Even the best Poker players from all across the world will tell you one thing, managing your bankroll is the most important lesson that you have to learn if you want to make it big. With improper bankroll management you will have a bad time whether you’re playing at live tables or online. This is even more important in the online world since generally the players will be stronger, play is quicker and there are no visual cues to go on by watching the other players. So here are some of the important rules you need to master if you want to have a real career in Poker.
Play within your Roll
This is the first and most important rule. Always play within your bankroll if you want to make some actual money. The easiest way to explain this is to look at the mathematical theorem Gambler’s Ruin. The setup is that you have two players which will square off in a zero-sum game (for example flipping a coin, where each player has a win/loss rate of exactly 0%). One player has a finite bankroll while the other has an infinite bankroll. Statistically if they played for a long enough time, the player with the finite roll will inevitably go broke.
In the poker world this translates to your roll against the infinite roll of all the other players in the world. Luckily for you Poker is not a zero-sum game so you can slowly but surely accrue a profit if you play correctly.
Don’t monitor your Balance
While this can be helpful at times just to keep track of your balance, try not to make a habit out of it. Every single time that you will check it and see that it has increased you will be happy. But think how you will feel when you notice the number going down. Sometimes seeing the bigger picture might send you into tilt mode or make you fall into the depression of “a week’s work lost”. The optimal way of doing this is checking your balance before and after a play session, at best.
Treat the game seriously
While this will not come as a shock to anybody, dedicating your entire focus to the game is a very important aspect. Any distraction can lead to a mistake which you will definitely regret. Don’t play out of boredom also, if you’re not into the game you will be playing for nothing.
You should also maintain a cool head while playing. Tilt is the bankroll killer for all Poker players. Losing your cool will usually lead to some very precarious plays which you wouldn’t normally make with a cool head. Just get up from the computer if you feel the tilt coming, online Poker will still be there when you return.