How to set your Bankroll in Blackjack
Last Updated: 11/12/2020
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world, which means it’s a shame that most articles only offer bankroll advice to players who are looking to spend £1000+ or more on the game rather than writing for the average player. This is something we’ll be looking to change as we create a bankroll management blog for all players, whether you’re a high-roller looking for big wins or like us, play the game because you want to and truly appreciate it. However, before we get into our strategy, a question needs to be answered - what exactly is a Blackjack bankroll?
What is a Blackjack Bankroll?
A Blackjack bankroll is normally just called a bankroll in casinos, but as we set up different methods for our Blackjack bankroll and Roulette bankroll, we’ll specifically refer to this a Blackjack bankroll. However, a bankroll is how much money you have, how much money you’re willing to play with and a combination of different factors when you plan out what to expect from a game of Blackjack. You could define this as money management. As our players set out to win money through the popular game of Blackjack, they must decide how they can ensure their game has longevity, but also contains the potential to provide them with a profitable outcome. For example, if you have a total of £100 to play with, you wouldn’t play with a stake of £20 because your experience could end in five minutes. A realistic stake for this is £5 or £10 because of the number of rounds you will get to play with, and if you lose £100 from £5 or £10 stakes without beating the dealer, it’s probably a sign to stop and regroup. This also ensures that a player’s gaming experience has the most potential. You hear of many people going into a casino and placing their entire stake on one game. Unless you’re a multi-millionaire, we definitely DON’T recommend this. Your game could be over in 30 seconds, and a minute later you’ll be left with bet regret. So, that’s why you should set a bankroll. But what could be the consequences of not setting a bankroll?
If for some reason, you decide not to set a bankroll when you play, three things could go wrong. They are:
You lose all your money in minutes. You go over your limits. You fail to maximise your winnings.
As they are all aspects of Blackjack that we prefer to avoid, we recommend that you always set up a Blackjack bankroll before you go into a casino or play online.
What Should I consider when creating my bankroll?
One thing we will say is it is harder to set your bankroll while playing Blackjack than it is when playing slots. If you’re playing at a land casino, you’ll likely have to play at a certain pace which can make tracking your chips difficult if you’re inexperienced. While if you play at a mobile casino, it is likely that you will find a bankroll more accessible as all the information required is on screen. However, there are three things that players must bear in mind while setting a bankroll.
The first thing players must have is realistic expectations. If you have the chance to sit down and watch others play the game, then do it. Get a grasp on what happens to players you’re watching and think about what you would do differently, but the most important thing is managing your expectations. Too often we have been to a casino and seen a young adult sit down, expecting to win thousands and subsequently burning through their money in 10 minutes and leaving empty-handed. Also, remember that breaking even isn’t a negative thing, every game is an opportunity to continue learning. If you have the mentality that you have learned everything about Blackjack, that’s when you’ve lost.
“Once you start thinking you have nothing left to learn, you have everything to learn.” - Steve Badger
This quote was initially regarding Poker but equally applies to everything in the casino world. The game is continuously changing; therefore, players must adapt. Don’t expect to be the best player in the world overnight and don’t expect to win triple your money in one night. That is the first lesson of casino and a necessity for anyone looking to set their bankroll.
As we often stress in our best online slots, time is a vital aspect of casino gaming. For example, let’s say that a round of Live Blackjack takes 1 minute. If you have an hour to play, divide the amount you’re willing to stake by 70. So if you’ve got £100 that you can play with, that is £1.40 per game. This means you’ll spend £84 and have £16 plus anything that you have won. Why have we left the £16 sitting there? Well, Blackjack is a mental game and a player is more likely to make judgemental errors after big wins or when they begin to reach the end of their bankroll. This means that if players have the extra money, it may help to significantly reduce the chance of judgemental errors. Of course, this isn’t a luxury that every player has, so this amount can vary depending on the play and if they have accepted the final step.
What is the number 1 rule of playing at a casino? Never spend more than you can afford. Whether you’re playing our new slots and casino games or even putting money into the vending machine in the corner of the casino, the rule still applies. Manage your balance accordingly, spending more than you can afford isn’t “big” and it certainly isn’t smart. Be realistic, consider those around you and be safe. If you are a player who has done this in the past be sure to take a look at our reality check section and ensure you’re having the safest possible experience when playing Blackjack.
