Francesco Campioni: Which cash game bankroll strategy is the best for you?

Francesco Campioni
29 Feb 2024
Holdem Strategy
29 Feb 2024

Hello and welcome to a new article for

Today I'm here to speak about bankroll. I will focus on cash games and I'll give you my personal advice.

Bankroll and the way you manage it is probably one of the most important factors in determining your poker success, and I think you should put a lot of effort in planning the best strategy for you.

When it's about bankroll i'm not speaking about all the money you have and all your savings - I'm just speaking about the money you set apart for poker specifically

And it's very important that those are not all your money because if you put all your money into something with high variance like poker, then you're gonna have a lot of stress.

This article may be helpful: How not to lose your mind during a downswing

There are many bankroll strategies typically respecting aggressive and conservative bankroll strategies. An aggressive bankroll strategy means that you're going to play relatively high stakes compared to what you have to invest, while a conservative bankroll strategy using one means that you are playing lower stakes compared to what you have as a bankroll.

To give us a number, typically an aggressive bankroll strategy for cash games means that you're playing with like 20-40 total buy-ins for the stakes you are playing and a conservative bankroll strategy means that you have typically at least 70+ buy-ins for your stake.


Is there one strategy which is definitely better than the other? - Technically speaking, not. But there is certainly a strategy which is better for you specifically.

This depends on many things:

  • It depends partially on the stakes you play,
  • It depends on your willingness to take some risks,
  • and also on your overall life and money situations,
  • And eventually on having or not having another income apart from poker.

The more aggressive is your bankroll strategy the more you are risking your bankroll.

So how this bankroll management is important for you and how difficult it's going to be for you to to put back this kind of bankroll without poker is very relevant in determining if you should take an aggressive approach.

If you have another job / a regular income

For example, let's say that you have another job or a regular income and you want to give a shot at poker. You want to put $300 in poker trying to play at NL10. Okay, in this case typically it's not going to be that difficult for you if you go broke to find another $300 and try again.

So given that risking this bankroll is not that a problem for you, and given that it's very easy for you to find another $300 if you lose those, I think it's fine to take a pretty  aggressive approach.

If you want to play with 30 or 20 buy-ins, in this situation this is perfectly fine. Actually I advise this approach - although using an aggressive bankroll management gives you more risks of course, but it also gives you better chances to climb the stakes if you run decently.

If you if if you're playing low or micro stakes and it's very easy to find a bankroll for those stakes, I think taking a grasp approach might be best for you.

If you want to earn only from poker

But let's assume another scenario comparing similar stakes. Let's say that you still want to play poker and you still have $300. Now it's a way different if now you don't have a regular job or a solid side income.

If you lose these 300 dollars it's going to be pretty difficult for you to find them again. You might have to stay few months without playing poker. In this case my advice is to use a much safer approach: do not play NL10 having just 30 buy-ins. If you have 300 dollars and they are very important to you it's difficult for you to get $300, then it's much better to use them in a more proper way.

Do not go to NL10, but try out NL5 instead or try other ways to make money outside poker so risking this kind of bankroll is not anymore an issue for you. But be aware of your situation: if the bankroll you put for poker is an amount which is very important, then you should be definitely much more conservative.

If poker is your entire income, then it is better to play it safe

What is poker for you?

Another obvious thing to consider is how poker is important for you. Is it a profitable hobby or is it your full-time job? Because if poker is just a profitable hobby for you, then I would say that it's OK to take bigger risks because you know if iit goes bad, you're not on the street.

You know that you are going to try again sooner or later if you want and your life will not change as much.

If you are a full-time professional poker player and everything you earn is from poker, taking a too risky approach is going to give you a lot of stress and it's going to be very difficult for you to perform well.


When I was playing full-time poker with no other kind of income, I was playing with 100 buy-ins strategy as a bankroll management. So I had 100 buy-ins for the stakes I was playing plus a side money (not in the bankroll). I had enough money to pay all my life expenses for at least 6 months and that was the way I was feeling more comfortable in playing poker.

For some people this number may be higher - maybe they need even 300 buy-ins to feel safe and happy. Maybe they need money apart for a full year or even 2 years to pay for their life expenses, so this is very personal.

You should find a kind of a bankroll management which will let you play in a confident and calm way. You should avoid the stress as much as you can and if you're too tight with your bankroll compared to your goals and your possibilities, you are not going to be calm enough to play poker well. You're going to be very stressed and perform poorly. Moreover, you're probably going to not win enough or not win as much as you could at your full potential.

You shouldn't put yourself under any pressure in poker, especially the financial one. It's a reliable way to play poorly.

Another important thing is that if you use an aggressive bankroll approach you should be very disciplinated in moving up, but especially moving down when things are not going well. Otherwise you're going to go broke!

Create and stick to your own plan

So consider also your discipline: if you have a discipline troubles, then I would say you should try to set for yourself a more conservative bankroll approach because it's very easy when you are tight with your bankroll to not respect it and you can go broke in a matter of sessions.

It's not important if you don't care about the money having your bankroll but if they have any relevance to you, you should be really strict with your rules. And if it's time to move down - just move down.

When you use an aggressive bankroll management it can happen in one week to move up and down 2 times - it's absolutely normal. Variance is high, so just stick to the plan, as this is the most important thing.

When you speak about bankroll you should always have a plan of course, but more important is to stick to this plan because that's how a lot of players simply go broke when they don't respect the rules they set themself.

And be sure, the more solid your bankroll, the more interest towards the game you will experience.

This article is made from Which Cash Game Bankroll strategy is the best for you? | Poker Tips video by Vladimir «ABIVPlus».

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