HOME>>POKER TIPS>>MONEY MANAGEMENT
How to Manage Your Bankroll
Money management is an
issue that should be dealt with once your game starts showing profit.
Building a bankroll takes discipline and patience. So many things can
interfere with this including stepping up in blind levels too early, or
needing cash in your life that you have to take from your playing
bankroll. I'll try and lend some experience when it comes to cashing
out and putting some of that hard-earned easy money in your pocket.
What I've been hearing
the most of is, “I win money but as soon as I step up in
blind levels I loose it all back.” This is very common. Poker
is a game where you continue to play off the players above you every
time you step up. Just like any job or apprenticeship, you pay your
dues at each level. All the money funnels up to the top players. The
goal is to become one of those top players.
This doesn't mean that
you're going to lose at poker until you become a grand master. There's
a way to avoid paying back all your winnings. The way you do it is to
stay at the current blind level you're winning at. Stay there and pull
money out of your bankroll.
Yes I know, the poker
books and poker pros say that you keep your bankroll separate and you
allow it to grow. This is fine if your life allows you to have sums of
cash set aside. Most players don't have that luxury, and the bankroll
shrinks when a bill has to be paid.
If you start to beat
the $2/$4 game, don't take the first $500 you win and head straight for
the $3/$6 game. The level change seems small, but it significant. Or if
you win some cash in a tournament, it doesn't necessarily mean you're
ready for the $10/$20 game.
All level changes will
require a different game. Make these adjustments as easy as possible.
When you feel ready to make the next step, get prepared. It's a good
idea to watch the next level for awhile. Figure out and document the
differences from your previous level to the new one. Once you can't
find any new methods used at this level, try your luck and see how you
There are seasoned
pros that spend a lot of time playing smaller level tables. It's like
going to the golfing range. They hone their skills and get things in
order when it doesn't matter so much. When it's running on all
cylinders, they step into the big show where it counts. Realize that
good players are at all levels and you could run into a shark anywhere.
Good players will get busted every now and then and will need to build
their bankroll back. These players have to start at the lower levels so
don't think that pros only play the big levels. That's simply not true.
Once the money is
coming in and you're on a good run you should know a few things. Some
online casinos have limits on cash outs. Find out what the monthly
cash-out limit is for that particular site. If you make the limit the
first week of the month, you need to start playing elsewhere for the
remaining three weeks. It really sucks when you have a couple of grand
worth of winnings that you can't get to until the next calendar month.
Spread your winnings over multiple sites, this way you can have
multiple cash outs and retrieve all your winnings each month.
Also try and make the
effort to set yourself up with an online bank like Paypal or Net
Teller. If you use these banks you can get your winnings without delay
or having your check held by the bank for 30 days. This is evolving all
the time with the new laws for online gaming, but it's worth the effort
to use these institutions. You will get your money right away and no
one bothers you about where it came from.
Making enough money to
get to the next level is not the goal, it's part of the goal. Playing
poker for profit is the goal. Paying off better players is not playing
for profit. Just because you can afford to play at the bigger blind
levels doesn't mean that you will win money. It's ok to stay down a
little lower if you're showing profit at that level. And don't forget
to pull some money out and treat yourself sometimes, it's good for your
soul and your game.