If it is your first-time making a trip to casino, you might wonder how much more you need to take for gambling and non-gambling activities. Some people just go with the flow and spend whatever spare change. However, as a money-conscious person, you might be more comfortable with a well-defined budget and plan for your casino trip.
It helps to ask yourself at least two questions to ballpark the amount of money you should bring to the casino. The first thing is your purpose of visiting the casino – are you there to have fun or make money? These queries have unsurprisingly different responses and they post other questions themselves.
That being said, there are essentially two types of casino goers…
a) The fun-seeking casino goer – If you’re out to have fun at the casino, gambling will likely take the back-burner in your spending priority. Therefore, when budgeting for your casino visit, you should focus more on the entertainment expenses – we’re talking the money for drinks, dinner, shows, and whatnot. For a pricey destination like Vegas or Monte Carlo, you may need $400 to $2,000 or more to cater to all the fun activities at the casino. For a budget gambling destination like Atlantic City, a $100 – $200 casino budget may not sound too bad.
In reality, most people who are after fun are happy to take to the casino what they spend for roughly two hours at a restaurant. If you normally don’t mind spending $200 at Olive Gardens with your friends or family on a Friday evening, then you’ll have no regrets about plunking down the same amount in casino bets.
b) The profit-seeking gambler – If you aim to make a profit on your casino visit, you must consider your gambling goals both in the short-term and long haul. This will help you establish and manage your casino bankroll so that you can make a profit at end of your visit. The bankroll is the amount of money you need to set aside for your goal of making winnings at the casino over a given period. It’s directly correlated with the amount of money you wish to invest into casino gambling in the long run.
The amount of money you should bring to the casino if you’re after profit is directly related to your total bankroll.
Gambling experts recommend bringing 10% or one-fifth of your total bankroll with you to the casino, especially if you plan to play capital-intensive games like blackjack, poker, or baccarat. But just in case you run into an unexpected losing streak, they suggest bringing an additional 10% of your total bankroll. If you do the math, that would come up to 20% of your bankroll for long-term casino play.
Let’s say you have set aside $10,000 as your total casino bankroll. That means you should take 20% or $2,000 for gambling exclusively on each trip you make to the casino. You must not forget that there are several other expenses that you should budget for when visiting a casino to make money. We’re talking money for hotel stay, food, drinks, transportation, and much more – these could eat a further 5% into your bankroll.
To answer the question: you need at least $100, which should be enough funds to cover all your casino expenses. These should include your travel, entertainment, food & drinks, and of course, what you’re willing to lose at the casino. For the gambling component, the right amount to bring to the casino depends what you can afford to lose and your preferred games.
An excellent rule of thumb when figuring out how much money to bring to the casino is to take two important steps …
● Establish your bankroll, and
● Only bring 10% (plus another 10% for insurance) of your total bankroll at any given visit to the casino
It is that pretty straightforward yet effective approach to calculate your casino budget and manage your funds wisely. But the real difficulty comes when setting your bankroll. It is not all about writing a figure on a piece of paper.
Establishing your casino bankroll takes more than just looking at your bank balance or money in the pocket and putting down a number from there. Even worse, it is not about attacking your savings or credit cards. That would be terrible for your financial health in the long haul – you cannot afford to lose all your money because you need something to tide you over for daily expenses. Think paying car loans, footing your mortgage payments, setting aside money for grocery shopping, and other unavoidable yet crucial bills.
Think of your bankroll as only the cash amount you cannot afford to commit to casino betting. Remember, the nature of gambling means that you can win or, more commonly, you can lose all your money. That means your bankroll should include only expendable money – the funds that you can afford to lose.
For example, if you get paid or have $10,000 in your bank, when you consider your bills and other commitments, you might only have $800 to spare. If you plan to gamble this money at a casino, these funds would be considered your bankroll. Now that you have figure out of the way, the next question is to determine exactly the amount of money you should bring to the casino.
The smartest gamblers pick a percentage of their total bankroll to calculate how much to bring at any given visit to the casino. That is one of the most effective ways to manage your bankroll and stretch it enough to make a profit in the long run.
Most pros say 5% is the perfect percentage, especially if you have a large bankroll of over $2,000. However, some players even go as low as 2%.
But, for the casual player who is after a decent profit with a modest bankroll (something between $500 and $5,000), we highly recommend increasing the percentage to 10%. If you lose on your first trip to the casino, that would not decimate your bankroll. If you win, that would not allow you to get carried away by the winning excitement, either. It’s an ideal choice for the vast majority of casino goers.
Don’t forget that you need a further 10% (or whatever percentage you select) of your total bankroll as a cushioning or insurance against an unexpected cold streak. That means if you end up losing all your money within two hours and you planned to gamble all night, you can tap into the additional money.
