There are hundreds of articles, tips, and books about winning strategies in gambling. It seems that every casino game out there has a “How to” manual or “Idiot’s Guide” to beating the house – even games that are provably impossible to influence through any sort of strategy like slots or sic bo.
But there is one gamblers trick that IS proven to affect the outcome of any game, from the flip of a coin to staring down an opponent at the Texas Hold’em tournament table: management.
While the word ‘manager’ has taken on a whole new light in our modern meme-driven world (especially the Karen “I demand to speak to the manager” memes that are all over the Internet), the underlying basis of that word ‘management’ has never been more important. We hear weekly sports coaches and captains talking about ‘game management’. We see countless articles about business success being down to ‘management’ – or business failure being down to ‘mismanagement’.
And nowhere is this truer than in the world and wallet of the South African online casino player.
Managers and management are there to ensure that there are solid, definable, and followed rules to ensure success. And having the proper management in place – YOUR management – is one of the best rules to follow to ensure gambling success.
The CasinoPlay crew tend to have a lot of autonomy when it comes to how we go about our day-to-day work. We have a lot of fun in our office, we work in a super-fun industry, our jobs are a lot more fun than some other careers out there, BUT we still need our management to make sure we are doing what we do when we need to do it.
And so do our players. SO, here are our top tips on managing your bankroll and your online casino experience.
It’s out first tip, and our most important one. This is aimed at all levels of players, from newbies to gambling to those experienced old hands at games of chance: only gamble with money you can afford to lose.
This is what’s known as smart money management. It should be called common sense but here we are!
In a nutshell, gambling is a hobby and an entertainment NOT a career. You should only be gambling with money that is extra after you’ve settled all your bills. The easiest way to do this is to make a budget. Calculate your monthly expenses like rent, food, utilities, travel, insurance, etc. Then see what you’ve got left over. The perfect scenario in this case would be to put some of your excess money into an investment for the future (every little bit makes a difference down the road) and then keep the rest for entertainment.
This is the money you use to go to the casino or log in to your favourite online or mobile casino and play your favourite casino games.
And when this money is spent – YOU STOP!
Not the playing cards, the bank cards. Especially in a land-based casino. Casinos place ATMs in prominent and easy to get to areas so you can easily draw more money when you’ve burned through your bankroll.
Don’t do it.
Set your budget and stick to it, no matter what. This may seem like a continuation of the first point – and it is – but it’s crazy just how many people will go into a casino, spend their cash, and then hit up an ATM without even thinking about what they’re doing.
It’s all a part of that Gambler’s Fallacy that the next spin or the next hand will be the one to make up for all the previous losses.
Instead, it just leads to more losses.
If you are on a winning streak, play smart! Take your winnings and split them in two. Use one half to continue gambling and put one half away.
This accomplishes two things: 1) when you leave the casino (online, mobile, or land-based) you will be leaving as a winner which is massive for your mental health and confidence, and 2), you will have an extra boost to put it into your budget – and bankroll – for future gambling days.
It’s a well-known adage in business: time is money. Most people are paid according to the time they spend in the office (even if you get a monthly salary, it is dependent on you being present and working for a certain number of days every month).
In the gambling world, especially the online gambling world, time really can be money. The faster you play, the quicker you’ll go through your bankroll.
While most players will be aware of the importance of money management, time management can be just as important to your bankroll. Unless you’re playing in a slots tournament, avoid that turbo button. Take time to think about what you’re going to do before you choose your next move at the tables (irl or virtual). Take regular breaks to walk around and see what else is going on around you. Land-based casinos don’t really like players getting up and walking around and then sitting down again but they can’t stop you. And you could use this time to take a gander at what else is going down on the casino floor. For online gamblers, it’s always a good idea to get the blood flowing with a little bit of a stroll ever now and again because we can get sucked into our games and totally lose track of the time.
Apart from the health benefits of shifting our asses, it also puts a pause on our playing and our spending. A few minutes away from the game can add up to quite a few Randelas NOT going into the slots or onto the table.
Finding and playing new games is always a thrill, but make sure you understand the rules and the wagering requirements before you put your real money at risk. Practice the game for a while before going in for real. This gives you a good understanding of what to expect, how to play, what to look for, and – of course – the chance to have tons of gaming fun without risking the loss of cash.
Research your games and rules. Watch others playing at land-based casinos. Practice, practice, practice.
This is where online casinos really shine. A lot of the better online casinos (for South Africans, we recommend Play.co.za and GBets.co.za for this) offer you a chance to play games in demo mode. Most of these casino’s games, except Live dealer games, can be played on a trial basis without depositing any real money. There are some jackpot features that you won’t be able to access but, in general, all base gameplay and bonus features are available.
Even if you’re going to a land-based casino, find an online casino where you can play games for free and in demo mode to give yourself a better understanding and make yourself familiar with how the games work.
It will give you a great advantage.
Your bankroll is important. Your time is important. The final element in the gambling trifecta is your mind.
Go into any gambling situation knowing and understanding that you have just as much chance of losing as you do of winning. The house always wins is not a joke, it’s a fact. Every game in every casino is designed to make money for the casino in the long run. Treat your wins as something to celebrate and your losses as a learning opportunity.
And keep your mind clear. Ever wonder why land-based casinos are more than happy to comp you free drinks? It’s because alcohol makes you more susceptible to risky play and to making mistakes. Which makes them more money. Don’t mix alcohol and gambling or, if you do enjoy a drink while playing, keep it down to one or two. Drunk gamblers are very quickly broke gamblers.
These are not guides to help you win, they are tips to help you enjoy your gambling. These management tips will help you make your gameplaying last longer, stretch your bankroll to enable you to play more, and stop you from crashing out and really begin hating what is, at the end of the day, an activity that is meant to be thrilling and enjoyable.
At CasinoPlay we spend all our day in this industry. And, every day, we thank Lady Luck that we are able to play and enjoy ourselves because we know we are doing this for FUN!
Play responsibly. Walk away if you need to. There will always be another day to play.