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How does a change in your bankroll affect your betting level/strategy?

Discussion in 'Casino Gaming' started by fas87, Aug 29, 2012.

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  1. fas87

    fas87 Tourist

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    I was just reading a trip report started today by mike_m235. He described how he may adjust his betting levels and patterns due to having a lower bankroll ($4k or so) for this trip when compared to his past couple trips ($6k or so). [mike_m235, thank you for posting trip report – it’s been entertaining so far; I hope I accurately paraphrased your situation] Some suggestions from other posters included betting the same as past trips and just hope for a hot streak or maybe starting slow to preserve bankroll. I thought it was interesting that he said that he likes to go big one session per trip and thought he might do that earlier in the trip to make sure he still had the bankroll to do it since it’s potentially more likely that he wouldn’t have the bankroll to go big one session later in the trip due to his limited starting bankroll.

    I am in a similar, but opposite situation. I typically play BJ at $100 to $150 per hand (I realize this is a boring spread, but it mitigates variance) and bring a bankroll of about $7k for a 3-night visit (roughly 10% risk of ruin during my stay). I plan to bring about double my usual bankroll for my next 3-night trip.
    Maybe I should just double up on my bets. Or maybe I should expand my betting spread by increasing my bets after each win to try to catch a streak, making use of my larger bankroll to survive higher losses.

    What would you do - or have done - in my (or mike_m235’s) situation?

    Thanks! I'm curious to hear all your thoughts...

    [Note: I fully understand the math behind expected loss based on the rules of the game and realize that my betting pattern does not influence whether I win in the long term. I go to Vegas to gamble and have fun with disposable income. I’d love to hear how others would use a change in bankroll to have fun at the tables.]
     
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    your pretty conservative so increasing the size of your bets or pressing harder would be the first step. even $300 avg with a $14k bankroll is very conservative. i typically play about 2-5x bigger than your avg bet in relation to my bankroll.
     
  3. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Thanks for your nice words about my TR.

    I've actually been increasing my bankroll every trip, prior to this one. When I came with $2500 I was betting two $25 blackjack spots for $50 a hand. Now that I usually come with at least double that, I bet two $50 spots.

    For craps, I usually just press as the table runs hot (along with the one shot you mentioned where I bet bigger...but that's just trying for a big hit -- that seven point shooter that's going to make me 5 figures.)

    But since you're talking specifically blackjack, if I had double the bankroll, I'd probably bet about double, or bet a second hand.

    As you know, you can bet a second spot and it's somewhat correlated to your first, but it lowers your variance significantly over betting twice as much on one spot.
     
  4. JillyFromPhilly

    JillyFromPhilly Tourist

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    I would say increase your average bet in proportion to the increase in your bankroll.

    Best case scenario, you hit a hot streak, and [theoretically] win twice as much as you would have not increasing your average bet to match your bankroll. [and at BJ, I would consider this either increasing the size of single bets, or playing two hands at your previous level - personally, I would go with two hands because I find playing two hands seems to help preserve my bankroll by smoothing the volatility during bad streaks, yet still gives me plenty of upside during hot streaks].

    Worst case scenario, you lose or break even - but since you've increased your bets in proportion to your increase in bankroll, [theoretically] you got the same amount of time of play as you would have on your previous trips.

    Of course, I guess by not increasing your bets, you give yourself the chance to last longer if you do hit a losing streak.

    So I guess I would say what's more important to you - potentially being able to gamble twice as much as you would have been able to last trip in the event of a worst case scenario losing streak, or being able to capitalize on a best case scenario winning streak if you are lucky enough to hit on one?
     
  5. fas87

    fas87 Tourist

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    Shifter and mike_m235, thank you for your replies.

    Shifter, I'm intrigued and encouraged by your comment about the rate of your bets to your bankroll. How frequently, if ever, do you find yourself running out of bankroll before the end of your trip? In my experience, I have not run out of my initial bankroll before the end of my trip. Although I understand the risk of ruin statistics and realize I play relatively conservatively, I've always been curious what actual experience others have had as I'm interested in increasing my play. I'd be interested in your experience, as far as you're comfortable sharing.

    Maybe this is worth a second thread, but I'll just ask the board as a follow up in this one....how do you set your average bet based on the bankroll in hand?

    What is your typical ratio of bankroll to average bet per hand?

    [My ratio is roughly 56. $7,000 bankroll to $125 avg bet]

    Maybe a better ratio to consider is: what is the ratio of your bankroll to expected loss?

    [My ratio of bankroll to expected loss is about 9. I typically play BJ at roughly $125/hand for 100 hands per hour - mostly heads up or with only one or two others on the table - for 4 hours/day for 3 days at roughly 0.5% house edge, with a $7k bankroll]

    Both of these questions ignore the risk of ruin before the end of a trip, but would be interesting (at least to me) nonetheless.
     
  6. fas87

    fas87 Tourist

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    Jilly, thanks for the reply.

    I typically set my bet per hand such that I don't run out of bankroll before the end of my trip, even in really bad scenarios. I'm not complaining, but I have to entertain my wife (and sometimes other friends) during our trips so increasing my time gambling is not a priority.

