Effective Bankroll Management (Live Casino Games)

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
For those of you who play 1/3 at your local casino, I have a question. As I've learned better bankroll management over time, I've realized that going to my local casino and playing 1/3 for me requires me to have at least $1500 available in my bankroll before I will even consider sitting at the table. This should account for enough variance in bad beats and what not so that I can be comfortable. However, I'm not at a point where my bankroll can sustain a $1500 shot. This would be crippling to my bankroll.

My question is am I right about needing approximately $1500 available to play 1/3 or am I playing it too safe?
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
Honestly I think your assumption is short by a factor of four. Really at least 20 buy ins of 100 BB should be your minimum, unless you are okay with a high risk of ruin.

You can play well at NLHe and lose 3 buy ins a session rather frequently.

So effectively, you should have about 6K bankroll available to play a 1/3 NLHE game?
 

sheikh617

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
3,829
Reaction score
7,655
Location
Boston, MA
I would agree that 5 buy ins would be soft. At the very minimum I'd want to have 3k although you can sit with 200 and be fine IMO. I personally sit with 300. 20-25 buy ins is much better if you're looking to really grind and play for income. But I also believe most people would say steer clear of 1/3 if you want to play poker for a living.

Funny because my bankroll honestly isn't suited for me to played 1/3 consistently but sometimes I like to just go and sit for the sake of playing and I'll take 300 and if I lose to weird shit so be it lol. Not a great strategy for the long term but I'm not playing to pay my bills.
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
For clarity, I'm definitely not playing for a living. My entire family would be ass'd out if they depended on my poker skill LOL. I do maintain a bankroll to monitor my game though. I'm trying to decide whether I should be playing 1/3 at the casino, and it seems that this answer is clearly that I may be a little premature in my choice.
 

sheikh617

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
3,829
Reaction score
7,655
Location
Boston, MA
For clarity, I'm definitely not playing for a living. My entire family would be ass'd out if they depended on my poker skill LOL. I do maintain a bankroll to monitor my game though. I'm trying to decide whether I should be playing 1/3 at the casino, and it seems that this answer is clearly that I may be a little premature in my choice.
Yeah my bankroll is suited for my home games but sometimes I just want to go and play at the casino for the experience. Encore is beautiful and the poker room is first class. I'm a good enough player to hold my own at the 1/3 tables but some people reeeeally like to just gamble because the $300 is nothing to them and that can be disappointing when your KK gets cracked by some guy who had 7/2 suited and called a big raise for the flop to come 7/7/10. (True story from last night :banghead::ROFL: :ROFLMAO:)
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
Yeah my bankroll is suited for my home games but sometimes I just want to go and play at the casino for the experience. Encore is beautiful and the poker room is first class. I'm a good enough player to hold my own at the 1/3 tables but some people reeeeally like to just gamble because the $300 is nothing to them and that can be disappointing when your KK gets cracked by some guy who had 7/2 suited and called a big raise for the flop to come 7/7/10. (True story from last night :banghead::ROFL: :ROFLMAO:)
This is why I get really uncomfortable at casino tables. I've played NLHE a couple of times (before I really started to pay attention to my game) and it's just not fun sometimes because some people's pockets are just too deep. I'd bet that this is a much better game when there are other tables available. For example, if there's a 2/5 game or something higher for those people to go and play. Just my opinion.
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
I started with $200 myself in April or May of last year (right before I started this forum). I'm a little over 2k right now, but I'm being patient. I'm not rushing to sit at the 1/3 table at all. I'll stick to limit for the time being. Just looking for opinions on how to advance. Plus, if I get dangerously low, I'll just sell off some extra chips.
 

DrStrange

Full House
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
4,550
Reaction score
7,321
Location
Outlet Mall in San Marcos
Three paths strike me:

1) you are playing poker for at least part of your living. You need serious bankroll discipline and lots more than five buy-ins. Several hundred buy-ins seems prudent.

2) you play poker for fun but you aren't profitable. Or perhaps you want to take a shot at bigger stakes. Here you use a "bankroll" as a loss limit. When your bankroll is empty, you stop playing. How you manage this is a function of your disposable cash flow.

3) Either you are a solid winner or have so much outside income that trivial losses from poker don't matter. In this case, the idea of a "bankroll" is pointless. You keep track of wins and losses to revel in your success but otherwise if you need more cash to play poker you just visit the ATM. Note you can depart from this path by moving up stakes. I can easily deal with variance in a $1/$3 or $2/$5 game but a $25/$50 game would require some thought and a $100,000 buy-in game is out of the question.

