How Much Money

To guard against going belly up?" Without presenting all the numbers and fanfare. let's answer those three questions one by one.

If you're headed to the casino for a three or four hour playing session, 60 of your average size bets will cover you the vast majority of the time. That means if you're spreading your bets from \$10 to \$100 and averaging about \$20 per hand, then \$1200 (60 x \$20) is a solid playing stake for the day.

If you'll be vacationing in Las Vegas for a week and think you'll put in maybe 25 hours at the Online Blackjack Games tables, then 150 average bets should keep you in action throughout your trip. Again, betting \$10 to \$100, that would take \$3000 of your hard earned money.

How about the long run? Somewhere sometime, you'll probably go on a killer losing streak lasting hundreds of hours and dump off 400 average size bets in the process. At \$10 to \$100 a shot and a \$20 average bet, you'd better have about 500 bets, or 10 G's stashed in a strongbox somewhere for a rainy day.

Square Root Rule: There's a handy rule of thumb that can help you determine your required bankroll for various periods of time at the tables. You see, your standard deviation, or volatility runs directly proportional to the square root of the length of your play.

For example, let's say you've learned that you need \$1000 to play comfortably for 4 hours on any given night. Then how much do you need to play the same stakes for 36 hours when you go out of town next week? The answer would be \$3000. Why? Because the square root of 36 hours (which is 6) is three times as big as the square root of 4 hours (which is 2).

With those two amounts of money, you'll have the same chance of going broke in both scenarios -- if you're a break even player. If you're an overall winner, you're requirements will rise a little more slowly than that as the hours mount. If you're a loser, they'll rise more sharply.

If you're not a math geek and don't want to mess with square roots, then just use the following chart as your guide. It summarizes your practical bankrolling requirements for the night, for the trip and for the long haul.

 SESSION STAKE 60 average bets VACATION STAKE 150 average bets OVERALL BANKROLL 500 average bets
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Classic Poker Style Archetypes

By combining the labels, you can place everyone into one of four groups: loose-passive, loose-aggressive, tight-passive, and tight-aggressive.

Although you will find those experts who insist on subdividing the poker population into many more subcategories-not an unreasonable position because there are many other kinds of groups into which you could divide the poker population, such as analytical vs. intuitive-there are only so many labels one can apply before the number of labels creates an impractical learning tool.

Let's examine these four subgroups. Later in this section and in the upcoming chapters, we'll look at personality traits that tend to create the individual styles.