The degree of ups and downs (or volatility) that your bankroll goes through in the course of your poker career – but this does not have to be necessarily indicative of the quality of your game.

This means that in the short term, you may actually lose some part of your bankroll even if you play correctly. In the long term a player will win, if he can keep his patience and discipline and stay on the right path even when dealing with a downswing.

EXAMPLE “I can’t handle the variance of bad beats in donkaments.”

Higher variance games will have greater ups and downs of the bankroll. Games with a high variance such as Pot Limit Omaha and large field MTTs can cause big swings in your bankroll. In light of this risk, it is very important to think about the size of your bankroll.

A low variance playing style can help you to minimize the swings of your bankroll. This is a huge benefit, as it can help not to mess with your confidence, but the negative in playing this way, is that it is not the optimal way to fully maximize the value of your hands.

In this video, Jason Somerville talks about Playing A Low Variance Style.

Related terms on

  1. Deal It Twice
  2. WAWB
  3. Blocker
  4. Ante
  5. Straddle
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