How to adapt your bankroll budget for different casino games.
Everyone with an ounce of responsibility in their bones sets a budget before going to the casino. We know that we should only bring with us an amount of money that we can afford to spend, and would be willing to lose. This is common sense. Once you get in the door, things get a bit more complicated.
It’s not just about how much you spend, but how quickly you might spend it. You wouldn’t bet $100 a hand at the blackjack tables with a $500 bankroll, nor would blow $10 a spin on the slots after inserting $100. Different games do call for situational bankroll management.
How to Adapt Your Bankroll for Different Casino Games
Each game you play has different qualities; things like speed of play, bet limits, and probabilities versus profit potential. All of these qualities can have a variable impact on your bankroll. Knowing how to approach each game will ensure the longevity, and subsequently the overall entertainment value, of your gambling experience.
For the purpose of this informational text, I’m going to assume you have a $500 bankroll to work with. You may have more, or you may have less. You can adjust your figures accordingly. If you have $250, divide everything by half. If you have $1,000, multiply by 5.
Sizing Your Slots Bets
Odds are, you enjoy spinning the slots reels. I say this because the majority of casino goers head straight for the slot machines, or end up there after realizing how expensive all the other games are. Penny slots, nickel slots, even quarter slots can look a lot more appealing after seeing the Vegas blackjack tables start at anywhere from $10 to $25.
Don’t be fooled, though. Slot machines are the fastest games in the casino, taking anywhere from 6 to 10 seconds to complete each play. Some players actually get impatient, speeding the game up even more by incessantly tapping the spin button. This can result in a play every 1-2 seconds. Even at $0.10 per spin, you could be spending – and potentially losing – $0.60 to $6.00 per minute. And most games will cost you more than $0.10 per spin.
The strategy here is to; a) choose the nickel slots, as they have better RTPs than penny or quarter machines; b) don’t spend more than $1 per spin; c) let the reels spin to a stop at their own natural speed.
Budgeting for Blackjack
If blackjack is your game, you may need to make some serious adjustments to your budget. As I said, Vegas casino can charge upwards of $25 minimums per hand. Local casinos aren’t as bad, starting the limits at $15 to $10. If you play blackjack online, you can drop your bets as low as $1; sometimes just $0.50.
In a live casino, your budget for blackjack should be based on table size, because that will determine the speed of hands. With a full table, a hand can last about 1-2 minutes. With 3-4 players, up to 1 minute. You want your session to easily last an hour – even if you had the worst luck and lost every single hand. Since that’s not going to happen (unless you sabotage yourself), what you make back will ensure more hours of game play to come.
Having $500 to work with, you can safely wager about 8-$10 per hand at a half-full table, or $15-$20 at a full table.
Note that if you’re playing RNG (electronic) online blackjack, the hands will be much faster; up to 240 per hour (at 15 hands per second). Even at this rate, you can wager $20 per hand without fear of going bankrupt.
You can use this same budget plan for any game similar to blackjack, where the hands are relatively slow, and the RTP is high. This includes games like Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker and Video Poker.
Rounding Out Roulette Wagers
Roulette is another extremely popular casino game you may be interested in budgeting for. Roulette can require higher bet limits, like blackjack, but offers a variety of wagers with different odds and payouts. Each round lasts about one minute, so you’ll use a similar tactic as blackjack, betting about $8-$10 per play.
What makes these different from blackjack is the expectation for returns. The RTP is not as high, and some bets have extremely low win probabilities. Try reducing the bet size by the probability of winning. For example, if you bet on First Dozen (1-12), you have a 1 in 3 chance to win, so reduce the bet by about one-third (i.e. drop from $10 to $3).