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Player Guide: Bankroll Management

AlastairAlastair PumpkinPosts: 11Registered User Pumpkin
Another great post, Alastair. It deserved it's own sticky, so now you're stuck! :D
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Comments

  • star star moonstar star moon The Side Pot Sage Posts: 262Registered User Gabby Enthusiast
    edited January 2010
    That's a really well written and informative post. A worthy sticky too.
  • Mode1Mode1 Grasshopper Posts: 3Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Alastair, that was a good post.

    Quick question: Is 200 big blinds your standard rule-of-thumb when it comes to determining which size table to play? Or do you have other standards for different situations. I've heard 1000 big blinds suggested for poor players or beginners.

    What are your thoughts?
  • KenboiKenboi The Chosen One Posts: 98Registered User Chocolatier
    edited January 2010
    Alistair,

    Thanked you in another thread, but you'll probably see this one.

    Thank you. :)

    Auntie Deb.

    Thank you for the 'sticky' thing. :)
  • star star moonstar star moon The Side Pot Sage Posts: 262Registered User Gabby Enthusiast
    edited January 2010
    Mode1 wrote: »
    Alastair, that was a good post.

    Quick question: Is 200 big blinds your standard rule-of-thumb when it comes to determining which size table to play? Or do you have other standards for different situations. I've heard 1000 big blinds suggested for poor players or beginners.

    What are your thoughts?

    It depends how you play, how often you play and what you play for

    when you are a n00b it is better i think to just play some hands, no matter what. worry about bankroll strategy and poker strategy once you get a basic feel for the mechanics of the game, what the hand order is, how the betting and pots (side and split) work.
    most players will get between 1 and 2k minimum a day through gifts, challenges, bonuses, lottery etc which will keep you in a game for an hour or so on the 1-2 chip tables or even the 5-10 ones

    once you get the hang of it and get hooked :-) and you want to start building up a stack then you can think about bankroll strategy.

    Myself, i work from a basic 1000BB strategy. divide my bankroll by 1000 and find the first table size lower than that value. so if I have 10M chips thats 10k, so I play the 5k-10k tables.

    How it works is that I always buy in with 100BB, if I lose that then I will buy back in again at the same table size. if I lose that then I stop playing ring games and maybe do some farmville or talk to the family.

    If I win, however with the first set of 100BB of the day, and perhaps double it up, then I will take that 200+BB and move to the next table up, so if I lose it then I will only be down 100of the original size BB for the day.

    SOmetimes I might feel like trying out a new strategy to deal with the donks or the rocks, in which case I would consider it likely that I might lose chips so i would play a table size smaller to limit my losses.

    Sometimes I might decide to play really tight in which case I would not be playing many hands and not take many risks so I might rise up a table size to increase my winnings.

    If you are a tight player then you can do well with a 200 or a 300 BB strategy, If you are a looser player then you'll want to use a 500-1000BB strategy.

    if you are a donkey then no matter what you do you will end up on 0 chips

    The whole bankroll strategy falls apart between 500k and 5M chips as the blind sizes on the tables are really unhelpful, you can either grind your way up from 500 to 3000BB on the 500-1k tables, gamble your way up from 50-300BB on the 5k-10k, or play a LOT of 50k, 25k and 100k sit'n'goes.
  • Pike84Pike84 Loose Cannon Posts: 5Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited January 2010
    "Isn't it obvious that your chance of winning with even a flush is less than 1-in-4"

    Are you assuming four players here, since you're using that 1-in-4 probability throughout the chapter? Anyway, I'm pretty sure the chance to win with a flush, even a small one, is pretty high even in a 10-player table.

    Of course, calling pre-flop all-in with small suiters is stupid, since the chance to get that flush is so small, and even if you get it, you could lose to a lot of hands, including higher flushes of the same suit.

