game, you want to call pairs and A-x suited on small raises so that when you do hit a hand you can potentially get their all-in or close to it.

Without a bankroll, there's no way you can call any raises with less than premium holdings - you'll be playing scared and scared money never wins. Also, if cards are running dry, the blinds will take a toll on your bankroll.

The general rule that most good players follow when playing a cash game is that you need at least 10 chances to win an all-in on a cash table, meaning that you must have a bankroll that can handle at least 10 buy-ins before even thinking about sitting down to play.

Most of the time, I keep a bankroll that gives me at least 30 buy-ins, to ensure that I never go bust.

In Limit games, the general rule is to have 200 to 300 times the big bet. The swings in Limit play aren't as bad, and more than likely they're swings from hand-to-hand rather than from your bankroll.

This means your bankroll won't take as big a hit as in No-Limit, but it also means you have to play longer and more consistently to come out ahead.

Again, a solid bankroll can help you play consistently because you'll be able to stay calm when you take bad beats or go through a rough patch of bad cards, and you won't have to worry about your money.

There is really no one answer regarding the best way to manage a bankroll, but these general guidelines should provide you with a foundation that will help you on your path to poker success.


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Sepharim14 2013-11-13 07:13:59

Yikes, some of you sound like newbs. I would personally have 100 buy-ins before moving to the next level. Seriously Stephen watching what cards are hitting the flop to know what to do with your next hand........seriously. I think facing reallity is our best course of action. Everybody thinks they are good at poker. Same old stories of bad beats and rigged sites. The fact is we are not all good. You need a large bank roll so that you have time to figure out how to crush the limit you're at. If you can't build 100 buy-ins at the level you're at, you have no business going to the next level in my opinion.

Kristiyan 2013-06-02 18:42:49

Stephen , when I see a guy like you on the table I know that this is not a player ! We have a term for those people with the min buy in ;) anyways I just wanna say my opinion. For live game ( 100bb ) you don't need a lot of back up - why - cuz you don't play 32 tables at a time you play one. 1 hand is not 45 sec. It is about 1-2 mins. I'm not gonna explain what does this mean the players ( not the donks ) know what I mean. So between 5 and 10 buy-ins is enough !

stephen 2012-05-12 11:53:06

Well when i go to,play at the casino the Min buy in is 40 dollars, which i always buy in with the Min and bring 20 extra dollars just incase for back up. The most impottant thing i do is knowing when to call or fold. I like to see what cards are hitting on the flop to know for my next delt hands.

mike natorski 2012-03-16 10:47:17

In a way i agree but i also disagree in a sense because a good player can also come up very easily with less then ten buy ins.. i consider myself a good poker player and when i was coming up i never had ten times the buy ins in my bank account.. to me a good poker player isnt going to sit a table and buy in ten times and lose nine times before he realizes he just got raped for his me setting aside a certain amount of money away per session and play as best and hard as you can each and ever second then i think thats a smart play everytime...

informed 2008-04-18 02:22:00

excellent summary,bankroll to game ratio is a bigger the better equation.

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