Managing your gambling bank roll

Correctly managing your gambling bank roll is perhaps even more important than becoming a highly skilled player of your chosen game(s). To be successful, a player must know the odds for the chosen game, that is the house's advantage over the player and which bets are better options for the player.


In the short term you can have a winning or a loosing run regardless of the odds. You should take proper action to maximize your winning run and minimize your loosing streak. If you play long enough with this knowledge and without formulating a proper playing strategy, you will end up loosing even when lady luck is smiling on you. How? You say? It is a mathematical fact that if you wager enough times the house will always win! How you manage this will ultimately determine your success or failure.

All highly skilled successful gamblers share one common skill. They know how to properly manage their bankroll and they have acquired the discipline necessary to manage it properly when under stress and the 'poker face' necessary to mask that stress from the opposition.

No matter how skilful you become in relation to the technical aspects of your game, you will never be a regular serious winner unless you learn to manage your money astutely. This involves planning and developing a relevant money management strategy for your chosen game(s).

If you start with say $1000 total bank roll, you would be wise to subdivide it into a minimum of 4 or 5 lots and never take more than one part out on any one occasion that is $200 or $250 depending on how you have divided it up. If you start with less than a grand the same applies i.e. $500 to start divides down to $100 or $125 per outing. If you are running $5 basic bets, $200 translates to 40 consecutive loosing basic bets. If I have had six or seven consecutive loosing bets, I pick up my bat and ball and piss off. There is no joy to be had in playing with that lot!

When this happens to you, take some time out, if you haven't lost all of what you are prepared to loose on the day, maybe try another casino. If it is more of the same, your are out of favor with lady luck and should give it a miss for the rest of the day at least and review your play and your strategy.

Some of the dumbest mistakes are usually made when one is having a winning streak. After awhile you realize that you are well ahead (at least double your starting stake) and you start getting greedy, throw caution and your playing strategy to the wind, start doubling up on your bets, start drinking too much and all of a sudden you have a few loosing bets in a row. You double your already doubled bets and loose a few more times. Out of desperation, you start betting erratically and it isn't long before your winnings and your original stake has evaporated.

The next deadly sin is to go and take some more money from your stake and try to recover your losses forthwith. Invariably this lot will join the previous!

When this happens, particularly after a few drinks, few people are emotionally equipped to overcome the psychological disadvantage to bounce back immediately. Step back, take stock of what has happened, and analyze your plays and your original plan. Learn your lesson well and never repeat this mistake!

Most of us at some stage have been there and done that - No future in it!

There is a lot of psychology involved in gambling. With the exception of poker, where bluff can turn a loosing hand into a winning hand, the psychology revolves around your mental state, personal discipline, planning ability and the courage to stick to your plan.

Greed, letting yourself be sucked in by the excitement of the game (especially easy when you are winning) is the sucker's road to despair. Casinos depend on this. It is their way of defeating a technically skilful player who lacks the discipline and mental toughness to be a regular winner.

It never ceases to amaze me to hear gamblers on a winning run say, "I'm playing with the casino's money". That is a load of bovine excrement! You won it from the casino. IT IS YOUR MONEY and only a half-wit is going to willingly give the casino his or her money! Believe me, the casino does not regard the money they win off you as your money. They see it as their money and rightly so!

Being a regular winner depends as much or more on a hard-nosed mental discipline as it does on physical skill. You must know when to walk away and develop the courage to do it every time! If you are having a winning run and decide to increase your bets do so gradually but only in line with your original strategy and only when the circumstances truly warrant it.

The golden rule of gambling is to separate your funds into two basic groups or accounts - one to cover your must pay bills and living expenses and one for your expendable income. You take your gambling bankroll from this latter account.

Never gamble with money that you must apply to essentials and never gamble more than you can afford to loose.

Believe me, we all have loosing streaks. If you find gambling stressful, either fined a game with smaller limits where loosing a smaller bet won't stress you or find another form of entertainment. Simply put, if gambling stresses you, then you are unlikely to have the mental discipline to stick to a predetermined strategy especially when you start having a loosing streak.

A skilful player with a tough mental discipline will bide his or her time, exercise patience and keep the game under control to maximize wins and minimize losses and most importantly of all, know when to quit a session.

There are many semi professional gamblers who make a good supplemental income by following these simple rules.

If you are playing out of your depth (maybe because you are under capitalized or stressed by the prospect of loosing) quit immediately. If you happen to be playing poker, the other players will see this almost immediately and up the bets just to force you out of the pots and thereby bleed you dry.

Part of your strategy for minimizing your losses is to set a stop loss limit before you start to play. If things start going bad take a break and reassess the situation. Has your mental attitude contributed to the problem? Regardless of what you decide, once you reach your predetermined loss limit, quit for at least twenty-four hours and reassess both your play and your strategy.

If you feel a compulsion to gamble, it is time to seek help to quit gambling. If you loose or cannot develop the ability to stand back and dispassionately assess the play of the game, it is time to quit. This is truly the beginning of the road to despair!

When you're winning, keep taking at least half out, put it in a separate pocket and leave it there until you quit playing. If things suddenly go sour, quit at the latest when you reach your predetermined loss limit. This way there is a fair chance that you will have ended up a winner despite loosing your initial predetermined loss limit.

Good Luck!

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