Understanding the basics of bankroll management in poker is 100% necessary if you dream of ever becoming a winning poker player.

A lot of people (even pro’s) will usually tell you that you need between 20 & 30 buy-ins no matter what game format you play.

Example : If you play the $5 buy-in Pokerstars Zoom games : you need a bankroll of at least $100.

In this lesson you will learn how to apply good bankroll management for different formats (MTT/STT/SNG/CASH/ZOOM/MULTI-TABLE)

MTT = Multi Table Tournament.

STT = Single Table Tournament.

SNG = Sit and Go.

CASH = Normal Cash game 6max/9max

ZOOM = Fast Play Cash game (6max)

MULTI-TABLE = Playing at multiple tables at the same time.

Let’s start with MTT’s, there are 3 main different types of MTT’s.

1 : Small MTT’s (With no more then 200 entree’s)

2 : Medium MTT’s (200 – 1000 entree’s)

3 : Large MTT’s (1000+ entree’s)

Playing small MTT’s will give you a better chance at winning but the amount you can win will be the lowest since there are fewer opponents.

Playing medium MTT’s will give you a slightly better chance at making the final table then large MTT’s but will have a lower payout.

Large MTT’s will have the highest payouts giving you a shot at a large amount of money for only a small wager. (Example : Buy-in $5, first place gets $1000 (200x the buy-in amount) But because these have the most amount of players to beat they are also the hardest.

Small MTT : You need at least 30 buy-ins but preferably 50 buy-ins.

Medium MTT : You need at least 50 buy-ins but preferably 80 buy-ins.

Large MTT : You need at least 100 buy-ins but preferably 150 buy-ins.


If you prefer to play Single Table Tournaments or small Sit And Go’s you will need a bankroll of at least 50 buy-ins to withstand downswings where you don’t make the finale table/money. It’s normal to lose a couple STT’s or SNG’s in a row therefor you need a bankroll that allows you to keep playing without ever having to reload. If you’re a player that makes it to the “money” 7/10 of the time you can lower your bankroll to maybe 30 buy-ins. If you on the other hand only make it 6/10 times you may need to up your bankroll to 60 or 70 buy-ins.

In STT’s and SNG’s you don’t need to finish first place every time to make money in the long run. Assuming that the top 4 players get payed you should be fine with 50 buy-ins as long as you make it to the top 4 enough of the time to never have a need to reload your bankroll.


Cash games are a lot of fun. They provide quick play, fast action and are the bread and butter of all poker formats. Assuming you are a winning player you will most likely be making most of your winnings from cash games. Tournaments can have a huge payout compared to the buy-in amounts but you can’t win every tournament.

Micro stakes (15$ MAX buy-in):

The recommended bankroll to play micro stakes cash games = 30-50 buy-ins. If you play zoom instead of normal cash games you will need : 40-60 buy-ins (zoom = faster play = more risk to lose to unlucky “suck-out” situations)

Low stakes ($50 MAX buy-in):

Normal Cash games = 40-60 buy-ins.

Zoom Cash games = 50-70 buy-ins.

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If you are good enough to play multiple tables at the same time you need to adjust your bankroll accordingly. If you normally play the $5 buy-in zoom cash game you will need a bankroll of at least $200(40x buy-in). If you then decide to play at 2 table’s instead of just a single table you will need to increase your bankroll by 50% for every additional table. So your new minimum bankroll becomes $300 ($200 + 50% = $300) to keep playing at this $5 buy-in zoom game.

If you see that you are still making profit you can try to increase your table amount to 4 table’s of $5 zoom. The bankroll needed for this is $400 ($200 + 50% + 50% = $400.)

If you on the other hand start to lose by increasing the amount of tables just simply return to playing at a single table ! There is just nothing more to it. If you make more money on average per week playing on 1 table then playing 2 or 4 tables just simply play 1 table cash games. If you make more money playing on 2 tables then at a single table but less money when increasing it to 4 just simply keep playing 2 tables.

Some people do better at multiple tables because it gives them more spots to call/bluff/raise opponents because the play is faster, and this works in there favor.

Some people do way better at just a single table because they can completely focus and concentrate on each and every opponent (seeing how long they take to check/call/raise etc.

When playing at multiple tables it becomes impossible to watch every opponents move so you will need to rely more on HUD software (Heads Up Display) Which can tell you if a player is likely to 3 bet, 4 bet, etc.

You can learn more about the use of HUD software and why i mostly recommend Jivaro above anything else by clicking HERE.