Even if you consider yourself an experienced gambler, betting online can be a whole different beast. Because the money you are playing with has no tangible physical representation (like chips) and can be easy to lose track of, it's extra important to devise a plan before you start wagering online. Apart from keeping an eye on your spending, your game will also improve considerably if you have a better handle on what’s coming in and going out.
Below we have outlined some ideas and steps to ensure that your gambling budget lasts long enough to give you a good shot at a big return on your investment. Our experts know they work because these are the strategies they use!
Just like you might if you went to a land casino, it's important to set a budget or betting limit before you start gambling online. Ideally you will figure out this number after calculating the rest of the expenses in your life and then a reasonable entertainment budget. Beyond that, you could also set a limit for each day in the month, which ensures that even if you hit a rough patch, you won't be exhausting your budget in a week and then not being able to play for three more. You ideally want to hone your skills with constant play, rather than go rusty waiting for your paycheck.
Conversely, a thing you should not do is chase your losses (or throw in more and more money in an attempt to win back what you lost). It's gambling, losses are part of the game, and you're not going to win every day. It's also smart to bet only with cash you have and avoid the temptation of playing on credit. This is why the budget is so important. Whatever happens, you have a specific point at which you stop playing.
Don’t be too cynical, but it’s a good idea to ask ‘What’s the catch?’ when you’re deciding on the gambling site you want to use. You want to make sure you pick a sign up bonus that will actually suit your gameplay habits, rather than just give you the biggest percentage back. If a bonus is attractive because you get 200% on your deposit amount, make sure you’ve got plenty of time to use it and that it applies to games you would normally want to play. Some bonuses require you to play a certain amount within a set period of time, and some have restrictions on which games count towards the bonus.
Similarly with online slots. You should take a look at the betting limits on a game before you try it out. It’s a waste of your bankroll to pick a slot with a too high or too low a betting limit. There’s nothing wrong with mixing it up and trying out new games, but first have a look at the paytable information on the gambling site and compare what different games have to offer you.
A common strategy to ensure that you never walk away from the virtual table with an empty digital wallet is to set aside 50% of all your wins. It’s a nice place to start and you then continue to set aside your additional winnings as you play. If you do this, you guarantee that you'll walk away with no less than the amount you sat down with (unless you hit a cold streak right from the go).
This is admittedly easier said than done online, where you can’t visualize the amounts you’re saving or playing with. In a land casino your money is a very physical thing right in front of you and it’s a little easier, if not easy, to decide what you want to keep hold of. But just as being a good card player requires discipline, so does managing your bankroll. Just tell yourself that, if you can do it, you can continue playing tomorrow.
No matter what game you play and how "good" a gambler you might be, there are going to be swings that go against you. It's important to give yourself room for these by starting out with an amount of money that will guarantee you a set number of bets. Doing this will allow you to keep playing during those losing streaks and hopefully see things turn back in your favour.
A popular long-term system is called the stop-loss strategy. This means reducing the value of your betting units, or stopping, when you suffer a loss. Having a figure in mind of how much you can lose in total before making yourself walk away is a great way to ensure that you don't exhaust your entire bankroll in one frantic session.
Remember, there is no perfect bankroll management system and losses are still a big and unavoidable part of gambling. Try and look at your bankroll from an objective viewpoint (like you are running a business). If profits are in the red for a while, there's no shame in packing things up for a bit and trying out a new strategy next time.