Having proper bankroll management can definitely make the difference between the feeling of failure and success in poker. Without having the proper roll for the current table stakes can be directly related to tilt and horrible poker habits. Much of this article will be focused on No-Limit bankroll management and will be more specifically centered on multi-tablers.
Proper Bankroll Defined
A poker bankroll is defined as all the collective money that you have dedicated to your poker career. The reason I state “collective” is because you take in to account all of the money that you play across all types of rooms, online and live.
The exact guidelines for proper bankroll management will vary from player to player. And it will honestly have to do with how aggressive or conservative you want to play the game. However, the averages usually range from 25 (aggressive) to 75 (conservative) buyins. What this actually means is that you should have at least the specified number of buyins in your bankroll before joining the table. For example, if you were to join a $0.10/$0.25 table, then you should have $625 dollars if you were taking the aggressive approach. In the same scenario, you would need $1,875 if you were to play on the conservative side. I personally suggest somewhere in the middle, but definitely on the conservative side. This is because of massive amount of variance that instills itself within the game of poker.
Why Use Bankroll Management
If you play poker for a long enough period of time, you will have lived through what is called variance. Variance will put you through peaks and valleys when it comes to your bankroll. This is why a conservative approach is often recommended when it comes to playing poker. In the example above, if you were to take the aggressive approach and hit a very common 15 buy-in downswing, you would be out $275 from your original $625.
Moving Up and Moving Down
A great benefit of practicing proper bankroll management is that it will give you an exact idea as to when you should move buy-ins. Sometimes this will mean that you are moving to a higher stakes game and sometimes it will be to a more conservative game. Keeping an eye on your bankroll is extremely important especially if you are prone to tilt at the poker table. If you absolutely have to blow off some steam after a bad beat, then I strongly recommend taking yourself out of the situation. Nothing good will ever happen in the long run. If you are a good poker player and you follow bankroll management, (moving up and down when your bankroll changes) the money will eventually start to accumulate. For example, if you were to go on that 15 buy-in downswing (as stated before), then it would be suggested to move down to the $0.05/$0.10 instead of staying at the $0.05/$0.10 tables.
Whenever you decide to join the poker world, I strongly suggest taking advantage of either no deposit or signup bonuses offered by almost all leading sites. Most of the time, the bonus will match your deposit and give you a 100% bonus. For instance, if you were to start with $100 then they will give you a chance to earn a free $100 through playing their tables. As to the amount of the initial investment, that would be completely up to you and your financial situation.
Hopefully you can see that this proper bankroll management will allow you to become a responsible poker player without putting your entire bankroll at risk. You may be more aggressive or conservative than the ratios suggested above. The theory behind whatever you choose to do will still hold true. If you are a well-rounded player and follow the correct bankroll management, you will theoretically never go bankrupt.