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Build Your Bankroll From Nothing

Article By: Todd Brown

You want to play poker but you don’t have any money. There was a time when that was a big problem. Unless you could find someone to stake you, the rule was: no dough, no go. The rise of online poker put an end to all of that. Now there are two ways to build your bankroll from scratch. Both methods require a lot of dedication on your part. You’ll put in hours upon hours of game play making far less than minimum wage, but the opportunity to brag about how you built your $3,000 bankroll from nothing can be well worth the time. Here’s how you can build your bankroll from nothing.

Get The Poker Room To Give You Money

This one requires a little bit of luck. Every once in a while poker rooms will send offers by email or regular post offering you $X just to sign up with no deposit necessary. Usually you’ll have earn a certain number of points to release the money, but the benefit is that you can start playing cash games and Sit ‘N Goes right away.

This is how I got started playing online poker. Five or six years ago, I got an offer from Party Poker in the mail. They gave me $25 just for signing up. Six years later, I’m still playing with that money. In those six years I’ve moved the money in and out of almost a dozen different poker rooms, withdrawn hundreds of dollars, and won a library of poker books. Not a bad take for never depositing a cent.

There is another way to build your bankroll from nothing, but it’s a bit more difficult.

Play Freerolls

Every poker room offers freerolls. True to their name, these freerolls cost nothing to register for and you can win real money─ usually about $50 to $100. Thousands upon thousands of people sign up for these freerolls, so expect to face a massive field of players. The play in these freerolls is wild. Don’t be surprised when your pocket aces get cracked when the guy who went all-in with 7-4 off suit catches their double-gut straight.

However if you’re persistent enough, you may be able to squeak out a win after days (maybe weeks) of consistent play. When you finally have your seed money, you have to take good care of it so it can grow into a full-fledged money tree.

Decide On A Bankroll Management Strategy

Once you have some money, you need to manage it effectively. It’s tough to build a bankroll playing cash games when you only have $50 to $100. There are a lot of successful players out there who suggest you never risk more than 1% of your bankroll at any given time. But when you’re playing with such a small amount of money, you don’t have that luxury. Five percent is a good number in this situation.

It takes a lot of discipline to build your bankroll from scratch - more so than playing with a decent bankroll. You’ll endure hours of play for no money at all and you’ll face horrendous suck outs. But there’s no better feeling than being able to say you build your bankroll from nothing.