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Let’s say you walk into a casino, live or online, and immediately bet your entire bankroll on a single hand of Blackjack. Assuming that your bankroll is separate from the rest of your money, and you can afford to lose it, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this decision – as far as the odds are concerned. Your chances of winning that hand won’t go up or down.

Then again, even if you know your basic Blackjack strategy, your chances of losing your bankroll are a shade over 50%. Did you really come to the casino wanting to play just that one hand? Probably not; casinos are there for your entertainment, and most people want their entertainment to last. That’s why it’s important to manage your bankroll wisely. Here are three basic tips for how to stretch your casino dollar and get the most out of your visit.


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1. Make Smaller Bets

First and foremost, instead of letting your bankroll ride on just one hand, divide that roll up into a certain number of units and let that be your standard bet size. It could be 100 units for simplicity, or 200, or even 1,000. That will ensure that you’ll get your desired minimum number of hands in – or spins of the Roulette wheel, or whichever game you’re playing at the casino. If you want to do the math, you can calculate your expected time spent at the casino (on average, given neutral luck) by looking at the size of your bankroll and bet units, the house edge for the game in question, and how many hands/spins your game typically sees per hour.

2. Bet Bigger with Lower House Edges

If you’ve heard of the Kelly criterion, you know that it’s good to make larger investments when you’ve got more of an edge on the marketplace. The casino has the edge when it comes to games other than poker, but you can still apply this principle by making smaller bets in games where the house edge is bigger, and bigger bets where the house edge is smaller.


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3. Set a Stop-Loss Amount

Whether you know the optimal strategy for your chosen game, or you’re playing something that requires no skill at all, everyone will go into a slump from time to time. By setting a stop-loss target, you can make sure you don’t lose more money in any one session than you were prepared to, financially or emotionally, even if that session didn’t turn out to be as long as you wanted. Never chase your losses at the table; there will always be another game down the road, when the time is right.