One of the biggest downfalls of players who have skill in the game of poker is a lack of basic money management skills. To play poker you firstly need to have some skill in the game, but together with that you need an ability to manage your bankroll. Without the latter, you can go broke even if you are a strong player. Poker money management varies slightly depending on the variation of poker you are playing, but there are also some general basic poker money management skills that all poker players should have.
Have a Big Enough Bankroll
In Texas hold’em games it is suggested that you have a bankroll of 20 times the buy-in in order to keep you in the game for a reasonable amount of time. In Omaha poker, it is suggested that you have something of a buffer due to the higher level of variance in the game. Because of this, you should make sure to have a bankroll of 30 times the buy-in before you consider playing and you will probably find that professional players start with a bankroll of 40 to 50 times the buy-in.
Set your Bankroll According to your Playing Style
While we just gave you a guideline for how big your bankroll needs to be in order for you to play, you also need to take your playing style into consideration. How you play the game will determine how much money you need. If you are a loose aggressive player, you will need a higher bankroll than a tight player. If you are a professional player, you will need a higher bankroll than a casual player. Try to determine how much you can afford to lose and how you will play to work out how much money you will need.
Stick to your Bankroll
Your bankroll for a game of poker must be money that has been specifically set aside for playing poker. Make sure the bankroll is big enough for you to play with, but if you are coming towards the end of your bankroll, that is a sign that you must stop playing. Never use money that has been set aside for other purposes or the stress and anxiety will negatively affect your game and you will probably lose it all anyway.
When to Cash Out your Winnings
If you are winning and you would like to cash out, don’t assume that if you are on a winning streak, you will continue that way. Make sure to always leave your minimum bankroll amount to continue playing with. This means that if you have winnings over the 20 x buy-in that you first set yourself, you can cash out any excess, but make sure to leave that minimum 20 x buy-in to continue playing with.