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Bankroll Management at Online Poker

Managing Your Online Poker Bankroll is the foundation for profitable online poker.

Failing to do so can lead a very good poker player to lose his entire bankroll, whereas a below average poker player may break even with a great bankroll management system.

The first rule of a proper bankroll management strategy is to know what your bankroll is, in other words to separate the money used for online poker from other expenses, such as paying the rent. Your poker bankroll should be money that you can afford to lose.

The second rule is to determine how risky you want to be with your bankroll, this is a concept often called the "risk of ruin". It means the chance to lose your entire bankroll.

So for example if you decide to never risk more than 1% of your bankroll at one online poker table, you would need to lose 100 times to be wiped out. This is very unlikely, but possible. In particular if you bankroll drops too much, this may lead to tilt which will make you lose even faster.

Risking 1% each time is certainly very conservative, but using a 10% benchmark would be way too risky. A generally agreed level is to risk a few percent of your bankroll each time, such as 4%.

The third rule of bankroll management is to move in stakes up and down depending on your results. Your worse enemy at online poker, blackjack, roulette or any form of gambling is your ego, and you should never listen to it.

If you are losing at a specific stake level, drop one stake. Now your bankroll will be twice as big (in number of blinds) and the competition will be weaker, so you can rebuild your confidence from there.

Conversely if you are profitable at a given stake level, it is an error to not attempt a higher stake level. Just because one day your opponents may become stronger, so it is better to sharpen your skills than to always stay in your comfort zone.

The best way to protect your bankroll is to move down one stake level whenever your bankroll is halved. Very few online poker players have the fortitude to follow this rule, but if they would there would never be story about players losing $50k or more. Do not slow play this one.

Such players seeking advice on forums simply gave the money to their ego. If instead they had listened to this simple bankroll management rule, they would be playing 2 cents big blinds micro-limits by now, but at least they would still have their $50k+ bankroll.

Of course one way to reduce all your bankroll management issues is to use a rakeback deal. Click any banner to read about our deals.


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