Casino Bankroll Management

Casino Bankroll Management

The majority of Americans gamble not only to have fun, but also with the hope of winning real money. To have this opportunity, you have to register at the casino and make a first deposit, which becomes your casino bankroll. Although luck decides a lot in gambling, proper management of your own money will help you increase your winning chances and reduce the risk of major financial losses.

What Is Bankroll

A bankroll is an amount of money that you allocate for gambling. The bankroll is part of your capital/income, and its size depends on how much you are willing to spend on gambling and what bets you prefer.

Important: a bankroll is not just money set aside for gambling, it is the amount that you are ready to lose without harming your financial situation and psychological state.

When forming a bankroll, it is important to consider the main items of expenditure: utility bills, food expenses, and so on. In addition, it is important to strictly adhere to the amount that you have allocated for gambling and not step beyond the maximum limit.

Why Is Management of Casino Bankroll So Essential

You should take bankroll management seriously, because it provides a number of advantages even if you have high incomes:

  • You will be able to enjoy gambling longer. By playing within predetermined financial limits, you can be sure that you will still have funds for the next day, even if you have a losing streak.
  • Your choice will become more conscious. By managing your bankroll, you can simultaneously track the number of positive and negative results, your success in specific games and other factors, and improve your approach to gambling.
  • It is easier to plan your future. By monitoring your progress and expenses in gambling, you will be able to better understand how to act in the future — whether to move to higher limits or lower the betting level to keep the funds.

It is worth noting that casino bankroll management requires a serious attitude to be effective, so you should not rely on your own memory and approximate calculations. Keep in mind that wins often last longer in memory than losses, and it may seem that you are clearly in the black, although the numbers show otherwise.

Gambling Psychology

There are a number of factors that influence gaming behavior; some of these are very important in the context of bankroll and bankroll management.

Scared Money

There is a well-known expression “Scared money never wins”; in gambling, it corresponds to the situation when you play with money that you are afraid of losing. That happens when there is no bankroll management or where it needs to be improved. If you play with money that you are afraid to lose or cannot afford to lose and every next bet gives you a nervous tic, then this expression is about you.

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In addition, even if you have money for gambling, you can still be afraid of losing and painfully perceive every failure. In any case, there are 2 options: abandon gambling or use a competent management for casino bankroll and don’t play for money that you do not cannot spend without harming your bankroll.

House Edge & RTP Explained

You probably know that casinos never lose; the fact is that they always have one or another advantage over you; the house edge varies from game to game. Another criterion that is directly related to the house edge is the RTP; this is the percentage of money returned to the players. The higher the RTP, the lower the house edge, and vice versa; it is logical that you better choose games with the highest return percentage.

The Good Girl Bad Girl slot machine
The Good Girl Bad Girl slot has an RTP of 97.79%

There are additional nuances, so we suggest considering all the aspects using slots as an example. So, let’s say that you have chosen a slot with an RTP of 98% — this means the following:

  • In theory, you receive $98 for every $100 spent on this particular title; however, a huge number of spins and a very long distance are considered.
  • In this case, the house edge is 2% (100 – 98 = 2).

Everything is clear with house edge (like RTP, this criterion is fixed and is unique for each game); however, the return of funds is often misinterpreted. Many players believe that RTP guarantees a return of a certain amount from every $100; in reality, this is only a probability that is relevant in the case of a very large number of spins in the same slot, considering the actions of all gamblers playing this slot machine.

In other words, you can win a large amount during the first session, or you can lose many times in a row and lose everything.

Choosing games with a high RTP and a low house edge is the right thing to do, but don’t include specific amounts in your bankroll strategy; focus on the money you are willing to spend, not receive.

Tips for Effective Casino Bankroll Management

There are basic recommendations on managing your bankroll, playing a more profitable game, and reducing risks.

Creating a Bankroll

As we have already said, a casino bankroll is money which you allocated exclusively for gambling and which you can afford to lose. The size of your starting casino bankroll depends on your desire, financial situation, the presence or absence of urgent financial obligations, and other details. When determining your starting bankroll, just be honest with yourself and remember about scared money, which does not lead to success.

Play Games for Your Bankroll

It is believed that the bankroll allocated by you for one session should be approximately 10-20 times the size of the minimum bet; the higher it is, the larger your bankroll per session should be.

Live Blackjack at casino
Live games require more investment from both you and the casino

The easiest section to choose a game according to your financial capabilities is the one with slots, while the games in the live section have a higher entry threshold. Remember that by starting small, you can move up to higher limits over time with a good bankroll strategy.

Determine the Acceptable Level of Losses

Only you can determine how long you are willing to put up with money losses. Once you have set an acceptable level (for example, 15 or 20% of the bankroll set for the day), you have to strictly adhere to it without succumbing to emotions and not trying to win back with the remaining funds or making an additional deposit.

Regulate Bet Size and Use Small Limits

In addition to choosing a title based on the available bankroll, you should also control the minimum and maximum bet levels in the game; each of them has its own limits. You should start with small bets in games with low limits, as this will eliminate the temptation to spend too much money. You should also adjust the amount of bets based on your success (or lack of it).

Use Bonuses & Promotions

Proper use of special offers will increase the bankroll, so why not include bonuses in the casino bankroll management? We offer you to find out which promotions are in demand on gambling sites.


