18. Your Bankroll

Your bankroll is the amount of money you bring with you for gambling. Without it, you can't even start the game. If you lose your bankroll, the game is over. The object of gambling should be to increase your bankroll. I define "increase” to mean leaving the area where you have been gambling with more money than you came with when you began the gambling excursion.

If your major objective is to leave with more money than you started, then a corollary objective must be not to lose all of your money. In between these two objectives of not losing everything and leaving a winner, I have developed a number of rules to help me achieve my two major objectives.

First, let's consider the "not losing" side of the equation. It is actually easier to not lose at gambling than to win. This one is easy. In order not to lose at gambling, you don't gamble at all. If you have $100 and want to keep it, just don't gamble to begin with.

This approach sort of defeats the purpose of trying to learn how to win at craps. It is more than a little cynical to state that if you don't want to lose at roulette, then don't play. However, there are a number of precautions we can take to never lose our bankrolls and still be in the game.

Perhaps the first thing to do is to decide that it is important to you to never lose every single cent on you in any single gambling contest. I don't know how you reach this conclusion, but if you decide to agree with me that it is important not to lose all of your bankroll in any single gambling excursion, then it is easier to learn to apply some rules I am going to show you to prevent this from ever occurring.

First, I have to convince you that losing all of your gambling bankroll in a single session, or even during one casino excursion, is a bad idea. Perhaps the main reason that losing all of your bankroll is a bad idea is that it feels bad. Or rather, you feel bad.

It is simply bad psychology to lose all of your money in a gambling contest.

I know all the statements that you can make to rationalize that it is all right to lose a sum of money brought exclusively for gambling.

"It's OK to lose because it's my gambling money."

"I don't plan to win anyway."

"What the heck, it's only money."

Notwithstanding these statements, trust me for a moment that losing all of your gambling money is a bad idea. Maybe I can convince you if I tell you that not losing is the first step to becoming a winner. Let me give you an example.

You have just come off a table with an additional $600. Are you a winner? Answering this question depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is "how much have you lost before winning?" It you have only lost $100 prior to this win, then you are definitely a winner. If you have lost $2,000 prior to this session, you are still in the hole.

This is a simplistic example, but it will serve to make a point. When you are gambling, controlling your money is the key to winning. Of course knowledge of the game is important. Strategy is important. Self-discipline is important. But the way I look at it, if you are knowledgeable and use planned strategies and employ self-discipline, then it is impossible not to control the amount of money used for gambling.

Controlling your bankroll for long-term play means bringing a large enough bankroll to outlast the inevitable lengthy losing periods.

The most important thing you can do with your gambling bankroll is to divide it up into smaller bankrolls. Each of these smaller bankrolls will be used for one session, which is typically played during a set period of time, or even at a single table.

The idea behind this is to give you several opportunities to develop some winnings without being overexposed to losses during any single session.

It is also part of our strategy for controlling losses and preserving our bankrolls.

Using smaller bankrolls also will allow you to accept losses. If you are playing with $300 at a table and have lost half of it, it is not too difficult to walk away with a $150 loss. But what if you are playing with $3,000 at a time? You will be less likely to walk away with a $1,500 loss even though we are talking about the same concept.

Game bankrolls (I use the terms "game bankrolls" and buy-ins interchangeably) do more than allow you to accept smaller losses.

They also become an important part of your plan to take some of the casino's money and run. By splitting your gambling bankroll into smaller game bankrolls, you will have several shots at the casino's bankroll with limited risk on each try. Meanwhile, you will never give the casino a single shot at winning all of your bankroll.

Using game bankrolls helps control the emotional aspect of gambling. When you lose a portion of a smaller bankroll, it is fairly easy to take a break, change tables or even stop for the day.

After all, winning at LIVe gambling is all about controlling emotions.

Game bankrolls can act like guides and tell us when to take a break from a losing session, or on a happier note, when to take our winnings and run.

Game bankrolls can be any size within certain limits. Our objective in setting the size of your buy-in is to have a large enough bankroll to have a reasonable chance of winning, but not so large that we jeopardize our gambling bankroll.

For a typical casino excursion, you should divide your bankroll into at least five session bankrolls. I have found this to be the optimum number of sessions for several days of continuous roulette play using the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy. If you plan on playing professionally, you should divide your gambling bankroll into at least seven game bankrolls.