If you remain realistic when setting expectations and use those expectations to correctly manage your time in the casino, then you should be creating a bankroll that is suitable for you. This is one of the most important steps to ensuring you’re safe in any casino environment, and all it requires is a realistic mindset and possibly a calculator!
Tips from the Top
There are four quotes from some of the biggest names in the casino world that our expert still keeps in mind whenever he plays Blackjack. One of which is the quote placed higher up in the article by Steve Badger. Not all of these quotes are specific to Blackjack, but all can apply to casino gaming.
“I’ve learned the lesson that the worst thing that can happen to a gambler is to let his recent losses or wins knock him off keel emotionally.” - Andrew Beyer
Andrew Beyer is a major name in the Horse Racing Betting industry. However, this quote is something that we have previously touched on. If players can feel themselves losing focus it is best to walk away.
“Gambling is not about how well you play the games, it’s really about how well you handle your money.” - V. P. Pappy
If you don’t listen to our expert, listen to Terrence “V.P. Pappy” Murphy, who is a legend of the Poker world. We could have dedicated this section purely to V.P. Pappy, but we’ll just leave in one quote.
“At Gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.” - Ian Fleming
You’ll laugh at this one, this quote is actually from the James Bond film Casino Royale but the surprising thing is that this quote is actually true. Don’t mistake a bad play for bad luck, go back to the drawing board and evaluate what you could have done differently and if it was mathematically the best move, then it wasn’t a bad play.
Adapting Your Blackjack Bankroll
Some players may be surprised to know that there are situations in which you can risk altering your bankroll. We only recommend this if particular criteria have been matched or something has changed in your game. They are:
You’re on a winning streak
If you’re a regular at Blackjack, you’ll know that in reality, winning streaks and losing streaks have very little impact on gameplay unless you allow them to. To begin with, we recommend only doing this if you’ve followed a set bankroll and if you’re 50% up on your existing bankroll; £150 on £100, £75 on £50, £300 on £200 etc. If you’ve reached this stage, you may wish to make changes in the following ways:
Increase your average stake by 5% to maximise your winning potential. Set up an independent bankroll based on your winnings so far to ensure you leave with at least what you started with.
Doing either of these strategies is what we recommend if you’re looking to alter your bankroll.
You’re on a losing streak
There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re on a losing streak. In this situation, there are two things that players should do and one that they should never do. We’ll start with the one thing you should never do, which is:
Never chase your losses!
If you’re in a situation where you’ve lost 50%+ of your stake, you may be in a situation of worry. Don’t be. If you’ve followed a bankroll so far, you’ll have only staked what you can afford to lose, and you can adjust your bankroll to prolong your gameplay and put yourself in the best position to recover. To get yourself out of a losing streak, here are two things you can do by altering your bankroll:
Half your bankroll and start fresh OR Step away from the table and take a break
In this situation, it makes sense for players to follow one of these two options, as they allow players to take a moment to re-evaluate their position. Halving your bankroll is a good way of increasing the longevity of your game and gives you a better chance of decreasing your losses. Alternatively, if you feel like your judgement is clouded due to thinking about your loss, you should take a moment to step away from the table and return when calm and collected. Once calm, re-evaluate the situation and decide on your best course of action.
How do Doubling Down, Spitting and Insurance alter Blackjack Bankroll?
As most of these situations require the doubling of the player’s stake, players can simply do this and remove one additional spin from the bankroll. However, these must be done in very specific situations. We recommend reading our blogs on the subject to learn when and when not to split and double down.
Does a Bankroll guarantee wins?
Absolutely not. There are no ways to guarantee victories in Blackjack. If there was, we’d all be billionaires! A bankroll is simply a way to reduce your losses and control your experience. The more knowledge you have on the game, the better, and it all shows when you set-up and utilise your bankroll.
Playing Slots at Slot Boss
If you’re looking to play single-player games at Slot Boss, a good place to start would be our bonus slots, which include some of the most unique bonus features on-site and can provide players with something new. An alternative to this would be our jackpot slots, which contain some of the biggest wins possible. We recommend checking out the likes of Rainbow Jackpots and the Cop the Lot slot. You may even want to try out our Slingo games which combine some of the very best features in our slots with the very best features of Bingo.
Full T&Cs apply. No deposit required & new players only. £10 paid as bonus funds. Claim from “My Promotions” within 3 days of registration & then 7 day expiry. 50x wagering target. £50 max win/withdrawal from bonus. Only bonus stakes qualify & wagering contributions vary.
Head over to the Casino Promotions and Bonus Offers page to find out more.