8 Jul

How to Make Your Bankroll Last Longer at the Casino

How to Make Your Bankroll Last Longer at the Casino - Casino Bankroll BudgetAt the casino, your bankroll is your lifeline. The more money you have the longer you can hang around. If your bankroll dwindles, so does your existence at the casino. Today we’ll be talking about money management for gamblers, include fund allocation, game choice, bet selection, and other ways to ensure the longevity of your casino bankroll budget.

7 Ways to Manage Your Casino Bankroll Budget

Managing your casino spending limit is not that difficult, but it does require considerable responsibility on your part. With the right knowledge and discipline, you might be surprised how far a small chunk of change can go. The steps below will teach you how to make your bankroll last longer at the casino, without overstepping your budget.
  1. Is Gambling for You?: Take a moment to consider if casino games are really your niche. If you’re an impulse shopper, or the type to let money burn a hole in your pocket, this may be the wrong choice of entertainment for you.
  2. Sizing Up Your Bankroll: Your casino cash should only be made up of extra money that has no other purpose.
  3. Beware the Slots: Slot machines are fun, but they can eat through your bankroll faster than any other game. If you still want to play them, read this section for some smart tips on game choice and slow-play.
  4. Choose Low-Edge Games: Select your casino games wisely. The lower the house edge, the more bets you can expect to win back.
  5. Apply Basic Strategies: Few pastime gamblers want to strain their brain at the casino, but basic strategies don’t take much effort to employ, and can do wonders for your bankroll.
  6. Try Limit Holdem: Poker isn’t for everyone, but it’s an easy game to learn and fun to play with others. Stick to strong starting hands and fixed limits, and you’ll go far.
  7. Stay Home – Gamble Online: Land-based casinos are great, but they can be expensive; far more expensive than the cost of actually gambling. Online casinos offer lower table limits with no added expenses.
Not all forms of gambling are legal in all provinces of Canada. The legal age to gamble also varies by province. Breaking the law is a serious matter. The information provided on this website is meant for educational purposes only, and we will not be held liable for any irresponsible / illegal activity on your part. Know the gambling laws in your province and follow them. The following pages provide more information on Canadian gambling laws:


1. How to Know if Gambling is Right for You

Gambling is a very exciting pastime for many people. Some go so far as to make a career, or at least a side gig out of it. But for a small percentage of the earth’s population, gambling can be the worst possible choice.

If you’ve never been to a casino, you won’t know if gambling is a good fit for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Are you an impulse shopper? Impulse shoppers buy things they want as soon as they come across them. They buy because they want them at that moment, not necessarily because they need or will even use them. This type of person is more likely to spend money they can’t afford – at the store, and at the casino.

  • Does money burn a hole in your pocket? Are you the type to spend money just because you have it? If you don’t know how to budget and save money, odds are you won’t be able to manage a casino bankroll, either.

  • Do you have an addictive personality? Gambling addiction is no joke. It effects a small but vulnerable fraction of the population, about 1-3%. Those who suffer from it have lost everything from financially stability, to their job, to relationships with friends and family. If you believe you have an addictive nature, it’s not worth the risk.

If you’ve answered a steadfast ‘No’ to each of these questions, you should be able to enjoy a casino gambling experience as it was always intended to be – entertainment.

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2. Stocking Your Bankroll for Longevity

Budgeting your casino bankroll is easy, so long as you are careful where you pull that money from. Your bills and household needs must come first. When you’ve paid (or set aside money to pay) all the usual expenses, you can then start stashing away money for entertainment purposes, like gambling.

If you don’t feel you’ve got enough money in your bankroll to enjoy an evening at the casino, keep saving. Unless you get very lucky, very fast, $20-$40 isn’t going to go very far (except maybe at the right poker tables). For a truly enjoyable experience, and one that might last long enough to return a worthy profit, you should save up at least $100. That goes for in-person casino gaming. If you play online casino games, your dollars will stretch a lot further (see Stay Home – Gamble Online below).

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3. How to Slow Play Slot Machines (If You Must)

Slot machines are the blood-suckers of the casino world. They play so fast, they can siphon a bankroll quicker than the desert sun eats a puddle. My first recommendation would be to avoid them altogether. But I also understand that slots are favored by a lot of players, so if you really want to play the slots, here are some tips to play smarter.

Take your time: The biggest problem people have with slot machines is that they play too fast. Soon enough, they get bored with the sounds and animations. Instead of watching the reels spin and pay their animated bounty on wins, players start mashing the spin button to speed it up. Don’t make this mistake. If you enjoy slots enough to play them, despite the warnings, then you should be able to enjoy them slowly.

Bet small, but not too small: Penny slots have terrible odds. Nickel slots pay better. That doesn’t mean you should jump to quarter slots though – they are the worst! The best payouts are on dollar slots, but that’s a lot of money to risk in 6-10 seconds per spin.

