How To Use a Poker Variance Calculator

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A poker variance calculator is a tool which allows you to measure the variance, or uncertainty (also referred to as ‘swings’) that you can expect to experience in poker.

This is particularly useful for those who are looking to determine what they can expect to win or lose over a given period, allowing one to make more informed decisions about the minimum bankroll requirements for a given game.

A poker variance calculator also allows you to do things like determine downswing extents (measured in both number of hands and big blinds). Probability of loss after a given time period, as well as hourly rate for cash games and return on investment (ROI) for tournaments.

In short, it’s an incredibly powerful tool.


My goal with the blog is to help you use a poker variance calculator to have better poker bankroll management. In short, you should be extrapolating the data to make inferences about the extent of your downswings so you can ensure you have enough capital to withstand Agen Casino Terbesar.

By getting clear on how many hands you’re playing samgong, your ROI and/or win rate and the average tournament field size. You’ll be able to make predictions about the swings you can expect.

In the video below, as well as in this blog, I provide you with the tools you need to use the program to empower you to do this process on your own. You’ll be able to predict things like your longest downswing extent. Both in terms of big blinds and hands played. It’s powerful stuff, and when applied appropriately, can help you to build an extremely solid business plan.

That said, it’s a delicate process. Get it wrong and it could the difference between success and failure. I know some of you would like guidance during this process to help ensure you get it right. After all, you’re planning for your poker future and will make big decisions based on these numbers.

I have worked with numerous clients (whose case studies you can read about at the link below) to help them create solid business plans. Ensuring they maximize their return and minimize their risk of ruin.

At the end of our time together, you’ll have a solid understanding of the risks involved. Be able to withstand any downswings you will face, and even be able to project future earnings so you can plan for your poker future.

To apply to work with me, simply click here.


There were four people left at the final table of the World Poker Tour at the Bellagio: Erik Seidel, Faraz Jaka, Justin Smith and me. Not only was there nearly a $1,000,000 difference between 1st and 4th, there was a bracelet at stake. Let’s be honest, nobody remembers the player who got second.

I found myself all-in with Ace-Queen against the pocket tens of Alexandre Gomez. If I win, I have 70% of the chips in play and practically guaranteed to get top 2; if I bust, I’m out.

I replay that hand in my head, from time-to-time, and always pause at the moment when the dealer taps the table, right before she flips the river card up. I glance one more time at the board: Kc Jc 8h 5c.

“Ace, Queen, Ten, Club,” I hear my section of the rail shouting.
It didn’t come.

It’s been a decade since the river blanked off, but it still feels like yesterday. I don’t compete in tournaments often, so I still haven’t got the chance to rewrite that history with a different result.

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The truth is, unless you grind the circuit full time. Play small field high-rollers, or, frankly, are on the positive side of variance more than your fair share, you may not either.

It’s something I understood conceptually as a professional. But until I lived it, I couldn’t fully grasp the nature of tournaments, and to a larger extent, poker in general.

How To Use a Poker Variance Calculator

It’s not just winning your coin flips, where one experiences the luck. Variance comes in many forms in poker: You may get coolered with the second nuts to the nuts, or your opponent may draw out on you.

But variance also comes in hidden forms: a bad turn card that kills your action; or positional variance, such as getting aces under the gun instead of on the button; or situational variance. By merely being in the right place at the right time to get into a great game, which earns you a fortune.

While these things will, in theory, even out over the long run, poker players, too often, don’t realize just how long that long run is. In the meantime. They go broke in the name of expectation, never reaching the point where their skill trumps the luck.

Just how long does it take?

In a sentence, much longer than you think.

In tournament poker, evening out the variance can take a lifetime or two.

This explains the phenomenon of how the world’s best players can go years without winning a major event. Conversely, there will always be a fortunate few who go on to win multiple events in a short period of time.

Most people will associate this hot streak solely with skill; when, in fact, luck was the principle contributor to someone winning on any given day.

This is not to say that all successful tournament professionals are merely benefactors of good fortune; some are truly phenomenal players. But it’s important to remember that for every one superstar, there are likely 100 players of equal caliber who just haven’t caught the right breaks, never won an event, and thus never had the opportunity to further pursue their tournament career.

How To Use a Poker Variance Calculator

This harsh reality doesn’t mean that winners are good, and losers are bad, or that there’s no skill for those who win. It just means that luck supersedes everything else, in the short term, which as you’ll see in a moment, isn’t all that short.

But just when you want to curse your fortune, blaming bad luck for your losses. Remember this one thing. Poker is unique in that it’s the most competitively played game where luck plays a significant factor in the final outcome (other sports have variance–the best football team doesn’t always win–but it’s much less significant than in poker).

And thank God for it.

As Phil Hellmuth famously states, “If there were no luck involved, I’d win every time.” Some may question his assurance. But the implications of his idea are telling. No professional truly wishes there were less luck involved. If there were, poker would be like chess and the action would dry up.

You may be thinking I’m exaggerating. That luck really isn’t as big of a factor as I make it out to be. Well, let’s look at what the math says. I love numbers, because they never lie.

Here is a simple variance calculator program that I use to get a grip on just how profound the role of luck is in poker tournaments.