Managing the bankroll in heads-up Texas Hold’em

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Posted on 06/05/2020

Playing heads-up poker is not the same as playing against five or six players

How to manage your bankroll during a game of Texas Hold’em is an important skill to have. If you don’t have proper management of your bankroll, sooner or later, you will go broke, especially during a heads-up poker match. There are several strategies to manage your bankroll and they can differ from each other; what works in one tournament might not work on a cash game. For instance, while playing heads-up games, there is a smaller edge to have, so you’ll experience larger swings.

There are a few factors to be taken into consideration to properly handle your bankroll in a heads-up game. If you are playing cash games or SNG, your win rate or ROI, your psychological tolerance and discipline are needed; however, defining how many buy-ins you need to play in heads-up competition is harder because every situation is different.

For cash games, the general rule of thumb is to have 10 to 50 buy-ins. If you are choosing to play higher stakes, then you need to replace your bankroll. Also, if you are a player who lives off poker profits, then the closer you are to 50, the better. An expert recommends an ideal size of 40 buy-ins to be comfortable playing cash games.

Sit-and-Go’s offer a different scenario; however, the main idea is the same. The higher the stakes, the more money you should have in your bankroll. For $5 stakes, the recommendation is to have at least 15 buy-ins, but for $50 stakes, then it is better to have around 35 buy-ins.

Also, a big win rate means that you are making more money playing poker or you are winning more often than average. If you are certain you are a good player, you can risk having a smaller bankroll in comparison to a rookie player.


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