The art of money management in the game of poker is termed as bankroll management. Learning how to manage your online poker cash is extremely essential and important. Ideally, one needs to build a poker bankroll over a period of time and invest it wisely. This isn’t easy and requires tremendous discipline. Here are some of the ways you can get better at bankroll management.
Select your strategy
This will depend on what kind of online poker you are or want to be. Are you happy playing poker occasionally for recreation or do you want to grow as a poker player and build your winnings? If you want to play poker for fun, then you don’t need a big bankroll. Just make sure you keep some cash to play, that’s about it. Don’t utilize your savings or invest if you are facing a cash crunch. If you are serious about the game, then you need to be more judicious with your money and build your bankroll one step at a time.
Now this may sound boring, but it is important to keep a track of your money. Use a book or an excel sheet to enter details of every session you play. This should include the buy-in, winnings and type of game. Basically this is a log of your daily performance. You can also add the metrics like hours played, type of opponents, your mood and the time of play. Keep doing this for a month or two and you will have a nice little pattern of your play and performances. Draw your inference from this date and you’ll have a fair understanding of what works and decent. Remember, the ultimate objective is to keep a track of the money trail.
Moving up the ladder
All poker players reach that stage where they believe it’s time to step up and play at higher stakes. This might seem like the next logical step in your online poker journey, but you need to be careful in making this transition.Bankroll management becomes crucial when you want to move up the limits. In case you have made sizable profits at the lower stakes and you have spare cash to invest, you can have a go at the big tournaments. If it doesn’t work out, you can still grind at the micro tables. Also, if losing cash at the new higher level leaves you disturbed and affects your finance, do not switch. Stay where you are. Play in your comfort zone for a little longer. There is no hurry. The important part is building your bankroll and not losing it in order to play with the big boys.
Regular cash game players will often find themselves involved in multi-way pots. The key here is to have a clear distinction between hands that will help you win and the ones that will leave you in a soup.
In such situations, there is a strong probability of two or more players connecting with the flop, mostly on a board with possibilities of straight or flush draw.
If you keep this in mind, then you best chance to win a multi-way pot is to hold a better than one would require against just a single opponent.
When there are online one or two opponents, even a top pair can be enough to seal the deal. When there are four players in the fray, the eventual winner needs to hold a hand lot better than a two pair.
Note that you shouldn’t get too excited with hands like a top pair or top kicker or for that matter even KK’s. The single most important factor you need to watch closely is the texture of the board. For instance, you might be holding pocket AA’s on a 7h, 8h and 9d board. Let’s assume there are four players, with some of them due to act after you.
In this situation, you must seriously considering opting out of the hand. Hands like AA or KK are lethal in heads-up action. But when it comes to a multi-way pot, at least one player will have you crushed at the flop in such a situation.
If pockets rockets don’t cut it, what’s the best hand to beat competition in such scenarios? Interestingly, medium and even small pairs can get the job done, especially when you flop a set. Also, when you flop a set on a board with a high card, there is every chance at least one other player will get himself/herself involved and hand you a decent pot.
Hands like AQ, AK and KQ too can be extremely handy in multi-way pots. This is simply because they offer the possibility of hitting a big straight or a nut flush. You need to remember this especially if you have flopped a top pair etc., since your opponents with one of those hands could outdo you.
For instance, many experts believe that AK is a problematic hand when you’ve flopped top pair. It can burn a hole in your pocket if not played with care especially since it appears a lot stronger than it actually is.
Finally, you need to pay attention when a player on the table is willing to shell out a lot of cash. Even if you have flopped top par in multi-way pot, always been open to the possibility that he/she might have you beat.
Ultimately, it all boils down to how well you know your opponents or have clearly you have figured their respective gameplay. Presence of mind and astute decision making is often the differentiator between a good play and a great play.
Online poker players often find themselves in tricky positions during tournament play. The real challenge of the game is to emerge relatively unscathed from such situations and go on to win the poker tournament.
One such instance is when you find yourself short-stacked in the game. No player, irrespective of his/her level of experience, has managed to escape this. Hence learning the best ways to combat when short stacked will hold you in good stead.
Keep in mind that when you are left with less than 10 times the big blind, the only option you have left is moving all-in when you are first to act.
Your objective here is to steal the blinds. You decisions at this juncture should be based on how short-stacked you are.
For instance, with 8x the bb you can afford to wait for a decent hand. But when you are left with just 4x the bb, you don’t have that luxury and might want to move all-in the moment you are first in the pot.
The thumb rule in such cases is this: more the chips, more you want play your card and lesser the chips, more you wait for the perfect chance to double or even triple up by going all-in.
When you wake up to high-value hands like AK, JJ or KK, you can push all-in even If you are out of position or one of your opponents has already played before you. However, if several players have shown strength before you turn, you might want to let go and wait for another chance.
This strategy is ideally suited to beginner poker players. However, if you are at an advanced level, do not implement this plan unless you are left with less than 6x the bb.
It also must be kept in mind that different players tend to have different strategies when going all-in. Hence one must adopt the method that he/she is most comfortable with. However, keep the above-mentioned tactics in mind since they will help you in decision-making when you don’t have much to play with.
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