Casino Bankroll Management Tips


With hundreds of fantastic casino games available around the clock, we don't blame you for wanting to try your luck right now. Yet if you care at all about your bottom line, it's worth considering exactly how you plan on managing your bankroll. Whether you play poker, roulette, slots, baccarat, blackjack, or any other casino favourites, you'll want to make sure you can stay in the game without breaking the bank, even when lady luck is nowhere to be found. It's not hard to have staying power when you take the time to read this bankroll management guide.

Understanding Odds and Variance

Whether you play live or on the internet, it's important to understand how the odds work. For the sake of simplicity, imagine you roll a standard six-sided die. Assuming the die is fair, you'll have an equal chance of rolling a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. The odds of rolling any individual number is 1 in 6 or roughly 16.67%. Yet if you were to conduct your own experiment, you might find that after 100 consecutive rolls, you only rolled the number 6 nine times or 9% of the time. That doesn't mean you have a trick die in your hands. Rather, this is an illustration of variance.

The average gambler is oblivious to an important fact that's absolutely essential to success, namely that outcomes are independent. That means that your past rolls have no demonstrable effect on future rolls. Think of it another way. Randomly rolled dice have no memory. They are simply subject to the laws of chance. While that might seem hard to believe, try it yourself with dice. Better yet, you can flip a coin several times to experience variance first hand. You'll notice that the distribution of heads and tails isn't 50-50. Whether or not you care to run this test yourself, it's important to know that odds and probabilities are true over time. The problem is that it could take ten thousand rolls before every number appears 16.67% of the time.

Taking Advantage of the Odds

If variance didn't exist, there would be no reason to play casino games. That's because all games have a built-in house edge. That means whether you play roulette, craps, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, or any other game against the house, the casino will win over the long haul. Yet the long haul is far longer than all your playing sessions combined. What occurs over the short term is anyone's guess. That's precisely where savvy players like you would hope to cash in.

When you manage your bankroll correctly, you'll put yourself in the best position to stay in the game regardless of the outcome. When you don't burn through your bankroll quickly, you'll not only have more chances to win, but you'll be able to ride out any losing streaks. Remember that variance works both ways. Your numbers can come up more often than you expect them to, potentially creating what appears to be an odds-defying winning streak.

Determining the Size of Your Bankroll

Before you can decide how much to bet, it's essential to know how much money you have. Don't worry. We're not asking for your bank balance, paystub, or any financial statement. Rather, we have some valuable advice. You should never gamble more money than you can afford to lose. It's far better to treat gambling as entertainment rather than a money making scheme. Whether you play on the internet, at your local casino, or at an establishment abroad, you don't want to get into a situation where you can't pay your rent or need to skip meals due to a bad day at the casino.

While only you can decide how much is the right amount for you, it's always better to start small. It's possible to gamble with R200 if that's all you have. No matter what figure you decide on, it's always best to treat it like it's written in stone. Playing responsibly and knowing your limit are essential parts of any sound bankroll management strategy. If any of this sounds confusing or intimidating, you can also play for free on the internet. Free games are particularly great for experiencing the odds and variance for yourself.

Making the Right Bets

The ideal size of your bets depends not only on how much money you have, but also the game you are playing. The higher the house edge, the fewer bets you'll be able to make. That means you can place larger bets playing blackjack than if you were to play slot machines or keno. Generally speaking, each wager should be no more than 1%-3% of your total bankroll. Of course, when your bankroll grows, you'll have the flexibility to place larger bets. Keep in mind that this is merely a guide for the average player who wants to place at least 30 bets over the course of an hour.

If you are a new player or a veteran who is finally taking the time to get a handle on bankroll management, it's better to start off small. Once you get a better feel for your budget and can demonstrate that you have enough discipline to stick to your plans, you can adjust your bets accordingly. As you might be able to guess, it's much easier to manage your bankroll on the internet, especially if you enjoy table games and happen to be on a budget. Offline casinos typically have higher table minimums, which might pressure you to wager more than sound bankroll management strategies recommend.

Protecting Yourself with an Exit Strategy

If you've ever traded stocks, you've probably encountered the term stop-loss. It's effectively an exit strategy that prevents you from going down with the ship or losing your entire investment. Technically speaking, we've been talking about stop-loss strategies all along. Calling it a day if you lose your allotted money is a stop-loss strategy provided you can resist the temptation not to reach for your wallet again. Yet you can also protect yourself by calling it a night at some predetermined point before you're out of cash.

Another popular stop-loss strategy is to lower the size of your bets if you find yourself on a losing streak. Many players apply this approach to winning streaks too, believing that their good fortune won't last. While we're not huge fans of the latter, you might want to set a point where you take some skin out of the game. There's nothing wrong with banking a profit even if you have to call it a night.

Maximizing Your Bankroll

One of the great things about playing on the internet is that your bankroll goes further. Slot machine players will notice that the payouts are higher and faster online. In addition, internet casinos offer blackjack and roulette variations with lower house edges. Yet before you even hit the tables or take the slot machines for a spin, you can boost your bottom line. All you have to do is claim one of the many bonus offers. Just about every site will give you a financial incentive to sign up. While bonuses do have terms and conditions, they are easy to meet. It's always wise to take advantage of the loyalty rewards program to earn cash back and other perks. Finally, check out the promotions page or sign up for your casino's newsletter to maximize your returns.

More related guides