The Fundamentals of Bankroll Management in Poker Cash Games
By Denise Hughes
As an editor at CasinoBabes.net, I have heard countless stories of players who have won big at poker cash games,
only to lose it all in the blink of an eye. While poker is undoubtedly a game of skill, luck can play a major
role in short-term results. That’s why understanding and implementing effective bankroll management is
essential for any serious poker player.
What is Bankroll Management?
Bankroll management refers to the practice of properly managing the money you dedicate to your poker play. It
involves calculating how much you can afford to risk in a game, setting limits, and making strategic
decisions on when to move up or down in stakes based on your bankroll size.
Why is it Important?
Bankroll management is crucial because it protects you from going broke during inevitable downswings. Even the
best players encounter losing streaks, and without proper management, a series of unfortunate events can wipe
out your entire bankroll. By implementing bankroll management, you ensure that you can survive these downturns
and continue playing.
The Basics of Bankroll Management
1. Determine your bankroll size: Your bankroll should be an amount of money that you can comfortably afford to
lose. Experts recommend having at least 20-30 buy-ins for the stakes you are playing.
2. Set limits: It’s essential to establish limits for your sessions and stick to them. Avoid the temptation to
chase losses by playing higher stakes when you’re losing, as this can lead to further losses. Stick to a
consistent plan and don’t exceed your predetermined limits.
3. Move up or down stakes: If your bankroll grows, you can consider moving up in stakes. Conversely, if you
experience substantial losses and your bankroll diminishes, it may be wise to move down in stakes to protect
your funds. Adjusting stakes based on your bankroll is a key aspect of effective bankroll management.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I calculate my bankroll?
A: To calculate your bankroll, sum up the money you have set aside for poker. This includes any cash in your
online poker account or the chips you have allocated for live games.
Q: When should I move up stakes?
A: Moving up in stakes should be done cautiously. As a guideline, consider moving up when you have at least 20-30
buy-ins for the next higher stake level and have consistently shown winning results at your current level.
Q: Should I play with my entire bankroll at once?
A: No, it’s advisable to only risk a small portion of your bankroll in any given session. The general rule of
thumb is to play with no more than 5% of your bankroll. This ensures that even during a losing session, you will
still have enough funds to continue playing.
Q: What should I do during a downswing?
A: During a downswing, it’s crucial to remain patient and avoid the temptation to chase losses by playing higher
stakes or taking unnecessary risks. Stick to your bankroll management plan, and remember that downswings are an
inevitable part of the game.
Bankroll management is the foundation for long-term success in poker cash games. By understanding the importance
of managing your bankroll effectively, setting limits, and making informed decisions on when to move up or down
in stakes, you increase your chances of withstanding the ups and downs of the game.