This page will provide you with a solid bankroll management plan for cashgame poker with high chance of success and expected play time.

Why use a bankroll management plan?

The goal of a bankroll management plan is to ensure, that you will have the highest chance of success, and the lowest risk of ruin, during your journey through the different stakes.

Picture of the PokerStars client and cashgame lobby. It shows the different stakes and the amount of players in each pool. The NL10 player pool has 44 tables running and a total of 74.296 players in total.

It is a detailed plan for your journey through the different stakes. It is based on your bankroll, at all times, and tells you, what stakes, you can safely play at. It tells you, when you can safely step up and take a shot at a higher stake, but also, when you must step down and improve your skills, rebuild your confidence, recover from bad variance and rebuild your bankroll before stepping up again.

The concept of bankroll management is hard to visualize for inexperienced poker players, because they do not understand, how card distribution and variance will affect and impact their results and bankroll in the long run. They will often lose their entire bankroll several times, when they run good and then steps up to higher stakes with a bankroll, that is too low, and eventually gets hit by bad card distribution and variance, which contributes to bad play, known as tilt, and further loss.

This simulation of variance shows, that even though this player has a good win rate of 4 bb/100, there is a significant risk of experiencing bad variance with a magnitude of 30 buy-ins over 25.000 hands.
Picture of a simulation of variance. It shows, that even though this player has a good win rate of 4 bb/100, there is a significant risk of experiencing bad variance over 25.000 hands.

Bankroll management is not all about depositing enough money to play at a certain stake. It is also about skill. Following a bankroll management plan ensures, that you are actually able to beat the stakes, that move up from. If you can not beat NL25, then there is not much point in depositing for NL200, because you will not have the necessary skills. This is the reason, I call it a journey. As you move up through the different stakes and develops your own skills, you will notice, how the game changes and your opponents gets more skilled and operates on higher thinking levels. You can read more about levels in Poker player profiling and color coding.

How to use a bankroll management plan.

The following tables of bankroll management plans assumes, that you buy in for 100 big blinds, and, that you will always have at least 25 buy-ins the stake, that you are playing. They are based on the stakes at PokerStars and USD currency.

The expected win rate, which are found in the WR column, is used to determine the amount of hands, you can expect to play in order to reach the next stake of your journey. This is used again to determine the amount of days, it can take, if it is assumed, that you play 1.500 hands per day. These calculations depends on your experience and skills. You can adjust these to yourself.

You can make your own plan and change the amount of buy-ins, that you feel are the best for your journey. If you want to increase the risk of ruin with more aggressive shot-taking, you can reduce the amount of buy-ins, needed for each or some stakes.

Bankroll management plan for micro stakes.

StakeFromToWRHandsDays
NL22508,7528.57119
NL5501757,5046.66731
NL101754256,2568.00045
NL254251.0505,5076.36451
Table of a bankroll management plan for micro stakes no limit holdem cashgame poker.

Bankroll management plan for small stakes.

StakeFromToWRHandsDays
NL501.0502.3004,50102.22268
NL1002.3004.8004,25112.94175
Table of a bankroll management plan for small stakes no limit holdem cashgame poker.

Bankroll management plan for mid stakes.

StakeFromToWRHandsDays
NL2004.8009.8003,75130.66787
NL5009.80022.3003,25137.23191
Table of a bankroll management plan for mid stakes no limit holdem cashgame poker.

Bankroll management plan for high stakes.

StakeFromToWRHandsDays
NL1K22.30047.3003,00157.667105
NL2K47.30097.3002,75176.909118
NL5K94.300222.3002,50177.840119
Table of a bankroll management plan for high stakes no limit holdem cashgame poker.

More about bankroll management.

You might want to learn more about bankroll management in Variance and downswing in poker and How to build a profitable game plan for cashgame poker.