Preparation is the key to successful financial management. It’s not as crucial how you plan, but more that you plan.
You’ll find some helpful financial planning advice here before you go gambling.
What Kind of Game Are You Playing?
The main reason I like to budget for my casino visits is so that I can have the most enjoyment possible.
The single most important thing you can do is devise a plan to ensure that you never have to stop playing because of a lack of funds.
What’s the trick?
I employ a two-stage method.
You should first decide what kinds of games you want to play.
Slots money management is very different from sports betting money management. Poker, blackjack, sports betting, and even some video poker games can be beaten with the right strategy, although keno and baccarat are not among them.
The next thing to think about is the game’s inherent randomness. The term “variance” is used to describe the swings in the game’s outcome. You need a solid bankroll to weather these inevitable swings.
This simplifies the process of budgeting for your trip. Don’t worry about losing your entire bankroll; just take what you need to weather even the biggest downturn, and keep the remainder handy.
How much cash, then, should I take with me to Las Vegas?
There are too many unknowns to provide a definitive answer.
Which games do you plan on playing?
Typically, how much do they make back?
Just how good are you at playing that?
How long are you planning to spend playing?
How much would you consider acceptable to lose?
The sum you start with will vary depending on how you answer these questions.
Here I will outline the steps I used to determine how much money I would bring to Las Vegas and how much I would wager on each hand.
The Money Management Case
I was planning on spending most of my time playing 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker. My planned four-day trip included four days of gaming, each day lasting roughly six hours. Since I use a strategy card and am in no particular rush, I anticipated seeing around 300 hands in an hour. Each spin costs me $1.25 because I play on a quarter machine and always bet the maximum. If I stick to the best practices to the letter, I should see a return of around 99.5%.
Let’s do the math: If I was betting $1.25 per hand and there were 300 hands played in an hour, I would have spent $375. If I worked the machines for six hours a day for four days, I would put about $9,000 through them.
Don’t make the typical gambler’s mistake of calculating predicted losses by multiplying total wagers ($9,000) by the expected return (99.5%).
In the long run, I anticipated a loss of $45, but I now know that I will almost certainly lose more than that.
But now what?
Ten times my predicted losses are factored into my budget. That means I set a daily loss limit of $125 and traveled to Sin City expecting to lose a total of $500. That way, my vacation budget would never be jeopardized. If I come across a new game that I’m interested in playing, I even have some spare cash set up.
Daily loss restrictions are especially important when playing games with a high house edge, such as slots. You’ll need a bigger buffer, but the loss caps will help you keep your vacation spending in check.
How to Decrease Your Hourly Loss Expectancy
Here are the two simplest approaches to lowering your hourly loss rate:
Reduce your hourly betting rate.
Play up to your potential.
Slot and video poker players should begin pausing for longer periods of time between hands. You’re not under any time constraints, and everyone is expecting the worst from you. Your expected loss will be lower if you play fewer spins.
You can play for cheaper per-turn stakes as well. For Jacks or Better, for instance, I could locate a nickel machine to play if I wanted to risk even less money.
Whatever games you enjoy playing, you should strive to master them as expertly as possible. Although slot machines don’t require much in the way of strategy, nearly every other casino game does.
A money management plan is a useful tool for maximizing enjoyment during casino visits. To maximize your chances of having a good time, you should know how much money you can anticipate to lose on average and save aside enough to weather the inevitable highs and lows.