The bankroll in poker is extremely important. Bankroll control is one of the key points of any poker strategy. We are talking about an aspect that has a direct relationship with the viability of a player’s game and the future of his career.

The BRM (bankroll management) is the basis of any action or intention in poker, since it is what sustains us in the game and what allows us to stay in the game. But to achieve this it is not enough to be careful or to be a great strategist: several aspects must be taken into account to be able to maintain control of our bankroll in the long term.

BRM: what’s its meaning?

When you read about BRM in a poker manual, it is not talking about anything other than bankroll management, the acronym for the English words used to refer to the management of one’s own funds to play poker.

Without these funds, our continuity is not guaranteed, and it would not be the first time that because of poor management a player ends up out of the game in search of a recovery that can last for an indeterminate period of time.

Later we will see in depth a series of guidelines to always have the bankroll under control, but the first thing you should know is that poker is not about making quick money with a stroke of luck.

Continuity is based on strategy, and any strategy takes into account the bankroll. That is why for many players online poker helps them to progress in this sense, since they can check, with the history of their games and their bankroll analysis, how their bankroll has been strengthening, while they have been getting better results on the table.

When we talk about discipline in poker, we are not only referring to the discipline needed to train, play several hours a day as if it were a job and study concepts and formulas: we are also referring to the discipline required by the game to keep the bankroll under control. A bad bankroll management leads to a premature farewell from the tables.

Good poker players know how to use bankroll management to their advantage as part of their strategy. A proper BRM always revolves around having enough buy-ins of our bankroll to help us cushion any bankroll reductions, which can occur due to a bad play or any variation. These variations are what are known over time as variance, one of the great fears of any poker player.

Much has been said about the dominance of variance, or at least its prediction. Because it has a direct impact on the BRM, but controlling variance is a pipe dream. It is like the fountain of youth: everyone would like to find it, but controlling it is a myth. Therefore, the best thing to do is to deal with variance, and be extremely cautious to make good bankroll management.

Do the different BRM tactics differ in any way, and do they have any real consequences in the game? In reality, very little. There is no single method of bankroll management, and therefore players at the same table may be applying different BRM techniques and all be effective during the game.

How to manage good your bankroll at cash games

Cash bankroll management

In cash games, bankroll management takes on a new meaning because we are talking about cash games. Normally, the value for cash games is 25 buy-ins. If we have those 25 buy-ins in our bankroll and apply them to whatever limit we are playing, we will have a good basis for applying our BRM properly. For example, if we take a typical 0.05 € / 0.10 € table, we should have at least 250 € in our bankroll. If we opt for a 0.01 € / 0.02 € table, then our bankroll should be at least 50 €.

These volumes are merely indicative, but they can give a good indication of the ranges in which you should move in order not to expose your bankroll and lose it with a bad move. You must err on the side of caution and think that it is more likely that a bad hand will ruin everything, so you will measure every step you take and you will not expose your bankroll right away, which is what it is all about.

MTT bankroll management

In SNG tournaments and multi-table tournaments, keep in mind the following:

  • The higher the skill, the lower the budget.
  • The more players, the greater the variance and the higher the bankroll to be able to play.
  • The higher the speed, the higher the bankroll required.

Deep stack tournaments have a lower variance, which makes them playable with a lower bankroll. On the other hand, turbo and hyper turbo tournaments require a large bankroll and it is necessary to have that cushion. Keep in mind that a bad move combined with a higher variance can be fatal for our bankroll.