In poker, it’s important to be properly bankrolled for the games you play. A failure to play within your roll will put you at risk of going broke, which is bad not only because it means you’ve lost a lot of money, but also because it means you won’t be able to continue playing.

Your bankroll is all the money you have available that you’re willing to spend on playing poker. If you have balances at five different sites, then it is the sum of all those different account balances that is your bankroll. Similarly, if you have $100 on one of the sites but you’re willing to deposit another $400 without any problem, then your bankroll is $500.

Your bankroll is essentially your capital for the business of playing poker. Just like in any other business, you don’t want to put too much of your capital at risk needlessly. By following the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to safely increase your bankroll without worrying about going broke.

Bankroll Management

Don’t Turn Yourself Into a Loser

The point of bankroll management is to allow your skill edge to be able to work over time to bring you profits over the long run. But if you’re not a winning player, then all the bankroll management techniques in the world will not prevent you from losing your money. If you are not a winner, then you essentially have a budget for poker, not a bankroll. Players that lose or don’t take the game seriously should set an amount that they are willing to lose during a specific period of time without suffering financial harm. For example, $50 per week or $100 per month might be the “bankroll management” of a losing player.

If you’re a winning player, beware of turning yourself into a losing player. Regardless of your bankroll, there’s no reason to play above your ability. We’ve all seen players win a major tournament and then proceed to donate everything back at high-stakes cash games or high-buyin tournaments that they had no business playing in. The old quote from Rounders is correct: “If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.”

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