Playing No Limit Cash Games - Bankroll Management

Among the most underrated aspects of poker is the bankroll. In a no limit cash game, bankroll management one of the most important parts of play.

Why it's Important

When participating in a no limit cash game, bankroll becomes important as it is very easy to get carried away with games like poker. Being able to set limits and have confidence are two things that will go a long way in making gambling a good experience for anyone, and proper management results in both qualities.

Money and Confidence

Having a strong bankroll that can stand up to high risk situations is a psychological benefit to a player. A smaller cash pile often results in fear and caution, which can be a serious detriment to gambling. On the other hand, having a strong cash pile with safeguards in play desensitizes its owner towards losing and usually create more profitable experiences in the long run.

Basic Management

In the ideal bankroll, there should either be a net gain, or a zero sum by the end of each session. There should never be a deficit, for reasons that are fairly obvious - no one particularly likes losing money. This can be done in a simple way: bring money that is equal to 20 buy-ins for the level of play being attempted (number can be subject to change, of course, especially when tournaments are involved). Whenever that amount drops to below the equivalent of 20 buy-ins, drop 1 level of play, and build it back up. Do not return to the original level until the previous cash pile has been restored.


With this system, losses drain cash only from previous winnings, resulting in little or no loss of the gambler's actual money. Whenever a deficit begins, wagering at a lower level will more likely than not yield wins and money that will restore the original amount, resulting in a zero sum. With the proper discipline to carry on this strategy, it is possible to participate in a wide array of casino activities without having to fear significant losses, which is an excellent psychological state to exist in when gambling is involved.


After winning consistently, naturally, profits will begin to boost the money a player has to use. When this happens to the point of them having the equivalent of 20 buy-ins for the next level, it is a good time to make the transition. This will also require a fair amount of discipline, as potential results will be varied and it will take some time to get used to the different environments. Adapting management strategies to these transitions will help to avoid losses during transition periods.


Ultimately, being disciplined is the most important part of bankroll management, because making strategies doesn't count for much unless they are stuck with. Understanding the risks and being able to rebuild from a deficit, even if it means grinding through games at a lower level, are the keys to maintaining profits more so than losses.