Bankroll Management - Poker Varieties
The conservative and loose handling of the poker bankroll can perhaps be better grasped by comparing the different types of games. Just as the bankroll is exposed to a greater strain in certain poker styles, it is also true that certain poker varieties call for a bigger bankroll. The more likelihood there is for fluctuation, the bigger poker bankroll needs to be gathered for the safe play of a given type of game.
Fix Limit Texas Holdem
As risk taking is concerned, the Fix Limit Holdem is considered a medium-level game type. As betting goes with fixed bets and in a fixed extent, we cannot lose our entire buy-in during one deal. If all the rounds of betting hit the cap, we can lose maximum 12 big bets (the half of the advised maximum buy-in); however, it rarely occurs. Both conservative and loose bankroll management recommend 300 big bets for a limit. As in a limit game, the usual maximum buy-in includes 25 big bets, we play with 8% of the poker bankroll on one table. Moving up a level is recommended only if we have collected 300 big bets for the next limit.
No Limit and Pot Limit Texas Holdem
Most players start their poker career with No Limit Holdem. No surprise, since this is the most popular among all poker types and is going to remain so for a good while. However, most people tend to ignore the fact that however good advertising this game type may have, it comes with quite a lot of risk. The conservative bankroll management traditionally offers 25 buy-ins, the loose one 20. The same concerns Pot Limit tables as well, where the maximum of each bet is determined by the current state of the pot. All this means that on a No Limit or Pot Limit table, we play with the 4-5% of the entire poker bankroll. Moving up a level is recommended only if we can provide the 20-25 buy-ins for the next limit as well.
Omaha Holdem High
The High version of Omaha has mainly spread in a pot-limit form. However, despite the fact that bets depend on the size of the pot, it is here that the most significant variance can be seen of all cash game types. It is also called the game of draws, which means that due to the four individual cards (pocket cards) and the five community cards, we often get an unfoldable card combination; thus, our bankroll is exposed to a huge fluctuation. For low bets, 30-35 buy-ins can be enough (in this case, we risk 3.3-2.8% of the bankroll on one table), but at tables with medium bets, 40 buy-ins are necessary (2.5% risk on one table). However, if we want to go for sure, even 50 buy-ins do not count as exaggeration (2% risk on one table).
Omaha Holdem Hi/Lo
This game type occurs both at Fix Limit and at Pot Limit procedures. Although at first, it seems to be more complicated than the above mentioned game types because of the possibility of two different winning hands, the right choice of starting hands can save us quite a lot of superfluous thinking and, more importantly, costs. If we are more conscious and courageous than the average player, 200 big bets are enough. According to a more conservative approach, however, at least 250-375 big bets are necessary (we play with 12.5%, 10% and 6.6% of the bankroll on one table). In the Hi/Lo Pot Limit version of Omaha, this means 8-10 and 10-15 buy-ins (12.5-10% and 10-6.6% of the bankroll gets to the table). Moving up a level is acceptable if we have obtained 200-250-375 big bets for the next limit and 8-10-15 buy-ins for the Pot Limit table.
7 Card Stud High
Although this game is usually played on Fix Limit, the variance is much higher here than in Texas Holdem. One explanation for this is that there are 4 grounds of betting instead of 5, and while, for instance, in Texas Holdem, we already know 5 cards and in Omaha Holdem 7 cards at the beginning of the second ground of betting, here the number of known cards is only 3. As a result, we cannot be as tight as in the Holdem games: for the second ground of betting, even in the best case, we can only have such combinations as high card, pair or three of a kind. On the other hand, there is no advantage stemming from position, since it can change more times within a deal. Thirdly, in case of ante, we are even more increasingly forced into play. The supporters of both conservative and loose bankroll management agree that the 7 Card Stud is among the expensive Fix Limit games: 400 big bets (6.25% of the bankroll) are recommended for this game.
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
The 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo does not belong to the simple type of games, but if we can learn to interpret the open cards of our opponents (and if we always keep in mind the folded open cards), we can cut down on variation. Fluctuation cannot be avoided here either, but owing to cut-it-ups, it can be kept in check broadly. As mainly its Fix Limit version has spread, 250 big bets are the minimum on each level (namely, 10% of our bankroll goes to one table). Moving up a level is not recommended without the 250 big bets of the next level.
Single Table Tournaments (Sit and Goes, SNGs)
Regarding SNGs, bad news is that variation needs to be taken into consideration here as well. Good news is that SNGs end in a predictable time, thus our poker schedule can be better organised. Single table tournaments have one more great advantage compared to cash game tables: almost all SNG types can be divided into the same sequences; consequently, our play follows similar scripts in nearly every case. Those with a loose approach recommend 30 buy-ins, whereas the conservatives prescribe 50 buy-ins.
Multi Table Sit and Goes (Multi Table SNGs)
Multi table SNGs are a kind of mini poker tournaments where starting is not attached to a pre-announced date, but to the presence of the players in full numbers. Compared to the single table SNGs, the only difference is that the game goes on at more tables here. There are SNG tournaments with 12, 18, 30, 45 and 180 participants. The more players enter, the higher the variance is. The minimum buy-in should be raised accordingly: for games with 12-45 players, we should save at least 50 buy-ins, but if safety is important, it can either be 75. SNGs with 180 players are rather like tournaments of lower attendance; therefore, the requirements of MTTs apply to them as well.
Multi Table Tournaments
In the world of MTTs, variance is higher than in any other cash games or SNG games. One reason behind it is that there are more opponents; on the other hand, payments are usually top-heavy; that is, among the paying positions, chiefly the first 3-10 places are really worth something. Even months can pass until we can catch such a place. It is useful to save 75-100 buy-ins, even for tournaments with low entry-fee or low number of participants (such as SNGs with 180 players). For tournaments with higher buy-ins and/or higher number of participants, a reserve of 150-200 buy-ins is not considered much.