Proper bankroll management is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of blackjack. It’s unfortunate because almost all casino blackjack players could greatly benefit from some basic bankroll management.
Let’s look at how to build and maintain a healthy blackjack bankroll.
What Is a Blackjack Bankroll?
So, what is a blackjack bankroll?
It’s important to eliminate any notion that extra cash sitting in your bank account for incidentals or any funds that aren’t expressly set aside for playing blackjack are part of your blackjack bankroll.
Your bankroll needs to be set aside completely. Many gamblers will open a separate bank account that is only for their gambling bankroll.
Others put the money in a jar or bank bag and stuff it in a closet or bury it in their yard. I’m not sure where they put it, but it’s probably best off in the bank.
Having your gambling bankroll in a bank will make it much easier to view from your mobile app and quickly transfer funds into the bankroll on whatever schedule you set.
This also eliminates the urge to grab $50 out of your bankroll when you want to enjoy a round of golf or go out for drinks with friends. You may think never, but it can be rather easy to slowly dip into your blackjack bankroll when Amazon blasts you with Facebook ads about whatever you happen to be thinking about. Cue The X-Files music.
It’s also important not to go the other direction. If you have $1000 in your bank account and $975 in bills coming due, you don’t have a blackjack bankroll.
I’ve seen too many gamblers push rent back a week or shuffle their bills to accommodate their gambling. If it’s not a problem immediately, it’s not far from being there.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t dip into it if there’s an emergency. Like your power being turned off or no groceries in the house, but you should absolutely never go the other direction.
Useful Tips for Building a Blackjack Bankroll
One of the best ways to quickly build a blackjack bankroll is to set up a deposit schedule for yourself. This schedule will be completely unique to you and your financial situation.
Most people are paid on a twice a month schedule. Hence, many gamblers will commit to adding to their bankroll every 2 weeks or 15 days.
Setting up your bankroll deposit schedule on your paydays is a great way to increase your blackjack bankroll steadily.
However, you may have significantly more bills coming up near the 1st of the month. In this case, it’ll be better to set up a once a month deposit schedule.
If you fall into this category or simply want to add more to your bankroll than your current salary allows, don’t fret. Getting a part-time job is perfect for earning extra cash.
I have a friend who’s still in school and was having a difficult time-saving money for an upcoming gambling trip.
He started working a few nights a week for one of the food delivery services, and in less than 2 months, he was able to save over $1500.
It wasn’t the massive wad of cash he had hoped to take with him, but he was able to bring almost all of it home.
He’s continued to grow on that initial nest egg, and it’s primed for his next casino adventure.
Why Many Players Lose
Players will often fall into a trap of playing way too many hands. On a typical blackjack table with 3 other players, you’ll be playing 40 hands per hour.
If you’re at a table with only 2 players, that number jumps to nearly double. When you’re playing twice as many hands per hour, you’re going to be losing faster.
For obvious reasons, this can have devastating effects on your blackjack bankroll.
Try to find nearly full tables; you’ll be playing much fewer hands per hour, which will greatly extend your blackjack bankroll.
Setting alarms on your phone or smartwatch can be a brilliant way to remember to take breaks. These breaks will give you chances to take a breath away from the table.
Use this time to clear your head, use the restroom, grab a snack, or check your e-mail. It really doesn’t matter; it only matters that you don’t mindlessly play hand after hand.
Why Bankroll Management Is Vital
Bankroll management is vital because this is the single biggest factor in how much time you’ll be able to spend on the casino floor.
After you’ve built a solid gambling bankroll, you need to decide what denomination you will be playing in the casino. Let’s use my friend’s $1500 as an example.
For a 3-day trip, he had $1500, or $500 per day. Let’s say he wants to play for $25 per hand. We can assume he’ll be playing 40 hands per hour and, although he’s a basic strategy player, we’ll give him the standard 1%.
So, 40 hands at $25 per hand, he’s putting $1000 per hour in play. The house edge is going to take 1% or $10.
It’s clear to see that he’ll have no problems playing blackjack to his heart’s content. Even if he encounters an extended negative swing, his bankroll will carry him.
Knowing how much you can afford to play is probably one of the biggest keys to becoming a successful casino gambler. When you drain the bankroll to zero, you’re out of the game and forced to the sidelines until you build your blackjack bankroll back up.
You may have noticed that I immediately split his $1500 into 3 equal amounts, one for each day of his trip if you walk through the casino doors with a total of $500 for 3 days and decide to play for $50 per hand. You’ll likely be broke in under 4 hours and forced to spend 2 days at the pool.
Keys to Maintaining a Healthy Blackjack Bankroll
Now that I’ve walked you through the building and protecting your blackjack bankroll let’s look at some keys to take with you to the table.
After all, nothing will do your blackjack bankroll more good than actually winning on the tables.
Basic strategy can be touted and promoted on and on, but I’ll leave it at the following. If you aren’t playing basic strategy, you’re leaving money on the table.
Some games will only pay 6:5 for a blackjack instead of the more standard 3:2. Anytime you see 6:5, you should run, not walk in your search for a different table.
You must learn how to build and maintain a healthy blackjack bankroll. Taking the proper time and care in this initial step can put you on a lifelong success course.