Bankroll Management Ideas for Skill-Influenced Casino GamesBy: Joan Peppin, Thursday July 3rd 2014
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When it comes to bankroll management for any type of casino game, there are two basic numbers that you have to take into consideration. The first is the house advantage in the game, and the second is the overall volatility of the game. If you're playing blackjack or video poker on a high level, it's not uncommon to have payout rates higher than 99 percent, so the house advantage is going to be pretty low. Blackjack has a very low volatility, and video poker has a low volatility that's a little bit higher than blackjack, but neither are particularly high.
Generally speaking, the lower the house advantage, the more aggressive you can be with your bankroll management guidelines. However, there's also the effect of the volatility. When the volatility is low, you can also be very aggressive with your bankroll management by using larger bet sizes. Since both of these things line up for video poker and blackjack, as long as you're a skilled player, then it would seem that you could be very aggressive with your play as long as you're willing to adjust your bet size as you go along if needed.
So where should you start? If you are pretty good at either of these games, then a 300x rule is probably sufficient. What this means is that you'll need to have 300 bets in your bankroll based on whatever bet size you use. So if you're playing with a $150 bankroll, then you shouldn't play with more than $0.50 per hand. In blackjack you can double or split to add even more bets, so you might want to add a little bit more to your guidelines so that you're working with a 400x base rule instead.
If you're playing a special variation of either of these games that changes the payout rate or volatility, then you need to adjust accordingly. Top-heavy payout tables in video poker increase your volatility, so you'll need to be more conservative with your bankroll management guidelines to match. Along similar lines, switching to a new style of blackjack that you aren't familiar with will increase the house advantage until you learn to play better, so you should be more conservative in this type of situation as well. Overall, using these factors to determine how you handle your bankroll management strategy is the best thing you can do in these games.
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