Introduction to Bankroll Management

Bankroll and bankroll management does not mean anything to most people. The only ones who know what bankroll means are those who don't have anything left to learn about it. It is a fancy name given to a really simple thing. Your bankroll is the gambling budget you dispose over. The whole concept of bankroll management is to stake only a small portion of your budget at any single occasion. That way you can afford to play many times without risking to run dry. This signficantly increases your chances of winning more money than you are losing over the course of many gambling sessions. The old saying "don't put all your eggs in the same basket" epitomizes what bankroll management is all about.

The appropriate ratio between bankroll and stakes depends on the type of game you are playing. In a game of skill such as Texas Hold'em poker, a bankroll does not have to be very big to balance the odds. In a game of chance such as a slot machine, a bankroll must be ridiculously big to balance the odds, so big that whatever prize you are aiming for won't justify it, and even with a properly sized bankroll you have no guarantee of winning for you are playing a machine that could be faulty or rigged. The words bankroll and bankroll management are more strongly associated with games of skills, such as poker, where you are up against other players, but it is nevertheless the element of chance, no matter how small or big, that makes bankroll management necessary in the first place. If the outcome was known beforehand there would be no need for extra money. Whether you are investing in the stock market, purchasing real estate, or simply gambling in a casino makes no difference. It is all speculation. It is all gambling and it all warrants bankroll management.

In this article we will focus on bankroll management in Texas Hold'em, the cadillac of poker. There are three different Texas Hold'em games that each require a slightly different bankroll. Bear in mind that the bankroll sizes we suggest below are for beginners to help them stay on track. More advanced players might want bigger or smaller bankrolls to better accomodate their playing styles.

Recommended bankroll for Limit Cash Game: 300 Big Bets (the fixed bet on turn and river)
Recommended bankroll for No Limit Cash Game: 30 buy-ins
Recommended bankroll for Sit And Go Tournament: 50 buy-ins

The sit n go is the game with the highest variance of the three and therefore it requires the biggest bankroll. You can play ten tournaments in a row without ending up in the money even once and then win three straight tournaments. A Sit n Go tournament involves the playing of many hands and they are all linked together. One hand gone bad can cost you the whole tournament. When you play cash games a hand gone bad won't have any impact on the next hand. The hands are all independent in cash games and this makes for a lower variance and consequently a lower bankroll.

To learn more about bankroll management, please go ahead and read the more in-depth articles accessible in the menu to the left.


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