Bankroll

Q: What’s the proper bankroll for each limit?

A: General consensus is that a player should keep at least 20 buyins for each limit he’s playing. Excluding poor beginner play, bad bankroll management is the biggest reason that new players go bust. Do yourself a favor and only play in games you can afford.

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Cash Games
If you are playing Pot Limit or No Limit poker, the safe recommended size of your bankroll is 20 times the full buy-in of where you want to play. This means that if you want to have the best chance of making money at a $1/$2 game where the maximum buy-in is $200, you should have a bankroll of at least $4000. Another way of applying bankroll management is by only putting a maximum 5% of your entire bankroll on the table at any one time, which works out the same as having 20 times the buy-in for the game. If you like to play limit Holdem however, you should have 300 Big Bets as a minimum for the limit you wish to play at. Therefore to play $1/$2 limit Holdem, you should have a bankroll of $600 at least.

NL Holdem Bankroll

No Limit: $0.05/$0.10 | Needed: $200Aces and Cash
No Limit: $0.10/$0.25 | Needed: $500
No Limit: $0.25/$0.50 | Needed: $1000
No Limit: $0.50/$1.00 | Needed: $2000
No Limit: $1.00/$2.00 | Needed: $4000
No Limit: $2.00/$4.00 | Needed: $8000
No Limit: $2.50/$5.00 | Needed: $10000

Limit Holdem Bankroll

Limit: $0.05/$0.10 | Needed: $30
Limit: $0.10/$0.20 | Needed: $60
Limit: $0.25/$0.50 | Needed: $150
Limit: $0.50/$1.00 | Needed: $300
Limit: $1.00/$2.00 | Needed: $600
Limit: $2.00/$4.00 | Needed: $1200 Limit: $3.00/$6.00 | Needed: $1800
Limit: $5.00/$10.00 | Needed: $3000

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Tournament Games
It is recommended that you have a bankroll that will give you 40 buy-ins to the level of tournaments that you wish to play at. Therefore if you want to play at the $10+$1 Sit n Go’s you should have a bankroll of $440.

Sit & Go Bankroll

Stakes: $1+$.10 | Needed: $44
Stakes: $2+$.20 | Needed: $88
Stakes: $5+$.50 | Needed: $220
Stakes: $10+$1 | Needed: $440
Stakes: $20+$2 | Needed: $880
Stakes: $30+$3 | Needed: $1320
Stakes: $50+$5 | Needed: $2200

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Advice from Chris Ferguson

“To ensure that I keep my bankroll intact, I’ve adopted some key rules:

  • I’ll never buy into a cash game or a Sit & Go with more than 5 percent of my total bankroll (there is an exception for the lowest limits: I’m allowed to buy into any game with a buy-in of $2.50 or less).
  • I won’t buy into a multi-table tournament for more than 2 percent of my total bankroll and I’m allowed to buy into any multi-table tournament that costs $1.
  • If at any time during a No-Limit or Pot-Limit cash-game session the money on the table represents more than 10 percent of my total bankroll, I must leave the game when the blinds reach me.”

Link to this article

Starting from Zero
Chris Ferguson
April 30th, 2007

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