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Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is the MOST IMPORTANT subject-area a Poker Player should understand. I STRONGLY encourage you to read this article!

If you don't plan on reading this article, check out this one.

DISCLAIMER: The views on bankroll managment expessed below are the personal opinion of a recreational poker player. Please do your own research on this subject area. If you have any suggestions, please contact Home Poker Tour.

What is bankroll management?
It is choosing a reasonable amount of money to play poker with, keeping track of your winnings/losses, and ensuring that the stakes your are playing (ring game/tournament buy ins) are within an acceptable limit of your bankroll.

How much money should I allocate to my bankroll?
As a recreational home poker player, ask yourself what you'd be doing for entertainment if you weren't playing poker. Going out for dinner with friends, movies, bars/nightclubs? Most recreational players take a portion of the money they normally budget for entertainment, and allocate it to playing poker instead.

What stakes should I play?
I had an opportunity to ask Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan this question. As a professional player who is supporting himself and family, Phil said he would want a bankroll of 200 to 250 times the buyin for No Limit ring games and multi table tournaments. As a recreational a poker player (like most of us) with a full time jobs, Johnny and Phil recommended 20-30 times the buy in for No Limit ring games and multi table tournaments.

The general rule is: the stakes you play should depend on the size of your bankroll and the type of poker games you are playing. Here are some minimum recommendations for a recreational poker player's bankroll size:
  • Sit N Go's (Single Table Tournaments) - 20 times the buy in.
  • Multi Table Tournaments - 30 times the buy in.
  • Limit Cash Games - 300 times the big blind.
  • No Limit/Pot Limit Cash Games - 20 times the amount you buy in with at the table.
For example, if you want to play .25/.50 NL Hold'em cash games and buy in with $50 at each table, your bankroll should be $1000.

Why do I need such a big bankroll?
Poker is a long term game - if you make the correct decisions, you should come out ahead in the long run. However, because poker is a game of chance - even if you make the correct decision, you may lose your money in the short run.

For example, you may push all in pre flop with pocket Ace's thousands of times. You will win the majority of these times, but sometimes you will get unlucky and that 2 outer will suck you out on the river. When you run into a long period of continuous suckouts, you will quickly start losing your bankroll, you will feel desperate, you will tilt, you will start making bad decisions, and you will start losing a lot of money. If this continues you WILL bust out. This WILL happen.

You need a large bankroll to ensure that you can overcome a long run of bad beats without the fear of busting out.

How should I keep track of my bankroll?
Use Home Poker Tour's Bankroll Tracker!

This allows you to privately log each of your poker buy ins in the HPT database, and view a summary of your buy ins, cash outs, ROI, and profit/losses by category and location.

Do you want to advertise here for $100/month for a minimum of 3 months? If not, don't bother contacting HPT about advertising. Have a nice day!


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