Bankroll management is one of the most important aspects of playing poker professionally. Most players, good and bad, tend to fail in this department. If you have that “gambling” instinct – you’re going to be battling yourself through-out your poker career.
Tons of people have written their own guides – most guides preach the same thing and have slight variances in the numbers. My guide is specifically designed around moving up quickly & efficiently. Also important to note this is based on playing short-handed cash games (5max and 6max) – cannot give any tips on other forms at this point.
- You should always play a range of 3 stake levels.
- The lowest stake you should be crushing – and have at least 80 buy-ins at this level
- Your mid-stake you should be able to beat for a small win rate (1.5 – 3 bb / 100). You should have 40 buy-ins or more for this stake.
- Your high-stake should be your bigger challenge and where you’ll seek to improve and learn. You should have 20 buy-ins or more for this stake.
- For the most part – you should play most of your hands at your mid-stake
- When your confidence is up, you’re running good at your mid-stake – that is the time to take your stab at the higher stake.
- When you are getting owned at your mid or high stake, you should drop down to your lowest stake to boost your confidence.
- If you run really well when you take your high-stake stab, you should lean towards playing more hands at that stake until it becomes your new “mid-stake”.
- If you’re playing at your high stake and your bankroll drops below 20 buy-ins there, leave right away and drop down stakes. Each time you lose a stack, you’re losing twice as much as you’re used to – this throws many players on tilt. Tilt is not good.
General Rules of Thumb:
- NEVER move up stakes to chase losses. You will almost always lose your whole roll when you do this
- AVOID playing at stakes so low that the money is meaningless to you. Only excuse here is if you’re playing with friends / playing for fun – in which case you’ll almost always want to play with money that is meaningless.
- OBVIOUSLY do not play with money you cannot afford to lose.
A Word about RakeBack & Bonus Plans
- If you had a 35% rakeback deal- and you played roughly 50,000 hands per month – you would get roughly 30 buy-ins at the end of the month. This makes moving up stakes much faster, easier, and less stressful.
- For example, if you play $100NL and played 50,000 hands in the month – you would get roughly $3,000 in rakeback at the end of the month.
- If you’re a serious, full-time, multi-table grinder at $100NL – and played 150,000 hands per month, you’d be making roughly $9,000 per month in rakeback alone! (tax free… that’s more than 95% of the rest of the population makes…)
So that’s my guide – use it as you will. I would classify my guide more in the “conservative” category, but if you don’t want to lose your bankroll – use my guide and you won’t!