This is a very important topic as it will help you prevent yourself from putting in deposit after deposit in to your favorite online poker site.
This is something I struggled with years ago when I first started playing online and I wish I had someone to tell me how to do it properly.
The basics of managing your bankroll involve not playing with more than you can afford. I know this seems logical, but in reality it’s difficult for many to implement.
Many people, if they lose ½ of their initial deposit, will try to get it all back in one session by playing stakes that are higher than they should be playing. This is not how you can effectively manage your bankroll.
If you want to build a bankroll, there is a superb graphic created by two professionals, INSPIRON and JimmyRare, called “The Stairway to High Stakes®”. It is a magnificent way to look at your bankroll and how to properly manage it.
Here’s how to read the chart.
First of all, deposit $60.00 and start playing NL2. NL2 is $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold’Em. While at this level, you’ll notice that I cannot move to the next level (NL5 – $0.02/$0.05) until I build my bankroll to $150.00. Also notice there are four different cashout points at each level.
For example, I deposit $60.00 and start playing at NL2. When my bankroll reaches $110, I will cashout $31.00 and build my bankroll up to $120.00. When I reach that milestone, I will cashout another $31.00. I build to $130.00 and cash out $31.00, then build to $140.00 and cashout $32.00. Once I build my bankroll up to $150.00, I move up to the next level. While at the next level, if my bankroll drops to $125.00, I will move back down to NL2 and try to get back to $150.00 again before I move back to NL5.
Doing this affords you two things: 1) It ensures you manage your bankroll effectively; 2) It forces you to play many hands at a particular level so you don’t move up to the next level when you’re not ready to do so.
I cannot stress the importance of both of these items and item #2 listed above is another reason why beginners’ bankroll management suffers: they’re not ready for the higher levels.
So, follow this chart, deposit only what you can afford, and only play at a level that is within your skill set. Sure, you might be able to afford depositing $300.00, but are you ready to start playing at NL10 ($0.05/$0.10)? Unless you’ve played poker online a ton, you may quickly find that you are not ready.