Pick the choice that is right for you. But likely your bankroll is more for fun than it is for serious life management.

Me? I keep a bankroll to pay for my chips and other poker gear -=- DrStrange
 

Saoliver

4 of a Kind
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
5,886
Reaction score
12,093
Location
Seattle Area
As a recreational player, taking 5 buy-ins with you to the game is fine. Should be plenty. I don’t go without at least 3 buy-ins. I don’t play as often as I used to, and don’t keep a separate bankroll anymore. I just take what I am comfortable losing. But never play scared. You shouldn’t play if you are worried about losing...or if you would be in a tight spot If you did lose everything in your pocket.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2015
Messages
129
Reaction score
187
Location
Vancouver
If you have a good job and can reload from your disposable income, then bankroll doesn't matter, just go have fun at the tables.
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
@DrStrange
1.) absolutely not...I'd never depend on poker for any part of my life. This is strictly for fun.
2.) The loss limit is probably the best assessment of the situation, but also, tracking allows me analyze the information I gather from tracking.

I have yet to have to visit the ATM to play since I started keeping track. I'm trying to keep it that way.
 
Last edited:

JustinInMN

Full House
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
2,837
Reaction score
3,012
Location
Burnsville, MN
So I may have been a bit presumptuous tas to whether or not @shorticus ' intent is to have a long term bankroll or just take a shot.

For me I always have 3-5 buy ins ready for any NL session. And if playing a session is the intent, that's fine.

This should account for enough variance in bad beats and what not so that I can be comfortable.

I don't think so. I think @Perthmike is on here. The swings at this level are comfortably four figures.

However, I'm not at a point where my bankroll can sustain a $1500 shot. This would be crippling to my bankroll.

If that's the case don't bdo it. If you are willing to commit 3 buy-ins to a sessions go for it, I just hope this thread makes you better able to estimate the variance.
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
So I may have been a bit presumptuous tas to whether or not @shorticus ' intent is to have a long term bankroll or just take a shot.

For me I always have 3-5 buy ins ready for any NL session. And if playing a session is the intent, that's fine.



I don't think so. I think @Perthmike is on here. The swings at this level are comfortably four figures.



If that's the case don't bdo it. If you are willing to commit 3 buy-ins to a sessions go for it, I just hope this thread makes you better able to estimate the variance.

thank you for this!
 

pokerilluminati

Sitting Out
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
23
Reaction score
11
Location
Chicago
Since this is not your primary source of income, I would have no issues with heading to a game with 2 full buy ins. More of a shot taking approach as this is a hobby.
 

timinater

Flush
Site Vendor
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
2,276
Location
SESKATCHWAN
Jonathan Little wrote a great article on bankrolls and rake. Have a read.

Some notable highlights:

Cash Games
There are a few factors that determine how many big blinds you should keep in your cash game bankroll (win rate, variance, and risk of ruin percentage), but I will make this simple by just listing the relevant requirements for you:
  • If you win at 3 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 10,000 big blinds ($20,000 at $1/$2).
  • If you win at 5 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 8,000 big blinds ($16,000 at $1/$2).
  • If you win at 7 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 6,000 big blinds ($12,000 at $1/$2).
  • If you win at 10 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 4,000 big blinds ($8,000 at $1/$2).
  • If you win at 13 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 3,500 big blinds ($7,000 at $1/$2).
  • If you win at 16 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 3,000 big blinds ($6,000 at $1/$2).
  • If you win at 20 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 2,500 big blinds ($5,000 at $1/$2).
  • If you win at 25 big blinds per 100 hands, you need 2,000 big blinds ($4,000 at $1/$2).
Playing with these numbers will give you a 3% chance to go broke. If you are playing professionally, you will probably want that number to be lower, meaning you need to keep an even larger bankroll. If you are not a professional and you have a job, you can keep a smaller bankroll with the idea that if you lose it, you can always add to it with money from your paycheck.

Tournaments
Here are some rough guidelines to help you determine an adequate bankroll, assuming a 30% ROI.
  • If the average field is 9 players, you need 24 buy-ins.
  • If the average field is 45 players, you need 69 buy-ins.
  • If the average field is 90 players, you need 103 buy-ins.
  • If the average field is 245 players, you need 154 buy-ins.
  • If the average field is 550 players, you need 219 buy-ins.
  • If the average field is 1,200 players, you need 289 buy-ins.
  • If the average field is 2,600 players, you need 375 buy-ins.
(Note, almost no one has 30% ROI in 9-player tournaments.)

