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Some Thoughts about good Money Management in Online Poker Games

By: Staff

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There is often an argument (and a valid one) that you do not need a bankroll in online poker. The protagonists of this argument say that you can use outside income to facilitate your poker playing. I believe that if you are not a serious poker player in say no limit Texas hold’em then you can use this way of playing.

But let me explain why in cash games having a bankroll is very important even if from only on a psychological and discipline standpoint. Let us say that you play $0.50-$1.00 no limit Texas hold’em at full ring and you have 20 buy-ins.

If you fail with your discipline and blow say a full buy in by tilting then you have lost 5% of your bankroll. If you know before the event that you are losing a fixed percentage of something then it helps you to control your actions.

Having a bankroll allows you to respect money and makes you into a money manager in some ways. When you know beforehand that losing discipline will cost you a fixed percentage of a concrete amount of money then the consequences of your actions are easier to see and thus easier to combat in online poker.

However when you do not have a bankroll then there is nothing to stop you from losing your composure as if you simply refill your bankroll from your own outside finances then this can be done almost infinitely.

While many online poker players would still be disciplined even in these circumstances, the fact remains that you need to be professional at managing money and I believe that part of that professional approach involves having and then properly using a bankroll.

If you know that in online poker that one buy-in represents say 5% of your total bankroll then this can help you to fix strict money management guidelines for individual hands that you play. You may for example be playing no limit Texas hold’em and your poker strategy may be to not play big pots unless you have a very big hand.

So if you decide to risk the entire 5% then you will only do so when holding a big hand.

However you can break that down into individual hands as well because although $100 represents 5% of your bankroll then $20 is just 1%. So you may decide that you will only bluff or play marginal hands with say 1%-2% of your total bankroll on any one individual hand unless your hand expands into the nuts or something very close.

In fact I would say that in online poker that a very good strategy to adopt would be one based on figures that are similar to these.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player who plays online at 888poker.

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