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No Limit Cashgame Bankroll Management

Accurate bankroll management is central to playing winning poker. It's important to view the money that you dedicate to poker as an investment. You should treat it like any other investment:  use logic and exercise a good degree of caution when making decisions.

Bankroll management is a vital skill that all poker players should master, no matter what level or poker game you play. Here's a look at what 'bankroll' actually means.

  • The term 'bankroll' refers to the amount of money you set aside exclusively to play poker with - for example the money you have online at PokerStars
  • No matter how big this amount may be, there is always a risk that you'll lose it all and go bust. To keep this risk as low as possible, good bankroll management is required.

Rules of Bankroll Management

A good rule of thumb is to always buy in to any game for 100 big blinds and always have at least 25 full stacks or 2500 big blinds in your bankroll. It is very important to stick to this rule as it will greatly influence your chance of moving up the limits while minimizing the risk of losing your bankroll. If you play too high chances are you will go broke no matter how good you play.

Blinds Buy-in Required Bankroll
SB/BB 100 BB's 2500 BB's
$0.01/$0.02 $2 $50
$0.02/$0.05 $5 $125
$0.05/$0.10 $10 $250
$0.10/$0.25 $25 $625
$0.25/$0.50 $50 $1250

One of the biggest mistakes any poker player can make is playing too high. For players to make money easily, other players have to give money away easily, and this is how the poker economy functions. Therefore, there are millions of players playing at limits too high for their expertise, and most importantly their bankroll. You should only move up limits when your bankroll allows you. It may seem over-cautious, but this form of bankroll management has been used time and again as the basis for winning poker.

It may be frustrating to stay at one level when you feel you have it beat and want to move up. However, bankroll management dictates you must wait until the numbers stack up. Another added benefit of this approach means that you will play more hands at a level you are comfortable with, with less pressure, and gain valuable experience. This extra experience will feed into your skill-set, making you even more prepared for when you take your shot at the next level. 


Even if you play with perfect strategy, there are times when you may experience a losing streak. On the other hand, it is also quite natural to have periods of feeling like you can't lose even if you try! But if you stick to the rules above, you will be able to survive these downswings and upswings, by properly managing your bankroll. Stay confident, make the right plays, and you'll enjoy the game and make profits in the long run.

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