Complete Money Management Guide for Online Casino Play
The strategy of managing your money, not just including your bankroll, is of the utmost importance when you’re playing in online casinos. Here we break down how to go about that from the ground up in a way that will give you very clear signs if you are steering into problem territory.
Online Casino Play and Casino Money Management
Something to understand about the online casino world, much like any other form of gambling, is that there is a lot of money changing hands and moving around at all times. What’s more is that you can find yourself in a situation where you’re not really sure how that money is moving to and from yourself if you don’t pay attention to it.
Because of this, we want to make sure that you know exactly how to manage your money when playing.
There are a lot of different forms that this can take, and it does include an understanding of bankroll management for the specific games you’re dealing with, but we’re going to approach it in what we believe is the simplest and most straightforward way that you can. We think that approaching it in an effective way that’s not overcomplicated is what will maximize the chances of you actually using the system.
Managing Casino Money From the Ground Up
In what follows, we’re going to work through a few different parts of the overall money management process that we’ll recommend for online casino fans. Similar ideas can apply to those who enjoy other forms of gambling like poker games, bingo or sports betting, but some of the particulars like game selection, volatility and variance will need to be adjusted for the specific games being played.
Starting Off: Managing Your Budget
The very first thing you need to do is create a budget for yourself in the general sense for all of your money, even for the money that has nothing to do with gambling. While this makes for good financial sense, it also provides the foundation that the rest of this is built on by giving you something specific to aim at. Without goals to go after, you won’t know how far off you are from where you want to be.
As a part of that budget, you will want to appropriate a certain amount of money to your casino play. This can be done on a monthly, weekly or biweekly basis just depending on whatever works for you, and it should be based on the maximum amount that you will deposit during that frame of time. You should not plan on any of that money coming back to you for the sake of this approach, but if you do run up some winnings, that will just be more to add to your bottom line.
To really drive home our point about tracking your funds, you should have a spreadsheet where you keep up with every single deposit or withdrawal that you make to and from an online casino. The idea here is that you will have something straightforward to look at to see if you are meeting the goals of your budget or exceeding the amount you have allocated for online casino play.
Getting the Most From Your Deposits
When you do decide to make a deposit, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most for your money that you can. This means taking appropriate advantage of things like long-term promotions and any one-off bonuses or welcome packages that you have deemed a good deal for the games you specifically want to play and your own circumstances otherwise.
Not every bonus is a good idea for every single player. You can often run into situations where it’s actually better in the long run to skip a bonus rather than take it because of the resulting terms, conditions and restrictions on your play.
In your spreadsheet (or other way of keeping up with things) of your deposits, off to the side, you’ll want to include a column for any bonuses that you’ve acquired and a brief note on them. This is important because you’ll want a record to be able to go back to if something starts working for you so that you don’t forget about it. It’s easy to think that you will remember something in the future, but if you write it down in a central location, you guarantee that you don’t have to worry about forgetting it.
Choosing Bet Sizes: Bankroll Management
Once you’re ready to actually start playing, you have to choose the bet sizes for the game that you’re going to enjoy. This is where the topic of bankroll management actually starts to rear its head because bet size choice is the true central topic of managing your bankroll.
A lot of this depends on the individual games you’re playing. We’ve written extensively about bankroll management for specific games here:
While certain games can take a lot of depth on this topic because of the nature of their betting setups, the overall idea is usually the same. You want to divide your bankroll into an equal number of parts, and the question is how many parts you want to have. The size of each of those parts will be the size of the bet you use in a given game.
The perfect size to use, along these lines, will be determined by how many parts you want to your bankroll, but it’s hard to say exactly what that is. Instead, you want to estimate it and then get close in terms of the exact betting increments available in the games.
Generally speaking, games with a higher volatility will require a larger number of parts while games with a lower volatility will require fewer parts. From there, you can adjust based on your overall taste for risk, how often you play, how often you plan to deposit and so on.
Tracking Your Play Appropriately: Free Tools
We strongly recommend tracking your play appropriately using some free tools that are available. Most people avoid doing this because they think it’s too difficult, but it’s really not if you know how to set things up to make it easy.
Start with a free spreadsheet program like Spread32, LibreOffice or Google Docs. Make columns for the date, starting and ending time, description of your session, ending balance and difference in balance. You’ll want things set up so that you just put in what your balance is at the end of your session, and it will automatically calculate how much you were up or down compared to the last session.
This will allow you to more easily figure out how much you need to adjust your bankroll management strategies while also keeping records you can look at to really know how your money management is going. This type of tracking is also critical so that you can have objective evidence in front of your own eyes instead of relying on memory, which is always something we overestimate the accuracy of as human beings.
When It’s Time to Cash Out
There are multiple reasons that you could want to cash out, but you should still take into consideration how they fit into your overall money management strategy.
There’s a bit difference in cashing out because you hit a big win and cashing out because you’re moving to a different online casino.
If you’re cashing out a big win, we recommend keeping 10 to 20 percent of it back to play with to pad your bankroll. This is a sort of reward to yourself so that you don’t have to feel like you aren’t getting to play higher stakes or more often to compensate for your win. At the same time, you also don’t want to lose your entire big win by getting in over your head, so moving it out and having a plan ahead of time of what you’ll do with money from any big wins (as well as defining what a big win means to you) is helpful.
For players who are simply moving to another site, we recommend skipping a few lines in your spreadsheet to make it clear that you’re starting over with a new balance somewhere else. This makes it really easy to pick up where you left off while also keeping your records as clear and organized as possible.
Bring It All Together
There are a lot of individual parts to this money management strategy we have presented for online casino players. If you bring all of these parts together, you’ll have a cohesive strategy that helps you to get the most out of your play instead of leaving you feeling unorganized.