Rake
The rake is the unrecognized killer of almost all small stakes poker players. It is difficult to beat a 10% rake capped at 3 big blinds in cash games and a 20% rake in tournaments (which are common amounts in many small stakes games, especially live). If you can beat the large rake, it is often for only a small amount. This is why I suggest that my students start off playing in games with a significantly beatable rake, assuming they can get a proper bankroll together.

To illustrate this point, consider what happens when you play in a standard local $1/$2 game with a 10% rake capped at $4, or a $2/$5 game with the same rake. Assuming you win at the rate of 8 big blinds per hour before rake, you will win $16 per hour at $1/$2 and $40 per hour at $2/$5. However, you will pay about $10 rake per hour to play $1/$2, leaving you with $6 profit while paying about $14 rake per hour to play $2/$5, leaving you with $26 profit. $6 per hour is only 3 big blinds per hour at $1/$2 whereas $26 is 5.2 big blinds per hour at $2/$5. By moving up and maintaining the same win rate, you give yourself a hefty raise, both in terms of dollars and big blinds per hour. If the only game available to you is $1/$2 with $4 or more rake per hand, you will have a tough time winning at a significant amount in the long run unless your opponents are terrible.
 
Last edited:

Moxie Mike

Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
2,150
Reaction score
2,174
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Since you're a recreational player like me I'll tell you what I do - take it for what it's worth:

I try to keep my poker funds (call it a bankroll if you must) around the $2k mark for my own comfort level, and I primarily play everything from $1/$2 NL & PLO at the local casinos and charity rooms to tournaments that cost $50-$200 to the nightly micro-stakes PCFaments. I'll also play a little bigger here and there if there's a good game going.

When I go to play live, I'll buy in for $200 at 1/2 and usually bring enough to reload/top up a couple times. I pretty firmly cap my losses at $500 since from my experience, I've never been down that much and recovered to break even during the same session. It's my philosophy that no matter how 'good' the game is, sometimes it's just not your night. Better to leave and come back fresh another time.

When the poker cash gets over $2k, I tend to spend it. I buy everything from chips to clothes to take out to weekly grocery runs... I use it for basically anything I can pay cash for. Poker winnings pay for fun stuff and Xmas and kids birthdays... you get the idea. When the cash flow gets down because I overspent or went on a bad run, I tighten it up until I'm back up to my comfort level.

None of this affects my play. Although this never happens but theoretically if I were to run out of poker funds, I could always go into pocket, move down in stakes or I just wouldn't play. It's just a hobby.
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
Since you're a recreational player like me I'll tell you what I do - take it for what it's worth:

I try to keep my poker funds (call it a bankroll if you must) around the $2k mark for my own comfort level, and I primarily play everything from $1/$2 NL & PLO at the local casinos and charity rooms to tournaments that cost $50-$200 to the nightly micro-stakes PCFaments. I'll also play a little bigger here and there if there's a good game going.

When I go to play live, I'll buy in for $200 at 1/2 and usually bring enough to reload/top up a couple times. I pretty firmly cap my losses at $500 since from my experience, I've never been down that much and recovered to break even during the same session. It's my philosophy that no matter how 'good' the game is, sometimes it's just not your night. Better to leave and come back fresh another time.

When the poker cash gets over $2k, I tend to spend it. I buy everything from chips to clothes to take out to weekly grocery runs... I use it for basically anything I can pay cash for. Poker winnings pay for fun stuff and Xmas and kids birthdays... you get the idea. When the cash flow gets down because I overspent or went on a bad run, I tighten it up until I'm back up to my comfort level.

None of this affects my play. Although this never happens but theoretically if I were to run out of poker funds, I could always go into pocket, move down in stakes or I just wouldn't play. It's just a hobby.
Mike, I actually like this concept. It's very interesting.
 
Joined
May 10, 2019
Messages
219
Reaction score
128
Location
Portland
Since you're a recreational player like me I'll tell you what I do - take it for what it's worth:

I try to keep my poker funds (call it a bankroll if you must) around the $2k mark for my own comfort level, and I primarily play everything from $1/$2 NL & PLO at the local casinos and charity rooms to tournaments that cost $50-$200 to the nightly micro-stakes PCFaments. I'll also play a little bigger here and there if there's a good game going.

