Budgeting for Blackjack

The story sounds familiar. You hit the blackjack table full of confidence, placing $10 bets on each hand, but early on are losing. Knowing that your luck is about to turn around, you decide to double your bet in order to make your money back. By the time you realize this is a mistake, you’re out of money and the night is still young.

Or maybe this story rings a little more true to you. You’re doing well at the blackjack table and have made lots of money. In order to increase your winnings, you start placing larger bets. At first, that strategy works and your pile of chips is getting larger and larger, but then you start losing and the pile begins shrinking. Determined to make that money back, you increase the wager again and soon enough are out of chips. After a quick stop at the cashier, you have more money, eager to get back on that winning streak. Before you realize what you’ve done wrong, you are calling your wife to explain why you have to cancel your anniversary trip.

There are countless other scenarios I could bring up, but they all amount to the same thing: poor budgeting leading to you losing money you never intended to spend. Anytime you go out for a night on the town, a vacation, or any other trip that isn’t free (and what trips are?), you should always make a budget ahead of time.

Before you ever sit down at a blackjack table (or log onto one if you’re playing online blackjack), you should decide how much money you want to spend at the casino. Think of it as an outing like any other and one that requires money to have a good time. How much money are you willing to spend? Always consider that any money you wager you might lose. In fact, statistically you are more likely to lose than win each bet. Therefore, you should never wager money that you can’t afford to lose.

A good idea is to determine a specific dollar amount that you are willing to spend, cash in that amount for chips (or deposit it in an online casino) and do not spend anything else, no matter what happens at the blackjack table. In addition, any winnings should be kept separate. Put that money aside instead of adding it to the money for you to wager. That way, you can’t lose any of your winnings and you are guaranteed of having at least something to show for your time at the table, even if you still had a net loss.

Once you decide how much you’re willing to spend at the blackjack table, you need to decide how much you’re willing to bet on each hand. Obviously, those two amounts are related. To come up with the amount you want to wager, you need to take into account the total amount you are willing to spend and the amount of hands you plan to play. The easiest way to do that is to first decide how long you plan to play blackjack at the casino. Though the speed differs for each table, as a general rule at a full blackjack table you can play approximately 55 hands in one hour.

Using simple math then, you can decide how much money you are willing to spend on each hand. You should then bet that amount (or less) and bet the same on each hand. There are a lot of betting strategies out there, such as the martingale strategy, that claim to give you better odds, but statistics show that you are better off with flat betting. Once you decide on an amount per bet and the total amount that you are willing to spend, you are ready to have a good time playing blackjack at the casino. Best of all, you don’t have to come up with any excuses for how you lost money that you needed.

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