    Actually the probability of flopping a flush with suiters is as small as ~0,84%, or once in ~119 hands, and it seems A LOT of players (not just at Zynga Poker) don't realize it, but think it's much higher. But hey, suiters look good, so it's nice to play with them :P.
  • star star moonstar star moon The Side Pot Sage Posts: 262Registered User Gabby Enthusiast
    edited January 2010
    if you have suited pockets, you have more chance of hitting the flush with less players at the table, than with more. for obvious reasons.

    suited pockets naked odds of hitting flush by river 7% chance, 15:1 against
  • Pike84Pike84 Loose Cannon Posts: 5Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited January 2010
    if you have suited pockets, you have more chance of hitting the flush with less players at the table, than with more. for obvious reasons.
    Sure, but the probability I mentioned above doesn't assume any players, so the real life probability is actually even smaller.
    suited pockets naked odds of hitting flush by river 7% chance, 15:1 against
    Actually the percentage is ~6,4%, so it rounds to just six, if you have to use integers.
  • star star moonstar star moon The Side Pot Sage Posts: 262Registered User Gabby Enthusiast
    edited January 2010
    I dont trust integers. I wouldnt let a real number out of my sight for more than a minute. Complex numbers; I might go for a pint with, but they'd be buying their own. anything less than an 8 point number system is untrustworthy in my opinion.
  • Pike84Pike84 Loose Cannon Posts: 5Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited January 2010
    Are you serious? "Integer" just means whole numbers (including zero); eg. 6 and 7, but not 6.5.
  • AlastairAlastair Pumpkin Posts: 11Registered User Pumpkin
    edited January 2010
    Mode1 wrote: »
    Alastair, that was a good post.

    Quick question: Is 200 big blinds your standard rule-of-thumb when it comes to determining which size table to play? Or do you have other standards for different situations. I've heard 1000 big blinds suggested for poor players or beginners.

    What are your thoughts?

    First of all, thank you everyone for very kind comments.
    Thanks especially to the wise, witty and wonderful Aunty Deb for another "gold star".

    Sorry for the slow response, Mode1, but star star moon (any relation to duck duck goose I wonder) provided superb, concise and realistic advice promptly.

    I think star star moon's strategy is ideal for a strong player in the Zynga environment. I don't think it's for everyone, though. As posted above, star star divides bankroll (total chips) by 1,000 to get an affordable Big Blind (BB) number, then buys in with the default 100BBs. If I'm not mistaken, that means star star plays with 10% of total Zynga chip bankroll each time, compared with the 5% standard in money play. By contrast, Alastair plays with about 1% of his chips at the table in any given session. I'm willing to buy back in 10 times if necessary, though I can't remember that ever actually happening.

    Example: I have 15,000,000 chips. 1% is 150,000. So I will buy in to the 100k default buy-in tables with 100 BB of 1,000 chips each.

    I am being very conservative and adapting to the large number of Short Stack Strategy players at Zynga in recommending the 1% rule. But it also allows me to confidently call 100k pre-flop raises with any of the top 10 or so heads-up starting hands. Very frequently I find that people who've gone all-in pre-flop did so with merely a single unsuited Ace (or even King or Queen), or low unconnected suited cards. On average they are underdogs to my pre-flop hand by a large percentage. Multiply that percentage by the total of their raises and that's my average profit. Rather juicy it is over time, though I certainly get runs of bad luck where I can lose half a million in half an hour. It's a numbers game though. I know what I'm doing, and I know what I can afford.

    Beginners Example: You have played $20 buy in sit-and-gos (in a disciplined way) to score Hat Trick (and other) Challenges (don't force these, they will come naturally). You have built your bankroll to $100k with virtually no risk over a couple of days (or even less if you have a lot of buddies).
    $100k total chip count (or bankroll) with Alastair's 1% safety rule for Zynga gives $1k buy-in tables as the level to be playing ring games. That $1k buy-in equals 100BB or the $5 SB / $10 BB maximum $2k buy-in tables. They look just like the weekly tourney table does when you start out; and they look the same as sit-and-gos when they start: you have $1,000 in chips, blinds are $5 and $10.

    I may have missed your question Mode1, please correct me if I have. I do not recommend the Short Stack Strategy (which is sound and profitable for real money, but not the best way to learn). That Strategy recommends beginners buy-in with 20BB (from memory), and limit themselves to only playing when they have starting hands, and doing that by going all-in.

