Poker Bankroll management

There are many benefits to applying solid bankroll management in online poker; you do not have to worry about money which ultimately means that you will be able to play in a more relaxed manner and make better decisions when it comes to your poker strategy.

If you are playing on a short bankroll, there will always be constant pressure to win money which can lead to frustration and tilt.  How you manage your bankroll also depends on what kind of poker player you are, what games you play and your tolerance for risk.

The recreational player

The recreational player with a small poker bankroll can easily be replaced and doesn’t need to be overly concerned about his bankroll management since the consequences of going broke are minimal. A bankroll of around ten buy-ins is sufficient for this type of player.

The serious amateur player

The serious amateur player with a larger bankroll will suffer more severe consequences if going broke. This player would therefore need a larger bankroll for any given limit. If a serious amateur player goes broke and can’t replace his bankroll, he might have to start over again at the lowest limits. A bankroll of around 25 buy-ins for NLHE, 40 for PLO, 50 for MTTs and 30 for SNGs is normally sufficient for this player.

The professional player

The professional poker player derives all or most of his bankroll from playing online poker. If this player goes broke, the result would be disastrous since he will be out of work. A proper bankroll management is crucial in this case to minimise the likelihood of this happening. A bankroll of 50 buy-ins for NLHE, 75PLO, 100 SNGs and 200 for MTTs is normally sufficient for this poker player.

Taking shots

Occasionally taking shots at games above your current bankroll is useful to grow as a poker player and learn new things about the game. When taking shots, it is vital not to play “scared money” so that you are in a good frame of mind and ready for the poker challenge.

Make sure you are relaxed and rested when playing. The game you are taking a shot at is bound to have weaker players than normal and you have not been on a losing streak lately. You should also set a stop loss limit. If your limit is 5 buy-ins, you should move down again if you lose 5 them. If the shot works out, you can start progressively taking more shots at that limit.


Even the best poker players have losing streaks and suffer from negative variance from time to time. If you let your poker bankroll dictate which level you are playing on, you will be able to survive the downswings and continue moving up in stakes and grow as a poker player.  

Join a poker tournament