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Casino Bankroll Management


In this article we look at some basic steps you can take to ensure you do not go over budget yet still get the entertainment time you require from your Casino gaming.  This article does not go into optimum play strategies or individual game strategies as it is written for those who primarily see gambling as entertainment  but if you are new to online gambling or find you are spending more than you wish or getting frustrated with your experiences then please read on.

It may appear to be self-explanatory as to what a bankroll is but for the purposes of this article we shall define it as your total gambling budget for one week. It is important that when deciding upon your weekly bankroll you should budget realistically and sensibly and unless your financial circumstances change for the better or worse you should absolutely stick by it come rain or shine – come win or lose.

Once you have decided upon your bankroll the next step is to decide how many gaming sessions you wish to play in the week and for how long. I would suggest you play a maximum of 3 sessions per week as anything more is borderline compulsive – there is other entertainment out there you know! However, everybody’s situation is different and you will know what is right for you.

Okay, you should now know your bankroll size and how many sessions and for how long you wish to play. I will now give an example as to how you should develop your play strategy in order that you get the playtime you require for the bankroll you have.

Let’s assume your bankroll is $100 and that you wish to play twice in the week for two hours each session. That makes things simple in that we can divide our bankroll into 2 sums of $50 for each session. If things are more complicated for you in that you play more sessions and for unequal lengths of time then you should add your total hours for all sessions then divide your weekly bankroll by this figure and then multiply this number by the amount of hours you wish to play in a particular session to get your bankroll for that session.

For example we have a  $100 weekly bankroll. We wish to play 2 sessions of one hour and 1 session of two hours. Total hours = 4. $100/4(hours) = $25. Session 1= $25×1(hour)=$25 bankroll. Session 2 = $25×1(hour)=$25 bankroll. Session 3 = $25×2(hours) = $50 bankroll. Of course we are assuming you are flat betting and playing similar games but more on this in a moment – now back to our original example of $100 and 2 equal sessions of 2 hours each which gives us 2 sessions at $50.

We now know we have $50 that we wish to last for 2 hours at worse or, the gambling gods be praised, wins us some more funds. From here we can calculate how much we should be betting on each game turn to ensure we get the full entertainment we desire. I will take this moment though to add the caveat that in gambling there are no certainties, all we can do is calculate for the average expected outcome but this is still an excellent way to manage your bankroll when entertainment is your primary goal.

So, now we must decide on the games we are likely to play, and again for the purposes of this article we will go with an example – this time video slots but the same strategy can be applied to other games.  The question is how many turns per hour will we play on said game? A rough average for video slots is around 12 games per minute so 12 x 60 = 720 turns per hour but do the same calculation for whatever game you are likely to play. Since in our example we are playing for 2 hours we need to multiply our game turns by 2, giving us 1,440 game turns we will need to budget for but of course we do not expect zero return from all those games so  now need to incorporate the HE (house edge) into our calculations and because of variance and to give us a little wiggle room we are going to calculate it at 10% though it may be closer to 5% in reality. To make the explanation easier I am going to use this convoluted method first then give the cleaner calculation. 10% of 1440 = 144. We now divide our bankroll by this amount $50/144 = 0.35c (rounded) per game turn we should be wagering if we expect to play 1,440 games at a 10% HE. To check this you can multiply .35 by 1440 which comes to $500 (rounded) expected total wagering over the 2 hour period which would result in an expected $50 loss (our total bankroll) at 10% HE.  The cleaner calculation is to take our HE and divide that into 100 (100/10=10) and then multiply our $50 bankroll by this amount, ($50×10)= $500 wagering. We now simply divide by our total game turns, $500/1440= 35c (rounded)

How you play that 35c in our example will also impact on how likely you are to get your required playtime and this is where variance comes in. More about this in another article but for simplicities sake we can say that playing 1 line at 35c is a high variance strategy where risk to your bankroll is much greater but so are the potential  rewards  while playing 5c at 7 lines would be a medium variance strategy and playing 35 lines at 1c would be a low variance strategy. Essentially, the lower the variance the more likely your bankroll will last but the harder it becomes to hit big wins.

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