Online Casino Bankroll Management Guide

Gambling has its way of getting you caught in a moment: it’s easy to get carried away after a lucky streak or feel like you need to chase losses. Planning your approach before you indulge in a spot of gambling goes a long way. You can prolong your enjoyment of the games, and you can avoid losing more than you can afford. Being mindful of your balance is just as relevant when having a flutter online as it is in a real bricks and mortar casino. This online casino bankroll guide will help you apply your own strategy.

A gambler with a large casino bankroll

Bankroll Management Strategies for All

It’s important to gamble with a bankroll management strategy that you can remember, no matter how many drinks you’ve had. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be an arduous task. Whether your wallet is bursting at the seams, or you are picking pennies off the floor, setting appropriate limits is absolutely vital; forward planning essential. Savvy punters gamble with their heads – and that’s not implying you should go play Russian Roulette.

Before you start playing for real money, work out how much you are willing and able to lose and prepare for the worst. If you don’t have a big bankroll, extend your enjoyment by putting low wagers on games with a lower house edge, like blackjack, or slots with a higher return-to-player rate.

Think each decision through and approach the gambling session with a clear mind. When playing with a real bankroll, it’s important to stay in control. Downing that bottle of vodka before you take your seat at the (virtual) table isn’t going to help you make the right decisions to make the most of your time and money.

Even players who hit the jackpot can end up being in the red. It isn’t uncommon for punters to get carried away after a win, where they proceed to waste all their winnings. Conversely, if you are having a hard time of it, and nothing is going your way, don’t think that the next round will have your name on it. The odds of winning and losing are the same no matter what preceded it.

If you decide you really ought to feed your six children this week or purchase your partner a better birthday gift than the ashtray you bought last year, you can’t let the casino take more than its share of your pie.

Personal Progressive Limits

An hourglass sitting on a roulette tableIf you know you like to have long gambling sessions, you can impose personal progressive limits, based on setting a maximum figure on your losses over a given timeframe. For example, Mr Rumpelstiltskin Smith wants to play online blackjack for three hours. He has a spare £100,000 he’s willing and able to spend on the session (we can all dream). He decides to split his pot into three chunks of around £33k per hour. Unfortunately, the first hour sees him have a terrible run of luck, culminating in losses of £50k. Mr Smith is angry, but his plan allows him to adjust, and he opts to lower the stakes for the next hour. Sadly, he’s still having a rough time of things, but in hour two he only lost around £16k. Conveniently, he is now able to revert back to his original £33k plan for the final hour of his session. While this is not a true story, we promise it’s based on a typical situation firmly rooted in reality.

Stop-Loss Strategy

A stop sign next to a winding roadAnother approach is to reduce the stakes you are playing for after you lose a specified amount – or even stopping completely. This technique requires you to designate an overall bankroll total, of which you set aside a portion per session. The stop-loss strategy can be applied over a long period of time, but if you only have a week to live, the tactic can also come in handy, ensuring you have something left on the day you meet your maker. Conversely, if Lady Luck is smiling down on you, it allows you to move onto higher stakes tables towards the end of your session.

Note that if you have a tendency for irrationality in the face of a sorry losing streak, it’s probably better to start with lower stakes from the offset. Additionally, keeping your designated bankroll clearly separated from the rest of your savings becomes extra important.

Count Your Bets

An modern-day abacusThe ability to manage a bankroll in an online casino comes much more readily if you have good knowledge of the game(s) you choose to play. Working out the amount of poker or blackjack hands you can expect to play per hour, or even knowing how fast you can spin slots reels, is a very useful tool to have. In card games, knowing the house edge, and allowing for other factors such as player error are vitally important.With all this information in your head, it allows you to estimate your worst-case-scenario losses, but also, the minimum amount of time you can conceivably expect to use up your bankroll. If, for example, you are playing 70 hands of blackjack per hour for £5 a hand, and the house edge is 1%, then you can expect to lose an average of £4 per hour. Calculating these figures can give you a better idea of what to expect when you are gambling with real money.

Variance: Swings of Luck

It’s been said that humans are the greatest pattern-recognition machines on the planet; that it was key to our evolution. However, we live in a fairly chaotic world, and by its nature, gambling seeks to remove patterns from the equation entirely. The element of chance prevents punters from profiting profoundly, and it makes casino ownership a very lucrative thing indeed.

While casinos will almost undoubtedly profit in the long-run, over a short time period, a plucky player can potentially pick up a healthy stack of cash. Slots, with their random number generators, are pre-destined to make the owner richer, given enough time has passed. Roulette, and its house edge is basically the same beast, as far as the casino is concerned. The longer the wheel is in use, the more likely it is that the casino will profit.

Card games that involve an element of skill, such as poker, can throw up surprising results, but the longer a game continues, the more likely the skilled players will come out on top. The swings of fortune that deviate from the expected outcome are known as variance.

A gambler, deep in thought

If you are a top poker player, variance can be downright annoying. On the flip side, it’s what gives the novice a chance to upset the odds. It’s also what allowed a grandmother to win a fortune playing craps against odds of 1 in 1.56 trillion. It’s a natural occurrence to have sustained good or bad runs of fortune. Remember that lightning can strike twice, and given enough time, it is inevitable.

