Maximizing Your Casino Wins – A Guide to Bankroll Management

An effective casino bankroll management strategy is what separates a seasoned punter from a rookie at the roulette table. But what is bankroll management exactly? How can we take into account many factors, such as house edge, return-to-player rates, player goals, and odds analysis, to develop the perfect bankroll management strategy? This guide aims to help you take your cash bankroll management skills to new heights using concrete tips.

What Is Bankroll Management?

Casino bankroll management is all about setting clear limits on the amount of money you want to spend while gambling. By allocating your funds strategically, you protect yourself from huge financial losses and actually boost your chances of winning.

Casino Bankroll Management

Proper bankroll management helps players recoup their losses, making the whole experience more enjoyable or at least less frustrating. Frustration usually leads to impulsive decision-making, and things can only go downhill from there.

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How Does Cash Bankroll Management Work?

Devising a casino bankroll strategy means you only play with what you can afford to lose, but it’s also about establishing a betting unit. This is done per round, according to specific mathematical formulas, the type of game being played, and the player’s own goals and preferences.

Casino Bankroll Management Differs from Game to Game

When planning your bankroll, casino games such as slots, for example, require a more careful approach to bet sizing compared to the slower pace of table games like poker or blackjack.

Casino Bankroll Management

But the game pace is just one of many factors to take into consideration. You also need to look out for the house edge, how volatile the game is, whether it’s skill or luck-based, and more. All these vary from game to game and should influence your bankroll management strategy.

Is There a Recommended Amount to Bet?

What is a bankroll in gambling and how to establish one? As a rookie, it’s wise to start out with smaller rather than large bets compared to your total bankroll. This is also how you extend your playtime and minimize risk.

Small bets safeguard you from the high volatility and unpredictability of casino games, especially in the case of slots. Starting small gives you the flexibility to adapt and respond to the game’s flow without taking unnecessary risks right from the bat.

With all that in mind, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. You design your budget guided by the amount you can afford to lose, and your bet size according to the game and strategy at hand. A good rule of thumb is to make the bet size in the 2%-5% range of your total bankroll.

Gambling Bankroll Management: Why is it Important?

Casino bankroll management is arguably as important as knowing the rules of the game you’re playing. By setting limits on how much you’re willing to bet, you protect yourself from the temptation to chase losses, one of the more challenging pitfalls of gambling addiction.

Casino Bankroll Management

Furthermore, many useful strategies rely on effective bankroll management. It’s much easier to stay clear-headed during the game when your losses aren’t disastrous, and you’re also more likely to recoup the losses if you use your budget wisely.

Bankroll Management at Online Casinos: The Basics

So, you’ve found the perfect online casino and want to start online gambling. In order to have an exciting experience but still play responsibly, you need to get a hang of the basics first. Here are some bankroll tips.

Understand How Luck Plays a Role

When you’re starting gambling bankroll planning, the main thing to keep in mind is that some things will always be beyond your control, no matter how meticulously you manage your bankroll.  In online slots, for example, each spin’s outcome is determined by a random number generator. So make sure to always acknowledge the role luck plays.

Learn About the Game’s Variance

Variance describes the frequency and size of payouts. For high-variance games, you’ll need a larger bankroll to withstand the long stretches without winning, but when you win, you win big.

With low-variance games you’ll need a smaller bankroll since you’re more likely to win often, although small amounts.

Understanding House Edge and RTP

The house edge is a percentage representing the casino’s average profit from a player’s bet, while RTP is the percentage the casino players stand to gain by playing at the casino in the long run. These metrics indicate the game’s fairness and the likelihood that you get paid.

However, it’s important to note that a high RTP or a low house edge don’t necessarily guarantee high odds of victory. Some bets will tempt you with a risky bet where you stand to win big, but not even a 0% house edge can be a reliable indicator in these scenarios.

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Casino deposit bonuses will be your best friends when it comes to money management. Try to pick casino bonuses that give you more money for a small deposit, but mind the wagering requirements. That’s why you should make sure to read the bonus terms and conditions first.

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Learn How to Play Responsibly

Gambling bankroll management is not merely a strategy to prolong your gameplay; it’s a necessary principle of responsible gaming. It’s important to be aware of how much you’re spending when gambling online, as well as how gambling affects your well-being.

Casino Bankroll Management

It’s incredibly important to gamble responsibly and to seek help for gambling-related issues. If your gambling has started to feel stressful, overwhelming, and out of control rather than a fun pastime, it’s paramount that you seek help from a trusted source.

Tip of the day: Most casinos out there will feature responsible gambling tools that can help you monitor your spending.

Use Betting Systems Sparingly

Betting systems don’t guarantee wins, and while they definitely provide structure to your betting, relying on them heavily may lead to disappointment. Most betting systems cannot make up for the house edge, meaning that you will always be risking more than you stand to win.

Any bankroll management casino expert worth their salt will tell you not to put too much stock in betting systems. A bankroll management app or a bankroll management program will be a much better friend to you in the long run.

Avoid Betting When Under the Influence

Substances such as drugs and alcohol can impair your judgment and lead to poor decision-making during gambling activities. In order to avoid regrettable outcomes, make sure to play only when you’re sober.

Casino Bankroll Management

Avoid Chasing Losses

Losing streaks are a part of a gambler’s life. However, chasing losses or trying to win back what you’ve already lost is a risky strategy that often leads to even bigger losses. It’s important to resist this impulse and accept losses as part of the gambling experience.

Beware of Progressive Betting

This strategy can quickly deplete your bankroll gambling funds, turning a manageable loss into a significant one. It’s essential to stick to your original bankroll management gambling plan when playing games and avoid letting the desire to recoup losses dictate your actions.

