The ability to manage money is a valuable life skill, something that people try to come to terms with from the time their first pay cheque is earned, but it isn’t necessarily easy. Managing your gaming bankroll requires the exact same level of skill but the road to achieving it has already been paved by those who have gone and gambled before. You should absorb the lessons from those who’ve taken the hits for you and learn to avoid potential pitfalls.
Set aside a bankroll
The first rule of bankroll management is having a bankroll in the first place. Setting aside money purely for your gameplay is very important. Having a separate account or online wallet just to play the games of your choice means you’re not dipping in and out of your current account whenever you fancy logging in to your preferred gaming site. The cash is there and ready when you want to play and you’re never in danger of accidentally depositing just before your phone bill goes through! Decide, sensibly, on payday how much you want your gambling fund to be until next payday and stick to it. Get into this habit and you’ll save yourself lots of hassle in the future and more importantly be able to concentrate on having fun!
The most successful gamblers disassociate the money from their gambling chips so look at your bankroll as an investment, like buying new football boots for the coming season. Buying the boots allows you to play football on Sunday mornings, your bankroll allows you to gamble when you want to in your free time. It’s not cash anymore, at least not until you have a few winners!
Know your games
In almost every gambling scenario you could undertake you’ll get the chance to try before you buy via free play. If you’re new to a game it does no harm to take a look at it first before playing for real. There’s no point in putting any of your bankroll at risk in order to learn the hard way that 7,2 off suit is a terrible poker hand or when you should, or shouldn’t, split pairs in blackjack etc. Alternatively you can use bonus money to try things out. Welcome bonuses are available everywhere you look and when you’ve found the place that suits you your loyalty will be rewarded too. It’s these funds that should be used for testing things out or backing long shots, thus saving your bankroll funds.
Patience is also crucial to managing your funds properly and enjoying yourself. Whatever you’re playing a bad start can always happen but you must not tilt and throw your lot in next go. All you need is a ‘chip and a chair’ as they say in poker. Setbacks pave the way for comebacks and your next spin might trigger the bonus on the slots, or you could get aces next hand or your jockey may jump back on his horse and romp to the finishing line. Many stranger things have happened so keep your cool and you’ll be ok.
Don’t allow yourself to get distracted either. Many a punter has gone to the bookies planning to back a horse in the last, but before it’s even come under orders he or she has frittered their money away on the greyhounds in the meantime and can’t bet on it!
A rule a lot of gamblers go by is to have 50-100 buy-ins at the stakes you’re going to play. So if your bankroll is £200 you’d be betting £2-£4 on a horse or football match, entering £2-£4 poker tournaments or allowing yourself the same stakes per casino session. Alternatively you could apportion yourself x amount per day or week to spend according to the bankroll you’ve set yourself. This may give you a lower figure than you’d like at first but it will always allow you to fight another day.
Play in the right frame of mind
You’re here to have fun and avoid stress from your daily routine, not add to it. It’s all about quality not quantity and you can have too much of a good thing. In moderation you’ll enjoy your gameplay more, be more level-headed and get to enjoy your lucky moments when they come. Hopefully it doesn’t need saying that logging in after a night on the beer is also a terrible idea. You’ll probably have a hangover in the morning anyway, you don’t want it doubled when you check your balance the next day.
It’s not too hard to get into the habit of using the guidelines above and, as mentioned at the beginning, they have come about thanks to your betting predecessors, they made the mistakes so that you don’t have to. When it comes to the end of the month and your horse lands a huge gamble or you trigger the jackpot on your favourite slot you’ll be glad that you took them on board.