Bankroll Management

Money management seems to be a significant challenge to gambling enthusiasts both at land based casinos and in the online gambling scene. Learning to manage your bankroll takes a lot of work and discipline to master, but is undeniably the most critical part of your gambling sessions. Online gamblers often find themselves with the greatest temptations to exceed their gambling budget because all of the financial transactions are handled virtually, and you don't actual see any money changing hands, allowing the impact of how much you're really spending to be somewhat hidden. While the convenience factor of electronic transactions is wonderful, it can also skew your perception if you have not already committed to a money management scheme for yourself.

Before you even consider engaging in online gambling for real money, you must take the time to think about your financial strategy. You must be the man (or woman) with a plan in order to endure a gambling session or to come out ahead at all. Clicking into an online casino without pre-set limits for spending and loosing can take your online gambling experience from exhilarating to devastating pretty quickly. Below we've listed some crucial guidelines to help you develop your own gambling bankroll management skills. Of course you will need to customize them to fit your specific situation, but these suggestions can certainly get you started and headed in the right direction.

Limits - Limiting your behavior in spending, betting, and loosing require discipline, and pre-determined ranges in order to achieve your goals in gambling. Each of these types of limits play an intricate role in your success or defeat in your gambling session. In other words, each area that requires limits and discipline can either make you, or seriously break you. If you know ahead of time that you are weak in your discipline and self control, you will need to consider the stringent methodology for maintaining your limits, which includes some suggestions on some strategies to put some automatic kill switches in place during your online gambling sessions.

Spending Limits - If you truly want to be successful in online gambling, then you absolutely cannot skip this step in money management. You must determine a spending budget for you casino sessions, which should never ever include scared money. Scared money is money that you cannot afford to loose, such as funds that are part of your household budget, or that are set aside for you child's college education. Scared money is not 'extra fun money' that you can spare, and loosing it always leaves a devastating footprint behind. Never even consider using scared money for gambling.

Before you even log on to a computer, you should have planned out precisely how much you can spend on the gaming session you are about to begin. Very smart gamblers will plan out a daily budget for the length of time they plan on playing. If you want to play every Friday and Saturday night for several hours this month, then take your budgeted amount and break it down into 8 day increments, so that you know exactly how much you can spend on each evening's gaming session. If your total for the month is $500, then you have $62.50 to spend on each of the 8 session.

Once you have a designated amount, you then determine how much you can spend per bet, and per hour. This is covered below in betting limits. This is where discipline and self control come in. You should never spend more than your predetermined amount for one gaming session. This ensures that you don't loose everything in one fail swoop, and also ensures that you have bankroll funds left for future gaming sessions that you are planning to participate in. If you stick to this principle faithfully, you will experience a much more enjoyable and rewarding online gambling experience.

Online gamblers have the option of starting with a smaller bankroll than gamblers in Vegas or Atlantic City because of online casino bonuses, which can often double, triple, or even quadruple your starting bankroll figures. While you may only have $50 to spend in one gambling session, a juicy bonus offer at a reputable online casino can turn that $50 into $200 or more instantly, hence greatly helping players to get started with their online gambling adventures.

Betting Limits - Determining how much you can afford to bet while remaining inside of your spending limits is another critical area of your gambling decisions. Adhering to betting limits can help you to get the most bang for your buck, and stay in the game for the maximum number of plays. Your betting limits should coincide with the size of your bankroll, and your bankroll should be proportionally able to support your wagering choices. The standard guideline is to have a bankroll of 20 to 40 times your basic wagering wager amount for every hour you plan on gambling. Here is how to figure out what your betting limit should be based on this guideline:

Spending Limit: $200 for one hour of gambling

Formula to determine betting limit: $200 / 40 = $5.00 per wager

Spending Limit: $200 for four hours of gambling = $50 per hour

Formula to determine betting limit: $50 / 40 = $1.25 per wager

Of course if you come out ahead, this can be adjusted during your session.

Loss Limits - Limiting the amount of loss that you will and can tolerate will ensure that you don't leave empty handed, and that you will protect any winning which you have earned. This may sound simple, but sticking to your loss limits during a recent winning streak can be challenging. To put it frankly, winning can mess with our heads, which is why we must have a predetermined loss limit in place, and a formula by which to determine when we will walk away. The key is STICKING TO IT!!! You should definitely never quite while you are winning, however winning streaks rarely last for very long, and once your streak is over, you must implement your loss limit strategy.

Once you are ahead, immediately implement your loss limit of 25% of your total winnings. Once you have reached this limit, it is safe to say your winning streak is over, and its time to protect your winnings. Lets say you were ahead by $200. If you set your loss limit to $150, then once you loose $50 and reach your limit of $150, its time to quit. You always want to quit when you're ahead!! That is not just a cliche phrase, its good sound advice. The larger your winnings, the tighter your loss limit should be. If your winnings have doubled, then you want to reduce your loss limit to 20%, and if you've tripled your bankroll, you'll need a 15% loss limit, and so forth. Strictly adhering to this principal will ensure you never loose all your winnings, and always walk away ahead of the game.

If your concerned about playing all your winnings back, another option would be to request a cashout and get the casino to flush your account. This basically means they take the money out of your account and begin the cashout process. This won't make you to collect your money any faster, but it will help you not to play your winnings since they won't be available in your account.

When is it time to call it quits? - Determining when enough is enough will keep you from getting caught up in the despair of loss and chasing your losses, which typically leads to devastating results. Players who go down this path often increase their bets when their loosing, risking even more during a loosing streak. Placing larger wagers and risking more money does not change your luck or the odds, and is simply a very bad idea. Never get into the mindset of 'just one more bet and I can get it all back'. This is a trap that rarely ends well. Here is a list of scenarios that should trigger your decision to call it quits for the day.

* You are loosing, and or have reached your loss limit.
* You find yourself chasing your losses by increasing your wager amounts or placing long shot bets.
* You are becoming emotional (unhappy with circumstances, angry, depressed, tired).

For those of you who already know that you lack discipline and self control, and are likely to give in to emotional responses or get caught up in the moment, its important that you take some steps that will protect you from yourself. Here are some suggestions for helping you to adhere to realistic gambling behavior. Practicing these safeguards can help you develop some discipline and eventually they will no longer be necessary.

* Have a designated account for funding your online casino account: Separating your gambling funds from your household funds will help you to not dip into the scared money that should be off limits. One way to do this is to have a separate bank account or e-wallet account where you only process gambling transactions. Once that account is depleted, so is your fun.

* Use Pre-paid debit or gift cards.: By purchasing a pre-paid debit or gift card to use in funding your online casino account, you are designating a set limit that you will spend. It is impossible to exceed the amount of a prepaid card, hence you cannot over spend, and your kill switch is effectively in place.

* Have a room mate or family member hold onto your daily budget bank information, such as your debit card, as well as any credit cards. This will relieve the temptation for going through the trouble of seeking out a secondary funding option once your prepaid cards or separate accounts are depleted.

If you can develop a disciplined approach to money management, then your bankroll, which is your lifeline, has a good chance at not only surviving, but at increasing in size. Intelligent players are in control of their money, and don't allow emotional responses to dictate their decisions. Setting limits is what all successful players do. Ignoring money management principles is what all losers do. Which one are you?