It is a common myth perpetuated among some online bettors that the longer you sit down and play casino games, the greater the chance you have of winning. It simply doesn't work like that. As a matter of fact, it's quite the reverse. All casino table games and slots have a 'house edge'. This is a percentage edge that the casino has over the player during every deal of a card deck and every spin of a roulette wheel or slot machine.
Let's use the game of blackjack as an example. The house edge of blackjack is approximately 0.5% - and that's if you adopt basic playing strategy. This means that for every £100 you wager, you are statistically likely to lose £0.50p long term. Sure, there will be gaming sessions when you encounter a hot winning streak and you win more than you lose, but over the long term you should encounter modest losses even with basic strategy.
It's the same in European Roulette, which carries a house edge of 2.70%. European roulette (or single-zero roulette as it's also known) players, therefore, lose £2.70 for every £100 they wager over the long-term.
It goes without saying that if you want your online casino betting bankroll to last longer, you should look to play games that carry the smallest long-term house edge. It gives you a chance to enjoy winning streaks now and then. However, if you choose to play other casino games and indulge in side bets that carry a greater house edge, you should also look to deploy a smart bankroll management system that sizes your wagers and preserves your bankroll, allowing it to live to fight another day.
As with all forms of gambling, you should only bet with what you can afford to lose. When it comes to bankroll management, you need to define how much you wish to ring fence exclusively for playing at the best online casinos. Only then can you consider adopting a bankroll management system to control your spending and your losses. The two most popular strategies used to control betting bankrolls are:
The Kelly Criterion
Professional bettors use the Kelly Criteria to determine the size of each wager, aligned to the correct probability of the outcome winning. Using this formula, bettors increase their bet sizes when they have a better chance of winning and scale back their stakes when they have a lesser chance of winning. To calculate the formula, multiple the odds of the bet by the probability of winning. Subtract the percentage chance of losing in this bet from the first sum, then take the answer of the second sum and divide it by the odds.
The Martingale System
Martingale betting strategies attempt to debunk the myth that the longer you play, you will eventually win in the end. After every losing bet, you will double your stake for the next bet, until you land a winner. At this point, you will be one unit in profit, and you can return to your usual betting stakes. The risk here is that you embark on a lengthy losing run – which is entirely plausible given the house edge of casino games – which can wipe out an entire bankroll in one session.
It's important to note that the Martingale System doesn't actually work because of the table limits, which you will quickly reach when using this system, and is generally viewed as a strategy for more gullible players.
Poker professionals are one cohort of bettors that you should use as a barometer for bankroll management. Cash game poker professionals will only take a small percentage of their overall bankroll to a table, in case they lose it all in one session. Poker icon Chris Ferguson has long abided by the rule of never entering a cash game where the minimum buy-in is over 5% of his entire bankroll. Similarly, with multi-table tournaments (MTT), Ferguson does not commit more than 2% of his bankroll to enter a single MTT.