I heard the other day that to play 1/2 with a $200 buy-in that a bankroll of $200,000 is required. Is this accurate? Why or why not? I understand variance is a big reason for this, but any calculations or external resources are appreciated.

2 Answers 2


Wanted to comment on Clarko's answer but ended up too long so here's my own.

1,000 buyins is way too much. If you're making a good $15 per hour on 1/2, you're only making $12,000 after a year of playing (800 hours). This is 6% ROI, some banks almost give better returns.

My own recommendation is 20 buy ins. Since the buy in for some games is 200-300 BB, this is about $8,000. Some considerations:
- if your edge is good, you can consider lowering the requirement
- if your playstyle is more nitty, you can consider lowering the requirement as well. Note that good cash poker should be high aggression and variance, but if this is not your strong suit, then playing a higher stake with a nitty style may work.
- lower your stakes if you are on a downswing

The less capable you are of adjusting these things, the more bankroll you need to withstand variance.


This is not accurate for a 1/2 cash game, 1000 buy ins would be a very large bankroll. To be very safe, aim for around 100 buy ins for cash games. Just remember that the lower # of buy ins you have the higher your chance of going broke (assuming stakes do not change), no matter how good of a player you are. This is due to a phenomenon called gambler's ruin. Gambler's ruin basically states that if you play for a large number of games, you will always experience a downswing. Longer downswings have a lower probability, but having a larger bankroll and playing within your bankroll will protect yourself against these. Check out this link: https://www.evpoker.org/article/gamblers-ruin.html

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.