Blackjack bankroll management is something to be understood, learned, and practiced by blackjack players, especially card counters. Here is everything to know in detail.
Bankroll and money management are very crucial concepts in blackjack, especially for players chasing effective and profitable strategies. Most players don't know how much money they can spend on playing and often feel that they will soon run out of cash and must quit playing.
Bankroll Management for Card Counters Basics
To begin with, the blackjack card counter bankroll is basically the amount of money that the player sets aside to play the game. It is not the sum of all his available cash but just the amount he wishes to use at the game. Bankroll management is about how he uses this money on the casino floor or even at an online blackjack casino.
So, how does bankroll management work for blackjack card counters?
It is extremely important for working out what stakes the players should put forward to not just stay in the game but also make profits. Let us now take an example. Imagine that you have $100 and a friend offers to bet $100 on the toss of a coin. Now, by taking the offer, you have a 50:50 chance of losing the money and you are totally unable to enjoy the game.
Consider a slightly different scenario now where the friend offers to bet on the toss of a coin for $5 a go. Now, with the same $100 in the pocket, the player can stay in the game for very long without any chance of busting. This principle applies to bankroll management for blackjack too. The smaller the wager, the more attempts you can take. Eventually, the losses would not matter much and the chances of a win will be more for card counters.
Importance of Capital for Card Counters Bankroll Management
When it comes to bankroll management, most card counters commit the mistake of starting with a very small amount of money. The more capital you have, the better are your chances of making profits. Bet spreading is a crucial concept in this regard. Players should begin by counting cards and try to verify that a deck is rich in aces and 10 value cards. Once he gets a positive count, he will then increase the wagers to capitalize.
An example of bet spreading is increasing the wager to $25 with a +1 count and to $50 with a +2 count and so on considering that the table features a $10 minimum bet. Proceeding in this way implies requiring significant money to bet as much as $50 or $75 per hand. Now, this cannot be done unless the player has enough funds to keep him going comfortably.
Optimum Bet Amount to a Card Counter Bankroll
A card counter's blackjack bankroll amount is not the only way of determining his ability to earn money at a blackjack table.
It is more about optimizing the bet amount to a card counter's bankroll that matters. In fact, a player's chance of going bust is directly proportional to the size of his bankroll. No wonder, he will lose 50% of the time if he has just enough money for one bet. That is why; a 100 unit bankroll is safer than a 10 unit one.
Players ought to keep the bet size in line with the bankroll size. Wagering $1 with a bankroll of $1000 is easy and smooth while wagering $100 with the same bankroll can be suicidal. The game will undoubtedly be exciting and once in a while, you will emerge a big winner too but according to the odds, you will lose 90% of the time.
Finding a definitive number to work with is difficult because it is the casino that holds the edge. However, the basic bankroll rules are important for managing the bankroll amount efficiently. These rules say that players should not play until they have 150 bet-size units. Also, they should take only 50 units and play for 3 hours or less per trip.
Players should ideally bet one unit until they are ahead for this trip and once ahead, they can increase the wager by one-half units each. The rules also make it necessary to return to 1 unit following a single hand loss. Players or card counters must always put back their winning into bankroll throughout the course of the game and raise or lower the bet size in the middle of trips to keep it close to 200 units.
Calculating an Optimized Bankroll for Card Counters
Card counters need to understand what should be an optimized bankroll for their individual bet sizes. To come up with a plan for this, one needs to consider factors such as the average bet size, the hands played, etc.
Let's take an example. A player counts for 300 hands per night for about 3 hours. His average bet size is $40 while including the minimum wager and bet spreading. This means that he spends $12,000 total in wagers. In this situation, the player holds a 1.5% edge, which brings him 12,000 X 0.015 = $180 theoretical profit per night. As per this example, the player will bet $12k on an average during each outing and there is no chance by which he can possibly lose the entire $12k in one night.
In fact, the player will lose 10% or a bit more of his bets in a really bad game but never 50% of the amount. Losing 10% would mean doing away with $1200 of the bankroll in one day. If the player has a total bankroll of $8k as required, he can easily sail through without much loss. The key to gaining the edge in blackjack with bankroll management is to have enough money to get through the rough points and end up making profits.
Bankroll Management for Card Counting Teams
The concept of bankroll management differs slightly when you are playing in partnership with other card counters or sometimes, in a fairly large team.
Sharing a bankroll means that each individual player will have a common fund of cash and the average wager will be a bit high, about 10% to 20%. Overall, the more players in action, the easier it is to reach financial goals.
Two-player and three-player teams are quite common as they are also easier to maintain. Here, each player would invest their cash for a shared pool to play and the wagers are increased as the bankroll grows. At times, an hourly rate could be paid to an individual player as an incentive. If the investments are equal, then the win is evenly split too as the goals are accomplished. In some partnerships, a player might continue taking the hourly rate for a long time if he finds that the bankroll is growing exponentially.
Another way of bankroll management, which works better for larger groups, is investing the money with the aim of doubling the bankroll and card counters continue to play till the goal is reached. Players, in this case, must have both money and the time to invest.
A team of 6-8 players is most lucrative for the players. This is because, in such a situation, several investors put their money into a shared bankroll. In an 8 player team, 6 players will sit at different tables and play with the minimum wager while keeping the count while the other 2 players will bet the bigger amount of money once there is a promisingly positive count. This will ultimately allow a $10 minimum wager on all hands and $500 to $1000 hands by the big players just as their odds of winning improve.
Card Counting Expenses
It is not just the money that you spend on blackjack bets that will be your only expense. If you are a professional card counter, you will need to travel too, and this will require you to spend on accommodation, transportation, dining, social activities, casino room spotting, etc.
Since you can spend up to a certain amount only, your goal should be to move around and stay as cheaply as possible. Even when you are playing at an online casino, you will need to manage your expenses on the internet connection, computer systems, and so on.
So, a professional gambler should take all these expenses into account before deciding on their bankroll amount, and leave some room for unexpected expenditures arising at times you expect them the least.
Card Counting & Money Management: FAQ
Here are the most common questions about bankroll management in card counting explained in brief.
How important is bankroll management to a card counter?
Bankroll management is extremely important for a card counter because his stakes and possibilities of winning depend on how well he uses the bankroll amount on his bets.
What is a bet size unit?
A bet size unit is the measurement of the size of a given bet where one unit is equal to one percent of the bankroll.
How can a large bankroll help a card counter?
A large bankroll is helpful for a card counter because it allows him to increase the bets when the count is high and positive. With a substantial bankroll, he can also stay in the game for long.
Should an online blackjack card counter consider expenses when determining their bankroll?
Yes, an online blackjack card counter should consider the expenses because there are quite a few of them such as banking fees, utility bills, and so on.
How should blackjack teams manage their bankroll?
When teams manage their bankroll while playing at a casino, each player usually invests their cash for a shared pool to play and the wagers are increased as the bankroll grows.
This sums up everything about card counter's bankroll management and how this can be done in a calculated and strategic way to make the most out of your money.