What separates winners from losers in the casino? Is it experience? Maybe it’s skill. Perhaps it’s just pure luck. Each of them has its place, but what truly matters is your bankroll and how you manage it. After all, it’s what dictates your ability to play. When your bankroll hits zero, so do your chances of making any money.

No amount of card counting, poker-facing, or good fortune will have you leaving with the jackpot if you don’t know how to effectively spend and save your bankroll. Before we look at how it’s done, let’s take a moment to understand what exactly casino bankroll management involves.

Casino Bankroll Management Explained

Your bankroll is the money that you allocate to playing, right? Not exactly.

It also includes everything else associated with gambling. If you’re heading to the local casino, for instance, then what you spend on transportation, food, tips, etc. makes up your bankroll. Playing online might not subject you to most of these expenses, but you’re still spending money on internet access and extras such as forum memberships.

In order to play, you first need to pay for the things that facilitate it. If you spend all of your bankroll on gambling alone, it’s game over. Anyone who has been sorry enough times not to be safe will agree that the best approach is to only spend what you can afford to lose.

Bankroll Management Principles


Your first step should be to determine your budget, how much of it you’re willing to spend, and where you’re going to allocate it. Of course, sticking to your rules is largely a matter of discipline. Heading to each session with no more than what you’re planning to spend can help. Online casinos usually have self-exclusion options for this purpose.

It’s also a good idea to set a time limit. This will give you a guideline as to when you should take a break and clear your head. It can also have you walking away with a higher profit instead of putting your winnings back into the game. Worst-case scenario, a time limit will stop you from investing even more in a losing streak.

Making Your Bankroll Last

Now that we have a grasp of the fundamentals, let’s take a look at how you can keep your bankroll afloat for longer.

Payment Methods: This is more applicable to online casinos, as they offer a wide range of payment methods. Some have higher fees than others, which can needlessly eat into your bankroll. Instead of using a third-party payment processor, for example, trying instant banking in Canada to make a direct transfer can help you save some money.

VIP Programs: Every good casino offers some kind of loyalty program for its members. The benefits tend to vary but can include special offers, discounts, cash back, and free spin bonuses. Land-based casinos sometimes throw in a free buffet to keep your energy levels up while you’re playing. In any case, VIP membership can leave you with more spare cash.

Deposit Bonuses: In a similar vein, claiming a deposit bonus can get you into a few games without having to dip into your bankroll. Granted, accessing your winnings usually comes after fulfilling certain terms, such as wagering a specific amount of your own money. But if you were going to do that anyway, it shouldn’t be much of a roadblock.

Playing Strategies

In addition to the above measures, there are some things you can do when playing to stretch your bankroll even further.

Take it Slow: Slots and virtual games are best approached slowly. Let the machine pay you at its own pace instead of immediately hitting the spin or deal function. This will give you roughly a minute of extra time between rounds, reducing your total spend for each session while also allowing you to get more enjoyment out of the game.

Smaller Limits: This simple approach can get you into twice if not three or four times as many games in the same session. All you have to do is play for a smaller limit. This includes betting $0.50 on a spin instead of $1 or putting $3 down for a game of poker instead of $5. Perhaps it won’t be as exciting, but you can still win a decent amount.

Bet Strategically: High-stakes betting is fun, especially when you’re on a winning streak. But it’s even more enjoyable when done strategically. Try to only increase your stake with your balance. For instance, if you have $20 and win another $20, taking your bet from $0.20 to $0.40 – but no higher than that – is advised.


Effectively managing your bankroll will get you from beginner to pro-level player much faster. It will also go a long way in helping you win big and lose as little as possible, so be sure to practice bankroll management whenever you play.

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