When I go to play live, I'll buy in for $200 at 1/2 and usually bring enough to reload/top up a couple times. I pretty firmly cap my losses at $500 since from my experience, I've never been down that much and recovered to break even during the same session. It's my philosophy that no matter how 'good' the game is, sometimes it's just not your night. Better to leave and come back fresh another time.

When the poker cash gets over $2k, I tend to spend it. I buy everything from chips to clothes to take out to weekly grocery runs... I use it for basically anything I can pay cash for. Poker winnings pay for fun stuff and Xmas and kids birthdays... you get the idea. When the cash flow gets down because I overspent or went on a bad run, I tighten it up until I'm back up to my comfort level.

None of this affects my play. Although this never happens but theoretically if I were to run out of poker funds, I could always go into pocket, move down in stakes or I just wouldn't play. It's just a hobby.

Yes to all of this. Poker is a fun hobby for me that sometimes makes money so I treat my bankroll the same way. I use my BR management as a performance indicator more then anything else. It lets me know how Im doing on a macro level. I think 5 buy-ins for a casino trip is plenty for a rec player.
 

BlackRoom

Sitting Out
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
12
Location
California
I must be doing this all wrong. I will take $200-$300, but 8-10 times will only play $100 & “bank” my winnings & just keep building it from there. Naturally, we all hit a bad streak as the cards run cold & you feel yourself about to jump out your seat with random calls being made that win! Lol (way it is sometimes)... Long as I’m up I’m happy, don’t care if it’s $40, $80, $100 & so on. It all adds up. I have no issues sitting at a table for hours on in. Normally it’s 2/4 (LH Kill pot) being that’s what is mostly played.

With that being said, that’s just how I do it. Probably not the best way to go about it but seems to work for me.
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
If it works for you, then it’s a solid way for you to operate.


Ironically, I’ve been thinking about this, and the conclusion I’ve come to is to manage my bankroll in the way that a professional would.
When I think about it, anytime you want to do do something, you want to do it in the most efficient and effective way possible. If professionals manage their bankroll a way that’s most efficient for a lifestyle, I should be able to scale it down to manage it as a hobby. I don't see any downside to that.
 

JustinInMN

Full House
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
2,837
Reaction score
3,012
Location
Burnsville, MN
Strictly speaking, "bankroll management" only really matters to those that are trying to play for their main income. If poker isn't your full time job, and you are comfortable playing whatever you can whenever you like without risking your ability to self-support, then it really doesn't matter how much you play for.

But if you don't have a "real world" means of replacing income, then calculating risk of ruin is vital to success as a professional player. "Ruin" for these players means the end of a career unless one can get staked or a loan. But I imagine it's tough for "ruined" players to make such arrangements.
 

shorticus

Full House
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
3,242
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cajun Country
Strictly speaking, "bankroll management" only really matters to those that are trying to play for their main income. If poker isn't your full time job, and you are comfortable playing whatever you can whenever you like without risking your ability to self-support, then it really doesn't matter how much you play for.

But if you don't have a "real world" means of replacing income, then calculating risk of ruin is vital to success as a professional player. "Ruin" for these players means the end of a career unless one can get staked or a loan. But I imagine it's tough for "ruined" players to make such arrangements.

I would disagree with “bankroll management” only applying to poker players as managing money is a key aspect to hobby, lifestyle, etc.

We are essentially discussing how to manage money while playing poker. The “stakes” are just higher for some people as opposed to others.
 

boltonguy

Two Pair
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
497
Reaction score
546
Location
Boston, MA USA
I bring $1k to play $1/$3. If I lose it all I'm going home :) When I win more, like @Moxie Mike, I spend the overage (dinner out with my wife, kids clothes, etc.) and keep $1k in my envelope :)

Haven't lost it all yet - still have $1k in there! Gonna be collecting dust for a while.
 

JustinInMN

Full House
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
2,837
Reaction score
3,012
Location
Burnsville, MN
I would disagree with “bankroll management” only applying to poker players as managing money is a key aspect to hobby, lifestyle, etc.

We are essentially discussing how to manage money while playing poker. The “stakes” are just higher for some people as opposed to others.

I wish I had put it this way, bankroll management is "optional" to anyone that isn't trying to do this as a profession. I agree understanding it can be helpful, and segregating funds can be helpful for non-professionals. But it surely isn't required. It's just fine to choose to play whatever one can afford and risk losing it all so long as they have other sources of income.

Professionals just don't have the luxury of other sources of income, therefore bankroll management is vital to understand.
 
Top Bottom