Is Gaming Bankroll Management Even Possible?

by Dave Brown
Bankroll Management for Casino Gamblers

Yes, bankroll management is not only possible but essential if you want to be successful in any type of money gambling; slots, blackjack, poker tournaments, you name it.

If you have seen the popular series " Better Call Saul" starring Bob Odenkirk as the character Saul Goodman you may be familiar with the famous quote " It's what gamblers do. They throw good money after bad thinking they can turn their luck around. It's like I have already spent this much money or time...whatever. I got to keep going!"  The fallacy of sunk cost is exactly WHY you need bankroll management if you want to gamble responsibly and Saul Goodman couldn't have said it better! Chasing your losses is something you should never do!

No matter if you just recently started your journey as a gamer or you are already a frequent player, this article will help you stay on track. Gaming when real money is involved is particularly appealing to a lot of people, you wouldn't be the only one. With an estimated total of 1.6 billion global gamblers throughout a year and more than 4.2 billion people have played the casino at least once in their life, you are anything but a lonely rider.

What ultimately brings all gamers together is that adrenaline-pumping feeling of surrendering all logic and reason and wagering their money on the random spin of a roulette wheel or slot machine, the throw of a dice or the flip of a card.

If you crave the same adrenaline and you need some guidance with managing your bankroll, the following information should come in handy.

Before we jump into the topic, we must mention that a player who constantly loses more than he wins should never start to chase his losses. Indifferent to the size of their starting bankroll, these players will keep losing and gradually decreasing their bankroll. In this situation, one can not use a bankroll strategy but rather stay strictly within one's gaming budget while learning how to improve the gameplay.

If this is you, we recommend that you read through the guides of the game you are playing, and losing on, to learn the game and try to figure out what you can do to play better. Once you understand the game you will be able to use bankroll management strategies. You will find all of our different guides on our main casino games page

What is Bankroll Management?

Bankroll management has to do with how you handle your money when you gamble, to make sure you don't empty your account on a never-ending losing strike. Pretty much as you would handle your home budget to make sure you don't end up with an empty wallet a week before payday. 

Bankroll management applies to any type of game involving real money but it is mostly talked about among professional poker players. For this article, we will use poker as an example. 

Poker players use a certain amount of money to wager on their favorite games of poker. This is called a bankroll and it is the money they are ready to invest in their gambling activities, be it online or offline. Again, as mentioned before, we are referring to players who manage to make a profit.

With the help of the right Bankroll Management, a player will know which rules to follow and what kind of strategies to use. The main purpose of using bankroll management is to cut the loss risk to a minimum while setting clear limitations that should aid players to maximize their profits.

Successful players look at each new game as an opportunity to invest their money and expect an actual return. They also know to expect losses and fluctuations in the short term but they will know they will end up making a profit in the long term. A strong bankroll will be able to accurately handle these swings.

3 Different Types Of Bankrolls

There are different approaches when it comes to managing your bankroll. Gamers with different play styles can choose the most suitable bankroll management:

  • conservative

  • cautious

  • aggressive

1. Conservative Bankroll Management

Players who opt for this bankroll management style will need to be prepared to make 60 buy-ins as the minimum bankroll for a level. The level up bankroll should be of 80 buy-ins for making the switch to the next level. Gamers will not risk going bankrupt while enjoying the maximum possible level of protection against the variance. On the downside, players need to play a huge number of hands on a limit prior to moving on to the next level.

If you are a high-limit player, you simply cannot go bankrupt or you are making a living out of playing poker, this is the right bankroll management style for you.

2. Cautious Bankroll Management

Players need at least 30 buy-ins for a level and 40 buy-ins for moving on to the next level. It's a BM that protects you against swings. The bankruptcy risk is extremely low. However, this type of cautiousness will develop your bankroll at a slow rate and will force you to remain at the same level for a longer time.

If you do not have to pay constantly or you think your bankroll is crucial, this is the right BM for you.

3. Aggressive Bankroll Management

With 10 buy-ins as a minimum bankroll for one level and 15 level-up buy-ins, this strategy will allow you to quickly move from one limit to the next. On the other hand, it will incur a huge risk of potentially losing most of your bankroll. They will also need to periodically consider lowering the limits. However, if you are interested in rapidly building a bankroll using low limits or you think you can beat the limits, the aggressive approach is the right one for you. Also, if you will have no problem paying if you will lose your bankroll, consider using this strategy.

Keep in mind that the more you care about your bankroll and the more terrified you are at the thought of losing it, the more conservative bankroll management you should use. So yes, to answer the initial question in the title, gaming bankroll management is possible. However, it depends on the player's attitude toward the game and the reasons behind it, be it for pure entertainment or for investment purposes. 

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