Nothing makes a trip to the casino more frustrating than a bankroll that disappears right before your eyes. Once you’re out of money you have two choices: reload your bankroll or head home. If we’re being honest, neither one of these sounds like a very appealing option.
While there isn’t a magic formula for making sure you win money during your visit, there are plenty of ways you can keep yourself in the game longer. In this article, I’ll lay out a few tips for making your bankroll stretch just a little bit further.
1 – Lower Your Percentage Range
A great bankroll manager knows that there are two parts to effective money management. First, simply deciding an appropriate amount of money to allocate to your bankroll is crucial. This amount should be something you’re comfortable losing – you know, just in case things don’t go your way.
The second aspect of your gambling bankroll should be the percentage range inside which you bet. For example, if you have a $1,000 bankroll, you should decide that you’ll only bet between X% and Y% of the overall pool of money. Most experts recommend having your low end be about 2% of your overall bankroll, and having a high end of around 10% at the very most.
If your goal is to slowly grow your winnings and not hold out for one hugely successful stretch, it’s a good idea to keep your percentages low. If the maximum bet is only 5% of your overall bankroll instead of 10%, that means you’ll be able to stay around twice as long and the losing bets won’t hurt as much.
Another important part of bankroll management is adjusting your percentage as you go along. If 5% of your total bankroll means $50 when you enter the casino or log on to your favorite online casino site, if you lose half your money, you shouldn’t still be betting using your original bankroll percentage range.
Obviously, gambling requires you to take risks in order to really be successful, but if you’re taking too many risks, things can go south quickly. Although it might seem simple and obvious, the best way to keep your bankroll afloat is to bet smaller amounts.
2 – Take Frequent Breaks
We’ve all seen some depiction of the casino patron who has been at the same table, roulette wheel, or slot machine for hours on end. Perhaps it’s unfair to guess, but chances are that the person isn’t winning.
No matter what activity you’re taking part in, if you don’t take a break, your focus starts to slowly evaporate until you’re just going through the motions and hoping for the best. In a situation where you’re already at a slight disadvantage, it’s crucial that you remain mentally sharp.
In My Experience…
The best course of action is to break up your trip into several different segments. For example, for the first 30 minutes you might decide to play roulette, then take a 15-minute break, then find a blackjack table. I know that it can be tough to sit around idly while you’re on the gaming floor, but it really does help keep your mind fresh.
When you start to get mentally fatigued, not only do you make worse decisions while playing a particular game, but your discipline begins to slip in terms of money management. It’s typically worn out players that decide to start taking unnecessary risks, and thus suffer huge losses.
Whether you get a drink, a meal, or simply people-watch, taking breaks once or twice an hour is a great way to extend your bankroll and stay at the top of your game.
3 – Play at Crowded Tables
When it comes to making your bankroll stretch, the most logical way to accomplish your goal is to bet less frequently. One easy way to do this without just standing around is to play at tables that are crowded. No matter the game, a full table means slower pace of play, and most important, less bets overall.
In addition to simply slowing down your betting pace, playing at crowded tables has another advantage that can indirectly help your bankroll: comps.
Casinos want to reward players for gambling at their establishment, and one way they work to develop this loyalty is through “comps,” meaning complimentary items given to players. These can be free food or drinks, free entry into tournaments, or even cash back if you spend enough over a certain period of time.
You might be wondering what sitting at a crowded table has to do with earning comps, and the answer is simple: you’re spending more time gambling without actually risking more money.
Let’s say you play an average of 40 hands of real money blackjack in an hour at an empty table. Now, if you were playing at a full table, this number might be cut in half to 20 hands per hour. Pit bosses often award comps based on the time you spend playing, so your goal should be to play for a longer period of time, without needed to add additional risk by betting more.
When you add it all up, there are several advantages to choosing to play at full tables, and almost all of them have some impact on your bankroll. The next time you have the option to go with the empty table or the full table, recognize that there are real benefits to be had if you go with the latter.
4 – Divide up Your Bankroll
For some, a trip to the casino has only one goal: win money. For others, a trip to the casino is simply a form of entertainment, and the money aspect isn’t a high priority. The majority of players, however, fall somewhere in between.
As much as everyone wants to walk away with a few extra dollars in their pocket, most people also want to get the full casino experience. Spending a few hours at the casino can be tough if your bankroll evaporates quickly, so consider a strategy that will allow you to play all day.
Before you head to your preferred gaming establishment, decide how many hours you want to spend gambling. Next, divide up your bankroll on an hourly basis. Here’s an example that I’ve used in the past that has helped me enjoy a full day at the casino, and win money too.
Let’s say you have a $500 bankroll and you want to stay at the casino for 3 hours. Split up your bankroll into $125 for the first hour, $175 for the second hour, and $200 for the third. After each hour is up, put all your money that you’ve won (or what’s left after you’ve lost) aside.
For example, if you end hour one with $150, meaning you’re up $25, don’t roll this money into your future bankroll.
Utilizing this method of dividing up your bankroll is one of the most fool-proof ways to ensure that you don’t blow through your money quickly, or get up early and feel the need to call it a day.
Keep in mind that this particular strategy of breaking down your bankroll is intended for those who truly do want to spend a good amount of time playing. If money is your only goal, perhaps this isn’t the best method for your situation.
5 – Set a Winning Limit
Not knowing when to walk away is probably the most common mistake made over the course of the history of gambling. When things are going good, we always think they can get better, and this greed usually turns out poorly.
Before you place your first bet of the day, identify a certain number in your mind that, if you get up to it, you’ll call it quits. Make sure this number is realistic (setting it at $1 million isn’t going to do much), and don’t waiver if you’re able to get there.
Obviously, it can be hard to leave in the middle of a hot streak, but keep in mind that if you’re well into the green, you’ve had a successful trip. Eventually, the law of averages would suggest that you’ll start to lose, so get out of there before it happens.
Bankroll management is one of the few things that is completely in your control as a gambler. If you’re not doing your best to manage it effectively, you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Next time you head to the casino, try utilizing these tips and see how better money management can pay off big time in the end.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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