Online poker has become an increasingly popular activity in the past few years. This can be seen with how a previous tournament set records, as over 61,000 players registered for the event. Winners went home with prizes ranging from $700,000 to upwards of $1 million. The buy-in for the competition was set at $215 and there were over 93,000 entries, showing just how many poker players wanted to compete.
But with online poker’s rise comes financial issues for players. Many players overestimate their financial capabilities. They end up spending more than they should, and fail to maximize their bankrolls. Thankfully, there are different strategies players can employ to prevent this from happening and improve in how they handle their finances.
Here are just some of the things you can do to better manage your money when playing online poker:
Choose alternative methods of payment
When you have a constant stream of money, nothing is stopping you from continuing to cash in — even when you shouldn’t. Instead of connecting a credit card to your account, you should opt to use other modes of payment. A debit card will be useful, since this will prevent you from using money you don’t have. Overspending or “chasing” is a common problem among credit card holders and poker players, so making the switch could be good for taking the reins on your finances.
Alternatively, many online casinos accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment. A wide range of players prefer this method of payment because it leaves them less prone to data breaches. The blockchain technology used by the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum is secure, making them safe to use online. Like debit cards, paying with crypto will prevent you from overspending, as you can only cash in the number of digital coins you have. They are also not as easy to come by as fiat money, creating more barriers to entry.
Use a bankroll management app
You can also have a better grasp of your finances when playing poker through bankroll management apps. First, you consider the amount of money you aren’t willing to risk as this will be your minimum balance. You should aim to keep that much money until you decide to quit playing. You should also account for losses as you won’t always win the games you enter. By accounting for these two factors, you won’t lose more than you can afford to.
You can improve your poker bankroll management with platforms like Pokerbase, Poker Notes Live, Poker Bankroll Tracker, and Poker Stack that will help you keep track of your money while playing. These applications are readily available either online or on different app stores, making them accessible to every player. You can easily switch between your game and the aforementioned programs, so you will always be aware of your current financial standing. Keeping track of how much you are winning vs. losing will prevent you from spending more than you can afford while playing.
Create a budget for spending
Creating a budget is not only important in everyday life but also in playing online poker. It tells you how much extra money you have and how much you cannot afford to lose. A budget also allows you to keep your spending habits in check. Similar to any risk, you should only play with cash you’re comfortable losing. If you don’t do this, you might end up dipping into your emergency fund.
You can opt to create a separate account specifically for poker. Be sure not to tap into your other financial resources to exercise discipline, and ensure you are only spending what you can. You should also remember to allocate enough money for it, since having too little might leave you feeling dissatisfied — tempting you to dip into other savings.