Poker Bankroll Management

Having a solid poker bankroll is crucial for poker success. Even the greatest poker player in the world would go broke without proper bankroll management.

What is a Poker Bankroll?

A bankroll in poker terms is the money you have available strictly for playing poker. This does not include money for rent, money for groceries or the down payment on your car! Your poker bankroll should be a separate economy isolated from your monthly expenses. You should only withdraw your profit from it.

Generally, your poker bankroll is the amount of money you have available in your poker account. If you deposit $50 into your poker account, then this is your bankroll. If you make $500 dollars playing poker, your account balance will be $550. This is now your bankroll.

If you continue playing, and proceed to lose $550, your bankroll is now $0. If you are a winning you should never allow this to happen, and with good bankroll management you can avoid going broke.

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Why is a poker bankroll so important?

Well, first of all it prevents you from going bust. If you are a winning player, and follow bankroll requirements your poker account will never be empty! Sounds good? It’s actually not that hard either. Solid bankroll management will also help you become more emotionally stable when playing, so you can use all your energy on playing good poker, and making good decisions, rather than cursing at the screen because someone put a bad beat on you.

Bankroll Requirements

The bankroll requirement is a requirement set on how much money you need to comfortably play in a certain poker game or a certain limit. In fixed limit, bankroll requirements are generally set in terms of number of big blinds.

In no limit holdem, multi table tournaments and sitngoes however, bankroll requirements are usually set in terms of number of buy ins.

Bankroll requirements will vary, depending on your own skills and comfort levels, your opponents skills, type of game, limit, playing styles etc.

Bankroll management is not exact science, it’s more of a guideline, and you implement your own preferences and find out what works best for you.

No limit holdem

At the lower buy in six-max tables I would recommend a bankroll of about at least 20 buy ins. 30 buy ins would be preferable. This means that you shouldn’t be playing any¬† higher than $10 buy in cash games when you have $200 in your account. If that money doesn’t mean that much to you, and that you could just make another deposit if you lost that cash, you could take a bit more risk, than if you couldn’t afford to lose that money.

We will get back to taking shots later on.

As you move up in stakes, your opponents skill levels will be higher, and this calls for a bigger bankroll.

For a $100 buy in cash came I would recommend a 50 buy in bankroll. Should you go on a bad streak, there is no shame in moving down to lower limits.

Sit n go

For turbo 9 or 10 man sit n gos I would recommend 30-50 buy ins for $1-$10 sit n gos, 50-75 buy ins for the $10-$50 and at least 100 buy ins for any games above that.

Limit holdem

A general rule for 6-max limit holdem is to have a minimum bankroll of 300 big bets. This translates to a $600 bankroll for a $1/$2 limit holdem cash game.

Multi table tournaments

For lower limits, around 50 buy ins should be fine. If you are multi tabling the higher stakes online tournaments, you should have no less than 100 buy ins.

Note that as mentioned above, bankroll requirements will vary, depending on several factors. Use these suggestions as guidelines and find out what works best for you.

These guidelines may seem very high, but poker is a very swingy game, and to cope with these swings, a solid bankroll is paramount.

Building your bankroll

If you are starting out and have just begun building your bankroll, you can deviate some from the bankroll requirements and go for a more aggressive bankroll approach with fewer buy ins.

Taking shots

This is called taking a shot. This means that for a limited period you take a shot at a higher stakes game than what you are bankrolled for, to boost your bankroll. This can be quite lucrative because you can build your bankroll quickly.

You will have a much bigger chance of going broke with this strategy however. It requires huge amount of discipline, to be able to move down in limits if you get unlucky.

If you don’t have the discipline, then you should just stick with the general bankroll requirements. This is the safest way to build your bankroll.

Poker Bonuses and bankroll

Poker bonuses are great for building your bankroll. If you deposit $100 on PokerStars for example, you will quickly double that to $200 by taking advantage of the 100% signup bonus. This doesn’t even include your winnings. By taking advantage of a poker deposit bonus you can quickly build your bankroll with smaller bankroll fluctuations.


A poker bankroll can make or break a poker player.  Using the guidelines outlined in this article you should be building your bankroll in no time. Please note that these guidelines are for winning players. For a losing player no bankroll is big enough.

Take shots if you are beating the game you are playing and have the discipline to move down if necessary. If not, there is no shame in taking a more conservative route, and build your bankroll steadily and with less swings.

Take advantage of poker bonuses to increase for bankroll even more, keep working on your game and you will be well on your way to becoming a successful poker player.

Start building your poker bankroll today and take advantage of our great poker bonuses!

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