Poker players: getting up from the table?

I’m curious if y’all have hard and fast rules about when you get up from the table when you’re winning and when you’re losing. If so, do you have different rules online and offline, and/or for different limits?

I haven’t played offline except tournaments so getting up IRL hasn’t been an issue, and I’m still trying to decide whether to set rules for myself online or not. I only play low stakes NL hold 'em for money. What I’ve found myself doing is if I lose more than 60% of what I sit down with I stop for the day. The only time I deviated from this I was tilting pretty hard off a couple of shitty beats and found myself drifting dangerously close to “I gotta keep playing until I win it back” territory. Ended up losing what I sat down with (a max buy-in for the table), refilling another max buy-in and losing most of that.

Getting up after winning is a little more nebulous and depends a lot more on the circumstances. If I’ve been losing and make back what I’ve lost in one big pot, I tend to leave shortly after. If I’m winning more steadily I haven’t really noticed a pattern as to when I get up.

Comments? Suggestions?

I decide based on how I think I’m playing in on-line games. If I have a few bad beats, but I really didn’t play poorly I’ll chalk it up to bad luck and keep going. On the other hand, if I catch myself playing like an idiot I’ll walk away… Assuming I don’t fall into the “play it all until you win it back” crack. (Which I sometimes do.) To quote Phil Connors, “Don’t drive angry!”

In the friendly face-to-face game I get into, we go table stakes and set a time limit. You HAVE to stay until you tap out or the time limit is reached. When time is called, anybody who wants to leave can do so, and anybody who wants to keep playing sets another time limit. This keeps anybody who goes gangbusters in the first three hands from taking all the money from the table and then running.

That’s my two white chips worth.


I mostly play online. Like ElectricZ, my quit time depends on how I’m playing. As long as I’m playing well, there’s no reason to stop playing at any given point, winning or losing. Over the long run, it will average out, hopefully on the winning side. I do fall into the “win it all back!” trap sometimes, though.