How to Build Your Poker Bankroll

Shane C

May 31, 2024

How to Build Your Bankroll from Scratch

Building a solid poker bankroll from scratch is one of the most challenging yet rewarding endeavors for any poker player. A robust bankroll not only provides the financial foundation to play comfortably but also helps you handle the inevitable swings that come with poker.

Starting from zero might seem daunting, but with the right strategies and discipline, it’s entirely achievable. This guide will walk you through the essential techniques to grow your poker bankroll from scratch.

Step 1: Understand the Importance of Bankroll Management

The first step in building a poker bankroll is understanding the concept of bankroll management. Bankroll management is the practice of managing your poker funds to minimize risk and ensure longevity in the game. Without proper bankroll management, even the best players can go broke due to variance. Here are the key principles:

  • Risk Management: Never risk more than a small percentage of your bankroll on a single game or tournament.

  • Discipline: Stick to your limits and avoid moving up stakes too quickly.

  • Consistency: Treat your bankroll as an investment, not as disposable income.

Step 2: Start with Freerolls

When starting with no funds, freerolls are your best friend. Freerolls are poker tournaments that require no entry fee but offer real money prizes. Natural8 hosts numerous freerolls, from its Hourly Freerolls to its Weekly Saturday Freerolls, providing ample opportunities to build your initial bankroll without any financial risk.

Here’s how to make the most of freerolls:

  • Schedule: Regularly check the schedule of freerolls on Natural8 and plan your participation.

  • Patience: These tournaments can be slow and full of beginners, so patience is key.

  • Skill Development: Use freerolls to hone your skills and understand tournament dynamics without financial pressure.

Step 3: Transition to Low-Stakes Games

Once you’ve built a small bankroll from freerolls, it’s time to transition to micro-stakes cash games and tournaments. Natural8 offers a variety of low-stakes options that cater to players looking to grow their bankroll steadily. Here are some tips:

  • Start Small: Begin with micro stakes to minimize risk.

  • Table Selection: Choose tables with players of similar or lower skill levels to maximize your edge.

  • Focus on Fundamentals: Concentrate on playing solid, fundamentally sound poker.

Step 4: Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions

Many online poker sites offer various bonuses and promotions that can significantly boost your bankroll. These include deposit bonuses, rakeback offers, and special promotions.

For example, as a Natural8 player, you will automatically be opted in for the Fish Buffet Cashback Programme -- the more you play, the more money you'll get back. At its highest rank, you can get a fixed cashback of 60%!

Natural8 also has a New User Specials where new players can potentially receive up to $3,358 in bonuses through these:

  • First Deposit Bonus up to $1,000

  • 4 x $500 First Deposit Freerolls

  • Free $8

  • $350 Honeymoon for Newcomers.

So, no matter which platform you choose to play with, make sure to:

  • Claim Bonuses: Always take advantage of deposit bonuses when you make a deposit.

  • Participate in Promotions: Regularly check for promotions that can add value to your bankroll.

  • Maximize Rakeback: Understand the rakeback system and try to maximize your rakeback earnings.

Step 5: Practice Discipline and Record Keeping

Discipline is crucial for long-term success in building a poker bankroll. This involves sticking to your bankroll management rules, avoiding tilt, and making rational decisions. Additionally, keeping detailed records of your wins and losses can help you identify patterns and areas for improvement. 

Here’s how to stay disciplined:

  • Set Limits: Decide on limits for how much you’re willing to lose in a session.

  • Take Breaks: Regular breaks can prevent tilt and maintain focus.

  • Review Sessions: Regularly review your play to identify mistakes and learn from them.

Fun fact: One of the world’s best poker players, Daniel Negreanu, emphasizes the importance of keeping detailed records of your play and understanding your risk tolerance. His success and longevity in the poker world serve as a testament to the effectiveness of disciplined bankroll management​.

Step 6: Utilize Multi-Tabling

Multi-tabling, or playing multiple poker tables simultaneously, can significantly boost your hourly earnings and accelerate the growth of your bankroll. When done correctly, multi-tabling allows you to maximize your time and take advantage of more opportunities. Here’s how to approach multi-tabling:

  • Start Slow: Begin with two tables and gradually increase the number as you become more comfortable.

  • Stay Organized: Keep your screen layout organized to avoid confusion and mistakes.

  • Focus on Simplicity: Choose games and stakes that you are familiar with to reduce the cognitive load.

  • Monitor Performance: Regularly review your performance across multiple tables to ensure you maintain a high level of play.

The Growth of Your Bankroll in Poker

Increase your poker bankrollBuilding a bankroll from scratch is a gradual process that requires patience, discipline, and strategic play. By starting with freerolls, transitioning to low-stakes games, taking advantage of bonuses, and practicing solid bankroll management, you can steadily grow your bankroll.

Remember, bankroll growth is not an overnight achievement but a steady journey. Stay disciplined, keep learning, and enjoy the process. With persistence and the right approach, you can build a strong poker bankroll from scratch and set yourself up for long-term success at the tables.

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