    My initial preference is to start expanding my spread of bets since that would be something different. Maybe I've spent too much time reading trip reports by you, Shifter and others who seem to have such exciting trips, often due to the ups and downs of variance, which maybe I should start embracing.
     
  7. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    A few years ago I took a lot more money to Vegas (usually $1500, took a little over $2500).

    I tried to increase my bets on BJ and craps, and I chickened out. A session losing $200 freaked me out, even though I had plenty in reserve.

    So what did I do? I just gambled more often (instead of going to bed at 1 AM, I went to bed at 3 AM). As luck would have it, I went on a huge craps heater during my last session before heading back to the airport, making it a break-even trip. This gave me a ready-bankroll for my next trip, which I scheduled for six months later.

    And thus was born... the twice-yearly vacation!
     
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  8. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Depending on the situation:

    a) If my bankroll went down
    I would alter my betting accordingly. If my roll was cut in half then my betting would probably be cut in half.

    b) If my bankroll went up a little
    I would adjust my betting up. It would probably be close in proportion to the change in my bankroll size.

    c) If my bankroll went up a lot, maybe doubled or more
    I would adjust my betting up, but probably just a little and not in full proportion to my bankroll increase. Like if my bankroll doubled I might only increase my betting by 25-50% for normal play and then allocate funds so that for one or two sessions I can bet maybe 3-4 times my normal bankroll level.
    The reason I would do this is so that I don't have that heavy hit to my bankroll every hand like just doubling my bet would do and try to grind that out... instead for the big sessions I would be completely sober, well rested and in the right frame of mind to make sure I play my best and don't make any mistakes while the largest part of my bankroll is at risk.
    I would also set a time limit on my big sessions which would increase my chances of walking away ahead if I am up, rather than if I just doubled my betting then went the whole weekend at that level.


    But as an "in general" thought: I think it really depends on what you want out of your bankroll on a trip.

    Like if you have a bankroll of $X dollars and that amount lets you play at your level for 7-8 hours a day and you are happy with that and thats where you want to be... then if your bankroll is cut in half and you still want to play for 7-8 hours a day then you pretty much have to cut your bets in half.

    Or if your bankroll was cut in half and you want to keep betting at your old limit then you have to ask yourself: if worst comes to worst, are you going to be happy if you can only play for about 4 hours a day?

    On the flip side, if your bankroll doubles and you don't increase your bet size then you'd have to ask if you are planning to play 15-16 hours a day if thats where your roll normally takes you? If not then there isn't really any reason to double your bankroll other than to make your wallet look bigger.

    As for pressing your bets, there are a few threads on that subject already with some great information. The big key is: if you don't press your bets the only way you can really come out a big winner, or get yourself out of a deep losing hole, in a game like blackjack is if you hit a great run of good luck.

    Thats just because with a game like blackjack typically your buy in only fluctuates by one betting unit per hand. Because the game is mostly a breakeven in the short term game if you go down 5 betting units the only way to get back to even is by a good run of luck and playing well above the expected curve for the game... whereas if you press your bets, if you are down five betting units and you bet a hand and win and then leave the win and bet out there and win another hand you are now only down 1 betting unit where normally you would have needed three wins in a row to get to that position.

    And the same applies for winning: if you sit down and are even and you press your bets and win the next three hands you are up 7 betting units... that might not sound like much, but in order to get there without pressing your bets you would have to win 7 hands more than you lose - in a game where the chance of winning is only around 42% before any cards are dealt. So to be +7 wins over your losses is actually quite a bit.
     
  9. earth-3

    earth-3 High-Roller

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    I won't tell you how many times I loose when I increase my wager at BJ. It's automatic. And I am a reasonably good basic player. It is because of this I began to play the dark side in craps. In a sence, the house is forced to take this side, since most people bet the pass line. Plus, the house seems to be doing okay for themselves with this approach. I have had two large wins (50%+) added to my bankroll doing this. That still leaves me with 16 negative trips. I must be having too much fun and not concentrating enough at BJ. :confused2:
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  10. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    My ratio for blackjack is very similar to yours. But I mostly play craps, which is a much bigger variance. I'd like to say I have a system, but really I just play the table by feel. If I think the 6s and 8s are running, I'll play place bets. 4s and 10s I'll play buys. And if that's not working, I'll play multiple comes. I'll adjust my average bet a little, but I don't really go below $15 on the pass with full odds and I don't really go above $25 on an initial pass bet. After 2 points with the same shooter, I'll start jacking up the pass line -- have gotten it as high as $150 on a hot streak, which is a sick amount of money to have on the table for my size bankroll when you consider you've got between $450 and $750 on that single odds bet, and you've probably pushed up your place bets as well. But at that point, you've won at least a couple thousand on that shooter so you just ride the streak.
     
  11. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    you just have to pace yourself. if you hit a losing streak your first night, you just have to cut your losses and live to fight another day. it's all about bankroll management. if you just want to be able to play and play and play and not worry about it, then your strategy is better to keep your bets low so it's not an issue.
     
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