How to Manage Your Casino Bankroll in Different Situations

By Beverly Greer in Casino
| July 11, 2020 2:53 am PDT
Managing Casino Bankroll

If you have gambled for more than an hour, you probably already know the importance of effectively managing your bankroll.  You cannot gamble if you run out of money to play with.

Most of us already know how to set betting limits and separate our bankrolls into a fund for each game that we want to play.

Those are foundational concepts that any gambler should use every time they gamble. But if you really want to manage your bankroll effectively, you have to know how to adapt your plan for a variety of situations.

One bankroll management plan does not work for every situation. The casino is not going to give you tips on how to save money, so it is up to you to know how to modify your system for a variety of circumstances.

I want to give you a few examples of times where I have realized that I needed to adjust my plan for the situation at hand. Here are five potential modifications that can help you make sure that your bankroll management plan works for a variety of circumstances.

Online vs. Land-Based Casinos

Most of the articles that I have read about bankroll management focus specifically on land-based gambling. They give plenty of great advice for people who are planning seven-day trips to Las Vegas. But they don’t acknowledge the fact that the process is different when you gamble online.

First of all, when you gamble online, you can make deposits as often, or as seldom, as you like. If you end a session before you run out of chips, the money will be there waiting for you the next time you log in.

One of the most common bankroll management tips is to separate your bankroll into specific amounts of cash for each day that you visit the casino, but that doesn’t work when you make deposits on an online casino.

Instead of creating separate bankrolls, you need to decide how long you will wait before you make another deposit.

I find it works best to make deposits once a month. That way, I can deposit at a time that works with my other bills and costs.

Once you have decided how often you will make a deposit, you need to figure out how to make your money last that long. I think it’s easiest to give myself a weekly amount that I am okay with spending. Some days, I might gamble online for an hour, while other days I won’t log on at all. It doesn’t matter as long as I stick to my weekly limit.

If you choose to gamble online, you need to make a plan for how often you’ll deposit and withdraw. Keep in mind the fact that deposits get processed a lot faster than withdrawals.

Another thing to keep in mind if you play online is bonus requirements. You often have to gamble a certain amount, known as the rollover requirement, before you are allowed to withdraw. Different games count toward your rollover requirement more than others, so adjust your bankroll if you plan on playing games with higher stakes.

Adapt for Certain Games

You should also adjust your bankroll management plan depending on which games you choose to play. These modifications will be more related to the stakes that you use for a variety of games, as opposed to the overall bankroll management plan.

Typically, the general recommendation is that you use a maximum of 1-2% of your bankroll per hand. That’s a good general rule, but it’s not specific enough for many games. The most important thing that you need to consider is how you will handle playing multiple bets in one hand. Here are a few examples of specific games.

When you play real money roulette, it’s common to play several bets simultaneously. You might bet on a specific number, a corner bet, a first twelve bet, and an even-money wager. All four of those wagers would get decided in only one spin of the wheel.

Assuming that you have a $500 bankroll, you should generally stick to playing $5-$10 for each spin.

Depending on the table minimums, you might only be able to place one or two of the bets that you want to play. If it is possible, I recommend that you spend between two to four dollars on inside bets and six to eight dollars on outside bets because the outside wagers are more likely to win.

Another alternative is to plan on spending up to three percent of your bankroll on each round of roulette. You can trade higher stakes for fewer games.

For example, if you typically play each game for approximately half an hour, you would stop at the twenty-minute mark instead. That way, you make up the amount that you spent on higher stakes by not playing as many hands.

Slot machines are another game that requires a modified bankroll plan because the game goes so fast. It’s possible to play up to $600 spins in one hour. Assuming that you have a $500 bankroll, you will most likely run out of money before you finish the hour if you are playing a dollar per spin.

Remember that when you play slots, you pay per line in play. So, even if you play a penny-slot, it can cost you up to 25 cents per spin. When you first sit down at the slot machine, figure out how many lines you want to play and how much you will spend per line. Multiply those two numbers to figure out your total cost per spin.

Because slot machines are such fast-paced games, I recommend spending less than 1% of your bankroll for each spin. If you are spending $5 per spin at the roulette table, spend $2-3 per spin on the slot machines.

You can think on your feet while you play the game, but it will be easier to make smart choices during those times if you have some limits and a plan in place before you start to play.