    The maximum buy-in at Zynga tables is always 200BB. It is always ideal to have as many chips as possible at the table, so long as you know what you're doing, and have the self control not to call pre-flop all-ins unless you've got the cards to do so in the situation (number of players, their chip counts, your position, and the observed pattern of other players' starting hand selections).

    I work with 100BB simply for convenience. If I'm winning I'll end up with much more than the maxiumum buy-in with me at the table. If it takes a while to start accumulating wins, I'll top up my chips if they fall below 50BB. Rarely, I'll get wiped out by 8-3 suited raised all-in pre-flop, hitting two pair or trips to beat my QQ, or an unsuited K-8 pairing the K with the same result.

    If you know what you're doing, like star star does, using a 10% rule allows much faster growth than Alastair's conservative approach. But, I'm an aggressive (not loose) player, so being conservative with my bankroll ratio means I'm more happy to call (and offer) bluffs and so on. Bankroll Management is the key, for me at least, to having more fun without going broke.
  • Pike84Pike84 Loose Cannon Posts: 5Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited January 2010
    Also, you don't have to follow any srict guidelines regarding bankroll management, if you don't mind switching to a smaller table in case you get a streak of bad luck - even if you put in half of your whole chip stack each time, you don't "go broke" before you have so little, that you can't afford the buy-in to the smallest table.

    Of course, this may not be very convenient, but since we're talking about practically worthless play chips, that's pretty much all it's about: convenience.
  • Mode1Mode1 Grasshopper Posts: 3Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Thanks for the response, Alastair.

    I appreciate the response from star star moon also.

    Both approaches are well thought out and they make sense to me. I can see how both would work.

    Although, I have nearly 7 million chips, I still view myself as a beginner who is learning the game. I'm a tight player who is working on the aggressive part. :cool: So, I think the 1% approach would best suit my skill set and my nature.

    Maybe when I get more confident in my game, I'll switch to star star moon's approach.

    Thanks again to both of you.
  • star star moonstar star moon The Side Pot Sage Posts: 262Registered User Gabby Enthusiast
    edited January 2010
    I think You and the person before you have hit the nail on the head, It is all about confidence and experience.

    If you are playing for kicks and you dont mind being on 10 million one day and 20k the next. just playing for the sheer thrill of it, then no bankroll strategy will cover you, play how you feel.


    if you are playing to become a better player. Perhaps as practice to play cash games, then you will want to take a more considered approach and try and move your bankroll in a generally upwards direction.

    In poker you need to be able to vary your style of play, sometimes play a really tight rock-like game, sometimes a much looser style, just to shake up the players on the table. If youve folded 20 or 30 hands in a row pre flop or post flop, you can often times get away with a few loose calls as the more observant players will think 'they folded for half an hour but now they are raising, they must have hit something big' and they will hopefully drop those marginal hands that they would usually limp in with.

    If you can master this art of changing game style at the drop of a hat then you are well on the way to becoming a very good player, the tight aggressive style player that you see on WSOP and other such shows.

    Myself, on most days I might be considered a Rock and Once in a blue moon I get the tight aggressive thing down. But on my bad days I'm little more than a cash machine for other players at the table. Not because of bad beats but because I play some really marginal hands. I still see myself as being a bit on the novice side of intermediate, Ive only been playing the game for 3 years so I have a lot to learn.
  • SlayerChickSlayerChick Cloudylicious Posts: 5Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I tried to follow OP advice yesterday to make up for some truely idiotic playing with horrendous losses no doubt caused by wild turkey consumption!

    I cannot do it!

    Is there such a thing as the totally emotional player? If so, then I AM ONE!

    I worked out my 5%, lost it, thought, no way, Im playin more! Im not done yet! Won back 5% I had lost, plus another 10% on top, went well for a while, got cocky, moved up stakes table (I hate you 40k/80k, burn in ****) lost BIG.

