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Bankroll Management – Cash games

Published on Saturday, October 10, 2009 by
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Bankroll Management in Cash games


Cash games require different skills than tournaments. In this strategy series we will teach you some of the required skills for cash games.


What stakes to play and when to move up or down My personal rule for managing my bankroll is: I want to have around 30 buy-ins for the stakes I’m playing at. If you are playing poker for a living, you should obviously keep money for poker and living expenses separated. On the other hand, if you are just a casual player you don’t have to be so precise with your bankroll because you can probably deposit some money again if you go broke. If you go down to less than 20 buy-ins, it’s probably safest to step down a level and grind there for a while to build it back up. If you grow your bankroll to 30 buy-ins for the next level, you can try to move up in cash games. Although it may be a good idea to use a little bigger bankroll when moving to a higher level, since you will be playing stronger opponents there and it may take some time to get used to the different way of playing there. Following these bankroll management rules will minimize the risk of going broke. In addition cash game tools can be helpful in your games.


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Why bankroll management ? The main reason to follow some rules on bankroll management is just so you don’t go broke. If you only have $100 on your poker bankroll, you don’t want to risk all of it in a single hand. Suppose you have pocket aces and go all-in before the flop, you have an 80% chance of winning that pot, most likely you will win this hand. Now repeat the same thing 100 times, you are likely to lose that hand 20 times, so if you have your whole bankroll on the line every time, you are very likely to go broke if you play with your entire bankroll at the table. There will always be times when the cards are not going your way and you may lose several sessions in a row, even if you are the best player at the table.


Example situations: If you have $800 in your bankroll and you want to buy-in to no limit holdem cash games for 100 big blinds, you should be playing 10c/25c blinds and buy in for $25. Since the next level up is 25c/50c and you want to buyin for $50 there, you should have $1500 in your bankroll before you move up to those stakes. On the other side of the coin, if you lose some sessions and you are down to $400 in your bankroll, you should move down in stakes to the 5c/10c level and buy in for $10.

This covers bankroll management for cash tables, next month we will discuss: Cash games – Deep stacked play.

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