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Managing Your Poker Bankroll

Whether you are playing poker for fun or planning on becoming a poker professional there is one important question you can not avoid – What is the best poker bankroll for me?

In general, if you are a novice or playing just for the fun of it then you should never gamble on more than you are willing to lose. If you can afford to lose $200 then you should put in your bankroll $200. If you will consistently win with this bankroll then you might consider investing more money. If not, you won't lose more than you feel comfortable with.

If you are an experienced poker player and already proved yourself as a successful player then this question is much more complicated. A professional poker player should always look to make the most money at any given time, at any possible limit. As a professional poker player you should be able to lose 200 big bets in the limit you play. The number 200 is not a random number. 200 banked bets will make sure you won't lose your entire bankroll because of one bad run. If you are playing in a 5-10 room you should have a bankroll of $2000. In a 1-2 room you should have $400. If you want to max your winning and make your game more effective you should keep track of your bets and try and hold a betting log. It will come handy both with income tax and with understanding your winning/losing patterns.

Ray Winston, Editorial Staff