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What is Poker ROI%?

If you are just a weekend warrior when it comes to poker then you do not need to concern yourself with your ROI %. But if you are trying to become a consistently winning player, it is very crucial to keep track of all of your stats, including your "Return On Investment." So what is "Return On Investment" or ROI for short? ROI is the profit that you make from playing poker and is based on the amount you had to buy in for, or "invest." This concept is used for tournament players and sit n go players who are trying to see if they have made money in the long term. So how do you figure out your ROI %? It is really easy. Let's take a look at an example.

Calculating Your ROI

To figure out your ROI, you will only need to know a few numbers. You need to know how much money you have won and how much money you have had to invest. For our examples below we will be using a single table sit n go with a $20.50 buy in and first place earning $100, 2nd place earning $60, and third place earning $40. If you were to invest $10.50 to play in this game and you won the first place prize, what would your ROI be?

To figure out your ROI, you would use this equation: $ Won-$ Buy In / $ Buy In X 100 = ROI

To utilize our equation, let's plug in our numbers: $100-$20.50 / $20.50 X 100 = 388% ROI

To give you an idea of the difference, this is what 3rd place's ROI be: $40-$20.50/$20.50 X 100 = 95%

First place's ROI would tell you that you almost won 4 times what you invested while 3rd place barely doubles their original buy in. While these numbers look great, this is only one game and is very inaccurate. For example, what if you played 125 games and only won 3 of them while losing the other 122; what would your ROI be then?

To figure this out, we are using the same example as above. You will want to figure out how much you would have won and the total amount you have bought in for. Provided below are the answers:

125 games X $20.50 = $2562.50 Invested

Winning 3 games at $100 per win = $300

Let's plug those numbers in and see what our ROI is: $300-$2562.50/$2562.50 X 100 = -88% ROI

With a ROI that is negative, this shows that you have been consistently losing. And 88% is almost all of your investment so it would be a good time to evaluate your game and try to find why you are losing so much. It is important to figure out your ROI for a bigger span of games like this as it will prove to be much more accurate.

Cash Games

Cash games are slightly different when trying to figure out your ROI. This is because there are too many variables that throw your numbers off like randomly sitting down and leaving when you want, inconsistent length of sessions, and amount of money you bring to the table. Trying to use the equation above for cash games would just throw your numbers off and be inaccurate. The proper way to keep track of cash games is just by figuring how much you made per hour, simply like a job. If you brought 10 to the table and within an hour you were up to $19, then you would have made $9 for that hour (19-10). This is the best way to keep track of your ring games.

Although it may seem difficult, figuring out your ROI is as simple as plugging in a few numbers in to our equation above. If you are a serious poker player, you will want to be sure to do it to be sure how much you may have lost or profited. For those who are curious, a good ROI would be in the ballpark of 10-15%. So that would be that for every $100 you invested, you could expect a return of about $10-$15 on your money in the end. And as small of a return as that may seem, this is mostly due to the big swings that a sit n go or tourney player faces.