Play poker within your means – basic money management strategy

Poker should be fun every time that you play – whether you win or whether you lose. One way to stop poker from being an enjoyable game and to turn it into a nightmare is to have a bad or non existent money management strategy. Money management in poker – which is referred to as ‘poker bankroll management’ – ensures that you can play at the top of your game without getting in to debt. Follow these three simple yet effective tips as you play and you will find that poker bankroll management is a breeze.

Tip 1: know which portion of your bankroll to bet each time

You may have seen it happen in the movies: during a poker game, a player dramatically lays down all of the money in their bankroll pile (along with their car keys, and their wedding ring to boot) as the other gamblers look on in aghast admiration and suspense. This is never a good idea. Experts maintain that you should never bet your entire bankroll in a given round. Between 2% and 5% of your whole bankroll is usually agreed to be the optimum amount to bet within each round of poker.

Tip 2: if you cannot play with the stakes that you want, you do not have to play

Many of us like to play high stakes poker, and many poker games (for instance Texas Hold’em No Limit) are specifically designed to play with higher stakes. These games can be hard to enjoy to the full when we have a smaller bankroll at our disposal. If you play high stakes poker with a smaller bankroll, you may also feel tempted to lay down your whole stake in a single round, which (as was explained in Tip 1 above) is never a good idea. A much better strategy is to step back and wait until you have accumulated more money to play with so that you can enter in to the game and play with the stakes that you want to.

Tip 3: never mix your poker bankroll with money for other things

Money for bills, presents for family and friends, evenings out for special occasions and similar costs should never be used for poker. Your poker bankroll should be composed only of superfluous money that you can afford to gamble with – and to lose if the cards aren’t drawn your way – once you have paid for everything else that you need to in your life. All successful professional poker players know that you should never gamble with money that you need to use to pay your rent. Nor should poker be relied upon as a means of income – as poker is a game with a heavy element of chance to it, poker wins should never be treated as a salary that you can expect to receive each month. In addition, you should never hide how much money you are using to play poker with from your partner or closest friends. If you are gambling secretively in this way, it is a sign that you have a problem. Having trouble managing your relationship with money as you gamble? It is crucial to talk to someone sooner rather than later: hiding the problem will just cause it to grow. Talk to a friend or to your partner right now, and/ or call one of the many free gambling helplines available for advice and support. There is also likely to be a gambling addiction support group in your area if you prefer face to face or group support.

Smart bankroll management helps you to get ahead

Poker strategy is not just about card counting, controlling your tell and knowing the rules like the back of your hand. Money management is an essential aspect of any successful poker strategy. Learn the three tips above and apply them to your next game – we guarantee everything will go much more smoothly as a result.