Not everyone who plays real money games is going to win every time – so it’s really important to learn how to take the rough with the smooth.
That means knowing how to make the most of the playing cash you have, and making sure the balance stays as healthy as possible.
On this page we’ll cover a handful and a half of tips that’ll help with bankroll management.
What Is Bankroll Management
First let’s cover the obvious. What is your bankroll?
If you’re a seasoned player you’ll already know. It’s the wad of cash you have in your gambling account with which you can wager.
At the outset, it’ll be whatever you deposit from your own cash reserves – added to any bonuses you might have taken advantage of. Later it’ll also hopefully include any winnings.
Obviously it’s great to have as much as possible to start with. But any amount is a starting point. How to manage it to best effect – whatever its size – is what’s important.
Protecting your bankroll – known by experienced gamblers as bankroll management – is a set of approaches you can use to maintain a healthy account balance and ensure you can ride out the losses plus take advantage of the winning streaks when they come.
8 Tips For Making Your Bankroll Last
1. Use Bonuses
Bonuses are an integral part of real money gaming. They’re offers which give you extra money on top of a deposit – either your first deposit with a new operator (known as the welcome bonus), or maybe on the 2nd or 3rd deposits (known as reload bonuses). You can even get no deposit bonuses which effectively give you free playing time.
Seeking out the highest value bonuses will get you the most value for your money and are very effective for boosting bankrolls.
There are some drawbacks though which you’ll need to be careful of. I’ll cover those another time.
2. Choose Games Wisely
There are some games (particularly casino games) that will drink your cash quickly and some that will drink it slowly, although every now and then one of them will spit you some out.
The best option for maintaining your bankroll is of course to play on games where you have a better chance of winning, or where strategy or skill plays a big part in the outcome. In the casino, card games are the most likely to fit into this category. Poker is of course worth considering, and the skill game options are probably those which give you the optimum chances of success. Games like slots are ones where you may strike lucky with a big win.
There’s some balance needed here. If you want the anticipation and ultimate rush of a big win but want to keep your bank intact, then mix it up a bit between the different options. If you can handle a slow build up of profits then stick to games with a lower house edge.
3. Learn Game Strategies
Not all games can be played with any effective winning strategies. They’re games of luck by nature, although there are a handful of them where you can use strategies in certain situations which will improve your chances.
Different types of casino games are a great example here – blackjack, 3 card poker, and Caribbean Stud spring to mind.
With effective attention to playing correct strategy based on the information available (ie the value of cards showing), you can effectively improve your odds of making winning hands and/or beating the dealer.
4. Take Your Time
Real money gambling is best approached as a fun activity. You should be able to enjoy it, and if you play like a madman with solely the aim of making money, you’ll most likely end up disappointed.
Take it easy, build some anticipation, have regular breaks. One good way to manage this is to allocate an amount to play with and stick to that amount, which brings us on to the next tip….
5. Decide On A Limit
Self control is a big part of responsible gambling, and deciding before you play on limits to how long you’ll play for, or how much you’re prepared to spend, are both important.
Both can teach you a lot about your ability to exercise self-control, and give you practice in doing so.
Simple stuff really. Decide before starting a session on how long you’ll play. Some operators will allow you to go into an area of your account and actually set this time period. You’ll get a warning when it’s up. But a simple setting of an alarm on your mobile will do just as well.
Setting a loss limit is equally straightforward. Set a sensible amount – an amount you can afford to lose without it hurting – and stick to it. If you lose it, don’t chase the losses!
6. Take Out Some Winnings
Although hitting a good run early on in a session will expand the size of your bankroll, the odds are that you’ll give plenty of it back. Even if the game you’re playing seems to be a ‘hot’ one.
If you’ve followed the previous tips about limiting playing time, playing cautiously, and taking your time, it should be easy to filter some winnings away for another day. In fact, that’s a very sensible approach.
7. Don’t Stress About It
It’s supposed to be fun, right? No need for stress. Go into a session in the right, relaxed frame of mind. Stress can put you in a a physiological state where your decisions and thought processes are impaired.
That’s never a good recipe for an activity where you need to keep a cool head and avoid being impulsive.
And remember, stressful feelings can strike at any time. You might start off clear-headed, and then the dreaded losing run puts you on tilt.
Some professional poker players practice forms of meditation to be able to handle these situations. That may not be needed for all types of cash gaming, but there are plenty of straightforward ways to keep a sufficient level of calmness.
8. Team Up
Playing cash prize games is often a solitary exercise. Most players do like to keep it private, and actually it’s something you can do at times when there’s nothing else going on.
But teaming up with another player – although not necessarily easy to arrange – can of course double your bankroll and you both get the same entertainment. I’d say it even makes winning more fun, and you can keep each other in check too.
The way to do this is probably to talk it over with a friend or family member, and make an evening of it. Cook a dinner, have a small drink, and settle down for a couple of hours sharing the playing time and making joint decisions….
…and hopefully share out the winnings at the end of the night!
These 8 steps to improve your bankroll management techniques while playing real money games are all worth considering.
Individually each one will help, and collectively they’ll place you in the best position possible (short of just not playing of course) to enjoy a gaming session to the maximum, not lose too much, and maybe even walk away with more cash than you started with!