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Managing Your Bankroll

In addition to learning how to play poker, one of the most important skills you can learn is how to manage your bankroll. Doing so will help to ensure you can take poker from being a hobby to being a profitable venture. Remember that poker is an endurance game so you need to look at the bankroll issue over the long term, not just the immediate battle.

Determining Your Bankroll

Once you have determined the amount of money you can devote to your poker venture, be sure to put it aside and use it for only that. This money is now earmarked for poker only, and cannot be used for evenings out or the newest tech gadget. You have to be prepared to possibly lose this money as you will have ups and downs with poker; if you ever play with money not earmarked for this venture, you may find you are nervous to lose it and this will impact your game. As a general rule, be sure you have a bankroll that is around 300 times greater than the large bets of the games you are playing. In lower limit games you have more flexibility, but this is a good rule to live by.

Your Game Play

So you have determined your bankroll but now you need to know how much you need for individual poker games. This is an important consideration because if you underfund a game, you might find yourself in trouble early on, or with just one or two poor plays. Make sure you bring enough to last for a long haul, having at least 25 times the large bet. A $2/$4 Texas Hold'em game would then require that you have $100 for the game. This amount should give you some padding, allowing you to play freely and suffer some losses as the game progresses.

Remember that it is important to strike a balance between what you need to ensure you are not playing scared, and ensuring you don't bring too much to the table that is all lost in a bad showing. Be reasonable and play within your limits. Only bankroll what you can afford and stick to your limits once set.