Blackjack Bankroll Management

Blackjack is all fun and games until you realize that you’re better off sticking to a particular budget. We know that visiting a casino and following self-imposed rules isn’t everyone’s definition of entertainment, but these small standards can sometimes be a lifesaver. Just because you have a $5,000 gambling bankroll doesn’t mean you need to spend all of it at once. 

Managing your bankroll successfully can bring you a step closer to the big win you’ve been dreaming of. If you’re wondering about money management’s role and how it affects you, don’t worry, we’re here to save the day.

This article will discuss how to prepare for your casino visits, what it takes to win a game of blackjack, and how sticking to a particular budget plays into all of this. 

Why Do Players Lose?

Many novice blackjack players don’t notice that the key to winning this game is a good strategy and steady bankroll. Your budget could hit millions, but it’s all worthless if you don’t have an optimal game. Sticking to one way of playing and understanding the game rules is vital.

Does that mean you only need the brains to come out victorious? Of course not

One of the reasons players lose is that they don’t know when to stop. Consequently, their budget is left high and dry. One thing you as a player could do to avoid the worst-case scenario is to stick to the rules and a pre-determined playing time.

Now, as far as your bankroll is concerned, you should avoid undercapitalization at all costs. Your primary goal should be to play nearly even with the casino. 

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Unfortunately, the answer is not so straightforward. Sure, starting your blackjack journey with a budget of $20,000 would be great, but we all know that’s not a realistic possibility for many of us. 

In fact, many will go into our first game of blackjack with a couple of hundreds of dollars, and that’s completely fine. There will be ups and downs with a limited budget, so you’ll need to have nerves of steel and be patient. With a bit of luck and aggression, you’ll probably be able to do well for yourself after some time. 

What’s important to note is that you should have a budget set aside, even before you step foot in a casino. To do so, you should probably know the venue and the table limits like the back of your hands.

Most casinos, land-based or online, have tables with different minimum limits, so finding one that works for you shouldn’t be an issue. 

Numbers Are Safe

Some of you might think that our answers so far have been pretty vague and abstract. Hence, we’ll move on to more concrete things — numbers.

As you get into blackjack and start comprehending the importance of bankroll management, you’ll also come to recognize that numbers are your safe harbor. Think of gambling as a business transaction — you’ll have to put away cash to maintain a budget for your game of blackjack. 

Keep in mind that the money you’re gambling with should be “extra” cash. This means you shouldn’t spend your life savings or your entire salary in a casino.

If you lose or go over your set budget, you’ll probably be tempted to whip out your credit card to prolong your session. 

However, that would be an unwise choice, as impulse decisions could lead to unbearable losses. Our tip is to save up some money instead. You’ll see that having some extra betting units will pay off in the long run and will prevent you from hedging your bets and losing tons of cash in the process. 

Betting Units Explained

You’ve probably noticed this term in the previous section. If you’re wondering what betting units are, we’re here to help you paint a clearer picture.

Most blackjack players would define a betting unit as the base amount you bet. Although they overlap, minimum bets and betting units are not the same. Your unit is actually based on the size of your bankroll and the chances you’re willing to take while playing.

So, you could sit at a table where the minimum limit is $10 but still choose your bet size to be $25. 

Before they even sit at a blackjack table, players divide their bankroll into betting units. The number of these units varies depending on the game and the risk of ruin (probability of going bankrupt before reaching a goal).

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Now let’s see how that works with some real examples. 

Let’s say you have 200 units and a 40% risk of ruin. This means that 6/10 players will hit some positive variance while the rest will not be as lucky. Along the same lines, 1000 bet units have an extremely low risk of ruin, 1% or even lower.

Needless to say, your bet size should always be in line with your bankroll size. For instance, if your budget is $1,000 and you make a $1 bet, the losses will be negligible. 

Top Tips and Tricks

Now that you know what betting units are and how they tie in with your bankroll let’s have a look at some tips and tricks to make your blackjack journey a smooth one. 

  • Make sure you limit your playing time to a couple of hours.
  • Never take more than 100 units per visit.
  • Keep betting one unit until you’re ahead.
  • Your bankroll should always be close to 200 units.
  • Invest your winnings in your bankroll, don’t spend them on trivialities.
  • You can keep increasing your bet size as your bankroll continues to grow. 

As you can see, the road to success when it comes to blackjack is a long and bumpy one. We know that strategies and luck play an important role, but you should never disregard your bankroll because of it.

While success is never a sure thing, managing your bankroll will be a great stepping stone toward victory.

Looking to test your blackjack skills out? Read our list of real money blackjack online casinos.

About the Author

Author Malik is one of the youngest members of our team and a relative newcomer to the gambling industry. His love for casino gambling came a few years ago when he got a job as a professional blackjack croupier at a local casino, while he also enjoys playing poker with his friends. Malik’s mission at CasinoUSA is to talk about the new casino sites on the block and tell you everything about their bonuses and promotions. His reviews go into the smallest of details so you can know what to expect from a given casino site before you start playing there.