A common mistake by players new to poker is to deposit the amount of cash they feel comfortable playing with but then quickly find it disappear.
Most often this is due to poor or non-existent bankroll management, I myself suffered from this lack of knowledge when i started first.
I would like to explain the basics of the subject in this post for the benefit of anyone who isnt familiar with the concept, as a beginner you will want to make your money stretch as far as possible in order to build experience and learn the game.
Your bankroll is the money you have put aside.
This should be money you are prepared to lose, especially as a beginner you should see this as money you intend to spend on poker. Bankroll management when followed correctly should minimize the risk of losing it all any time soon but at the same time don’t expect to be making huge profits straight away.
There are different management models for different types of games but for the sake of explaining the basics I am going to talk about Texas Holdem and more specifically tournaments.
In tournaments everyone pays an entry fee called a BUY IN and then you play, starting with a set amount of chips each, until you are either knocked out or the last player standing. The players who survive the longest (usually something like the last 3 out of 10) win money.
This is great as a beginner as all you stand to lose is the initial buy in, so its easy to keep your bank roll under control, and you get to play lots of hands helping you pick up the game.
The main rule I’d like to outline is you should only ever spend a small fraction of your bankroll on any one Buy in. The ratio that most people recommend differs under different circumstances but for single table tournaments, when new to the game I would recommend that your bankroll equals at least 30 times the Buy in of the tournaments you are entering. I would also advise only entering the smallest tourneys available, at least until you feel confident with the game.
As you become more experienced and learn more theory you can relax the 30 times rule with relative safety. Professional player Chris Fergusons rule is to play no more than 5% of his bankroll per game meaning his bankroll must equal at least 20 times the buy in. Therefore 25 times would be considered a fairly safe rule for a confident player.
Proper bankroll management can be hard to stick to, especially if your bankroll is down and the winnings offered by higher buy-in games look tempting, but this is possibly the worst thing you can do and the quickest way to lose money fast.
It can be difficult at first but just remember the more you stick to it the longer your money will last, even if you’re the best player in the world everyone gets bad cards sometimes and proper bankroll management will help you survive those bad beats.