By Bill Burton
Your gambling “Bankroll” is the money that you set aside for playing when you visit the casino. Players who visit the casino only for entertainment usually have a bankroll consisting of the money they have on hand to take to the casino with them. A player planning on spending a few days at the casino during vacation may save up a little each week to form a bankroll that will last them for a few days. These are temporary bankrolls.
Serious players maintain their gambling bankroll in a separate fund or bank account that is used for nothing except playing their game of choice. Any winnings go back into the fund and losses are taken out it. They never use any other funds for gambling purposes or use their gambling funds for any other expenses. One player I know refers to his gambling bankroll as his 401-G.
The size of your bankroll is one of the determining factors as to the money limits of the games you will play. If your bankroll consists of $50 you would be foolish to sit down at a $25 blackjack table since you would only be able to play two hands. If you are a slot player with $20 you would be best advised to avoid the dollar slot machines and stick with quarters or nickels. Your monetary bankroll is not big enough for these limits.
The other determining factor in choosing the denomination of the games you play is what I call your “Emotional Bankroll. Your Emotional Bankroll will not be based strictly on the amount of money you have. You can have a very large bankroll but still not be comfortable playing at the higher limits. Your emotional bankroll equates to your risk tolerance. How much stress can you handle when playing a casino game? The size of your bet should be one that gives you a little thrill, but not enough to make you start sweating each outcome.
The Extreme Player – Some players like to live on the edge. They are thrill seekers and only get enjoyment when their bets are extremely high. To these types of players the money is only a way of keeping score. The real excitement is in the action. For sports they may enjoy rock climbing or sky diving and if they are investors in the stock market you can be pretty sure they are investing in the speculative stocks. In the casino you will find them playing Craps or Blackjack at the high roller tables or playing the high denomination slots
The Conservative Player – These players are more conservative. They enjoy the games but are also concerned about the price of their entertainment. They want to play but do not feel that they want to risk a large portion of their bankroll on any one outcome or playing session. For sports they may enjoy Golf or bowling or some other competitive sport that doesn’t entail risking their life in the process. If they are investors they may choose Mutual Funds or the Blue Chips stocks to give them a steady and safe return. In the casino these players will be at the five dollar tables enjoying the games or playing nickel or quarter slots.
Determine Your Player Profile – You will probably fall somewhere in the middle of these two types of players. Once you know the size of your money bankroll you then have to determine how much risk your emotional bankroll can handle. If you are conservative by nature you may find that you could have a very large bankroll but still not be comfortable sitting at the higher limit tables.
The best way to determine your ideal emotional level is to try moving up in levels of play slowly. Five dollar table game players may want to try a ten dollar table and eventually a twenty five dollar one. Quarter slot players may move to the fifty cent machines and then on to the dollar slots. If you get to a point where the risk factor is bothering you then go back down to the previous level. There is no shame in this as it is a very personal decision.
I heard a story about a CEO of one of the world’s biggest companies being spotted in a Las Vegas poker room playing in a low limit game. This man is worth millions and could easily afford to play at the highest level tables. Some of the players at a nearby higher limit table tried to entice him to come up and play at their table. He declined saying he was perfectly comfortable playing where he was.
Only you can determine your own emotional bankroll. When you do, stick to it. Just as you have to properly manage your money bankroll you need to manage your emotional one as well. It will make your playing experience an enjoyable one. Have Fun!
Until Next time remember:
Luck comes and goes…..Knowledge Stays Forever.
Bill Burton is the Casino Gambling Columnist for the Internet portal About.com. His website is located at: http://casinogambling.about.com. He is the author of “1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets” and “He is the author of "Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold’em" available at www.billburton.com. He is an instructor for Golden Touch Craps; www.goldentouchcraps.com. He also writes for several national gambling publications.