You can approach determining the size of your bankroll several different ways. Here are a few of the acceptable approaches:

  1. Determine your optimal starting bet level. The size of your session bankroll is directly related to the betting level you chose. Once you know “how you want to play” you can easily determine how much money you need to play at this level.
  2. Base the size of your bankroll on the minimum bets allowed where you play craps.
  3. Set aside a certain amount of money for gambling and then determine which level of play best fits your comfort level.
  4. Use a combination of all of these rules to decide on your bankroll.

Your level of play determines your bankroll. I usually like to start my play with at least a $500 buy-in. With this size of session, I will use the betting progressions and levels of play shown in the examples in the previous chapters as follows:



Base Bet

+ After a Loss

- After a Win

- After 2 Consecutive  Win

Game Bue-in






















While most of my examples of games played entail using a buy-in of $150 dollars to $300, the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy can be adapted to just about any level of play.

Bankroll Requirements for Different Table Minimums

Table 12 shows the game bankroll requirements for several different levels of play. Here's what each column represents:

  • Minimum Bet - This is the minimum wager required from each player per spin. Since you will only be making one wager on an even-money bet, your bet will need to equal or exceed this amount.
  • Series - The two levels of play required to play the strategy are shown for each minimum bet.
  • Base Bet, + After Win, - After Loss, - After 2 Consecutive Wins - all correspond to the adjustment factors used for each level of play. If it is not clear to you what these mean, you need to reread the chapters on how to use the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy.
  • Game Buy-in - This is the minimum amount needed to play at each level. I usually buy-in for the session amount.
  • Session Bankroll - Each level of play requires a minimum bankroll to play a session. For example, to play at a $5 minimum table, you need $500 per session.

Table 12 Betting Strategies Used For Different Minimum

How to calculate bankroll for casino game

Your Gambling Bankroll

I recommend that your permanent gambling bankroll be at least five times the size of your average table buy-in and as high as seven times if you decide to play professionally.

If you play at $5 minimum wager tables and use the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy, you will need to plan on using $500 as your table buy-in amount. Your permanent bankroll will need to be five times this size, or $2,500.

Table 13 shows different levels of bankroll needed for different levels of play.

Table 13. Bankroll Requirements

Minimum Bet

Session Bankroll

Total Bankroll




















In most land-based casinos, $5 is the lowest minimum bet you will encounter. To properly play the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy with $5 minimum bets requires a $500 buy-in and a $2,500 gambling bankroll.

However, many Internet casinos offer roulette with $1 minimum bets. Here, you only need to use a $200 Session Bankroll with a total bankroll of just $1,000.

If you want to play just as I did in the games illustrated in this book, you will need to buy in for $500 a game and have a $2,500 gambling bankroll.

If you want to move up to $25 minimum tables and use the suggested progressions shown in the table, you will need $2,000 and $2,800 game bankrolls, with $10,000 and $14,000 gambling bankrolls respectively.

If you want to move up to making $10 base bets, plan on building a $5,000 bankroll first. If you want to move up to green $25 chip play, you need to have a gambling bankroll of $12,500.

Don't let the bankroll requirements put you off. The Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy is so potent that you can start small and build your own bankroll.

Building Your Bankroll

I recommend that you start with $5 minimum tables and use the complete Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy. To do this, you will need to be able to buy in for at least $150 for Series A and $300 for Series B levels of play.

Wherever you start, be sure that you meet the minimum bankroll requirements I am recommending. As you have seen from the illustrations throughout this book, the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy is subject to occasional draw-downs, and the best way to protect yourself is to have a large enough gambling bankroll.

What you must never do after suffering losses is to think that your luck must change and start pushing your bets to higher levels. This is a trap many gamblers fall into. Don't go for it. If you have some losses, the best prescription is to quit playing. As hard as it may be to leave the casino after suffering a loss, it is ten times better than staying and piling up losses rapidly because you momentarily lose control.

Casinos are masters of illusion. They can create an aura of self confidence not supported by reality. It is not unusual for gamblers, under the casino's spell, to think they are doing pretty well, and to be almost shocked when they finally realize that they have lost most of their money.


There is much more to becoming a winner than just learning a roulette system. How you act and how you apply the system will ultimately determine how much you win. Let's take a look at some of the skills you need to bring to the casino.

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