Digital Games vs. Live Dealer Games

Those of you who strictly gamble at online casinos need to make adjustments for when you play live dealer games. Live dealer games are more expensive than computerized games because they cost more to make. The casino passes those costs on to you.

When you play live dealer games, the minimum bets are almost always higher than digital games. One good example comes from my first time playing live dealer roulette. I had chosen a game with betting limits that ranged from $1-$100. It took me a few minutes to figure out why the computer was not accepting my bets.

Despite the fact that I had chosen a $1 minimum betting table, that only worked on specific bets. Outside bets all cost a minimum of $5, and I could play $1 on an inside bet, but my total stake for the round had to add up to at least $5. It was a tricky rule that got the best of me because I was not prepared for it.

You need a larger bankroll when you play live dealer games, so I suggest that you decide ahead of time how often you will play the live dealer format.

If live dealer games are all that you want to play, you can simply adjust your bankroll accordingly. For those of you who enjoy playing both formats of a variety of games, I recommend giving yourself a certain amount of time for each one.

I give myself an hour of live dealer games for every three hours of digital games that I play.

Incorporating Miscellaneous Costs

When I first started gambling, I was naïve enough to believe that the only cost that I needed to plan for was the cost of gambling itself. Of course, I knew that if I was traveling to a casino, I would need to budget for the hotel and transportation costs, but I didn’t think there were other gambling-related costs to consider.

If only I could go back in time to tell myself how wrong I was.

It is imperative that you plan for all of those miscellaneous costs so that you don’t have to take money away from your bankroll to pay for them.

Tips for the dealers, croupiers, and waitstaff are standard miscellaneous costs when you gamble at a brick-and-mortar casino.

Those of you who play online need to consider the costs of transaction fees. Most online casinos charge fees for deposits and withdrawals, but the price for each of those charges varies. Debit and credit card transactions are usually the most expensive. Cryptocurrency is a cheaper option because the casino usually doesn’t charge a fee when you use crypto to fund your account.

No matter which banking method you choose, you will most likely face some sort of transaction fee. It might be from the casino, your financial institution, or both. If you gamble online from the United States, you might face increased charges because your deposits will get processed as a foreign transaction.

I always get a little frustrated about all of the fees and tips that I have to pay. But I get a lot less frustrated when I remember to budget for them ahead of time. So, I set aside approximately ten percent of every bankroll to cover those fees and miscellaneous costs that always seem to come up.

Adjusting Based on Your Focus

So far, all of these modifications have been based on concrete facts about the different situations that arrive in the casino. But I also want you to know that sometimes it is okay to modify your bankroll management plan based on your emotions.

Of course, I am not talking about betting emotionally. You should never increase your stake because you are desperate for a win, or spend more money than you have because you are feeling lucky. Instead, I am talking about reflecting on how focused you are during a particular game.

If you notice that your mind is wandering and you are thinking about a dozen different things, that’s a sign that you are not invested in the game. You might need to raise your stakes a little bit.

A slight adjustment to the amount that you are betting can go a long way in making you care about the results.

Another example might be if you visited a land-based casino with a friend. Obviously, you want to spend time with that person, which is why you invited them to join you. But a cozy catch-up with your old friend can become a problem if it distracts you from the game.

If you know that you might be a little distracted, lower your stake just a little bit. That way, you can continue talking while you play, and you are less likely to lose a lot of money.

Casinos rely on people to make bad decisions when they’ve been drinking. That is why so many of them offer alcoholic beverages for free while you gamble. But you can protect yourself from the dangers of intoxicated gambling by adjusting your stakes.

You know that your focus will diminish with each drink, so why not lower your stake every time you order another beverage? When your stake amount is less than the minimum bet for that table, that is your signal that it is time to call it quits.

Emotional betting is a bad idea, but adjusting your stakes based on how focused you are could be an excellent way to prevent yourself from losing lots of money. You will have to find a system that works for you, but don’t be afraid to adjust your stakes in situations where it helps you focus on the game.


You have to know how to modify your bankroll management system for a variety of different situations, such as when you play online or when you play live dealer games. It’s okay to adjust your stake when you notice that you’re having a hard time focusing on the game. There is no rule that says your bankroll management plan should look the same for every game that you play.

Effective bankroll management is a complex system that can be flexible enough to work for a variety of different situations. There is a lot of planning that you should do before you get to the casino, but accurate bankroll management does not start until you actually begin gambling.

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your plan so that it works for a variety of situations. And if you’re playing online, make sure you stick to safe online casinos.