Guide to Bankroll Management for Casino Players

Learn how to manage your online bankroll effectively

What is Bankroll Management?

Bankroll management is one of the most important considerations for online gamblers. In fact, it's probably your #1 consideration. It's more important than finding a nice bonus, more important than good customer support, and more important than fast cashouts.

Learning how to handle a bankroll can mean the difference between a healthy profit and going bust. Players have to find the right games, learn to deposit sensibly, and work out when it's time to take the money and stop spinning the reels.

Without even basic bankroll management, you can kiss goodbye to your winnings. Play sensibly with our top tips and be a successful gambler, who's totally in control of their gambling experience.

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Why Does Bankroll Management Matter?

Even if you only plan on playing penny slots or small stakes online casino games, you'll need to manage your bankroll with a budget. This is a set amount of money chosen by you, which is set aside for your games - and only your games. The reason it's so important to do this is so you avoid spending more than you can afford and then spiralling into debt.

You don't have to have a separate bank account for wagers but it can be a good idea. Alternatively, consider opening an e-wallet like PayPal or Skrill, and use it just for your gaming. With a separate wagering account, it's easier to keep a handle on what's going in and out. Wherever your money is coming from, it's a good idea to set up a spreadsheet to keep track of everything you have won and lost.

What Is Bankroll Management?

Bankroll management is the method in which gamblers handle and structure their budget. A simple staking plan can mean the difference between big losses and big wins. If you end up playing rashly and go bust, you won't have any money left to gamble with. That's why it's always essential you know how much you are up or down before you start a gambling session.

Planning Your Budget is Essential

Now you need to work out your stakes. You don't need to employ a complicated staking plan but you don't want to go bust, either. Your individual stakes should be a set as a rigid percentage of your overall bankroll.

For example, let's say you are playing a five-reel slot with bets from 0.01. Your total budget is $100. Start off betting 0.5-1% of your budget on each spin, or 0.50 to 1.00. Not only does it help you handle the swings you will find in many slots, but it also helps you gauge whether a slot is volatile or not.

Some plans instruct the gambler to bank ALL winnings and carry on betting a percentage of their original bankroll. Alternatively, you can add on your winnings to the bankroll and bet a new percentage of the total amount. Obviously, the potential losses can be larger this way, so you need to work out what suits your budget.

Top 3 Tips for Sensible Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is all about handling your budget in a safe and sensible way. Let's look at how slots players can better take responsibility for their stakes and winnings:

  1. Choose the Right Games

    Table game players have a few different options available at most online casinos. It's easy to pick and choose the right games. With online slots, the decision is a lot harder, as the games are set up differently and have different payout structures and volatility.

    The volatility, or variance, is the way in which a slot behaves. A low volatility slot pays out small and often, while a high volatility pays out big but less often. If you play too many high volatility games, you may lose your entire bankroll before you win anything. Mix things up and have a variety of games in your personal casino lobby.

  2. Pick the Best Deposit Option

    Free banking is available at most casinos but you may still be charged if you pick the wrong deposit method. Even if the casino doesn't charge you, your bank or e-wallet provider may do. Managing a bankroll is about managing the fees as well as the games. You will have to factor in any charges made to your cash when you move money around, so always remember to read the small print.

  3. Try out a Casino Bonus

    Casinos always offer tempting bonuses to their customers. Welcome bonuses attract new customers, and reload bonuses and slot tournaments reward them for playing. While many bonuses require a deposit, some do not.

    As a smart gambler, you need to always ensure the bonus is achievable to get the most out of your bankroll. Every bonus has a wagering requirement attached. This is the multiple of your deposit you will need to gamble in order to access the cash. If the requirement is too high, you could end up gambling with no reward.

Bankroll Management in Action

There are several staking plans available on the web which can help gamblers manage their bankrolls. Essentially, you want to set aside a pot of cash solely for gambling. Never dip into savings or household budgets to gamble with.

Once you have a budget and you've picked a few slots to play, settle on a stake per spin. Start off spinning at 0.5 to 1% of your overall budget. If you lose, adjust your stakes according to your new bankroll. If you win, adjust your stakes up to reflect the larger roll. Alternatively, if you make a profit, bank your winnings and carry on betting a percentage of your original bankroll.

Example:

You play a standard five-reel slot like Microgaming's Asian Beauty. The game plays 243 ways to win, and you settle on a stake of 0.01 per coin. You opt for 10 coins a spin for a max bet of 3.00. Your original budget is 3000.00.

Spin 1: You win 2.50.

Spin 2: You lose 3.00.

Spin 3: You win 15.00 by hitting five of a kind.

Your new budget is 3014.50. You now adjust your total stake up a touch by selecting coins at 0.02 and 6 coins per spin for a bet of 3.60. These adjustments continue as your bankroll moves up and down.

Bankroll Management Apps & Software

Most good money management apps you will find are for poker, but it doesn't mean there aren't a few nuggets saved for gamblers and investors.

Tynic Bankroll Management (Android): Originally designed for lottery players, Tynic also works well for casino gaming. It helps you break your bankroll into blocks and protects your budget if you go on a losing streak.

Easy Bankroll (Android): Easy Bankroll is a great tracking app that lets you select games, dates, and even venues before you gamble. You can customize your gambling sessions and get a detailed history of your wins and losses.

Mint (iOS/Android): Mint is a free download app that syncs with the user's bank account and gives up-to-date reports on spending and bills. Mint also has a handy alert system to tell you when you're going over your limit.

With a basic staking plan and some clever game management, you can make your money go further. Enjoy yourself, keep a regular diary or history of your sessions, and come out the other side a winner.

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