The only poker tip you must know isn’t about poker!

man with piggy bank

It’s about the money! That is what the most important poker tip is about! In a nutshell, respect your poker bankroll, don’t play at stakes you cannot afford to and you’ll do fine in poker.

Do you hit the gym? Do you work out? Then you already know that a healthy diet is 4 times more important that your weight lifting or cardio exercise! Actually your success in staying fit depends on the diet by 70%, on your workout by 20% and on sleep by 10%.

Now substitute diet with money management and you have the recipe for success in poker!

If you read just one tip, let it be proper money management!

Why do we need to have adequate funds to play poker? Why don’t we just sit down with all our money at the highest stakes available and try our luck?

That’s the answer right there. Luck. Even the best poker players run out of it. Because no matter how skilled you are in poker, it still is a game of mathematics and odds imply how often you are going to win.

Even if you were dealt Aces every time, you’d still lose 15-20% of the times!

Thus, in the extreme scenario that you are guaranteed to be dealt Aces, when you sit down with your entire bankroll at a poker table, there’s a good chance you will be bankrupt in the next minute! Yes, short-term is just bad luck, as bad beats are inevitable. Yet, long-term it’s just bad money management.

How much money is enough for your poker bankroll?

The general advice is having about 30 buy-ins in micro stakes No-Limit poker and gradually increase that number up to 100 buy-ins the higher you play. Although that rule applies for cash games, a similar rule exists in poker tournaments. Don’t register into a poker tournament, unless your bankroll is 100 times the tournament’s buy-in.

The more skill you have in poker, the smaller that figure. However, as stakes increase, so do your opponents’ skills. This leads to a decreased edge for you, therefore to a higher variance for your bankroll. In other words, your bankroll will experience more ups and downs along the way to your success as you go up.

And why money management is not actually a poker tip?

Money management is very important in all kinds of investments. Would you open a store and use all your capital to rent the place, leaving you nothing for the merchandise? Would you turn all your money into shares of your favorite stock, only to see it plummeting a month later? Would you spend it all on hiring the best authors to accompany you to your new blog, but use the default, simplistic, unwelcome blog design for months?

No, I suppose you wouldn’t.

Money management is a general tip for everyone investing. And poker can be a luxurious kind of investing. As long as you have done your homework, studied hard and been adequately bankrolled, poker, both live and online, can be considered an investment.