The fundamentals of sound money management
by Mark Pilarski
Anyone can walk into a casino and make the right bets and know
how to play them, but without sound money management techniques,
you can still end up going home broke.
Money management is your life-line to getting home with some semblance
of your starting bankroll. Otherwise, you'll be hanging out in
the lounge, tapped out, trying to score free drinks. Therefore,
below are money management rules I live by when I'm out trying
to procure a little from the big guys. They will work if you rigorously
o First, never bring your entire bankroll with you to one gambling
session. You need to have a daily gambling budget. Start by dividing
your bankroll by the number of days you'll be gambling. Then divide
your daily bankroll into the number of sessions you will be playing
each day. This is now your single-session bankroll. Don't bet
tomorrow's money until tomorrow comes.
o Set a goal of winning between 50 to 100% of a single-session
bankroll. Then set aside your original bankroll plus half your
winnings. Now play with the remainder and continue to set aside
o Use a winning progressive method of betting by setting a predetermined
percentage increase for each winning bet and sticking to it. For
example, I increase my winning bets by 50% after the second win:
$5, $5, $7, $10, $15, $22, etc. I continuously flat bet (table
minimum) when losing.
o The casino's goal is to create a fantasyland experience for
its patrons. One wily way is to devalue your money by having you
bet chips instead of legal tender. Think of the deceptive nicknames
chips have. A $5 chip is a "nickel" and a $25 chip a
"quarter." Your best self-defense is to continue to
bet with your own greenback. This way you'll always realize its
o If you do turn your bankroll into chips, take a moment and carefully
think about the exchange. You must always treat chips as hard-earned
cash-like the money you save for your child's college tuition,
mortgage payments or your retirement.
o Never increase your bet when losing. A double-up-to-catch-up
strategy simulates a lamb being led to slaughter.
o Discipline is not only a significant part of being a successful
gambler but probably the most important element of money management.
You must set loss limits and win goals. Example: When losing half
your session bankroll (loss limits) you walk, and when doubling
your money (win goals), consider doing the same.
o Identify the profitable opportunities in gambling by shopping
for the best odds, rules and playing conditions for the casino
games you will be playing. Don't waste your time on games in which
the casino has more than a 2% house advantage.
o Never gamble with money you can't afford to lose. Need I say
o Credit card gambling is nothing more than a desperate measure
to stay in action. Leave your credit and bank teller cards at
home so you won't be tempted with the easy convenience of getting
o Never quit a hand when you're on a winning streak. Why tempt
fate? You could be walking around lucky and not even know it.
Magical gambling moments do happen. Fifteen, 18, even 20 hands
in a row is possible. When it ends on a loss, make a mad dash
to the cashier's cage.
o Finally, money management will not affect the house advantage
nor guarantee that you will win more money. If the house has an
advantage before money management, it still has that same advantage
even after you apply money management techniques. What good money
management principals will do is minimize your losses and in most
cases protect your winnings.