I don’t want to spend too much time on this topic as it is mostly an individual thing. But in general you should always have at least 20-30 buyins for these limits. This will allow you to mass multi-table if you want and still have a couple buyins left sitting around. Downswings are relatively minor in these games and will hopefully be even less of a concern for you after this book. One of the biggest benefits of a high winrate is the noticeable lack of large downswings.
Some people prefer to have a lot more than 30 buyins though and that is completely fine as well. And if you are only planning on playing a couple of tables at a time, then maybe you don’t even need 20. Think about what size bankroll makes you feel comfortable and go from there.
So previously I talked a little bit about the different buyin amounts at these stakes. What amount should you actually buyin for though? My answer for this is always the same. If you are new to the game or having trouble beating either of these limits, then buyin for 100bb. That would be $2 at NL2 and $5 at NL5.
100bb is the classic online poker maximum buyin at every limit except these ones. Most of the online poker literature and forum talk centers around this buyin.
The reason that I do not advocate buying in for anything less than 100bb is that it involves a whole host of different strategies that include higher variance and lower winrates. 100bb is the perfect stack size to fully utilize all four streets in no limit hold’em and maintain a high winrate.
For more advanced players and especially those that are already able to beat these games at a good clip, I would recommend buying in deep for 250bb. That would be $5 at NL2 and $12.50 at NL5.
Deep stacked poker brings a whole new level of decision making to the game as there is a lot more room to manoeuvre and put big pressure on your opponent. In general stack off ranges are tighter among decent players. But among fish they will stay the same. So playing deep stacked will allow you to attain the absolute highest winrate in the game.
I would especially advocate buying in deep if the table fish is as well. You could even just match his stack size. I will go into specifics later with regards to how to spot the fish and everything that goes along with table selection.
One final note on buyins is to make sure that you are using the auto reload feature that most online poker rooms offer. This will allow you to always have 100bb or more to start a hand, which is one less thing to concern yourself with. Embrace the automation.