Blackjack Strategy: Your Bankroll

Playing blackjack or any casino game should be looked at as a fun activity. Like any leisure activity, a certain cost is involved. You can’t go to the movies, ride roller coasters, watch a baseball game or go out to a fine dinner for free. All of them have a cost involved and before you go, you have to decide how much you will need to spend that night and whether or not you can afford it (and if you can’t afford it, you don’t do it).

For some reason, people don’t seem to think the same way about playing casino games. I guess it’s because when you play at a casino, there is a possibility of winning money. However, even with blackjack, which has the casino’s lowest house edge, the odds are not in favor of that happening. The other thing that makes playing casino games different is people think “Well, I don’t know how much money it’s going to cost.”

And that is where they’re wrong. Just like any other leisure activity, you can control how much money you spend. How quickly that money is spent is another issue, but you have full control over how much money you use at the casino. That applies to an online casino as well as the brick and mortar variety. Here is what you do.

Before playing blackjack or any other casino game, you should decide on your bankroll in advance. How much money are you comfortable spending during your time at the casino? Once you have decided on an amount, set that aside. If you’re playing at an online casino, deposit exactly that amount, unless you already have an account balance, in which case you would deposit the difference between the two amounts. If you are visiting a brick and mortar casino, you should withdraw that amount in cash and as soon as you enter the casino exchange that cash for chips.

Once you start playing, only wager with that money that you set aside. Any money that you win should be separate and should not be bet. For example, if you decide that you want to spend $200 at the casino that night, get $200 worth of chips when you enter the casino. Then let’s say you go to the blackjack table, bet $10 on the first hand, and draw a winning blackjack, which would pay you $15. In that case, you have $215 dollars to bet with, right?

Wrong. In this case, you would still have $200 to bet with because, by winning, you get to keep your original wager of $10. The $15 you won should be kept separate with your winnings. That way, you won’t lose all of your money and you will at least have something to show for your time at the casino. Some people say that you should bet the $15 right away (letting it ride) because it’s the house’s money. That’s exactly what the house wants you to do. If you always expose your winnings to the house edge, the house will simply take more of your money.

Even if you decide to bet your winnings instead of keeping it, which I do not advise, the most important thing is that once your bankroll goes down to $0, you call it a night. It can be very tempting to simply get more money and keep playing. If you were on a winning streak, you think there is more money to be had. If you were on a losing streak, you might think your luck is due to change and you want to win your money back. In both cases, it’s the worst thing you could do, which is why I say to decide how much money you want to spend before you start playing. If you come up with an amount and make a rule to always stick with it, you will come out much better in the end. Remember that if you gamble irresponsibly, blackjack can be a very harmful game. For that reason, it is best to manage your money wisely and play smart with your bankroll.

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