Most often, you need to make a deposit (the first or repeated) of a certain amount to receive a bonus. A striking example is the welcome bonus: you get 100% or more on your first deposit; sometimes, you also receive free spins. However, keep in mind that the deposit bonus has a wagering requirement.

Wagering RequirementDescription
WagerThis is a coefficient which shows how many bets you need to make to withdraw the cash bonus amount or winnings from free spins.
Maximum betCasinos usually set requirements for the maximum bet per wagering. The lower the limit, the more time you may need to wager.
Allowed gamesMost often, you can wager deposit bonuses in slots, but there are limitations. The casino can set a condition that you have to make the turnover of bets in the games of a certain provider or even in several specific titles.

In addition, there is always a limited amount of time to wager a bonus; often, you have 7 days from the moment you receive the bonus.

No Deposit

The name itself makes it clear: you get a bonus without the need to make a deposit; however, there are a number of nuances:

  • No deposit bonuses are quite rare, and their size is usually small.
  • To receive a bonus, you need to perform certain actions, for example, register or install a mobile app.
  • Almost every no deposit bonus has a wagering requirement.

The main advantage of a no deposit bonus is the absence of financial risks. The funds you received can become your starting bankroll, on the basis of which you can develop your own strategy.


This type of bonus is often available as part of loyalty programs or weekly promotions. You can return a certain percentage of the amount lost in casino games for a certain period of time.

Track Spendings & Losses

Tracking your spendings is necessary for successful management of bankroll at casinos in the USA. You need to understand how much money you spent for a certain time period and what part of funds you lost. Observe, keep records, and draw conclusions — all this will be useful for your gambling success.

Strategies for Casino Bankroll Management

It is not necessary to dwell on the basic principles of bankroll management, because there are strategies that help you self-discipline and achieve effective money management, although they require effort on your part.


The Martingale strategy is one of the most popular. Its essence is as follows:

  • You choose the gambling title and determine your initial bet.
  • If you win, then you use the base bet again for the next game session.
  • If you lose, then you increase the base bet in the next game session so that you compensate for the previous loss and bring additional profit if you win.

It turns out that if you follow the strategy of a multiple increase, you will be able to recoup even after a series of failures. Does this mean that the strategy is win-win? Not really, since it is rather about the possibility of winning often and little by little with fairly large losses in case of a failure.

Of course, it is logical to assume that you can make profit even after a series of losses. However, the profit will not be significant, and there are limits in casino games that allow you to use the Martingale only up to a certain point.

The Kelly Criterion

The Kelly Criterion is used in gambling and business investing. It is based on mathematics and is calculated by the following formula:

f* = p – q/b

Here, f* is the desired ideal bet and part of your bankroll, p is the probability of winning your particular bet; q, on the contrary, is the probability of losing it. The amount that you receive when you win is encrypted under the letter b.

In fact, the formula divides your potential loss by your potential gain to determine the optimal bet.

In order for the Kelly criterion to be useful to you in gambling, you should consider a few details. Firstly, the criterion only works when you have an advantage over the casino. Secondly, if you have chosen a high volatility game, the formula may not work for you, so you can use its simplified modifications. Thirdly, if your advantage over the house is low in the selected game, you should use a simplified Half-Kelly strategy to reduce financial risks.

It is also important to understand that the Kelly criterion is used to save the bankroll, not to increase your profit.

Stop Loss Technique

Unlike previous strategies based on math and calculations, stop loss is a relatively simple method to bankroll at a casino for US players. This strategy provides for a preliminary limit on the number of lost bets and, accordingly, parts of the bankroll. When the limit is reached, you stop.

The simplest and most popular strategy option is a session stop loss. You allocate a certain part of the bankroll and start the session. The game ends when your bankroll is spent. At the same time, the duration of the game is not important; the main thing is to strictly adhere to the strategy and stop in time.

This strategy is suitable for you if you spend several sessions a day on the game. Its main point is not to win more often, but to limit your actions and not lose your entire bankroll in case of an unsuccessful series. This is especially true if you are prone to tilt.

The Ferguson Rules

In this case, we are not talking about a generally accepted strategy, but about a challenge that was invented by professional poker player Chris Ferguson. His mission was to go from zero to $10,000. In fact, he wanted to demonstrate the “miracles” of bankroll management.

As part of his strategy, Ferguson did not spend more than 5% of his bankroll in Sit & Go and cash tables, did not spend more than 2% of his bankroll in MTTs before the minimum buy-in of $1, and exited the game when it was his turn to place a blind and his bank at the table was more than 10% of his total bankroll.


Bankroll management is appropriate in the case of any gambling — from casinos to sports betting. You can also apply it in other areas, such as trading or family budget planning.

Bankroll management teaches you how to manage your bankroll to not lose it. However, you are also more likely to be in the black by using BM.

Yes. You can do so if you play rarely and you don't care about losing at all. However, in all other cases, bankroll management is necessary.

Choose games with minimal house edge.

Poker is a game that requires skill. You are playing against real people who also have strategies and need to manage your bankroll so that you can save it in the long run.

Publication Author
Ashton Stewart
Author of articles
Ashton was born and raised in the USA. In 2012 he entered The University & Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, and graduated in 2017. There he got acquainted with gambling and realized that there was not enough information about reliable websites on the Internet.
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