To fully enjoy your gambling experience, you should be able to control it; it means setting and following a budget. Whether you are taking a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ cruise aboard the Queen Mary II or a weekend hiking tour at the closest state park; you need to decide on the amount that you are willing to spend and then create reliable plans. It is also applicable for a gambling getaway. First of all, you need to budget your transportation to the destination, and don’t forget about food expenses, sightseeing excursions and entertainment tickets, -and how much you wish to spend on gambling.
You must decide, before you go into the casino doors, how much you are willing to lose. Casinos are marvelous places where you can check on the reality at the door. Gambling can be an exciting experience, a great opportunity to get away from your stressful work and enjoy the escape that winning and risk can bring. But if the lines between fantasy and reality blur, when you get into the dream and totally forget about your budget, you will run into troubles, and your bankroll can quickly head south.
I will help you predetermine precisely how much money you are willing to lose on your gambling adventure. You will also discover how to follow your budget and avoid certain types of excitement the casino wants you to have – at your expense.
Playing within your means
For most gamblers, gambling isn’t a lifestyle. It is an escape from the world that has the same components of excitement, thrill and sizzle, as other types of entertainment – well, perhaps a little more than the opera and a bit less than skydiving.
A great starting point to decide on your gambling bankroll is by working out how much you will spend on different types of vacations and entertainments, such a ski resorts, theme parks, or other attractions. Knowing this bit of information can help you to compare your current casino budget to the cost of that weekend in Aspen or last summer’s beach vacation.
Your gambling bankroll should reflect fiscal reality and facts. If your other entertainments cost $2,000, why should your gambling trip costs three times as much? Like all trips, flights of fancy, or hobbies, gambling is just another form of entertainment. And, just like a Caribbean cruise, a bad gambling day shouldn’t affect your daily lifestyle or your financial ability to pay your monthly bills, after the gambling trip is over.
As you estimate the cost of your gambling vacation, consider its real value to you in terms of entertainment and fun. If you perceive the casino gambling venture as a form of amusement similar to, say, an evening at the theater and dinner at a fine restaurant, you should start to put an appropriate pricing on its value. Would you like to have a dinner with your spouse and pay $500 for two? Perhaps. Would you pay $ 750 for it? Okay, I may start to sound like a credit counselor, but the cash for your gambling vacation need to come from an entertainment budget. Put differently, don’t dip into your kid’s college funds, think about cashing in a savings bond, or take out a fresh credit card simply to bankroll your gambling trip. And by all means, you shouldn’t budget with cash you plan to win during your gambling trip!
Determining the daily limits
After you find out your budget for the gambling adventure (whether a three days trip to Vegas or just a short jaunt to some riverboat casinos), you should break down the budget into how much you are willing to spend every day. Take the gambling trip bankroll, and then divide the bankroll amount by the number of days you are going to spend in the casino. For instance, say you set aside $1,500 for gambling on your three days getaway weekend. You have $500 to play with every day, separate from the cash you need for food, hotel room and other entertainments. For instance, on Monday, the first day of a wonderful three-day gambling trip, you go into the casino with $500 bills in your wallet and end the day with $800 for a $300 win. Congratulations! But how can your success affect your gambling plan? It doesn’t. The following day, you should follow your budget and just gamble with $500. However, Tuesday is a tragedy and you lose every last cent of the $500 budgeted for the day. The disaster continues on Wednesday, and once more you burn through $500. But since you followed your budget, you get back home with $1300 of your original $1,500 bankroll, which is much more money than a less-disciplined gambler (who never made a starting plan or always fail to follow it) will have at the end of a gambling trip.
If you lose your first $500 (or any amount based on your daily budget) at your first day, then do something exciting for free. The free activities in and around the town can be quite entertaining. Take a stroll on the boardwalk at Atlantic City, discover the beauty of mountain trails of Lake Tahoe or simply hang out around the hotel and enjoy the workout room or swimming pool. A big mistake most people make is getting too engrossed in gambling venture that they are unaware about the attractions of their lovely resort.
Sizing up the bets
After splitting your bankroll into a daily increment, the next step to properly budget a gambling venture is bet sizing, or dividing the budgeted bankroll into a definite amount to allocate each bet.
A general principle (for many table games) is to create a bankroll with no less than forty times the maximum bet you seek to make. So if you want to ration your gambling trip bankroll into daily allocations of $200, then your betting units will be $5 for each hand. A proportional betting decreases your risk of tapping out (heading home flat broke).
Keeping consistent betting
Unless you are an expert sports handicapper or a professional card counter, you won’t benefit from altering the amount of your bets. The easiest and best strategy in many casino games is simply to bet with an equal amount each time. For video poker and slots, it may mean utilizing the maximum number of credits or coins each time, if you are using a progressive machine.
Many players change their betting amount on every play – typically maximizing the bet size – caused by two situations:
- They have been losing, so now they are desperately attempting to recover that money. Accordingly, they steam, or step-up the size of their bets.
- They have been riding the hot streak and are using the house money (funds they have won from the house).
Although casino games do sometimes run in streaks, you won’t know when the streaks begin or end. When you win some cash, it’s yours. How you got it doesn’t really matter, but you still have to be sensible about how you are going to bet or spend it.