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Gambling Bankroll Management – How Not To Lose Too Quickly

What percentage of your bankroll should you bet?

In sports betting, it is almost universally accepted that you shouldn’t bet more than 1-2% of your bankroll on any given bet, which means you got enough money for 50 to 100 bets if your bankroll is £100.

In poker, they say you should risk at most 2-3% of your entire bankroll in one game, and some authors claim 5% is the absolute maximum.

Live dealer games such as Blackjack and Roulette can have long winning or losing streaks, so it’s important to be conservative with the bankroll. The minimum bet on Live Blackjack is often £10 or more, so using the 1% rule, you’d need £1000. I often play with 10% of my bankroll if I’ve got £100. It’s a risky approach as you can bust out in 10 hands. I would say £200 Banroll would be better and bet no more than 5%.

In Roulette, stakes vary from 0.10 upwards, so you can comfortably use 1% of the total bankroll. If using variable stakes, 1% of the bankroll is the upper limit, the maximum stake.

If you’re a slots player, you’ll quickly learn that having enough money for 100 spins isn’t enough to stay in the game or trigger the bonus round once. 200 or 300 spins is the norm, and 500 keeps you safe.

I’m mentioning this to provide context for the live game shows that play more similarly to slots than traditional table games, at least regarding how many bets you have to set money aside for.

Live shows such as Crazy Time, Deal or No Deal, Monopoly Big Baller or Adventures Beyond Wonderland are very volatile, so you can’t possibly expect to come in with £100, make ten £10 bets, and walk away with a win. That’s ludicrous.

Even the players who think they’re playing it safe with their maximum bet never exceeding 1% of their bankroll aren’t playing it safe enough. Instead of preparing for 100 spins on Crazy Time, it would probably be better to prepare for 200, even 300.

How to know how many bets to prepare for?

Since so many games play so differently, there can be no strict guidelines for coming up with a definite answer, e.g. how many spins of Adventures Beyond Wonderland you must prepare for.

As a general rule of thumb, whatever you think, double it. If you feel 100 spins is enough, the correct answer is likely 200 and above. If you’re thinking 200, then 500 would do.

It depends on the game. If the game is a bit tight with its largest win, you should increase the number of spins and reduce the bet size as a proportion of your bankroll.

If you look at Crazy Time stats and deduce you’ll trigger the Crazy Time Bonus Round once in 100 spins, then 1/100=1% of your bankroll is the absolute least you can do to keep yourself safe.

In Funky Time, the VIP Disco bonus round is expected to hit once every 64 spins. With a bell curve distribution, of course, it might be 100+ spins between two hits. It would be good to have enough money for at least 200 spins when you’re starting to play this game.

Tips For Managing Your Bankroll

Now I’ll proceed with some tips.

Tip 1: Write everything down

We usually think we win and lose more than we did. The only way to know for sure is to write down the result of each playing session. Enter the date, the game’s name, and the overall profit/loss. That’s enough.

If you do this, you’ll have a good overview of what’s going on. If you’re doing well, you’ll know. If you’re not doing so well, you’ll immediately be aware of that and have a reason to refine or abandon your playing strategy, change your game, etc.

Tip 2: Set monthly, weekly and daily betting limits

Again, these absolute limits are designed to keep you from chasing losses and from entering long-losing streaks. There should be a limit on how much you are willing to lose. When you reach that limit, that’s it. No more gambling.

Tip 3: Know your math

Here on, I’m concerned with the math of the game and the game mechanics. When analyzing a game, it’s essential to know what it plays like.

Knowing which bets make the most sense, which bets have the lowest house edge, and if it’s better to play it safe or go for high-risk bets, you can come close to playing the game with an optimal strategy.


Being conservative with your bankroll management is a good thing. Regardless of your playing style, this is one area where there’s only one correct answer: to play it safe.

Any attempt to bet large chunks of your bankroll will fail miserably – and quickly.

As a rough guideline, prepare for at least 200 of your maximum bets when starting a game session.

This way, the game will become more enjoyable as you won’t have to top up the bankroll mid-game. Then you can enjoy the game and have more chances to win than you would with several large bets.

Author: Jordan Bennett