How can I calculate my bankroll?
Mr Blackjack shares his tips and experiences on building sizeable and sustainable bankrolls so you can play responsibly at the casino.
Calculating your bankroll. This comes back to whether you are playing blackjack to have fun or you are here to make money. Whichever reason, we'll help you determine how to calculate your bankroll so you can keep playing blackjack for longer.
If you are here to make money you need to set a certain amount aside for this business. I say business because it needs a life of its own and should not depend on outside money to survive.
You are its sole employee. You are the worker, and you have no salary as of yet. You also can not depend on the money that you invested in your blackjack company to pay your rent, food, or nights out. You have to be serious about how much you are willing to invest.
Set some rules that you will always follow and pretend the money isn’t yours to take. Say you go out and win big. It's not time to go out and play Mr CEO and buy a $300 Wagyu steak with a $40 glass of whiskey.
You are simply the employee whose job it is to grow that business. Reinvest that money back into the business. Your bankroll should be representative of a portion of your savings and the amount of disposable income you can part with on a monthly business.
When I started, I had next to nothing. My nightly bankroll was $50 but I knew that the $50 was the total amount I was willing to invest because it was all I had.
I worked as a cashier at a gas station making $6 an hour, and come Friday night it was time to hit the tables. After a few sessions, I took that $50 to $500, and then on from there.
A healthy way to look at this would be to look at your current balance in your bank account versus your bills and come up with your disposable income. This is extra money you don't need to survive. If you have $5,000 in your bank account and your disposable income is $2,000. Your initial investment would be $2,000 and then an extra $400 per month as an add-on which is 20% of your investment as a top-up.
Depending on how often you play and how well you play, you may never need the monthly top-up. The monthly top-up covers any potential downswings and ensures you aren’t touching your rent money when you are playing blackjack. Also, it will help you slow your roll if you know what I mean.
Once you have achieved your 5X goal, you can start withdrawing and spending your winnings. As a rule, try and stay at least within the 4x to 5x of your initial investment.
This lets you continue to play at the higher stakes without hurting your overall earning potential. Go out and buy yourself that Wagyu. You've earned it.
What this lesson covers
- How to calculate a bankroll that suits your budget
- How to build your bankroll
- Best practices to avoid draining your bankroll
Meet Mr Blackjack
With a career spanning two decades, Mathieu Blake knows his way around a blackjack table. He's taught and entertained over 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel NeverSplit10's . In this series he'll take you through basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. Take a seat with Mr Blackjack and become a winning player.
- How much bankroll do I need?
Blackjack players generally get through 30-40 hands per hour. Decide how long you want to play for, then calculate how much you can afford to wager per hand, per hour, and assess whether the amount is realistic. Say you want to play blackjack for two hours; that’s 80 hands. If you get $5 per hand that’s $400 minimum.
- Should I manage my bankroll differently for online blackjack games?
Online casinos operate bankrolls and winnings differently from brick-and-mortar venues. Check whether the online casino you choose has any minimum withdrawal requirements or additional withdrawal fees that might affect your winnings. Be strict about setting time limits for your gameplay, and withdraw your winnings when you have hit your target.
- How much bankroll do I need to be considered a high roller?
High roller tables usually have a minimum bet limit of $100 and reach $1,000 or more on upper limits. You need a bankroll that can sustain these bet sizes in real money blackjack for several hours to consider yourself a high roller.
- How often should I review my bankroll?
This depends on your reason for playing. If you’re playing to make money, review your bankroll after each session and every month to see whether you’ve reached your goals. This will also help you see whether your skills in basic strategy and card counting are improving too.
- What if I don’t achieve my 5X bankroll growth goal?
If you don’t meet your goal in the time you anticipated, revisit your sessions. Determine what hands caused you the biggest losses, and focus on improving your blackjack skills. Set more realistic expectations for your goals to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself, which could cause you to make poor choices.
- Can I realistically build a big bankroll on small cash amounts?
It is possible if you look at growing your bankroll over six months or a year. If you’re hoping to bet small amounts and win big in blackjack in one session, you will likely be disappointed.
- Will my bankroll last longer at a full blackjack table?
Having more players at the table will slow the game speed down, meaning you will play fewer hands per hour. While this means your bankroll might stretch for longer, it also means you’re playing fewer hands that you can win payouts on too.