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Bankroll Management

Buidling an online poker bankroll can often be a difficult task. In order to play effectively, you want to have enough money so that one string of bad cards won't ruin your bankroll. Therefore, you always want to have a considerably higher bankroll than the largest blind of the game you're playing. Most experts will say that one should have at least 200-300x the big blind of any game. We all want to jump into the big games right away, but if you haven't built your bankroll up to a substantial amount, you'll more than likely see your chips being moved away to another player's stack. Don't let this happen. Before moving up to the big limits, build you bankroll to a substantial amount by taking these steps.

    One way of building a substantial bankroll is to make the most of each poker room's bonuses. Instead of signing up to one poker room, signup for a few, and make the most out of each one's bonus. Thereby, instead of just receiving one deposit bonus, you're receiving multiple ones. Just be sure that you're aware of any restriction or limitations before doing so.

    Another free way to build a poker bankroll is by playing in a room's freerolls. A freeroll is a poker tournament that doesn't require a deposit of any money to participate in. The advantage of playing in a freeroll, however, is that you can win a substantial amount of money if you play correctly and make it to the end. Freerolls are brand sponsored, multi-table tournaments that usually have hundreds – if not thousands – of players. For that fact alone, making it to the money is no easy task.

    In freerolls, people generally play a lot looser than they would normally play. This is because, since it's a freeroll, they don't necessarily have any of their own money at risk. They're playing without risk, which usually breeds carelessness with their chips. In the early stages of the tournament, lay low and only play the premium starting hands. You'll see a lot of big betting and a lot of all-ins, so unless you have one of the top starting hands, stay out of the pot. Also, don't try bluffing too often – more times than not, you'll end up wasting chips.

    The key to winning a freeroll tournament is preserving your stack by any means necessary. Don't take too many unnecessary risks, and don't make too many stupid plays. Just play correct, fundamental poker, and you'll make it to the money in no time.

    Some sites even go as far as offering free chips just by signing up to play with their software. Though few in number, these sites will instantly deposit money into your account for you to play with just for downloading their software. If you spot one of these promotions, be sure to utilize it to its fullest. Though the money may be of a small amount, within a few days or hour, by playing correct poker, you could easily, double, triple, or even quadruple that small amount, giving you a fresh, free poker bankroll.

    Many new poker players make the mistake of playing above their limitations. As previously states, when playing any variation of poker, it's a general rule of thumb to have at least 200-300 big blinds in your stack. This ensures that one or two bad strings of cards won't end your night, forcing you to deposit more money if you wish to continue playing. Play within your limits. Of course, bigger limits mean bigger pots, which ultimately mean bigger winnings, but by playing out of your limit, you run the risk of destroying your bankroll.

    Playing online poker is like playing on a pyramid. First, you play a few Sit N' Gos and smaller limit games to build a sizeable bankroll. Then, you move up a level to play for higher stakes. Once you've conquered those stakes, you move up again. And so on and so forth, until you've managed to make some decent money playing a game you love.



« More poker guides or show all guides Article last updated: Friday, May 22, 2009.

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