Blackjack Bankroll Management

Whether you play recreationally or professionally, proper bankroll management is one of the most important secrets to success in blackjack. There are different types of strategies for determining what an appropriate bankroll size is, but they all revolve around how you can avoid losing all of your money during your bad streaks. Apart from insulating you from the negative swings, a good bankrolling strategy should be conducive to actually making money. The type of bankroll that you use will depend on factors such as whether you are playing over the long term or for just one sitting, whether you are counting cards, your playing style, and your income objectives.

One of the most popular bankrolling systems adopted by professional counters is the Kelly Criterion. To simplify the reasoning behind it, take the following example: You are standing ten meters from a wall, and then you step halfway to the wall. You keep walking halfway to the wall, but you can never get to the wall because you will just continue to take smaller and smaller steps. Kelly betting and works just like walking halfway to the wall; you constantly adjust your betting units so that they are always in proportion to your advantage over the house. At no point will you ever get to a bankroll size of $0. In realistic scenarios, however, you have to approximate your betting values. Because you will almost never have an advantage beyond two percent against the house, you should never bet more than two percent of your bankroll. So, if you have a bankroll of $1,000, you should never bet more than $20 at once.

While the Kelly Criterion is statistically proven to insulate you from losing all of your money, it isn’t the most effective betting system for most players. If you are a non-counting player, a good rule of thumb is to sit at a table with at least 40 times your average bet. So, if you are at a $5 table, sit down with $200. Serious counting players should sit down with 100 times the minimum bet, or 50 times the average bet. The reason that a counting player needs more money is because a counter makes his money by greatly varying his bets depending on his edge against the house.



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Author Kingsino Staff
Date August 21 2012
Tags Blackjack, Bankroll Management, Guide, Kelly Criterion