The Usefulness of Money Management   

Monitoring Bankroll

For those of you who enjoy watching movies, do you think it would be a good idea to see so many films that you can’t afford to pay your rent that month? Nearly everyone would agree that the answer is “No,” so why should gambling be any different? Money management techniques can be helpful for keeping track of how much you are spending on gambling, whether it be Blackjack or another game. However, they are mathematically useless from the standpoint of altering the expectation of a given game. In other words, if you are using a money management strategy, at least that indicates that you are paying attention to your finances, which is a very important thing to do!

As we established above, a player who plays 400 hands per hour can anticipate needing a bankroll of at least $200 to have a nearly 100% chance of being able to play for six hours without going broke and forfeiting the stake, even at a low bet of $1 per hand on a generally good game. You can then ask, “Do I have enough money to play online blackjack for six hours at that bet amount?” after putting that into perspective. Negative expectation games do not automatically imply that a player is engaging in reckless gambling. Gambling irresponsibly involves losing money you cannot afford to lose and, on occasion, “giving back” money you have won, but the latter is really a question the player must ask himself. The key is to realize that the primary goal of gambling is NOT to win money, but rather to have fun and be entertained if one plays negative expectation games in order to gamble responsibly.

To put it another way, even a gambler with low expectations should review his or her monthly spending plan (or other method of budgeting) and only allocate what they can comfortably afford to entertainment in general and gambling in particular. Once that sum has been established, the player can use money management to decide how much they want to wager in order to get the most entertainment out of it. There is nothing wrong with some negative expectation gamblers who want to go for big wins even though they are playing a game where they are predicted to lose. Setting a win goal and continuing to bet everything you have until you reach the win goal, only decreasing your bets when a smaller amount is needed to reach the win goal, is the most extreme way to play the game (though it is also the most effective in terms of probability).

The Usefulness of Money Management  1

Due to possibilities like doubling and splitting, this is obviously easier said than done when playing Blackjack. As a result, the player who wants to go for the “Huge score” increases his likelihood of actually accomplishing it by betting as much as he can while still playing the game well. Simply put, those who want to play for as long as possible are at the other end of the spectrum. These players frequently place the smallest wager possible on each hand to achieve that objective. Which is unquestionably what would be encouraged of them if longevity is their main objective. These players may occasionally even be successful enough to buy in for $100 and play tens of thousands of hands with just that amount, but it is extremely unlikely that they will ever come out on top in any real way. Because of this, even though a win goal may be set by such a player, it will almost never be attained.

The majority of players in the negative expectation game fall in the middle of these two extremes. They value the likelihood of being able to play for a while as much as they value having a good chance of achieving a specific win goal. Again, as long as a player is playing within his or her means, there is nothing wrong with that, and using a basic money management principle (as well as the Beating Bonuses simulator) will help a player understand how likely it is that he or she will be able to play the desired number of hands or for the desired amount of time based on his or her budgeted amount for gambling at a particular buy-in.

Understanding the Big Picture

Finally, it could be argued that employing different methods of money management will assist a player in maintaining perspective. Although using money management strategies won’t help lower the house edge, they do have one significant benefit: they force a player to pay attention to his finances. If you keep session logs for all of your gambling activities, you will be able to look back at both your actual and expected losses as well as the amount of time you spent gambling that resulted in those results to assess whether or not the gambling was, “Worth it.” If a person truly enjoys gambling and can gamble responsibly, the answer is typically, “Yes.” However, it is important to understand the difference between actual and expected results in order to assess whether or not the gambling was, “Worth it.” A player may even make money at a negative expectation game in the short term.

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