Using Bankroll Management Tables and Tools to Increase Your Poker Earnings

There is a lot more to consistently making money playing real money poker than having the ability to get a good read on the cards. Those who are serious about making money playing poker quickly learn that bankroll management is a very important part of the whole endeavor. As often as they will hear this as new players though many people do not quite know how to bankroll management is actually supposed to work or just how they can put a useful system into place for themselves.

Why is Bankroll Management Important Anyway?

In order to make money playing real money poker you have to build up a bankroll that will allow you to play the amount of poker you want to play as well as to then advance to higher stakes tables. You cannot really do that if every time you go to the tables you play until you have nothing left.

To begin with your poker bankroll should always be a separate sum of money that is set aside from all of your other expenses. If you play online poker keeping a stash of bank notes in a cookie jar (the way that some live casino poker players do) is not going to do you much good, as your account needs to be funded electronically. Opening a separate account – whether it is a new credit card or a new Moneybookers type account – is a good move though, as doing so will help ensure that you do not give in to temptation and dip into the mortgage money!

How Much is Enough? 

Before you start getting into bankroll management tables and stat tracking you need to decide just how large you want your initial poker bankroll to be and then at what level it needs to be maintained at. If you look to the professional poker players and poker analysts you will not always find one single definitive piece of advice but the conventional abiding wisdom is that you should have 300 “big bets” – usually referred to as BBs – at the level and stakes you want to play at. Some players say that that is high and that you can get by with around 200 BBs but that is a decision that you (and your wallet) have to make alone!

Once you have established an initial bankroll amount you need to begin to formulate a strategy that will allow you to begin building that bankroll while still getting to play the amount of games you really want to. This is where bankroll management tables and stat tracking tools come into play.

Basic Bankroll Management Spreadsheet 

The most basic tool you can use to create a bankroll management table is an Excel style spreadsheet. There are a number of values that you should populate your sheet with right away. These are the most commonly used:

● Deposits

● Cash Outs

● Bonuses

● Time at the table

● ROI of each game

● Hourly average return

● Average daily gains/losses

● Running balances

● Goals for increasing income

Most bankroll management tables are more complicated than this though, which can make formulating one yourself a bit of a challenge. Fortunately there are a number of free spreadsheet templates available online that you can make use of.

In order for any of these tables to be of any use to you you have to complete them fully and complete them for every single game you play. This can become a real chore and if you are simply not a big Excel fan a basic spreadsheet, although a very inexpensive way to manage your bankroll may not be the right choice for you. If this is the case there are other ways you can begin using tables and stats to manage your bank roll.

Using Bankroll Management Software 

It often seems these days that there is a software program available that can help you do almost anything and that holds true when it comes to poker bankroll management.

The biggest advantage of using a bankroll management software program is that it will do a lot of the analytical work for you. all you have to do is complete the information needed for the bankroll management tables to be completed and the software algorithms do most of the harder mathematical and statistical work for you.

That is not to say that these systems work automatically, you still have to gather the information yourself and input it as well as take the time to sit and read and absorb what the software is telling you.

Recently a number of online services have also cropped up that offer all kinds of bankroll management tables and tools to help you keep track of the progress and state of your bankroll. Most of these charge a monthly fee and whether or not that is an investment worth making is a purely personal decision.

Whichever of these methods you choose though the key to success is adding to them on a consistent basis. By missing out the information about just a few games you have played you can throw off the calculations being made.

Adding to Your Bankroll Versus Cashing Out 

With all of this attention being paid to building a bankroll you might wonder if there is ever a time when it is OK to cash out some of your winnings and actually enjoy them. The answer is of course. Poker is supposed to be fun, not just a way to make money. The key is striking a balance between building up a good bankroll and spending some of your hard earned winnings on something totally unrelated to poker.

Again your bankroll management tables can be helpful here. The information they contain should allow you to calculate just how much you can afford to withdraw from your poker money account without damaging your bankroll building efforts.

PokerStars is a free online poker guide offering articles and tips for real money poker players.
Our mission: to help you make money playing poker online. Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - Responsible Gaming - Terms of Use