    No matter what, I just cannot follow that advice to the letter even though I know it is sound and good.
  • Bella SeraBella Sera Super Moderator Posts: 46Registered User Building Expert
    edited February 2010
    I tried to follow OP advice yesterday to make up for some truely idiotic playing with horrendous losses no doubt caused by wild turkey consumption!

    I cannot do it!

    Is there such a thing as the totally emotional player? If so, then I AM ONE!

    I worked out my 5%, lost it, thought, no way, Im playin more! Im not done yet! Won back 5% I had lost, plus another 10% on top, went well for a while, got cocky, moved up stakes table (I hate you 40k/80k, burn in ****) lost BIG.

    No matter what, I just cannot follow that advice to the letter even though I know it is sound and good.

    Which is exactly why casinos make the big bucks. Most gamblers chase the win, instead of just playing for entertainment. Poker is a little different, but only for the player who can control his play. ;)
  • lifeilifei Not a Title, but a Star Posts: 1Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited February 2010
    Real money poker players should use a minimum 20 Buy in BRM. That means since you should buy in with 100bbs you should have 2000bbs for the limit you play. This is aggressive brm meaning your chance of going broke is still relatively high and you must be willing to drop a level if you go on a downswing.

    The story of folding AKs, is a demonstration of a bad play. If you are scared of losing then you are playing too high which is causing you to make mistakes, a positive expectation play must be taken 100% of the time because you will win in the long run. This is an fist pump snap call (In a tournament then there are other considerations and so could be a fold)

    For facebook poker i would use a 10Buy in BRM because my edge is huge. The bigger your edge the less variance you have the smaller bankroll you need. This brm would be sufficient for any even break even or better real money player.
  • PokerDanPokerDan Loose Cannon Posts: 2Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited February 2010
    Alastair thats all great advice but one thing I think that you've missed his how people can get an instant adventage if your playing the games under the holdem tab of Zygna if others at that table buy in at a higher buy in.

    For example if you buy in a game where it is a min of 10k to a max of 200k you are at a massive chip disadventage. Stack size counts for a **** of a lot in poker and I would be nothing for a player who buys in for 200k to use his stack to bully a person who bort in for 10k.

    If you relish the challenge I wish the best of luck to you, but I perfer games of skill and is why I find sit & gos far better. Everyone starts at an even starting point.
  • AlastairAlastair Pumpkin Posts: 11Registered User Pumpkin
    edited February 2010
    lifei wrote: »
    The story of folding AKs, is a demonstration of a bad play. If you are scared of losing then you are playing too high which is causing you to make mistakes, a positive expectation play must be taken 100% of the time because you will win in the long run. This is an fist pump snap call (In a tournament then there are other considerations and so could be a fold)

    For facebook poker i would use a 10Buy in BRM because my edge is huge. The bigger your edge the less variance you have the smaller bankroll you need. This brm would be sufficient for any even break even or better real money player.

    Two thought provoking comments here, thanks heaps.

    1. Regarding folding AKs, I would defend my decision (though not too dogmatically) by appealing both to the fact that the raiser was new to the table, and to the position from which his raise and my fold were played.

    I still remember it well. Villain, first-to-act, raised BB all-in. I was second-to-act, there were many players behind me. More importantly, AKs is not a positive expectation bet against any pocket pair.

    Had I seen Villain's starting hand selection in a prior hand, or had I been playing from the button, I'd have been much more likely to call (unless I'd seen he always raised pocket pairs all-in).

    2. Regarding 10 buy-in BRM, as I'm improving my game, I'm beginning to see the wisdom of what you say. Thanks to crazy pre-flop raisers, and a lot of players willing to pay through the nose to see the river, I certainly lose big to some miracles, but sure enough, the profit I see at Zynga is not measured in BBs per hour, but buy-ins per hour!

    However, I beg to differ with you regarding volatility. I often find three or four players are willing to call my triple pot or all-in raises because they have: pocket pairs, an Ace, or other overcard, or have hit middle (or bottom) pair, or have a gutshot straight draw or backdoor flush draw. They usually provide odds for any genuine flush drawers or inside straight drawers to call (and the short stackers always have odds for it).

