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Poker Bankroll Strategy

One of the most overlooked strategies in poker is bankroll strategy. Proper bankroll management is a fundamental of poker strategy and should be learned early on. Poker players who do not have the discipline to stay within the limits dictated by their current bankroll will most likely see that bankroll disappear.

Personally, I feel the proper minimum bankroll for any limit is 200x the big bet in that limit. In other words, if you are playing 2/4 limit then you will need at least an $800 bankroll to safely play that limit. More is advised! Depending on the relative looseness of the table and your own style of play, variations, or swings in your bankroll, can be quite drastic. I have read other authors' suggestions of much higher totals needed to move up in limits, and again, this is the bare minimum that I would advise.

If you play several different limits, go with 200x the biggest limit you play. If you play mainly no limit cash games or tournaments, this calculation can get a bit trickier. No limit and multi table tournament bankrolls will see more variation than fixed ring games. My advice would be to calculate your worst losing streak and have at least 3x that amount. If your worst losing streak is -$600, then I would dedicate at least $1800 to playing poker. Determining your worst losing streak will come over time, and will require you to chart your games, winning and losing sessions. If you want to move up, and start playing buy ins that are double that of your old games, then common sense would tell you to double your bankroll first.

To conclude, moving up in limits is fun, exciting and profitable. Often times the competition is just as bad one or two limits higher as the players you are regularly beating at your current level, and it is very tempting to move up too quickly. However, let me assure you that moving down in limits is alot less exciting, and is exactly what you'll find yourself forced to do if you move up before your bankroll allows it!