Poker Bankroll Management

Poker Bankroll Management (BRM) – what is it?

Your bankroll is the amount of money which you have decided to allocate to playing poker, and bankroll management allows you to decide how you use it. It is a very important skill, but a lot of players ignore it.

When you set aside an amount that you have decided to play poker with it will be easier. You will then know how much money you spend on poker and feel safer and more comfortable playing with it. Remember: Do not spend money on poker that you cannot afford to lose!

What do you want from playing poker?

Try to decide what do you want from poker. If you play just for fun from time to time you do not need a large bankroll. But, if you want to play more regularly, you should decide to be more conservative, especially if you want to be a professional. Bankroll is your “tool” to work. If you lose all of it, you won’t be able to earn money.


Set a target

When you play poker you should remember that, even though you might play well, you can always lose the hand. If you go all-in preflop with AA and someone calls with KK, 80% of the time you will win but 20% of the time you won’t. So, if you invest all your bankroll during this situation you will lose all your money every five times. To avoid this, try to invest only a small part of your bankroll in any one game.

You can see our What is the Best Poker Game for You? lesson for advice on how many tournament or table buy-ins you should aim to budget for with your bankroll. The advice varies depending on what game you choose to play, as there are extra considerations to take on board. In any case, serious players should be able to afford to lose their stack at least 20 times in any game.

If you are on downswing or not ready to play on the limit, try to leave the stakes (there is no shame in levelling down, it’s very common) and rebuild your bankroll. After doing so you can try to attack the higher limit again. Do not play higher stakes than your bankroll permits. If you stay too long with not enough bankroll, you might lose all your money.

Consider your skill level

It may tempt you but, if you win a lot of money in one tournament or promotion or deposit a huge amount, don’t go to high stakes immediately. The size of your bankroll doesn’t define your skill level. Try to climb stakes step by step and get proper knowledge and the rest of your big winning invest in different way. Poker is not a get-rich-quick game, and the players who have become rich from playing poker have spent thousands of hours to get there.

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