Poker Buy-in and Bankroll Tips
Before a new player decides what limits they’re going to play when they sit down at the poker table, they must first set aside money for their poker bankroll. This money should be used strictly for poker, and not for other everyday expenses. If one is constantly dipping into ones bankroll for common everyday expenses, then one day there may not be enough money to play in the juicy game that evening. A second rule regarding a poker bankroll is that it should only consist of money that would in a worst-case scenario be acceptable to lose. If one is gambling with ‘important’ money, like say ‘rent’ money, then they may find themselves playing scared and not making the proper decisions at the table.
For limit poker, there should generally be around 200 big bets in one’s bankroll. For example if a player decides that 5/10 is going to be their game for the next little while, they would want to have about $2000 set aside. For an individual session, one should normally start off with 20 big bets, with another 10 big bets in reserve (this is more relevant for live games where one is bringing a limited amount of money with them, as opposed to online where the entire bankroll is readily available).
For No Limit poker, there should be around 15 times the max buy-in in the bankroll for that particular game of choice. So if one is going to be playing mostly $100 max buy-in No Limit Hold’em games, they would want to have about $1500 in their bankroll. When a player sits down for a session of No Limit poker, there is a hard and fast rule regarding how much should buy in for. Always, always buy in for the maximum amount that is allowed. If one were to buy in for less, their stack would not be scary to other players and they’d find themselves being pushed around. As they say in the movie Rounders; ‘The size of your stack is almost as important as your cards in your hand’. Players may be leery of getting involved with someone the one that is able to put them all in, and not the other way around.
If one follows these rules regarding bankroll levels and buy-ins, they will find that they will usually be at an acceptable comfort level for the games and limits of their choice. There should also have enough money to take an occasional stab at a higher game if there is a particularly soft one to play in. One will also be protected from a string of bad luck which all poker players will have to go through at some point or another. If a player finds that their bankroll is dwindling away to about 50% of what they started with, then maybe it would be advisable to go down a limit or two and back up to a healthy amount. Remember, playing with a short bankroll is a sure way to go broke.
The great thing about the current poker boom is that there will be online poker games for players of all levels, whether one has $100 in their bankroll, or much more.