House Edge Is a Thing, Unfortunately

Like climbing a mountain with only one shoe, punters indulging in casino games versus the bank are starting on uneven footing and facing an uphill struggle. Blackjack, roulette and baccarat players are entering the territory of banker’s games, where the odds are against you leaving with more money than you started with. The ’house-edge’ is a statistical calculation, expressed as a percentage, representing these odds. It’s the discrepancy between the odds of you winning and the odds of it not happening. Naturally, your chances of winning vary from game to game. Below you’ll find some of the main casino site games and how much you can expect to get back.

It’s worth keeping these figures in mind if you want to manage a bankroll in an online casino as efficiently as possible. The thrill and excitement of other games aside, blackjack is the most logical choice of casino game from a purely numbers perspective.

Mental Preparation

For many gamblers, having a plan of action to keep their bankroll in check is not enough. Over the course of a session in a casino, or even on a casino website, it can be easy to get carried away. The effects of gambling on the mind, and the risk of addiction are well-documented, and in the UK, there is a strong framework of support for those who are struggling.

You’ve understood about the house edge in different games, you’ve planned how long you are going to play for, and you’ve even worked out roughly how many hands you’ll be playing, but how can you be sure you’ll stick to your plan, and prevent your strategy for bankroll management in an online casino from falling apart? In a land-based casino, you can separate your gambling money from the rest of your money more easily than playing on a website. It’s perhaps too easy to quickly add to your bankroll when sitting in front of a computer, credit card in hand.

You need to know when to stop, and you need to be strong-willed. Keep control of your emotions and prepare for the worst. And, most importantly you should remember that you are buying a form of entertainment. Gamble responsibly, and don’t view it as a way of making money. Online casinos have voluntary limitation tools to help you, and it’s wise to take advantage of them.

When You Are on a Winning Streak…

A group of gamblers throwing money in the airFor a gambler, there should be no better feeling than to walk away after a big win. However, many people take it as a cue to keep going and even raise the stakes. A winning streak can make you feel like you could spill salt while walking under a ladder, before breaking a mirror when opening an umbrella indoors, and still end up OK. You might start running around, jumping up and down and high-fiving strangers, for example. However, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground. Even after a run of luck that would leave a leprechaun jealous, your odds of winning next time have not changed. Remember your original bankroll strategy, and leave on a high note. Besides that, if you are playing poker in a land-based casino, you’d better be careful not to win too much from the bi-polar oligarch with bodyguards.

When Nothing Is Going Your Way…

A gambler dismayed at his loss during a card game If the hands of fate seem to be conspiring against you, and you’ve just burned your bankroll, you’d be well advised to quit right there and then. Don’t go chasing your losses because that’s when trouble can start. Unless you have eight hours to pay off the mafioso, don’t raise the stakes. Go home, turn off the lights and get some sleep.

When gambling online, this part is normally pretty easy. The amount you are able to spend in a session should be firmly etched in your head. If you planned for the worst-case scenario and stuck to pre-specified stakes, your horrible luck will be easier to swallow.

Don’t Play If You Are Bored

A bored gambler in a casinoGambling can be fun. It should be fun. Sticking with low wagers is a handy way of extending this fun. Choosing games with a low house edge and high RTP is another method. If you start to feel bored and you keep chasing a jackpot, you will make silly decisions and risky moves.

Don’t be the fool who goes all in at the start of a casino bachelor party who ends up sipping orange juice at the bar, looking longingly at everyone else having a great time.

In online casinos, you can use welcome bonuses, free spins, and other promotions to extend your enjoyment. Use these wisely, and choose a casino site with a welcome bonus that suits your own playing habits. There are hundreds out there, and many punters incorporate the welcome bonus into their strategy for bankroll management in an online casino.

Comparisons Between Online and Land-Based Casino Bankroll Management

Online gambling certainly has its advantages over bricks and mortar casinos. The costs of running a ’real’ casino far outweigh those of a casino website, and this also benefits the punter. Online casinos can afford to increase the RTP and lower the house edge of their games. It can take your bankroll that bit further. You can also add on the cost of the taxi or the train ticket you didn’t need to purchase.

Given the sheer number of online casinos out there, and the ease at which you can come and go, they need to provide an incentive to keep you coming back. Consequently, online casino bonuses tend to exceed the free drink you get in a land-based casino. On that note, you’ll (probably) suffer from less alcohol-related bad decisions when at your computer. On the flip side, you can all too easily access your bankroll from home, and gamble at any hour, so real care is needed. When gambling online, you should take advantage of the various measures these casinos incorporate to help you avoid eating into your kids’ college fund. Monetary limit-setting tools are available across the vast majority of online gambling sites, and if yours doesn’t have such an option, consider switching.


You should now be equipped with the tools to improve your online casino account management. Your bankroll should be in safer hands, but if you still have trouble, we have plenty more information on on our best casino ranking page to help you find your feet. Many online casino games have free-play versions which can help you better predict the upcoming trials and tribulations that your bankroll will endure. This is particularly pertinent for slots fans.

So, that concludes our online casino bankroll guide. Remember to carefully think things through before you start a gambling session, devise a plan based on the time you want to spend playing, the odds of winning, and the amount you are able to afford. Stick to the plan and be stubborn in seeing it through, no matter how good or bad your luck, and use the online casino tools to help you limit your bankroll. Good luck!