Everyone has his or her own theory about what it takes to be a truly successful blackjack player. Some people will tell you that it’s about researching all the blackjack strategies and treating Ed Thorp’s Beat the Dealer like the gospel. Others will say it depends on how much luck you have, or even pin it down to karma. However, the truth of the matter is that the most successful blackjack players are skilled in one thing above all others – blackjack money management.

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It doesn’t matter how excellent you are at turning the cards; if you don’t know how to or can’t successfully manage your blackjack bankroll, then you’re never going to be a successful gambler. Playing blackjack becomes a lot less fun when you blow your rent money at the table chasing losses and find yourself sleeping on your friend’s couch, or worse.

We’re here to help you stay smart about your gambling money management. Follow these tips and we guarantee you’ll experience more success and, more importantly, more fun and peace of mind while you play blackjack.

1. Set monetary limits

Rule number one of blackjack money management seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people neglect to follow this one when they’re playing. The best way to keep a hold of your money is to set limits on it. Know how much you can afford to lose and stick to it. No excuses. Don’t say, “One more hand,” – walk away. This rule doesn’t only apply to losses, either. You should set a limit for winnings as well.

bankroll limitSeems like a counter intuitive thing to do, but setting a winnings limit will most likely save you some serious headaches. Too many blackjack players can tell you the sob story of the time they were up by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, only to lose it all quicker than they earned it. It’s hard to walk away when you’re on a winning streak, but if you don’t it will almost always end badly. Get out while you’re ahead. You’ll look (and feel) more badass walking away a winner, anyway.

It comes down to this: don’t listen to your hurt pride or indulge your ego. If you hit your losses limit, don’t think you can win it all back. If you hit your winnings limit, don’t convince yourself that you can win more. In both cases, walk away and you’ll be more successful in the long run.

2. Watch the clock

blackjack timerIf setting a limit on your money sounds like more of a hassle than you want to deal with, try setting a limit on how much playing time you have. It’s mathematical fact (probably) that the more time you spend playing, the more money you’re likely to lose. Setting a time limit can help you keep your spending low without keeping track of every penny that goes into your casino bankroll.

However, take into consideration that your time limit should be based on how fast you play and how much money you typically spend per bet. For example, how does playing three hours of blackjack at $1 per bet compare to one hour of play at $10 a bet? It all depends on how fast you play and how much you bet. If you go significantly faster in your $1 game, you could be looking at the same amount of money or even more in three hours as you would in a slow hour of $10 blackjack. Try playing on practice mode to get a feel for how fast you play and adjust your time limit according to your speed.

Your time limit could extend to the number of days you play a week or a month, as well. You could play every other Saturday for three hours total, or Tuesdays and Thursdays for one hour. Just remember to stick to your time limit and adjust it to fit your speed and the amount you bet per hand for proper blackjack money management.

3. Deposit wisely

So, you’re too lazy or stubborn to set a monetary limit or a time limit and are looking for something easier. If this is the case, use your deposits in your casino bankroll to limit yourself. In short terms, deposit only what you can afford to lose. This will set an obvious and unavoidable limit on the amount of money you can spend playing blackjack in the casino.

Be realistic – if you know you’re the type to say, “Just one more,” then deposit a little less than what you can afford to lose. This gives you the opportunity to top off with one or two more deposits without going over, but also gives you the chance to learn discipline and know when to stop. If you know you’re rock solid in your convictions, deposit 100% of what you can afford to lose and don’t make another deposit once the first one is gone.

The most important part of this gambling money management tip – once the amount you deposited is gone, do not make another deposit until you have money you can afford to lose again. Don’t try to convince yourself that you can put in your rent money and figure it out later. It doesn’t work and it leaves you even deeper in the red. Walk away, pay your rent, make more money at your day job, and come back when you’ve got something to spare. You’ll thank yourself later.

4. There’s always an app

blackjack money management appIt’s true – today, there’s an app for everything, and blackjack money management is no exception. There are plenty of apps that allow you to compartmentalize your finances into neat, nifty little boxes that make managing money easy as pie. You can check out your spending history, make different budgets, and set goals for big purchases.

The best part about budgeting apps is their ability to alert you when you’re getting close to a spending limit. If you create a budget for blackjack expenditures on your budgeting app and it senses you creeping toward the limit, it can alert you with an email, a text alert, a mobile notification, or all of the above if you really need it. In addition, you can keep track of the rest of your finances in one place.

Budgeting apps like Mint or Spendee are great for keeping all your money in check, including the money you spend at the blackjack table. Both of these apps are compatible with Apple and Android devices, so you can successfully manage your money from anywhere. Just remember to put your phone on vibrate on the casino floor.

For a more detailed look at budget management apps, check out our article 7 Fantastic bankroll management tools.

5. Don’t lower your inhibitions

Any gambling regular will tell you it’s true. You cannot be a successful blackjack player if you get drunk at the table. Having a cocktail or two won’t ruin your game (unless you’re a lightweight), but anything beyond that is an invitation for you to make some serious mistakes. Those mistakes could cost you in your gameplay and in your blackjack money management.

blackjack money managementIt’s a fact of life that people tend to make poor choices when they’re inebriated. You’re doing yourself and your casino bankroll a disservice if you decide to get drunk and start making mistakes at the table. Not only will you most likely lose money on the hands you’re dealt, you’re also more likely to spend more money than you want to. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at a green felt table on the casino floor or on your living room couch at home – getting drunk will not be good for your bankroll.

Stay away from the booze and you’ll be more likely to stick to your budget. After you’re done playing blackjack, use that money you saved to buy yourself and someone good looking a casino drink. You’re more likely to get lucky that way than you would by getting drunk at the blackjack table.

Blackjack money management tips summarized:

  1. Set monetary limits
  2. Watch the clock
  3. Deposit wisely
  4. There’s always an app
  5. Don’t lower your inhibitions

The most important parts of blackjack money management are self-control and discipline. Set limits, don’t do anything to dull your senses, and know when it’s time to walk away. If you’re still in the mood to play after you’ve exhausted your available funds, you can always play practice mode on Planet 7 for as long as your heart desires. You might not be bringing in any real money, but hey – you sure as hell won’t be losing it. Log onto Planet 7 Online Casino today for a wide selection of 21 games you can play for free instantly and put these blackjack money management theories to the test!

Frank West is a bit of an itinerant gambler. An avid traveler and freelance writer with a penchant for games of chance, Frank has hit the tables in casinos the world over and picked up a copious volume of knowledge along the way. Frank enjoys passing on what he’s learned in blog and magazine articles about gambling and teaching people how to beat the house. He also covets his privacy, authoring his articles only under the pen name Frank West.
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