When you play at an online casino, there are several elements that depend on luck. You can’t make the roulette wheel land on black 31, get the third scatter symbol to appear on the reels, or ensure that the banker has the worst hand in baccarat. That makes it crucial that you focus on what you can control.
Many guides focus on strategy for blackjack, poker, and video poker. It’s true that decision-making skills will help you with those games. However, there’s one factor where the power always lies in your hands – your bankroll management. Managing your bankroll is the best preparation you can undertake before hitting the casino.
It’s worth noting that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow our tips for casino bankroll management to take care of your money and have a better time playing games online.
How to Manage Your Casino Bankroll Safely
The number one rule of safe casino bankroll management is to only gamble what you can afford to lose. There are no guarantees that you’ll see a return from your bets, so you need to be prepared to lose and manage without that money.
Before you deposit at a casino, ask yourself whether adding that amount to your account will cause you financial problems. It could be something small, but it’s worth running through your other expenses in your mind. Will you have enough for food shopping, bills, rent or your mortgage, and petrol? Maybe your MOT is coming up, or you need to get your sister’s wedding present, meaning you’ll need a bit extra this week.
Make sure there’s enough in your bank account to cover your costs, as thrills at the casino aren’t worth guilt, hardship, or compromises elsewhere in your life. The point is to have fun, and you can only do that if you’re gambling within your means. For example, if you don’t have enough money to go to the cinema, then you must wait until payday. The same applies for gambling.
Consider playing at online casinos that allows you to limit your spending in advance. Hello Casino, Zet Casino, Betchan Casino, Sky Casino, and Gala Casino are all examples of great British online casinos that allows players to control their spending by setting individual limits. When you’ve reached your spending limit, you can’t simply just increase it, but have to fulfill a cooldown period before you can top up your account again by making a new deposit.
Creating a Gambling Budget
Before we look at how to manage your bankroll, let’s address how you decide how much to deposit in the first place. Your bankroll is the amount that you’ll use in a particular gambling session, but you might add a larger portion to your casino balance for various reasons. You could have deposited more to trigger a bonus, or perhaps you prefer to put enough to play for the rest of the month.
As mentioned above, your deposit amount depends on your outgoings and how much you can afford to use for gambling. Think of it as paying for entertainment, like cinema or theatre tickets, or even a weekend away. With that in mind, you can now give the casino a value based on having fun and deposit accordingly.
Everyone’s budget will depend on their circumstances, what else they spend money on, and how they value casino entertainment. Here are a few more factors to consider when setting your gambling budget:
- Type of game you play: Some, like slots, move quickly, meaning you’ll be placing a bet every few seconds, whereas a hand of cards can take longer.
- Your stake: Games have minimum and maximum stakes, and sometimes you need to bet a certain amount to get the biggest payoffs, so think about how much you bet each spin or hand.
- How long you play for: Is your budget for two hours, one night a week for a month? It would be easy to get through £100 in an hour, but would you prefer that to last you all week? If you play every week, you know your monthly budget is £400. If that seems too much, it’s time to recalculate.
How To Manage Your Casino Funds
Once you’ve worked out your budget for the week or month, it’s time to break that down into smaller portions, which you can consider your bankroll for that session. If you’re starting from scratch, it can be hard to estimate the amount you need for one evening of gambling.
A general rule of thumb is to start with 10% of your budget and see how you get on. If you’ve deposited £500, you have a total of £50 to play with for this session. Once you’ve bet and lost that £50, you know it’s time to walk away. Your bankroll becomes a clear line so you can cut your losses, which is why it’s so important to establish this boundary before you start betting.
With that £50, it’s possible to be even more specific. Think about which game or games you’ll play. Now, get a rough estimate of how many spins or hands you want to play. Two hundred spins of a slot mean your bet would be 25p each time. Alternatively, you could be betting £1.25 on 40 blackjack hands.
Safe Gambling Tips
1. LIMIT YOUR BETS:
UK casinos adhere to responsible gambling policies, which means they should give you the tools to control your activity. That includes options to limit the amount you can deposit and limit your bets.
2. LIMIT YOUR TIME:
Alongside the limits for wagers and deposits; casinos often give you control of your session by allowing you to set a limit for the time you play. Another option is to have alerts, which remind you how long you’ve been playing to encourage you to take a break.
3. DRAW A LINE:
Just as you ‘ve discussed walking away once you’ve spent your bankroll, it’s also useful to set the opposite limit. If you’re winning, it can be tempting to keep playing, but it’s better to give yourself a clear boundary for when to walk away and still keep some winnings. After all, it’s a fantastic feeling.
4. SLOW DOWN:
The point is to have fun, so enjoy the game animations instead of hitting the bet button straight away. Pause to celebrate a win or plan your next move after a loss, and your bankroll will last longer.
Here are our top tips when it comes to safe gambling and bankroll management:
Stop-loss is a technique used in financial trading and can also be applied at the casino. The simplest way to use a stop-loss is to know that if the thought crosses your mind that you’re losing too much or you’ve had enough, you should stop and walk away immediately.
Using a stop-loss technique means you set up conditions before you play or before your next bet, and those will help you decide whether to continue or stop. For example, you might be playing a slot, and you’ve experienced several losses in a row. You could say to yourself, if I bet £3 more and don’t hit the bonus round, I’m stopping.
Different Gambling Strategies
Over the years, players and experts have developed different strategies for deciding how much to bet.
Martingale and Reverse Martingale
The Martingale strategy claims to be loss averse and is simple to follow. It’s often applied to games like roulette, where you double your bet after a loss and halve your wager after a win. It relies on the premise that you’ll win eventually.
However, it can lead to a series of even bigger losses, cutting short your playing time. Others reverse the strategy, betting bigger after a win and halving the wager when they lose.
A more complex approach that you’ll see employed by professional poker players is the Kelly criterion. It’s a formula in probability theory that calculates the optimal size for a bet. It considers the expected return, whether losing the bet means losing the whole stake, the probability of a win, and of a loss.
Things To Avoid When Gambling
Our top tips on what to avoid when gambling:
- Don’t bet immediately after a win. Calm down from the excitement before placing your next bet.
- Don’t bet immediately after a loss. Shake it off and destress before your next wager.
- Don’t play for hours on end. If you want to make an evening of it, take lots of breaks.
- Don’t chase losses, which ultimately means don’t throw more money down in the hopes that you can finish even or up.
- Don’t wager what you can’t afford to lose.
RTP or return to player is like the Kelly Criterion. It’s theoretical but can be useful information. It tells you the percentage of payouts to players over time. Think of it as the opposite of the house edge. If a game has an RTP of 96%, in theory, out of a hundred £1 bets, you could expect £96 back.
Why do I need to manage my bankroll when playing at an online casino?
Managing your bankroll when playing at a casino protects you from losses that will affect your life and well-being. It will also help you have more fun.
Is the Martingale System a good strategy to use?
No. Although it claims to be loss averse, it can lead to a quick succession of large losses.
Which strategies should I use then?
If you want to get technical, you can use the Kelly criterion. Otherwise, stick to the tips in this article and the stop-loss technique.
What is RTP?
RTP means return to player, and it tells you how much a game will theoretically payout over time as a percentage.
What is volatility?
Volatility refers to the frequency of payouts. For example, highly volatile slots often have larger payouts, but are rarer.
Should I use gambling as a means of income?
No, never rely on gambling for an income. It’s entertainment and should be fun, not pressured.