Playing 10c/20c with $50?

    • TinovderLaan
      Joined: 25.10.2010 Posts: 70
      The article on Fixed Limit Hold'Em clearly states that you need at least 300 Big Bets of that limit in order to be able to play there safely. However, it also implies that you should start playing at the 10c/20c games with the $50 that you get from As far as I'm aware though, that means you have only 250 Big Bets, and should therefore be playing the 5c/10c games instead, until you get to a bankroll of $60. That seems awefully hypocritical to me.

      Or am I, somehow, terribly wrong here?
  • 3 replies
    • Boomer2k10
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      300BB is the recommended safety net, in other words you should always have 300BB for the limit BELOW that which you are currently playing

      300BB as a moveup/movedown for current limit doesn't make much sense as you'd have a 300BB roll, move up, and then have to move down if your blinds get stolen becasue you've now got 299.5BB.

      So in this case yes you only have 250BB for 0.10/0.20 but you have 500BB for 0.05/0.1 so as long as you move down to 0.05/0.10 if you hit $30 (i.e. lose 100BB) you're fine becasue you're back at 300BB.

      Personally I think 300BB is a bit low for online 6-max (I'd prefer 500BB for anything bigger than 0.5/1 and probably nearer to 1000BB if you're planning on making a career out of poker) but with an appropriate rakeback or VIP deal it's ok and the games are soft as hell and 300BB allows you to get out of the worst parts of the rake trap quickly.

      A lot of the time bankroll management comes down to one thing. Are you willing to move down?

      If the answer is yes, you can get away with a shorter roll because you'll, in theory, never bust it. If the answer is no because you need to play these levels to clear a bonus/you've got a $/VIP target, you need a much bigger roll to handle the swings.
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      If you are a professional player paying the rent from a $100k bankroll, losing everything is a life-changing disaster. If you are a semi-serious player who got a free $50, losing that $50 is an inconvenience, not a disaster. In fact, your balance is usually not the same thing as your bankroll. Your bankroll means all of the money you can lose playing poker, so if you would redeposit in case you lose everything, then your bankroll is larger. Many microstakes players have bankrolls much larger than their balances.

      A useful general bankroll rule is

      Bankroll = Comfort x Standard Deviation^2 / Win rate.

      Comfort depends on your personal risk tolerance and ability/willingness to move down if you hit a bad streak. A comfort level of 2 is considered aggressive. A comfort level of 4 is generally considered conservative.

      Standard deviation depends a bit on the game conditions and your playing style, but not so much for limit as for NL. In 6-max LHE games, you can assume your standard deviation is 17 big bets/100. In full ring LHE games, you can assume your standard deviation is 15 big bets/100.

      Your win rate depends on your skill. With a greater win rate, you don't need as large of a bankroll to be as safe, but with a marginal win rate you may need a lot more. As you move up to tougher games, you should expect your win rate to decrease, so that you need a larger bankroll in big bets.

      So, if you use a comfort level of 3, and your standard deviation is 17 BB/100 with a win rate of 2 BB/100, then this formula recommends that you have a bankroll of 3 x 17^2 / 2 = 433.5 big bets.

      If your bankroll drops below the recommended amount, this doesn't mean you have to stop playing. However, if your bankroll is less than half of this amount, you should view playing as an expense, not a profitable situation.

      If you are not a winning player, you need a budget, not a bankroll. If you are not sure what your win rate is, then you can calculate what would make you safe with various win rates, but revise your estimate of your win rate as you get more experience. Often, it is good to budget an amount like 100 BB for a level you are not sure you can beat, and plan to drop down if it doesn't work out or you feel uncomfortable.
    • TerrorBlade
      Joined: 16.10.2007 Posts: 1,922
      The most important point left out by the first two replies is that at a lot of sites 5/10c is raked at 10% instead of 5% at 10/20c. This will make it quite a bit harder to win.

      For this reason simply start at 10/20c and move down if you hit 30$