Not everyone treats poker as a part-time job; most of us are casual players who see the game merely as entertainment (although we also enjoy winning). If you are interested in regularly supplementing your income with poker, particularly on the Internet, please see Bankroll Management for Serious Players. For all others, who play session-to-session without much regard for the big picture, continue here for some tips on maximizing the potential of your bankroll.
For this discussion, I’ll use myself as an example. I visit the casino to play poker a couple times a month and usually play low-limit Texas hold’em, either 3-6 or 4-8. Occasionally I’ll mix in some tournaments or no-limit hold’em, but I’ve found that I do best with the limit games. Since I don’t play frequently or keep track of my winnings, I don’t see much point in having a special poker bankroll. Instead, I will set some money aside each week and only go to the casino when I have enough to play. ‘Enough’ is the key term here, as many casual players do not understand this term. Too many 3-6 players will sit down at a table, buy in for the minimum (usually $60), play until they lose that, and then rebuy for another $60 or possibly $100. This method, while seemingly harmless, ensures that you will never be a consistent winner. Instead, you should sit down with a minimum of 20 big bets – $120 in a 3-6 game – and more if possible. It’s okay if you only buy in for $100 or so, as long as you make sure that you have cash behind (i.e. in your pocket), ready to be turned into chips the second you get too low. By ‘too low,’ I mean about $60; when you hit this level, reach into your pocket and buy back in for another $20-$60.