Bankroll Management Guide

You may be a once-a-year gambler who loves to go on a weeklong gambling trip to Las Vegas. You and your friends might visit a casino once a month for a night of fun. You may play in your home for a few minutes every night. No matter what situation you find yourself in, it is important that your money does not run out before you do. Need some help and advice? We have some information and insights into money management specifically for gaming purposes: Bankroll Management 101.

What Is A Bankroll?

A bankroll is nothing more than the amount of money you use with which to gamble. There are several ways to save up for a bankroll. Some gamblers have one credit use they use specifically for online gaming. Other gamers use a portion of their cryptocurrency stockpile to gamble. There are also gamblers who enjoy saving an amount of all of their winnings in a bankroll. Whatever method you use, it is important that your bankroll is made up of gambling money and is used specifically for gambling. Many experts believe that it is important for gamblers to keep their gambling lives and their non-gambling lives separate.

Once you have a bankroll to manage, it is time to move up to the big leagues of bankroll management. Here are some hard and fast rules many professional gamblers use.

Just Because You Have a Bankroll, You Don’t Have to Use It

You know how much money you have in your bankroll. There is not a gambler alive who does not know at any given moment how much their bankroll is worth. However, just because you have a bankroll, you do not have to use it.

While this sounds silly when you first think about it, hear us out. If you are a regular gamer, who has made money in the past playing poker online, and then your bankroll is geared towards online gambling. Your money would not be used to throw in on a sports gambling pool with unsure odds and an even more unsure payoff promise.

Just as you focus your earnings from work to paying bills, you would focus your bankroll on the gambling method you usually play. Of course, you can take a chance on a new game or a new playing method. You need to decide up front how much money you want to risk.

Never, Ever, EVER Play with Your Whole Bankroll

Now that you have a bankroll, we get that you are dying to use it. Let us face it, you want to have people sigh with happiness or envy when you take your money out. However, real life is nothing like the movies. No one really needs to see how much money you have in your bankroll. In addition to flashing value, you may have these crazy dreams of using your whole roll to win the “big payout” and walk away with millions. The more money you have in your bankroll, the more money you could win, right? Not exactly. Bankrolls are built by carefully building up winnings over time.

Playing Within Your Bankroll

Bankroll management means that you set a limit in your head of how much money you are willing to use in a night, or per game. Professional gamblers know that no matter how good they are, they will hit a streak of bad luck and lose money. If you manage your bankroll wisely, you can take the losing streaks in stride, knowing that a portion of your bankroll is gone. The rest of your bankroll would be perfectly safe.

How Much Should You Have?

Each gambler has a different amount of money in their bankroll, but every gambler begins with a small amount. The purpose of a bankroll is to provide a fund for your gambling without mingling it with your other expenses. Let us say that you have a monthly income of $3000. You have $2000 in expenses. This means you could potentially have a bankroll of $1000. However, you will want to budget out a little “cushion” for your money, for savings and emergencies. You have the potential of beginning your bankroll with $500. If you add to it each month, you could have a $3000 bankroll in six months.

You also need to consider what the bankroll will be for. If you only play dollar slot machines for example, you can have a goal of risking 1% of your bankroll each hour, for example, or on each spin if you prefer. The slot costs the same amount of money each time you play. On-site poker players are different. They need some cushion in their bankroll, because some poker hands will be riskier than others are, and carry higher stakes.

Do Not Gamble More than You Can Lose

The most successful gamblers in the world do not worry that if they lose, they will not be able to keep the lights on. Instead, these gamblers are able to focus on their game, because they know their bankroll. They know how much they can lose. This means they can focus on their game. Gamers who can give their game of choice their full attention are better players. If you are playing to prevent a loss in a game, you are not really playing.

Types of Bankroll Strategies

There are several different types of bankroll strategies you could use to ensure that you are only playing an amount you can afford to lose.

First, the Martingale strategy means that the risk of losing your bankroll is high, but so are the rewards. If you lose a game, you double your stakes. If you win, you begin again with your beginning stake. Supposedly, the logic is that eventually you will win because of the odds. The Kelly Criteria uses percentages to determine how much money you should risk, which makes the potential for bankroll loss remote. First, you multiply your odds of winning by the chance you will win (the probability). You subtract the product by the odds (probability) you will lose. Divide this number by the odds for your risk.

If both of these ideas seem too difficult, you can try the Stop Loss Technique. This technique means that you set a loss amount you are willing to lose for the whole session you are playing in. This number could be for a game of poker, or for ten spins on the slot machine. It is your decision. When you reach that number for a loss amount of the session, you stop.

Finally, there are the rules developed by a poker champion, Chris Ferguson. He has three rules for his bankroll. First, never get into a cash game where the buy-in is more than five percent of your bankroll, no matter how good your chances are. Second, if the game is a tournament, you risk two percent of your bankroll for a buy-in, and that is it. Third, if you are winning, and the money you have on the table is more than 10% of your bankroll, cash out.

Perhaps the best advice we have found for bankroll management is from a math expert who said to win, you need to understand the difference between luck and strategy. Luck is fleeting, and does not stay in one place long. Strategy is a concept you can continue to practice each day, whether you win or lose. Do not forget the difference between the two, and your bankroll will thank you.

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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.