How to Manage Real Money in Online Poker
If you’re only going to win and make money when you play online poker, you won’t have any problems with your bankroll. But then, no one wins every online poker game they play, not even history’s most legendary pro sharks. In fact, those guys have to gut through periods where they keep playing as they lose hundreds of thousands or even millions on crazy swings at the highest stakes.
So how does a player cope with cold streaks, bad beats, and down days?
Well, it all comes down to following a guide with smart rules for protecting your bankroll. Let’s cover some of the most important principles for poker bankroll management.
1. Have a Maximum Amount to Lose When Playing
Real money poker can be rough, even at low stakes. After all, there’s good competition out there and Lady Luck isn’t always a lady. Set an amount ahead of time where, if you lose that much, you’re out for the session. The trick then is to really step away. You’ve gotta do it for your sanity’s sake, not just to keep your bankroll safe. If you’re tilted or heated, it’s time to put the poker game on pause until you’ve cooled down. Cut your losses and live to fight another day.
Still want to play cards? Free online poker at Ignition Casino is your friend. You can do whatever the hell you want there, with no consequences.
2. What Type of Poker Player Are You?
If you’re someone who’s in really solid control of their emotions and able to rebound from a loss to keep playing smart real money poker, your bankroll stop-loss amount can be bigger. If you’re someone who runs hot when they play, plan accordingly. Know thyself, even at an online poker table.
There’s also the question of your wealth. No one should gamble with money that’s not “fun money” out of your discretionary budget, so make your limits clear and make sure they’re reasonable in terms of your larger financial picture.
If you’ve got a lot to spend, you can play pretty freely. If you’re grinding on a budget, stay disciplined on your best behavior, and you’ll be able to enjoy playing online poker as a hobby for many years to come. Don’t blow yourself out in a single crazy session chasing a win and turn into a permanent free online poker player for the rest of your days.
3. Know When to Fold
A single hand you play in a real money poker game can do a lot of damage, no matter the stakes, if you let it get out of control. “No guts, no glory” works in some situations, but there are times when the writing’s on the wall and you’re almost certainly beat. Your pocket pair probably was the best hand preflop, but when that draw you’ve been fearing has clearly come in and multiple players are shoving, you need to step aside, keep safe, and cuddle with the chips you’ve got left. It’s true even when you’re playing free online poker.
Our guide follows a basic rule: don’t throw good money after bad.
4. Know How Much to Lose Per Hour
Just like having a maximum amount to lose at poker, having an hourly amount is also a good idea. A lot of disciplined real money poker players will sit in a game with 2-5% of their bankroll at play in a session. And you definitely want to have at least 20-40 big blinds when you’re playing in a cash game, to ensure that you can use whatever strategy makes sense, so choose your table stakes wisely. If you dump that much in an hour, consider taking a break until the next one comes around, unless you can keep your cool. You want to play your best and play without too much emotion.
Unless you’re jumping around after a huge win. (That never gets old, not even for us.)
5. Use Free Rolls to Work on Strategy
A lot of real money poker players have some ideas that they want to experiment with to boost their win rate in-game, but who wants to put money on the line to do it? That’s where playing free online poker can really help you out. A freeroll poker tournament may have a lot of loose and aggressive players, but there’s still room to play a real poker strategy and see the results. If you’ve got some innovative new moves to make, save them for a freeroll and test things out in a risk-free setting.
That’s how you manage real money in online poker!