Make a Gambling Budget

You might wonder how large of a bankroll you might need to survive casino games. Set aside a specific amount of money for gambling—the gambling funds that you’re comfortable with, that you can effectively manage, and most importantly, that you can afford to lose.

This approach helps you stick to a maximum bet limit and prevents you from dipping into funds allocated for your other expenses. Bankroll management when betting with Bitcoin is especially important if you’re not used to playing with cryptocurrencies.

Track Your Spending

Although there is no particular single best bankroll management strategy, tracking your wins and losses not only helps you stay within your budget but also provides valuable insights into your gambling patterns. This practice keeps you aware of the money spent and your habits, too.

Which Casino Betting Strategy Should You Use?

Your approach to choosing the right betting strategy, besides prioritizing cash bankroll management, should also align with what feels comfortable and the types of games that you want to play.

Casino Bankroll Management

Flat Betting

By setting fixed betting limits, you can easily calculate how much you’re willing to spend during a session and stick to it. Flat betting encourages discipline and minimizes the emotional decision-making often prompted by the highs of winning streaks and the lows of losing ones.

Percentage Betting

With percentage betting, you adjust your bet size based on a fixed percentage of your current bankroll. This method ensures that your bets scale appropriately with your wins and losses. As your bankroll increases, so do your bet sizes, and vice versa.

For example, if you have a $200 bankroll management budget, you can decide to place a bet of 10% of the budget, which is $20. After a win, your entire bankroll might rise to $300, in which case, you can choose to bet with $30.

Confidence Model

With this strategy, you adjust your bet sizes based on how confident you feel about the likelihood of winning a particular game or bet. The inherently random nature of gambling makes this tactic less than ideal; your confidence won’t always align with the odds.

However, if you are feeling good about raising your bet, wait for the right moment. Try to spot that elusive moment when you feel like the pattern is about to change and up your bet.

When you play slots online, you should be aware that slot machines are completely RNG-based. If you do decide to bet big on a hunch, it’s probable that your confidence will lead you astray.

The Kelly Criteria

A sophisticated betting strategy, the Kelly Criteria calculates the optimal amount of your bankroll to bet based on your perceived chance of winning. Essentially, it helps you determine how much to wager on a given bet to achieve the best balance between risk and reward.

Casino Bankroll Management

Here’s how to estimate the stake size:

  1. Multiply the likelihood of winning by the odds of the event
  2. Take the number you get from the first step and subtract the probability of losing
  3. Take the number from the second step and divide it by the odds

A good way to determine your chances is to choose games that have a demo mode. There are many online casinos that feature free casino games that will let you sample the gameplay and see what you stand to win without having to invest a penny.

The Ferguson Rules

Developed by Chris Ferguson, a professional poker player, the Ferguson Rules are aimed at managing gambling funds with an emphasis on poker bankroll management strategy. Here’s what they involve:

  • Don’t get into a cash game where the buy-in exceeds 5% of your bankroll
  • Don’t join a multi-player table where the buy-in exceeds 2% of your bankroll
  • If the money you won at the table exceeds 10% of your bankroll, cash out when the blind reaches you.

Stop Loss Technique

The Stop Loss technique involves setting a predetermined limit on how much you’re willing to lose on cash games before you begin playing. Once you reach this limit, you stop gambling for the session. This technique helps maintain discipline and control over your gambling habits.

When using this technique, you need to pick table limits that allow you to place low bets if needed.

The Martingale System

Ever used the coin toss to settle a bet? Imagine doubling your bet each time the coin lands on the wrong side. That’s what the Martingale System is, in the simplest of terms. The goal is to double your bets in hopes of recovering all your losses in a single win.

However, this approach is quite risky as it requires quite a handsome bankroll. It’s a high-risk strategy that is definitely not beginner-friendly due to the financial commitment it demands.

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Pros and Cons of Having a Bankroll Management Strategy

There are many advantages to having a bankroll management strategy, but there are also a couple of downsides.


  • A casino bankroll strategy improves financial control
  • Increasing the amount of time the player can play
  • Reduced risk of big losses once you start playing
  • Heightened discipline and moderation when betting
  • Peace of mind and emotional regulation


  • Difficult to establish discipline and patience
  • Can potentially limit big wins

The Psychological Edge: Mastering the Mental Game of Gambling

A strong mental approach helps in maintaining focus, discipline, and patience, which are key to making informed decisions at the table or slot machine. When you’re mentally prepared, you’re better equipped to handle the emotional swings of gambling and resist the urge to chase losses.

Casino Bankroll Management

All are as important as sticking to a casino bankroll strategy. In essence, the mental game of gambling is about cultivating a mindset that prioritizes strategic thinking and emotional control. Remaining calm and clear-headed, with an iron-clad poker face, will boost your experience.

Related Articles


What is the best way to stay within my bankroll limits?

How do I determine my bankroll size?

How often should I adjust my bet size?

Is bankroll management only meant for professional gamblers?

Is it possible to succeed without managing your bankroll?

There’s no telling when you’ll hit a lucky streak. However, we again stress just how much effective bankroll management helps not only in terms of your potential wins but also your health and general well-being.


About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Djordje Todorovic
Casino Expert

Djordje is a seasoned casino writer and a game reviewer at ReadWrite, who closely follows news in the iGaming sphere. He loves to cover industry-shaping developments and reveals during events like Las Vegas (G2E) Global Gaming Expo. He aims to provide unbiased and insightful evaluation of online/mobile slots, table games, and mini-games along with some beginner tips for the same.

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