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Breaking Down the Crucial Components of Online Poker Bankroll Management

Home » Guides » Breaking Down the Crucial Components of Online Poker Bankroll Management

Breaking Down the Crucial Components of Online Poker Bankroll Management

A person seated at a poker table, revealing a hand of cards: a 10 of Hearts, a 10 of Spades, a 7 of Spades, and a 7 of Hearts. The table is adorned with a roll of cash and stacks of poker chips.

The art of managing a poker bankroll is a skill. There are guidelines to follow, but each player needs to figure out what works best for his or her own level of play within those guidelines. 

One important factor in building and maintaining a poker bankroll is recognizing the difference between what is needed for live poker vs online poker. Many players switch between live and online, and it’s crucial to know what specific adjustments to make when playing online.

Managing One or More Online Poker Bankrolls

An Ace of Hearts, King of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, and 10 of Hearts arranged in a royal flush on a poker table, atop stacks of poker chips, with two red dice

Live poker bankrolls can be simpler to manage in that the decisions to play certain games and stakes take concerted efforts. A player must decide to sit down at a particular table or register for a tournament, and money transactions are more concrete. There are receipts, there are chips on the table that represent those buy-ins, and there are tournament payouts and chip cash-outs – or lack thereof.

When playing poker online, the transactions are cashless. Everything is virtual – deposits, bonuses, buy-ins, etc. 

Multiple Sources

It’s important to connect poker bankroll accounts. An online poker player may use a credit or debit card, ewallet, crypto, or bank account wire/transaction to transfer money to and from online poker accounts. All of these should connect somehow, or at least line up in a ledger, so the overall bankroll total is clear.

If all accounts can’t be linked, it would be beneficial to use something as basic as an Excel spreadsheet. There are also some apps that can keep all of that information in one place. However, caution is needed to protect access to that app, as a hacker who obtained access could drain many accounts at once.

Multiple Poker Sites

Some poker players, especially those starting out and building a bankroll from the ground up, prefer to play on a single site, like BetMGM Poker. That makes tracking deposits and withdrawals easier, even across multiple financial institutions.

Those who choose to play on multiple sites, however, will need to pay closer attention to those transactions. In particular, when trying to meet bonus requirements, it’s vital to keep track of the money and activities of all sites being used.

Again, a spreadsheet or poker bankroll app would be beneficial. It’s even possible – hear me out – to use a notebook, one with paper and requiring a pen or pencil. 

Key Components of Online Bankroll Management 

An Ace of Hearts, King of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, and 10 of Hearts arranged in a royal flush, on top of yellow, white, and blue poker chips.

There are several important distinctions between live poker and online poker to keep in mind. 

In online poker, play moves much faster than in live poker, both for cash games and tournaments. There is no shuffle time required, table changes are immediate, and time banks keep play moving quickly. It’s possible to play numerous tournaments at one time or consecutively, for example, and buy-ins can disappear in the blink of an eye. Reentries and rebuys can also suck up more of a bankroll than a player anticipates.

  • Never risk more than 5% of a bankroll in online poker cash games or tournaments. A better rule of thumb is to stick to 2% or 3%.
  • Play lower cash game stakes to prolong a bankroll. Only move up in stakes after proven success over a sustained period of time. 
  • Don’t multi-table until comfortable with the stakes and strategies for those stakes.
  • Review hand histories after each session, no matter the wins or losses, to track which strategies worked or didn’t work. This also makes it possible to take notes on opponents. This is a big benefit of playing online poker instead of live.
  • Take a step down in stakes if on a downswing (or to hone in on correcting mistakes). With so many stakes and buy-in levels online, it’s easier to reduce the amount at risk without explaining the decision to anyone.
  • Set time limits and goals for online play. Time can pass quickly when playing online, so it’s often good to set an alarm or make other plans to keep from playing beyond what is financially or mentally healthy.
  • Take breaks online. Another benefit of online poker is the ability to sit out from a cash game to get off tilt or reset a strategy. When busting from a tournament, take time before playing another to make sure it is a wise decision.

Finally, check in with poker friends or on poker forums from time to time. These are important resources to help solve problems, work out strategies, and get advice from players who have more experience.

Register at BetMGM Poker now to play, and don’t forget to use your BetMGM Poker bonus code.

How poker players can most effectively manage a bankroll online as compared to live.