When you sign up to play online poker for real money you’re going to be given a deposit bonus – that’s just the way it works. Now, how do you make sure you get the most out of your bankroll and the additional money you earn while playing? Through proper bankroll management.
Bankroll management is just what it sounds like: it’s making sure that you avoid losing your bankroll by paying close attention to the limits of the game and ensure that there’s padding in place so that you can weather a bad run of cards. This is also known as playing within your bankroll. (Playing at higher-limit games where you have a good chance of losing all of your money is, for the record, called “playing out of your bankroll.)
Even as your poker bankroll grows through the bonus money flowing in, you’ll want to make sure you keep an eye on variance during your game. If you’re not familiar with the term, variance refers to the ups and downs of poker, where your cards are cold for long stretches to times in which you can’t help but hit good, playable cards.
Every poker player experiences these stretches and by playing within your bankroll, you can make sure that you maximize the latter while minimizing the damage the former causes you.
So, what limits should you be playing at? Frankly, if you’re new to tontine poker, you should be sticking to limit or pot limit Hold ’em poker, at least for the first month. That way, the game itself helots mitigate your losses. If you’re playing in limit games, you should have 300 big bets as a minimum for the limit you wish to play at. This means that if you’re playing $.50/$1 games, you should have a bankroll of at least $300 in reserve.
When you begin to play Pot Limit and No Limit poker, the recommended size of your bankroll is twenty times the full buy-in amount of the table you want to play at. So if you’re sitting down at a $.50/$1 table again and the maximum buy-in is $100, you should have a bankroll of at least $2000 in reserve. Another way that many people look at this is to make sure they never put more than 5% of their bankroll into any given game.
Good bankroll management and maximizing the use of the money you put into your account (and bonus) are more than just good financial sense: they can help you deal with how a bad run of cards can affect you psychologically.