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If you’re serious about poker then you need to be equally serious about your bankroll.
*A bankroll is the money used to play poker. This is typically set aside from all other money in your possession strictly for the purpose of poker.
- The money that a person has set aside specifically for playing poker.
To sponsor a player; to provide a poker player funds with which to enter a tournament or play a ring game, typically in exchange for a pre-determined percentage of any winnnings.
“My bankroll isn’t big enough to move up in limits just yet.”
“I played at a higher stakes game than I should have played in given the size of my bankroll, and I lost it all after a series of unlucky hands.”
Players often choose to wager only a portion of their bankroll in a given session, keeping a portion in reserve for future play. A bankroll should be of sufficient size to withstand the downward side of the variation that is expected for a particular stakes and a particular style of play. For example, the higher variance caused by aggressive play would require a larger bankroll.
Types of Poker Bankrolls
Some poker players have a dedicated bankroll, some players’ goal is to have a dedicated bankroll, and some players just hide poker money from their partner. A casual poker player’s bankroll might be kept as any hobby or vacation fund might be utilized.
Recreational poker players who take the game seriously tend to keep a dedicated bankroll. These players might take out 20% of what they win. What they don’t do is take any money out of this precious poker fund to pay for dinner, slots, mortgage, or anything. In contrast, the professional poker player has to take money out of his bankroll for housing, taxes, retirement, healthcare, vacations, and all their living expenses.
What type of bankroll you need will depend on the reasons why you play poker in the first place. A beginner or casual player plays for fun and to learn. At this stage they play with what they can afford to spend for a hobby. They might go to the casino, play in some bar and home games, or put some money into an online poker site. It can cost money to have fun, and it’s a fast way to experience all aspects of poker.
The Size of Your Poker Bankroll
How much do you need for your poker bankroll? There are general sayings like, do not buy in for more than 2%-5% of your bankroll or quit a game anytime you lose more than 10% of your bankroll. Like most things in poker it depends. Other than the buy-in amounts, here are some of the things you’ll need to consider:
Building Your Poker Bankroll
Anyone, I repeat, anyone, can build a bankroll if they learn to play correctly at each level and keep within their limits. If you’re starting out then the main way to build a bankroll is slowly, through experience, not blowing through the levels and the money. If you’re financially independent and have the money to keep reloading then you don’t really need a poker bankroll. If your funds are limited then exercise discipline and follow our charts for guidance.