A poker bankroll is an amount of money you keep isolated from your other assets and use exclusively for gambling. This concept is essential for all serious players because it focuses your mind on one absolutely key fact. If your poker bankroll is growing over time then you are winning money and if it is shrinking then you are losing.
This may sound trite but often people do not not want to face up to the fact that they lose money at poker. It is generally accepted that about 90% of players are net losers in the long run. Many above average players lose money overall because the chips they win from other players don’t cover their share of the rake. It is actually quite unusual to be a winning player
Hopefully, you will be one of the 10% of players who see the investment in their poker bankroll grow year after year. This will only happen if you consistently make good decisions at the tables.
Whether you play as a hobby or professionally, your aim should be to make your poker self-financing. Its a lot more fun playing when you don’t have to start each evening by reaching for your credit card.
Initially Funding Your Poker Bankroll
The main thing when making your first deposit is not to risk money you can’t afford to lose. I was a little nervous about handing over my credit card details but enjoyed playing the play money tables so much I thought I would give the real game a try. I eventually decided to risk $50 but give up if I lost it all. A decision I have never regretted.
If you are comfortable depositing $50 or $100 that is absolutely fine. That will give you between ten and twenty buy-ins at a $5 table. If you aren’t happy with this then don’t deposit anything. Visit freeroll pages for chance to build a bankroll from nothing.
Of course, you are free to deposit more and jump straight into the bigger games if you want to. However, my own experience when starting out was that the satisfaction derived from seeing my initial $50 deposit at a poker room grow to $100 and then $200 was worth far more to me than the actual cash involved.
At this stage I withdrew my original stake. The confidence you get from knowing that from now on all your poker will be financed from your winnings is something that just can’t be gained any other way.
Starting Your Poker Bankroll with $100
One great feature of internet poker is that sites can offer small-stakes games with reasonable rake structures. Many sites offer no limit games with a maximum buy-in of $5. These low cost tables are a great place to begin to learn about Texas Holdem and have the added benefit of attracting some awful players who will donate to you over and over again.
There are many advantages to starting your poker bankroll with $100:
- You are limiting your maximum loss if things go badly
- You force yourself to start in the smallest games where you will find a high proportion of dreadful players
- When you are learning you are bound to make mistakes. In smaller games these will be less expensive
Although Texas Holdem gets all the TV coverage and is by far the most popular game on the internet I think beginners benefit more by learning omaha high-low first.
Whatever game you choose, standard ABC poker will bring you success when you are on the bottom rung of the ladder. An important part of this is Effective Bankroll Management.