How Big Should Your Starting Bankroll Be?

It doesn't matter if you're playing at a virtual table at Caesars Online, in the Luxor, or in a run down casino that no one has ever heard of before, you will need money for the game. How much money is required for a starting bankroll is another question entirely, and it's one that players ask frequently. While there have been many answers to this question, this article will provide a brief set of answers to help you make a wise decision about the money you'll want to devote to your poker project.

First, you must make an honest determination of your own skill level. Unless you have a consistent track record of winning money, placing well in tournaments, and generally taking home more than you take to the table, you should qualify yourself as a beginner. You should continue to do so until you have developed a track record of wins at the table. At this stage, devote no more to the game than you can comfortably lose. In this case, think of your losses both in monetary and psychological terms. Don't go beyond your own comfort levels.

Once you have a track record, you will want to set aside a larger bankroll so that you can remain stable and consistent over long time periods of play. For a limit game, you will typically want a bankroll of at least 200 times the large bet (the bet made on the turn and river). For a no limit game, at least 500 big blinds should be a minimum. For a tournament player, setting aside enough for at least 50 tournaments of the cost you prefer is wise. This will allow you to play over long periods of time and make sure that skill, rather than luck, is what determines how much you take away.

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