If you’re looking for a job, or hobby, in which to take calculated risks, try gambling or trading. Like the old adage ‘no pain no gain’, without risks in these industries there’s not much reward. Of course, everyone needs to start with a bankroll. This is the amount of money you’ve allocated to play or trade with. As all professional poker players and traders know, managing your bankroll is one of the most crucial components in getting big wins — and continuing to get them, over time.
Here are some of the top ways to manage your bankroll while taking calculated risks.
Separate the personal from the poker
Bankroll management in poker. Bankroll management in trading. Whatever industry you might be a part of, you need to always separate your personal finances from the ones you’re willing to risk at the game. Like trading, you should treat your poker play like you would a business. Your bankroll, in this instance, is like ‘company money’ — it’s not there to pay your bills, or for enjoyment purposes outside the game.
Of course, this goes both ways: don’t use the money you’ve saved for personal elements of your life to play poker. By keeping your bankroll entirely separate, you’ll only risk what you can actually afford to lose. Even the best players pay close attention to their poker bankroll. At the end of the day, and no matter what your skill level, it’s still one big gamble.
Play within your bankroll — always!
Once you’ve established your bankroll it can be tempting to jump in with it all at once and extend beyond what you can afford.
The game of poker is so exciting, after all — it can be really easy to get caught up in the moment, especially if you’re on a bit of a winning streak. But as skilled poker players know, to really enjoy the game to the fullest you need to play within your bankroll, no matter how well you think you might do!
Of course, there are so many exciting opportunities when it comes to poker, from live events all around the world to online tournaments. But no matter how tempting it may be, and the amount of winnings you think might be achievable, always stay within your normal stakes. Otherwise you could lose your bankroll entirely — which is when the fun really stops, leaving you much worse off from where you started.
Avoid big moves
There’s always going to be variance when it comes to playing poker. These are the natural downsides that come with all the upsides. It is, after all, what makes the game so exciting. The important to thing to remember when the downswing hit you — don’t get rattled and make a big move that will mess up your variance.
Even the best players experience the side effects of variance; but if you’re not keeping your head on straight, you can get rattled, make bad plays and lose more over all. After all, you are always going to experience a bit of loss now and again. Variance doesn’t have memory; playing a more reckless style won’t stop variance or make up for your losses. Now is not the time to take any risks.
Keep it steady and stick with your bankroll strategy — things will go your way eventually!
Lower the stakes
When things aren’t going your way, there’s no shame in lowering the stakes. Even the best poker players know that moving down your limits can actually help you win more in the long run. If you play all your money at once, you’ll have nothing left to bet with.
If you’re experiencing a low from that dreaded variance, take a few steps back and move down the stakes. You’ll soon have enough funds to go back up, and it will extend your game in the long run.
Don’t buy into the misconceptions
There are so many misconceptions when it comes to poker; and of course, this feeds into the management of your bankroll.
There’s a big assumption that the more buy-ins you have the better you’ll play; its logical, after all, to believe you’re keeping your overall bankroll safe by not losing it all in one go. But playing too many buy-ins can actually be a bad strategy by limiting the amount you can win overall. You do need to risk a bit to win more. As the best players know, strategy is absolutely key — so balance your buy-ins when you play.
Then, there’s those that think they don’t need a bankroll management strategy at all. But no player is good enough to absorb both the downswings as well as the upswings without a strategy. And while skill can certainly minimise risk, having a strategy behind your play is a must have for both amateurs and professionals a like. In fact, it’s that very strategy that has allowed some of the greatest players to make it to the top.
You need to take risks — but make sure they’re calculated ones!
At the end of the day poker, like trading, does require a level of risk. But by managing your bankroll properly, you can have the best chances of turning those risks into potentially big wins. After all, it’s that element of risk that’s kept players coming back to the table for years.