It might not be an automatic route to becoming a millionaire, but the casino is somewhere you can combine recreation, relaxation and, hopefully rewards. But just like anything in life, it’s important to plan carefully how you’re going to go about it, as casino games can be an expensive hobby.
Before playing, you need to think about:
- What games you’re going to play
- What strategies you’re going to adopt
- How you’re going to manage your money
It’s the latter that’s perhaps the most important. Keeping track of your funds, or your bankroll, as it’s referred to in casino language, lets you know exactly what you’ve spent and how much you have left – helping you avoid spending too much.
Whether you’re gambling online or in bricks and mortar casino, our guide can to monitoring the bankroll of five of the most popular games help you avoid spending too much.
Roulette – keep your winnings and your bankroll apart
Some consider this the quintessential casino game. It’s a simple premise. A roulette wheel adorned with numbers from zero to 36 is spun, a tiny white ball is set in motion, spinning in the opposite direction, and there’s a grid of numbers where players can place chips to bet on where they think the ball will land.
There’s the chance of winning up to 35 times your original stake, should you choose a singular number, with different odds if you’re betting on colours or number halves.
Managing your money in this game is all about keeping your bankroll intact, if you can. This might sound hard, as you’ll be using it to place stakes. But the key is once you’ve won more than you started out with, you should only use your winnings to bet with – and not your bankroll.
That way, you can look at it as if you’re only ever using the casino’s money to play, dipping into your bankroll only if you need to.
Blackjack – adjust your stake to suit the situation
Blackjack is another classic card game which is incredibly popular among novices and seasoned gamers alike. You play against the dealer, who’ll give you two cards to begin with. All you have to do is get closer to 21 with your cards, than the dealer can manage with theirs. Go over 21 and you’ll go bust, losing your stake money.
With blackjack, you place money on your hand, so keeping check on the amounts you’re playing per round is important when managing your bankroll.
Generally, you should start by betting no more than 1% of the money that you’ve earmarked for gambling. If things go well and you’re winning, use your original stake as a benchmark and increase it by 50%. If things aren’t going so well, reduce it by 50%.
For instance, assuming your original stake was £2, then you’d either increase it to £3 or cut it to £1, depending on how the cards are working out for you.
Jacks or Better – play the percentages
Ever since video poker hit the casinos of the US in the 1980s, they’ve dominated the floors of establishments worldwide. One of the most common games is Jacks or Better, where you’re dealt five cards by the computerised dealer and you must have a jack or better in your hand to have a chance of getting a payout.
You can ensure you don’t spend all your money too quickly through getting a solid understanding of the game beforehand, Jacks or Better isn’t a particularly famous or complicated game, so through reading tips provided by an expert, you can quickly understand it better than the average gambler. Before you dive in, read this comprehensive guide on how to play Jacks or Better, it will give you the confidence you need and ensure you don’t use your entire bankroll too quickly on a game you don’t fully understand.
One key tip for managing your bankroll in this game is to choose machines that have the highest potential returns. That’ll mean the odds that your bankroll will last longer will be stacked in your favour.
Poker – keep your emotions in check
The game of physical poker is very different compared to its online counterpart. While on both you’re dealt a hand of cards you must mould to get a winning combination, in the physical game, there’s also the psychological aspect of outfoxing your opponents with things like how much you’re betting per hand.
The fact you can influence other players with your stake also means you can be swayed in-turn – an important factor to consider when managing your bankroll.
Playing wisely and not making rash moves with your money is vital to long-term success. Taking all emotion out of your game is smart and can help you make level-headed decisions with how much you play per hand. Avoid careless decisions like increasing your stake after a winning hand in order to capitalise on that mythical ‘winning roll’ and think about keeping your bets steady throughout the game.
Slots – smaller stakes equal bigger chances
We’ve all read about slot machine jackpots people have scooped in the past, that’s what makes the spin of the reels such a temptation for players. In the game, you decide how many betting lines, or paylines, you’re going to play per spin. If they align, you’re taking away cash, depending on how much you’ve bet.
The more lines you play, the more chance you have of winning, but also the more you must pay in order to do so.
Smart gamers know that you’re much likelier to come away with rewards long-term by playing for longer and staking less each time. This gives you a greater chance of getting that winning combination of symbols, as well as picking up smaller wins along the way. It’s also worth checking out the Return to Player percentage of the slot in question, which is how much you’re likely to win by playing, and only spinning on slots where this is well over 90%.
Use casino comps to make your money go further
Besides savvy money management, you can also increase the longevity of your bankroll by taking advantages of casino comps, or bonuses. These are rewards that both online and physical casinos will grant you if you are a regular player.
They take many forms, including:
- Free stake money for every set amount spent
- Free drinks, food or accommodation
- Extra spins on slots
- Bonuses on specific games
Comps are calculated by the casino, they estimate how much they think they can win from a player – basically how much a player is expected to lose. If you’re playing in a land-based casino, there are ways giving yourself a good chance of gaining comps without losing too much. Ensure the pit boss knows when you arrive – the longer you hang around, the more likely you are to see the benefits.
The house edge is a huge factor in determining comps. For example, video poker isn’t a great choice of game if you’re purely looking for comps, the house’s slimmer advantage makes it less profitable for the casino, meaning you’re less likely to be rewarded.
When you’re online, you should check back to the casino to see what offers they have available and what comps you can receive. New offers are going up all the time, in the hope of attracting newer players and keeping existing ones – making them a valuable resource to keep your casino experience going.
By following these tips, you can ensure you’re not dipping below your bottom line while playing a variety of casino games. It’s all about knowing your limits and having fun trying to beat other players and the dealer.