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Bankroll Management


This article explains
  • How to approach bankroll management
  • Profit vs learning

Bankroll preservation should be your top priority as a poker player. Bankroll is to poker what pawns are to chess. Without them, you can't play.

Bankroll management is a vital issue, because of the very high luck factor in the short term. Downswings can cost you a big part of your bankroll in a very short time. Every player - even advanced players and pros, know this, and have all experience periods of several days, weeks or even months during which they lost despite getting their money in ahead. In order not to lose your bankroll during such swings, you must have enough reserve for the limit you are playing at. But this is not all; the following pages will explain all the ins and outs of bankroll management in Pot Limit Omaha.


Before moving up to a higher limit, you must be sure that you are beating your current one. To do so, it is important to have some goals to accomplish; this will save you some bad experiences as well as give you more experience and confidence at a level that you can beat. You will also prove to yourself that you are a good player by having the patience to build your bankroll. Indeed, poker is first and foremost a game of patience: both in bankroll management and strategic play.


Your path through the limits should be flexible. In case you take a hit, you must move down to the previous limit. Of course, no-one really likes having to move down, but it is absolutely necessary. The most important is to approach moving down with the right attitude; it is in no way a failure, just a consequence of a bad streak. One cannot control luck and bad luck. It does not mean that you are worse than the other players, only that you don't have the necessary bankroll to withstand any more hits.

Comfort zones

Choosing the right limit also has a lot to do with comfort zones. Money has a different value for everyone.

If you play on too low a limit, you might not care about losses and play too loose.

If you play on a limit above your comfort zone, there is a good chance that you will play too tight or passive.

Beginners should not think in cents, but in Big Blinds!


Good bankroll management will be useless if at one point you do not follow it. It might happen that you will win several sessions in a row. Even though you might feel unstoppable, this is no reason to lose your grip and move up too early. A losing session is just waiting to happen.

At no time should you move up in limits prematurely!

The 50 Buy-In rule

An ideal bankroll for Pot Limit Omaha is 50 buy-ins. Since one buys in for 100 big blinds maximum at a Pot Limit Omaha table, 50 buy-ins equal 5,000 big blinds.

Flexible bankroll management

The 50 buy-in rule is merely a starting point and can be increased in case you are not 100% confident. It is also extremely important to move down whenever you pass under a given bankroll

Moving up and down

To move up: 50 buy-ins for the next limit

To move down: 50 buy-ins for the previous limit

Table Bankroll

In poker, the table stakes rule applies: one can only bet what one has on the table. Hence we should buy-in for an amount that will enable us to extract maximum value on our strong hands. We wouldn't want to flop the nuts only to find ourselves with no chips left on the turn, letting us win only a small pot.

In theory, you should be able to bet the maximum in any given betting round. Thus your stack should always be as big as possible, which means you should buy-in for the table maximum of 100 big blinds, and not go under that amount.

Table Count

Given the low number of hands played per hour, you can directly start out with several tables.

Some players even play 8 tables or more. Hence the question: "How many tables should I play?". It is of course impossible to give a general rule for this, as this is a very player-dependant aspect of the game. You might play more or less tables depending on how much you want to concentrate, your stamina, eye-hand coordination, etc.


Profit or learning? It's all about "value maximization":

The highest winrate per table can be attained by playing only one table at a time. However, profit is not only calculated with winnings per table, but per hour as well. Let's assume that you can win 5 big blinds per hour on one table, and 3 big blinds per hour (per table) on two tables. In the latter case, your hourly profit is higher, at 6 big blinds per hour. When considering profit, you should choose how many tables to play simultaneously in order to attain optimal hourly profit.

In order to maximize the learning effect, it is important to think thoroughly during play. You should review played hands and look for your mistakes. This goes for won hands as well! Furthermore, you can practice hand reading (putting your opponent on a hand range). This all takes time, which multi-tablers often lack. They have to use standard moves and cannot spare much time for deep thought.

It is highly recommended to cut down on the number of tables in order to work on your game, not only if you are stagnating , but also if you are very successful playing multiple tables.


Comments (15)

#1 mouse89, 06 Oct 08 15:17


#2 BlajSorinPetru, 07 May 10 12:40

it's the same thing if you play only sng ?

#3 AdamLaw33, 19 May 10 02:43

thankyou, merci

#4 Falber, 30 Aug 10 13:29

thanks, sick BRM :(

#5 pogodon, 21 Oct 10 01:13

my biggest down fall is brm

#6 DjPalaxtreme, 13 May 11 16:13

isnt 50 buy-ins a little bit too much? :)

#7 SvenBe, 16 May 11 19:58

Omaha has a much higher variance compared to NL - this explains the bigger BR for each limit

#8 nathanrenard, 29 Jul 11 06:35

@#6 Omaha is sick kid, 50 BI might be even not too much at low/mid stakes.

#9 Heitzenizer, 09 Feb 12 01:28

What if the site allows you to buy in 250bb? Do you do it or still buy in for 100bb? Otherwise you'll need 150% bigger gain before you can move up.

#10 simonmcdougall, 01 Jul 12 23:20

i learnt the hard way on this game played well out of my league and went bust couldve done with reading this a long time ago

#11 sonorov, 04 Jun 15 05:16

thanks the lessons

#12 PokarFace, 12 Aug 15 12:48

The swing are a lot more swingy in PLO!!! So you've better get ready for the roller coaster ride! Lol, great article!!

#13 MrPink578, 21 Nov 15 12:23

Managing your bankroll is very important regardless of what game you're playing. Still a good article.

#14 Yavar11, 09 Jul 16 22:20

I totally disagree with 50BI at least for beginners.
Although it brings you a sense of confidence, lack of deep thoughts (well-chosen word) and skills might lead the player to raising stupid potsize raises with weak hands, a big loss, another BI with big passion for compensating losses, again lack of deep thought, more losses ... and this will go on and on until the player runs out of money and will say: "I was very unlucky!"
I think 10BI is the best amount. Anyhow, I'd like to know what's the idea behind this 50BI...

#15 laszlo780127, 20 Nov 17 08:25

ebben a játékban a tudást sokszor felülírja a szerencse