Remember that the coin denomination you play is multiplied the number of pay lines you activate. Even nickel slots can get expensive when there are 20+ pay lines. And then there’s all those progressive jackpot slots…

If you really want to play these machines, I suggest doing a little more research first. Here’s some good material to start building your knowledge base.

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4. Play the Lowest Edge Casino Games

Every game in the casino has a house edge. It is always displayed as a percentage. This percentage represents the portion of all cumulative wagers the casino expects to win off players. For example, European Roulette has a house edge of 2.7%. If several thousand people combine to wager $100,000 on this roulette table in one day, the casino can expect to make a profit of $2,700 on that game. The remaining 97.3%, or $97,300, is returned in player winnings. This number represents the return to player, or RTP.

Because every game has a house edge, you cannot expect to beat the casino. You can get lucky and end with more money than you started, but more players will not get lucky, losing money before their trip is over. Some players win, most players lose. In this way, the casino always makes its profit.

By understanding this fact, you can make smarter decisions in the casino. You can’t expect to win every time, but you can make smarter choices so that you can expect to lose less.

The lowest house edge casino games / bets are:
Game / Bet
House Edge
All Aces Video Poker (Microgaming exclusive)
Blackjack (most varieties*)
Jacks or Better Video Poker (9-6 Full Pay)
Spanish 21
Baccarat – Banker Bet
Baccarat – Player Bet
Craps – Don’t Pass / Don’t Come
Craps – Pass Line / Come
Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Tiles
Craps – Place 6 or 8
French Roulette w/ La Partage – Any Even Money Bet (Black, Red, Odd, Even, High or Low)
*Ultimate Guide to Blackjack Games in Canada: 50+ blackjack game rules, RTPs and where to find them.

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5. Employ Basic Strategy to All Games

Playing casino games with the highest RTP is great, but most of those games require at least a basic strategy to achieve that RTP. Even slot machines can be played strategically. It’s all about making smart choices each and every time a decision presents itself. Whether that choice comes while choosing a game, placing a bet, or deciding whether or not to raise or take another card, it is still a decision, and every decision impacts your odds of winning.

My point is, you don’t have to strain your brain to play with strategy. Some players like the challenge of mentally competing against the casino to gain an edge. I assure you, gaining a player advantage is nearly impossible, and in circumstances where it is possible, you will have to work hard for it (i.e. blackjack card counting, game theory application, etc).

If you don’t want to work for it, simply make smart game choices and smart bets. If you don’t mind employing a medium degree of mental fortitude, try playing blackjack with basic strategy. Use a similar strategy chart for video poker. Only bet on the Banker in baccarat. Bet against the shooter in craps. Seek out a single-zero roulette table with the La Partage rule and only place even-money bets.

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6. Try Your Hand at Limit Holdem Poker

The biggest difference between casino games and poker games – I mean real, player versus player (PVP) poker games – is that casinos always have an edge. In poker, the most skilled players at the table have the edge. The more players there are, the more money you can make by simply ranking ‘above average’.

Even if you’re not among the best, you can have a really fun time playing Texas Holdem. So long as you’re not losing too much money, it’s just another form of paid entertainment, right? And that’s why I recommend low stakes, fixed limit Texas Holdem poker – with some basic strategy, of course.

If you’re playing $0.01/$0.02 or $0.02/$0.04 FL Holdem, you’re not going to be wagering much per hand. A $20 bankroll could go pretty far. Imagine how long a $50 or $100 buy-in could last. Even if you’re not good at the game, you can get a lot of action out of a small or mid-size bankroll. If you play smart, folding everything but good starting hands, not only will you get hours (if not days) of enjoyment out of it, you just might make some money.

If this sounds like an idea worth pursuing, here’s some additional information to get you started.

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7. Online Casinos are Cheaper than Land-Based Gambling

Our final topic of discussion is not about what you play, but where you play it. Land-based casinos have a lot to offer their clientele, but you’ll pay for every bit of it. You might pay for parking, valet service, drinks (if you’re not betting enough), meals, and don’t forget about tipping everyone along the way.

Online casinos have no added expenses. Every dollar you save towards gambling goes directly into your casino bankroll budget. There’s no traveling required. You can play anywhere, anytime. If you want a drink or snack, get off your couch and walk to the fridge.

There are added bonuses too. First are the actual bonuses – welcome bonus packages that can double your money when you make a deposit. On top of this, online casinos have lower table limits. Where you might expect $5, $10, even $25 minimums at a resort casino, online tables start at $1, if not less. Last but not least – for our slot machine fans in particular – online casinos have way higher RTPs on their slots. If you love the slots, you can play at 96-99% RTP, rather than the usual 88-92% RTPs terrestrial gambling halls tend to offer.

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