How About Winning the Game? Gambling At Its Best

To win the game, as a poker player, you must place bets with positive expectation and try your best to avoid bets where the mathematical expectation is negative. However, according to professionals, this is only a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for your game to be really successful.

The whole question lies, first of all, in the fact that the above-mentioned mathematical expectation can manifest itself only and exclusively in the “long distance”, they are not applicable to a short series of bets, where deviations from the mathematical expectation are very serious. If you are not familiar with mathematics, then the phenomenon we are describing in this science is called “dispersion”.

What is variance

In fact, variance can lead to the fact that the table participant, who makes the correct game decisions, will still lose. If in life such a phenomenon is usually called a “black stripe”, then in poker there is another term, “downstream.”

Based on the above, it is worth noting that the bankroll (as the game capital is called) should have a solid size that will allow you to survive long streaks of losses without any problems for your wallet and, of course, save money to continue the game. In this case, we will not talk about the absolute, but about the relative size of the bankroll in relation to the buy-in.

Let us remind you that the term “buy-in” in the cash is usually understood as the starting stack with which you sit at the table, and in tournaments the term “buy-in” is usually understood as the entry fee and the commission that the player pays for the right to participate in the tournament. Need for more information? Visit


Is math the queen of poker?

What should be your bankroll?

Let’s imagine this situation as an example, a player has a hexagonal die that he rolls at a certain interval. 

Regular dice:

These are used in gambling establishments. So, the conditions are as follows – if a six falls on the dice, the player will receive $ 5.6, and if any other face falls, $ 1 is lost. As a consequence, the mathematical expectation of such a game is $ 0.1. We derive the formula:

MO = 5.6 * 1/6 – 1 * 5/6 = 0.1

For example, if we were tossing a coin and the player would receive $ 1.2 per heads and lose $ 1 per head, then in the case of dice the variance is much higher – the probability of losing with a coin would be 1 to two, and with a six-sided die – 5 to 6. Everything is very simple – when playing dice, the player will need a much larger capital, which will allow him to pass the downstream (survive a series of losses), as well as get a win based on a positive mathematical expectation. In other words, the more risky your game (variance), the correspondingly larger your bankroll should be in size.

Our requirements for your bankroll

Of course, everything in this article is only a recommendation, and you can use your own developments. We recommend that you adhere to these bankroll requirements. If you are sitting at a cash game table or are going to play no-limit hold’em, you must have at least 20 buy-ins.