Money Management


Seasoned poker players will usually assure you that money management is at least as important as any other factor in skillful play poker game. Many of them say that it is the most important single factor. We are going to start this section with a few general but absolutely essential statements. Courage is perhaps the most important single factor in the make-up of a poker player. While courage alone cannot transform you into a good poker player, you can never hope to be a winning poker player if you are cowardly in your approach to the poker game.

Adjusting your pot odds before calling a bettor to your right with poker players behind you comes up most often in games like five-card draw, draw lowball, and hold 'em, where position is important.  You would seem to have a strong hand with the top pair, but if you are in second position with a number of poker players behind you and the poker player in first position bets, you should probably throw away your aces. Not only has the poker player in first position suggested a great deal of strength with his bet, but he may get raised by such hands as an ace-king, ace-queen, and three-of-a-kind, which shortens your pot odds and further decreases the possibility of your ending up with the best hand. Additionally, the chance of calls from flush draws and straight draws behind you further diminishes the strength of your pair of aces. You face the uncomfortable double possibility of being second-best at the moment and of being outdrawn on the last two cards.

You should play poker game to win, playing to avoid a loss puts you at a disadvantage. An ultraconservative poker player who does not back his good hands to the limit is a sure loser in the long run, for he will never take maximum advantage of his skill.

Contrast that to 8•7• on a flop of 9'V7+2V. The same ca; As improve your hand, but you are now much more vulnerable sc, redraws. For instance, if you improve by catching the 8•, anyone holding a ten, six, or heart will have a draw to beat you. Even if you catch a third seven, someone who flopped a straight or flush draw will sometimes draw out on you. With two or three opponents there is a large chance that, even if you improve, you will still lose.

Online Poker game is a game of percentages. To be a winning poker player, you must increase the amount bet when the odds are in your favor. But don't expect to win every hand you contest! You are bound to lose some of your good hands to better hands. There will also be many hands which you must throw in. These represent a loss -the amount you must pay in antes (your "overhead").

You must overcome these two forms of loss by winning as much as possible on your good hands. You give up just as much by win­ning less than the maximum, as by losing more than necessary on your bad hands. An overcautious player is under a tremendous handicap once he starts losing. He either lives in fear of further losses and tends to drop out too quickly, or he calls too often in a desperate attempt to recoup.

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