Managing your bankroll in poker (pokerdominator)

Many talented poker players go broke for one reason - they don't know how to handle their money. They might win a lot, but often lose everything just as quickly. If you're not able to keep your poker bankroll in order it doesn't matter how good a player you are, you will lose in the long run anyway. The most important thing is the discipline to treat poker winnings as operating capital. When you've made a healthy profit at a certain limit you have two choices - step up to a higher level or pocket the winnings.

That is advice for those who make their living playing cards. If you're playing at a hobby level all you need to keep in mind is not risking more money than you can afford. For example, you should never play with borrowed money. You also have to be prepared to lose whatever you risk. There are a lot of skilled poker players out there looking to clean you out.

Advice for poker money management:
  • Keep control over your emotions, don't lose your temper. If you can't control yourself you should stop playing instantly. Going on "tilt" is usually very expensive.
  • Focus and concentration is vital for poker players. You should only play poker when you feel up to it and when you are mentally prepared. Never play poker when you're drunk or tired.
  • You should always have balance between your motivation to play and the risk you're taking. Never play at limits that are too expensive for you. If you catch a bad streak without being properly prepared you might lose everything.
  • When you're playing in No-Limit games your bankroll should be at least 300 times the big bet.
  • When you're playing in Limit games your bankroll should be at least 100 times the big bet.
  • If you lose too much at a one level you have to slow down. Play at a lower limit until you can afford to play at the higher one again. If you don't slow down you risk going bankrupt.
  • If the game is good but you're losing anyway, you should keep playing in that game. That kind of discipline will pay off in the long run.
  • If the game is bad but you're winning anyway, you should stop playing in that game. That kind of discipline will make you a poker winner over time.
  • Keep a gambling log book where you note your wins, your losses, the number of hours you've played, and what games you've played in. This will help you keep track of how your game is going financially.

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