Why Money Management Is Critical for New Gamblers

By in Casino & Gaming on
7 Minute Read
Novice Money Management

One of the most critical pieces of gambling knowledge out there is bankroll management. This slice of important information will alter the way you play for the better in every way imaginable.

So, you can likely imagine my complete and utter dismay when I recently came across an article painting bankroll management as an unnecessary distraction. It went so far as to say that you should ignore it completely.

Let’s look at why money management is critical for novice gamblers. If you implement proper money management skills now, you’ll have better success through your entire gambling career.

It’s Your Money, Play Accordingly

One of the most fantastic tricks ever pulled was the invention of the casino chip. Automatically, you have an emotional attachment that dissolves.

Suddenly, your hard-earned cash becomes tiny clay chips that make a fun sound when you click them together, almost like a child’s toy.

Make no mistakes; this is by design. After all, the casinos will gladly take your cash right at the table.

So, why would the casino want to introduce an intermediate party?

It’s because we almost instantly forget the chips represent real money. The odds are that if you were a force to pull another $20 bill from your wallet for every hand when you’re playing blackjack, you’d gamble for less.

However, by exchanging your cash for chips, you can easily toss another $20 on the table without thinking much.

I recently took my young niece to a pizza restaurant famous for its oversized mouse and arcade games. This franchise has made the brilliant play of having customers buy tokens (casino chips).

These tokens are used to play games and win prizes. Nobody in the history of civilization has gone to this particular restaurant for the pizza.

We exchanged $20 after $20 for tokens.

She’d drop a few tokens in a machine and happily move on regardless of a negative result.

Admittedly, she’d have done the same with cash.

However, it made me think about how I see some novice casino gamblers mill around the casino. The gamblers drop $50 here, $200 there, and so it goes until they’re out of chips.

It’s at this point that they begin to consider the actual financial implications. Stop treating casino chips like play money, and your money management will tighten up.

Knowing the Signs of Problem Gambling

Gambling addiction will take your money management woes from the casino and spread them to every nook and cranny of your life.

Knowing that addiction is a concern won’t save you either. I’m reasonably sure heroin addicts know that the drug is addictive; perhaps they think that because they know about its addictive properties, they are immune to it.

Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

I certainly hope not. Regardless, casino games aren’t heroin.
However, they are incredibly addictive by design. Slot machines are carefully constructed to draw you in and hypnotize you until your money is all gone.

Then, you’ll be shot straight back to reality. That might be pretty harmless if it stopped there.

Casino Gambling

I love going to live shows, and while the musicians are on stage’ I become transfixed for hours. However, it stops there, and I go on about my life.

Some real money gamblers will drain their bankroll and immediately head to the nearest ATM. They need the ride to continue, and any expenses they might have slipped their minds completely.

Learn to spot the warning signs of problem gambling. If you think that you have a problem, try taking a break from the casino.

If you find that you aren’t able to stop when you want, it may be best for you to seek some help for the issue.

Most casino gamblers will never have an issue with problem gambling. I merely want you to keep an eye on yourself as your gambling progresses.

Understanding How to Bet

How you bet will often be as crucial to your success as what you bet in the casinos.

There are three basic ways of betting: flat betting, progressive betting, and varied betting.

Let’s look at progressive betting first. Progressive betting systems have you raising your bets based on whether you win or lose a bet or series of bets.

The theory being that after losing, you double up and get back to even. This method is hazardous.

It sounds great in theory, but what happens when you catch a losing streak is devastating. Eventually, you’ll run out of money or hit the table limit and not be able to double up.

Varied betting can be as dangerous as progressive betting. This is the mistake that I see novice gamblers make the most often.

Gamblers will vary their wager size without any real betting strategy. Often, they’re betting on a hunch that they may finally be due for a win.

I’m sorry to tell you, but there’s no such thing as being “due for a win.”

Lastly, and please pay attention, is flat betting. Flat betting is betting the exact same amount on every spin, hand, or game.

This method will protect your pocketbook and falls under Money Management 101. The objective is to slowly lose as little money as possible or at least extend your bankroll as far as possible.

Stick to flat betting the next time you’re in the casino, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Avoiding Impulsive Bets

It can be difficult to avoid making impulsive bets in the casino. I’ve dropped $100 on a blackjack table on my way to the exit more than I care to admit.

The remorse hits before I ever get to the truck. It took me years to break this habit. 

Only a month ago, I was in a local casino with my cousins. As we’re headed out the door, my younger cousin drops $200 on a hand of blackjack.

He had come with a $500 bankroll, and the $200 was all he had left. Being down $300 isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s better than $500 down, as I told him at the time.


But he desperately wanted to leave the casino with $400 and let the idea of going with $0 pass directly through his head.

Luckily, there’s a way out of this dangerous behavior. It’s called discipline, and it takes time.

Discipline isn’t enough for the actual gambling addict, but it will go miles for casual players like my cousin.

Gaining an Edge

The best way to protect your money in the casinos is by lowering the house edge. Every game in the casino has a mathematical advantage over the player.

This advantage is called the house edge. It’s how the casinos make money.

There’s very little the novice gambler can do to flip the edge on the casino. This feat is reserved for advantage gamblers that have spent years crafting their gameplay.

Still, that’s a great goal to shoot for as you begin to improve your skills.

Novice gamblers must focus on ways to reduce the edge. That can be accomplished by merely playing suitable games.

Slot machines will typically have an advantage of over 3.5%. That means the casino will keep an average of $3.50 for every $100 you play.

Fortunately, there are much better games for the player. Real money baccarat has a house edge of basically 1% on the Banker bet. Blackjack can rival that by implementing a basic strategy card.

Learn how to bet and play the games with the lowest house edge. Most games have great bets right next to the sucker bets, so note how you play.

You’ll be better off by focusing on one game at a time and learning everything you can about it before broadening your horizons.

Sticking to Strict Limits

Setting limits and sticking to limits are entirely different tasks.

First, it’s imperative that you set strict limits for your casino gambling. These limits all boil down to essential money management.

Setting strict win or loss limits is a starting point for your new gambling habits. The win limits are in place to ensure that you don’t give it all directly back to the casino once you’re up.

This task may be easier said than done. Winning doesn’t come often, and players have a hard time quitting on the rare occasion that they do come.

If you continue gambling after you’ve won, you’ll eventually watch that money disappear. Set a realistic win limit and stick to them.

The loss limit is more important because it is essential money management. Walk into the casino with a brutal loss limit.

This limit will vary based on your bankroll or cash available specifically for gambling. You need to stop for the day when you’ve reached your loss limit.

If you’re going on a three-day casino trip, you must set a daily loss limit. Otherwise, you may be bored in the hotel room while your friends live it up in the casino.

Stick to your limits, and you’ll start leaving the casino with more money and having more fun when you don’t.


Hopefully, you see why money management is critical for novice gamblers. By developing solid bankroll management strategies early in your gambling career, you’ll be well versed by the time you start playing for higher stakes or incorporating advantage gambling techniques.

We hope this has been a helpful guide to help you manage your bankroll well. Good luck!

Michael Stevens

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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