One of the most important aspects of playing poker is bankroll management. It should become an essential part of your overall strategy, regardless of your skill level. Even the best players out there are bound to fail if they’re unable to properly handle their poker finances. What more if you’re just a beginner?
If you’re planning to embark on a poker career, the first thing you should do is to allocate a separate fund solely intended for playing poker. This means that you shouldn’t mix your personal finances with your poker bankroll.
Choosing the appropriate stake level also plays an important role in proper bankroll management. You can’t just play in whatever buy-in level you want as you might end up blowing your entire bankroll in a single session.
Some of the world’s most successful players began at the bottom, so there’s no reason for you to hurry up and force yourself to quickly climb up the stakes.
If you’re still new to the game, online poker sites make for a great training ground. There is a wide selection of games available, and you can also choose from a huge range of stakes. So even if you’re starting out with just a limited bankroll, you can find something for you at different online poker sites.
Check out these key tips for choosing the right stakes and properly managing your bankroll if you’re just starting out:
Selecting Stakes Cash Games & Tournaments
Your stake level will depend on your bankroll. Obviously, if you have a smaller bankroll, you should begin with the lower stakes. For both cash games and tournaments, you might want to think of your bankroll in terms of buy-ins.
For instance, if you have a bankroll of $500, calculate the number of buy-ins you can have from that amount according to your chosen stake level. If you want to play $0.10/$0.25 cash games with a maximum buy-in of $25, you’d get 20 buy-ins for those particular games. But this isn’t the advisable number of buy-ins for playing cash games.
The top advice is to have at least 75 or 100 buy-ins. Therefore, you need to go lower to $0.05/$0.10, where $10 is the maximum buy-in. At this level, you’d have 50 buy-ins with a $500 bankroll, pretty close to the general recommendation.
Likewise in tournaments, you must also consider the number of buy-ins you need to start playing. It’s advisable that you have a minimum of 100 buy-ins when playing MTTs, and much better if you have 500 buy-ins!
So if you have $500, the best option is to spend it in $1 tournaments. The very purpose of this is to prevent draining all of your poker money in just a few games. It will allow you to play longer, and potentially grow your bankroll in the process.

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