Building a Bankroll

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Building a bankroll is essential if you want to become a winning poker player. It goes without saying that you need to win more than you lose if you want to build your bankroll but there are other important steps to take, and winning alone is not enough.

Bankroll Management

The first and most important step to take is to set aside some money to be your starting poker bankroll. Use money that you can afford to lose and to live without. This way you will not have to take money out of your poker bankroll to pay bills and you will also be able to put your winnings back in to the bankroll allowing it to grow.

Set some guidelines on how you will be managing your bankroll. You don’t need to make up a whole lot of rules and in fact it is probably better if you only start out with a few. The most important rule to start out with is:

  • Do not buy in to a game with more than 5 % of your total bankroll balance. This rule is absolutely critical and without it you are destined to fail. This rule will protect you from something called ‘Variance’. Variance is the name for the extended good and bad periods that every poker player experiences until the true percentages have a chance to balance out. For example if you flip a coin there are only two possible outcomes, heads and tails. This would mean that half of the time it will come up heads and half of the time tails. If you try this out with 10 flips of the coin you may find that heads came up 7 times or 70 %. Over a longer period of time the results of the coin flip will even out to 50 %. If you buy in to a game using a bigger percentage of your current bankroll and run in to a negative variance you will risk losing your entire bankroll before the percentages have had a chance to even out.

Take Advantage of First Deposit Bonuses and VIP Rewards Programs

All online poker sites have a first deposit bonus where you get a certain amount of bonus money usually based upon your first deposit amount. These bonuses get converted in to cash based upon the poker points that you earn from playing cash games and tournaments. Once you have cleared your bonus or the remaining amount of the bonus has expired then you will want to continue playing at the site if there is some form of VIP rewards program or else move on to another site where you get another first deposit bonus again.

The reason that getting a first deposit bonus and a good VIP program is so important is because at the end of the month you will find that you have built your bankroll up even if you did not win any money during the month of play. Basically with the bonus and the VIP rewards you will be building your bankroll even if you only broke even during your month of play.