    Individually, people calling my nuts straights, TPTKs, two pairs and trips may be hoping for 4 out bad beats at the river (at best), but collectively I'm up against a lot of outs. Higher stakes and more outs = higher volatility, irrespective of any individual edge one has over each of these other players and their hands. Heads up you've got an edge, but when they hang in there against you in any sort of numbers, the bingo effect kicks in.

    Although I shouldn't probably recommend this, I sometimes think the 8-3 suited people are on to something. If the whole table is always limping to the flop, and then calling whatever raises come next, you're going to have a lot of opportunities to play flush draws. Just so long as you know that you'll get suited hole cards often, but only 10% will give flush draw at flop.

    So my point is: many Zynga tables have high percentage of buy-in staked every hand, and many players persevering in those hands. That gives high volatility, better measured in buy-ins than in blinds. It also decreases expected profit (against the field of players, although increasing your edge over individual players). Chips flow more freely with larger swings: mostly swapped between speculative players, but slowly being accumulated by players who are only accepting bets with good odds.

    The bottom line is: bingo BRM works with the buy-in actually being the big blind.
    If we want to play bingo tables, we should be doing that with about 100 times less than our normal buy-in, so more like 0.5%. Have 4 million chips? You can afford to play bingo at the 20k buy-in Big Dog tables.
  • Stew BrennandStew Brennand Pumpkin Posts: 1Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited February 2010
    Excellent discussion and something I agree 100% with. I've practised proper BRM for over a year and it has steadily led to profits.

    One additional thing I would like to add to this is BRM for SnG's. Why SnG's? Well, frankly, everyone is there for the same reason, to place first. You may get the occasion preflop allin, but this is a far less occurance to seasons tournament players and people fold more readily. (Well, nost of the time) The point is, SnG's are a very relaxed and often friendlier environment with greater effort focused on playing a hand out properly. I Think many if not most would enjoy the spoils of regular SnG play for early profit.

    The general rule of thumb here is to only buy-in for 10% of your Bankroll into any SnG. So, lets say you have managed to earn 100k out on the open tables. Great! Now lets say your tired of the risk takers and the preflop all ins with your hard earned cash. It's time to take it to the SnG's

    SnG and Tournaments inthe long run aren't as profitable as open play, however, for anyone wanting to get to the 5$ or $10mil Bankroll, SnG's are a great way to learn the game and for cheap. How cheap?

    Well, lets take your 100k in chips and apply 10% to it. So, 10k is a good buy in price for your SnG's for a while. Assuming you place 2nd or better, your going to make a profit at the SnG and continue up the ladder.

    Now, lets say you've played enough 10k SnG's to get you up to say, the 300k bankroll limit. By now, 10k SnG's aren't going to be worth the half to three quarters of an hour to play, even if placing first in 75% or more.

    Now you bump it up a notch, always using the 10% buy in rule. Head on up to the 25k buy in SnG's and keep placing 2nd or better for profit, and always 3rd at lest to get your money back, plus a discount on your next round of play at the same level.

    Eventually, using the 10% buy in rule, according to your Bankroll, 50k SnG's are going to look more profitable for the time spent. This also goes for 100k SnG's, which turns out a 450k prize pot, totalling a net gain of 350k per first place win after the 100k buy in.

    Do that untill you hit 5 or 10 million, it works. Guaranteed. Now, apply Alistairs 5% rule out on the open tables, or, even 10% if you so wish. Stick to it, fold often, play position and watch that bankroll sky-rocket over the next weeks and months.
  • PhilIveyPhilIvey Delightful Duckling Posts: 3Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited March 2010
    I first wanna start by saying EXCELLENT GUIDE!

    Bankroll management is key to poker success when you look at the long term statistics of almost every player
  • gonzaleskarengonzaleskaren Not a Title, but a Star Posts: 1Facebook Connect User New to the Forums
    edited March 2010
    i have a problem because my poker chips has been hack!! almost 15m can you help me to back my poker chips! tnx sir
  • PhilIveyPhilIvey Delightful Duckling Posts: 3Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited March 2010
    I tried to follow OP advice yesterday to make up for some truely idiotic playing with horrendous losses no doubt caused by wild turkey consumption!

