Bankroll Management Concepts for Chance-Based Games

Published: January 30, 2014

One of the things that you can do to help yourself to have a better overall gambling experience is stick to strong bankroll management guidelines. These guidelines will help you to stay in the game longer while maximizing your chances for winning big prizes. They will also help you to keep your gambling within your budget, and they can help you to avoid developing compulsive gambling habits if you stick to them. For players who play chance-based games, you don't get a lot of strategic decisions, but knowing the concepts for strong bankroll management can help you to maximize your chances of winning.

There are two factors that come into play when you're dealing with bankroll management. The first is the variance or volatility of the game, and the second is the house advantage. When either of these factors increases, you have to increase your bankroll requirements to maintain a betting level, or you have to decrease your bet size. A great example of when this comes up for chance-based games is choosing a bet size in slots. A lot of people completely ignore the volatility of the games involved and always choose the same bet size, and this is a big mistake.

Suppose you're playing a video slot that has a $0.50 betting level and a low volatility. To maintain the same level of protection with your bankroll, if you were to move to a game with a very high volatility, then you would need to drop your betting level. Ignoring this would be the same as increasing your bet size on the original game, and that's something that a lot of people simply wouldn't do because they would feel like it lowers their bankroll management guidelines. They don't understand that it's the exact same kind of thing, and that's why volatility is so important to pay attention to.

There are a number of things that contribute to volatility. Overall, it has to do with how spread out the paytable is on the game you're playing and how often you end up with no prize at all. Games with a big jackpot tend to have few medium or low payouts, and that contributes to a high volatility. On the other hand, there are other games with decent jackpots and a more balanced paytable, and that contributes to a low volatility overall that affords you to use bigger bet sizes.