Never wager more than 5% of your total bankroll on any one bet, according to the majority of professional gamblers. That’s particularly true of high-stakes games like baccarat, blackjack, and roulette fall under this category. Regarding game speed, blackjack players can play through 50 hands in an hour, whereas baccarat players play around 70 hands per hour.
For an hour of blackjack play at $10 per hand, you will need 50*$10 = $500. However, if you’re out to Vegas for a 2-day weekend and plan to play for 4 hours per day, you will need to bring at least $4,000.
Simply because you began limiting your bets at $20, or 5% of your starting bankroll, doesn’t mean you have to stick with that amount. The whole idea behind bankroll management is that you should always wager 5% of your overall bankroll.
Consider a scenario in which you visited your neighborhood casino or signed up for a gaming session online and won $200. If your bankroll has increased to $800, you can increase your minimum bet to 5% of that, or $40 per wager.
However, applying the same reasoning, you can only bet 5% of that, or $10 each time, if you have a losing session and your bankroll drops to $200.
Being strict with yourself will help you avoid losing your entire roll, which is the whole point. Avoid the temptation to double up and risk all of your remaining money on one blackjack hand if things have gotten really bad and you only have $10 left. Stick to your budget and only wager 50 cents.
Some individuals may set upper limits on their bankrolls. In our hypothetical example, if your role had increased to $1,000, you might think about taking all money over $1,000 off the table to treat yourself by making a nice purchase or contributing it to your retirement account. After all, not everyone enjoys playing high stakes poker.
What is your goal when you visit the casino? Do you want to double your starting bankroll? Or, looking to kill time in between meetings or before a convention begins? Do you want to have fun on your favorite casino game or make a profit?
Having an objective in mind can help you determine the right casino money to bring with you. If you wish to make bank with big wins, it pays to take as much disposable money as you can afford to lose. For a tourist experience at the casino, you can hive off 10-25% of your travel money to enjoy your favorite slots.
But do you enjoy playing penny slots? Perhaps you play craps or roulette. Or maybe you like the poker room better. It pays to know which casino games you prefer …
Slot machines: Have particular RTPs that casinos advertise and generally make public. Just keep in mind that the advertised RTP applies to all of the slots at that casino, so some of them may have better RTPs than others. Research the typical RTP for the slots you enjoy playing – a fan-favorite like Cleopatra boasts an RTP of 94% in Vegas, while Megabucks is a loser-maker at as low as 75%.
Table Games: The most well-liked table games are roulette, blackjack, and craps, all of which provide a variety of opportunities to wager on different outcomes. For instance, some craps wagers have RTPs that are quite advantageous, while others are mind-bogglingly risky to your bankroll.
The Poker Room: $1/$2 NL Hold’em is the standard low-end game dealt in casino poker rooms. You should bring at least $200 to sit at that $1/$2 table because the suggested buy-in at any table is 100 times the big blind. You should almost certainly have a backup for a re-buy if you need insurance.
The amount of money you do want to bring to a casino should be between $50 and $100,000 depending on whether you are a casual player, intermediate gambler, or a high roller. Your gambling goals and bankroll will do the most talking.
You should not do the following in a casino:
Lose your Temper
We know losing money, hand after hand or spin after spin, can sting. But you should never lose your cool or temper in a casino. Don’t fly off the handle and begin to shout at other players or dealers when Lady Luck doesn’t dance in your favor.
Drink too much
Most casinos are happy to serve complimentary alcoholic drinks to players. In fact, it is one of the many tactics they use to pull money out of your pockets into their cage.
Unfortunately, drinking too much is terrible for your play at the casino – it ruins your judgment and bad for your bankroll.
Bring your Kids to the Casino Floor
Trust us – this is the biggest sin you can commit at a casino. Minors are never allowed on a casino gambling floor. If you bring your children to sit by your side as you enjoy blackjack or spinning the reels, don’t be surprised if the police come and arrest you.
Raid your Credit Cards When Deplete your Bankroll
This one is a no-brainer. Most credit cards don’t work at the casinos’ cashier cage – thank goodness for that. However, if yours can pay for playing chips or withdraw, you should never consider raiding your credit cards to fund your casino gambling. Instead, do something else if you have run out of your bankroll.
Smoke in the Undesignated Smoking Zone
There’s nothing wrong with craving to your urge to light up a cigarette while at a casino. Most casinos know this and they have set aside smoking zones within the gaming floor. You should never smoke in an area that has not been designated for smoking.
Join a table in the middle of a hand or round
It is common etiquette to wait until a hand of blackjack, spin of roulette, round of craps, or a hand of baccarat to be over before you join the table. If you decide to join in the middle of a game, you will not only distract the dealer but also confuse other players.