    I cannot do it!

    Is there such a thing as the totally emotional player? If so, then I AM ONE!

    I worked out my 5%, lost it, thought, no way, Im playin more! Im not done yet! Won back 5% I had lost, plus another 10% on top, went well for a while, got cocky, moved up stakes table (I hate you 40k/80k, burn in ****) lost BIG.

    No matter what, I just cannot follow that advice to the letter even though I know it is sound and good.

    as you progress expierience you have to force yourself to tune out ALL emotions, if you get a bad beat dont play hands you wouldnt play normally you just have to learn that putting emotions into the equation just wont make you a winning player most the time, try chatting or talking on the phone and having them give you advice so if you do get emotional they can remind you not to let it affect your play.. thats how i learned to get over it and when you do you'll notice that you win much more ;)
  • PhilIveyPhilIvey Delightful Duckling Posts: 3Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited March 2010
    i have a problem because my poker chips has been hack!! almost 15m can you help me to back my poker chips! tnx sir

    first posts like this are funny.... :D
  • jurnalpokerjurnalpoker Pumpkin Posts: 6Registered User Loose Cannon
    edited April 2010
    Bankroll Management is one of the key to win in the long run. nice article.
  • PZaffPZaff Mazter Guardian Posts: 159Registered User
    edited September 2010
    if you have suited pockets, you have more chance of hitting the flush with less players at the table, than with more. for obvious reasons.

    It is a little counter-intuitive but the probability of hitting a flush holding suited hole cards doesn't depend on the number of opponents.
    Your opponents' cards are random (unless you cheat to see them) so it's the very same if those cards were into the deck (or at the bottom of the deck, if you prefer, so they won't appear between the 5 community cards).
    You may be thinking "what if my opponents have a lot of the cards of the suit I need?", just observe that is completely equivalent to "what if a lot of the cards on the bottom of the deck are of the suit I need?".
  • docagaindocagain Loose Cannon Posts: 2Registered User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited September 2010
    lifei wrote: »
    Real money poker players should use a minimum 20 Buy in BRM. That means since you should buy in with 100bbs you should have 2000bbs for the limit you play. This is aggressive brm meaning your chance of going broke is still relatively high and you must be willing to drop a level if you go on a downswing.

    The story of folding AKs, is a demonstration of a bad play. If you are scared of losing then you are playing too high which is causing you to make mistakes, a positive expectation play must be taken 100% of the time because you will win in the long run. This is an fist pump snap call (In a tournament then there are other considerations and so could be a fold)

    For facebook poker i would use a 10Buy in BRM because my edge is huge. The bigger your edge the less variance you have the smaller bankroll you need. This brm would be sufficient for any even break even or better real money player.

    hahah love it. If you guys have mastered the art of poker why hang around zynga. stick $30 or $50 on real site and start grinding the micro stakes. at least if ur a quarter as good as u think u are u might see some reward. never mind paying zynga with real money to buy fake money.
  • jennysbankjennysbank Not a Title, but a Star Posts: 1Registered User New to the Forums
    edited September 2010
    thats was what i feel every time....
  • h4llw4lk3rh4llw4lk3r Delightful Duckling Posts: 3Registered User
    edited October 2010
    A **** brilliant guide that I myself have learned alot from.

    Well done!
  • johnny1124flajohnny1124fla Not a Title, but a Star Posts: 2Registered User New to the Forums
    edited July 2011
    this could not have been said any better! excellent post! this should be mandatory reading for new players! (but i'm glad its not coz then they will wize up and there wont be any fish left! loolz)
  • jan osborn storyjan osborn story Loose Cannon Posts: 2Facebook Connect User Not a Title, but a Star
    edited July 2011
    i hit play button now this is about 3rd time ive played. put me in a game with sharks. thought buy in was 4000 but it was 40,000 so i left the game and had no way to cash out my money so i had to lleave it. whats up with that.
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