It doesn’t matter how awesome you are at memorizing basic strategy. If you can’t successfully manage your bankroll, the house will eventually clean you out, for they essentially have an unlimited bankroll, whereas you do not. Playing blackjack becomes a lot more stressful when you blow your rent money, your car note, or your entire paycheck at the blackjack table. Avoid the trap of becoming a gambling degenerate by adhering to some basic money management rules.
Money management actually begins at home, before you leave for the casino. It’s very easy to get caught in the moment when gambling, and chasing losses will quickly have you making a beeline for the atm machine. In light of this, it’s best to only bring a set amount of cash with you, and leave all credit/ debit and ATM cards at home. That way you won’t be tempted to risk more money than you’re willing to lose.
1) Set a win goal and a loss limit. I can’t tell you what these should be, but don’t risk more than you can afford to lose. Pro tip: The smaller your win goal, the more likely you are to meet it and leave a winner. I usually set mine anywhere between 10%-50% of my session buy in. Don’t allow your emotions or your ego to affect your play decisions. “All or nothing.” “One more hand and I’m out.” “I can win it back!” are all self sabotaging games that one plays on one’s mind. This lack of discipline inevitably leads to ruin. Warren Buffet once stated, “He who cannot control his emotions, cannot control his finances.”
2) Pay yourself first. You won a session, great for you. Don’t just add your winnings to your bankroll. Pay something off with that money. Pay your utilities, your car note, your groceries, etc. You can’t lose it back if you’ve paid off your creditors. Do this first before continuing to play.
3) Time your play. The average optimal attention span for most people is about 90 minutes (hence the length of most films). Casinos know that playing beyond your attention span will result in small errors in your play which will add up to big losses for you in the end. Their goal is to get you to play longer by distracting you with an environment where time seems to stand still; where there are no clocks, no windows, and an endless supply of free alcoholic beverages. Although I don’t recommend stopping in the middle of a heater (a streak of winning hands), wear a watch or set an alarm on your phone, and know when you’re playing in attention overtime. If you are losing, leave the table at your exact end time, no ifs, ands or buts. Stick to your time limit and you will a better chance to live to fight another day.
4) Don’t use your entire bankroll for one session. You cannot win every session. Therefore, rather than buying in at a table with all of your cash, break your bankroll into a minimum of three session amounts for that day. That way, if the cards aren’t in your favor, you will know when to get up, get some air, food, rest ,etc, and return to a new table refreshed and ready to play a new game.
Having the discipline to walk away from the blackjack table at the right time is what separates the long term winners from the losers. If you still feel the urge to play that day, why not visit our FREE Online Blackjack Game and play in practice mode? That way, you’ll be honing your skills without risking your cash.