Casino Poker Part Two – Bankroll Considerations

In my last post I outlined a few of the basic issues you’ll grapple with when you move from online to casino poker.  Today, I’ll continue the discussion and go more into the adjustments you’ll need to make with respect to your bankroll management philosophy. Although it’s still poker and the rules are exactly the same, the casino game is a much different proposition for several reasons. Here are a few key things to think about.

Say Goodbye to the Long Run?

We advocate strict bankroll management for online poker because we know that even the best player will encounter long periods of bad luck. Bad beats are supposed to roll right off our backs since we know that over thousands and thousands of hands we’ll make it back and much more. But what about casino poker? Will we ever make it that far?

After taking a quick look at the numbers, it becomes clear that in most cases we won’t. First, consider your number hands per hour. Online you can generally expect to get in about 50-70, but the live game is so much slower that you will usually be looking at 30 or less. Moreover, the majority of poker players play multiple tables online, so they rack up hands at an incredible pace, often 8 to 10 times the amount of live players every single hour. It would take several years for a casino player to play the same amount of hands that an online grinder sees every two months.

Because of this, it’s much more difficult for casino poker players to build up a large enough sample size to get past the short-term uncertainties due to variance. This makes many players succumb to tilt much easier because their time at the table is strictly limited; very few of us are able to jaunt on over to the casino whenever we please. So what to do?

Keep Your Overall Playing Goals in Mind

As in other games, you must stop and think about what you’re trying to get our of your casino poker play. For the vast majority of players, you won’t be grinding thousands upon thousands of hands like is possible online. In order to think properly about bankroll management, you need to realistically evaluate your prospects. Is a trip to Vegas twice a year all that’s on the docket for your poker play? Or are you going to go to the local casino three times every week looking to book a significant profit?

In both cases, your buy-in should be about the same, at least 100 big blinds, but in the first case, it doesn’t matter really how much you keep in your total bankroll. Your sample size will be so small that your results are almost all up to chance. In the second example, however, you will be playing at a high enough volume to warrant a much more professional approach, and that means a much larger total bankroll of 10 to 20 buy-ins for your stakes.

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