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Why Winning Players Need A Bankroll

Even if you are a winning poker player, you need a bankroll. The bigger your bankroll, the less of an edge you need, the smaller the bankroll, the greater the edge that is required to be successful. Why should this be the case? The definition of a winning player is one who wins, therefore adding to their bankroll. Then why should you worry about how much you start with, since the amount is only going to grow?

The answer is that while over the long term, the more skilled poker player will profit, poker is a game of short-term luck and as it has been said, “Sometimes the short term can be a very long time.” Even players with a mathematical edge are subject to variance, which is basically the frequency with which events deviate from what is expected by the odds. Certain games, like Texas No-Limit Hold’em, have a great deal of variance, which is actually one of the things that make it so exciting.

What does this variance mean to you as a poker player? Well let’s say a situation arises where you can expect to win 25 percent of the time. This means that over the next four times this situation arises, you will win once, right? Wrong. Okay, it means that if you have lost the situation the last three times in a row, you’re guaranteed to win it the next time, right? Or at least your odds are better at hitting it the next time, right? Wrong and wrong. Your 25 percent odds of winning a certain situation simply means that over an infinite number of situations that arise, you will win one time out of four. These odds give no guarantee about any individual situation. The cards do not know if you have lost a situation three, four or ten times in a row. To believe they do is called “the gambler’s fallacy,” and it can be a very expensive belief for a poker player – and people believing this are found at all Texas hold em sites. The more times the situation arises, the closer your experience is likely to be to the one in four. This is why a large bankroll is so important. The more money you have, the more times you are able to get into that situation without going broke, so the more likely you’ll be around when reality catches up to the odds.

Here’s a simpler example. Let’s say you bring $100 to a $5/$10 limit online Texas holdem poker game. You are dealt AA and raise. You are reraised and you cap the betting. You are called and see a flop of A 8 9. You bet, are raised, and since you have the nuts, or best possible hand, you reraise. The betting is capped, and the turn is a 3. You still have the best of it, and the betting is capped again. The river is a Q. You don’t care for that card so you check call. Your opponent turns over TJ for the nut straight and drags the pot. You played the hand perfectly, betting when you had the best of it and slowing down when you are beaten, but your stack is gone. If you don’t have more money to back up your skills, you may now be the best player on the rail.

The bottom line is that every player, no matter how strong, can experience a run of bad luck. Make sure you have a sufficiently large bankroll that even if you suffer a string of bad beats, you can stay in the game until things turn around and you can put those poker skills to best use. No Texas holdem bonus in the world can make you a winner in the long run if you don’t play accordingly to your bankroll.

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