In a nutshell, a bankroll is the amount of money you can afford to spend at a casino. It is not necessarily the total value of your casino chips, or your account balance; rather, it is your budget for an individual gaming session.
In other words, a bankroll is not all the money that you have. It is the money that you have set aside for one session of playing baccarat (or any other casino game). Money that you separate from your other day-to-day living expenses and savings. Only by learning to manage your casino bankroll properly can you maximize your enjoyment and ensure that you will always have enough funds available to play with.
Basic Rules for Bankroll Management
Managing your casino bankroll does not have to be complicated; there is actually just one simple principle behind it – don’t gamble money you can’t afford to lose. This means that when you top up your casino balance, you should only deposit a portion of your income that you know won’t be missed.
The next stage is to manage your bankroll for individual playing sessions. The general consensus is that you should never risk more than 10% of your entire bankroll per gaming session. This means that if you have $500 available, then you shouldn’t play with more than $50. If you then lose it all, you will have $450 remaining and can play with $45 in the next session.
The next thing to think about is how long you want to play in an individual session. If you are playing baccarat, there is a good chance that you will want to play at least 40 hands. Using the example above of having $50 for a session, it would mean that you should not bet more than $1.25 per hand. You can adapt this as you play, if you are winning, then you can increase the bet, as long as you are not risking more than your initial amount; while if you are losing and want to continue playing, then you will have to reduce your bets.
To summarize, there are four basic principles to remember when planning your baccarat bankroll:
1) Never bet what you can’t afford to lose.
2) Decide how much you will risk in one gaming session.
3) Roughly decide how many hands you want to play in advance.
4) Never exceed the amount set aside for that gaming session.
What Should Your Baccarat Bankroll Be and How to Manage It
Determining what your baccarat bankroll should be is very individual. It is up to you to be responsible for your own finances. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having fun playing baccarat with your spare cash, so simply work out what you can spare, and that is the best starting point.
In addition to what was discussed above, regarding how to divide your bankroll into gaming sessions and then how to plan the length of your gaming session and use your money accordingly, there are a few other things specific to baccarat that you can do to help better manage your bankroll.
Above we discussed how you should have a rough idea of how many hands you wish to play before you start a gaming session. When considering this, there are two things to take into account: how much time you have and what version of baccarat you will be playing. If you are playing a solo RNG baccarat game or a game such as Mini Baccarat, then the game rounds are likely to be far faster.
If you play baccarat at $20 per hand and play 100 hands per hour, these are your expected hourly losses:
$20 X 100 X .0106 = $21.20 per hour.
A fast-paced game means that in an hour-long gaming session, you could probably expect to play at least 50 or 60 hands, if not more. Conversely, if you are playing at a live dealer baccarat table, particularly a table such as Squeeze Baccarat, then the pace of the game is likely to be slower, and there may be just 30 to 45 games an hour.
Be aware of the pace of the game you are playing and adjust the size of your bet per hand accordingly to ensure that you don’t run out of funds before you run out of time (conversely, there is nothing wrong with running out of time before you run out of money). If you do finish your bankroll but still have time left in which to play, the only responsible thing is to stop playing and start again another time.
Another thing to take into account is side bets. Many baccarat games offer a large range of side bets such as the Super 6, Dragon 7, Dragon Bonus Either Pair, Perfect Pair, Big and Small. You can find a complete guide to baccarat side bets and the way in which they affect the house edge elsewhere on this site. This is not the place to have a discussion on the relative merits or the different bets; however, when it comes to your bankroll, it is important to consider them.
If you know that you will be placing a side bet or two with every hand, then the money for them must come for the budget you have calculated for each hand. For instance, if you have a budget of $1.50 per hand and you wish to place the Dragon Bonus side bet with each hand then you may wish to bet $1 on the hand and $0.50 on the side bet.
Tips for Money Management for Baccarat
You can do a number of things to make your bankroll management easier. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
The Pocket Trick
This is a very simple trick that will help you know when to stop playing; it is better suited to playing in land casinos but can also be used for online play. As usual, before you start playing, you should set a limit to what you are prepared to lose. You should then place that money in one of your pockets and only use that money to place your bets. You can then place your winnings in the other pocket. When the pocket is empty, it is time to stop playing.
However, you can then look inside your winnings pocket. If the amount there is greater than your initial bankroll, then you can use an amount equal to your initial bankroll for another gaming session. If you stick to this rule, then you will never leave the casino having spent more than you intended.
Setting Limits for Losses and Winnings
Many people understand that before they start to play, they should always set a limit on how much they are willing to lose. This is fairly intuitive and basic good practice. However, it is also essential to set a limit on your winnings. If you stop playing once you hit your maximum winnings, then you can be sure of going home having made a profit. For instance, you may start with a bankroll of $100 and decide that you are going to stop playing once you have either lost $50 or won $50. This should allow you to play for some time, and it means that there is no chance of you losing your entire bankroll.
There are many betting strategies, such as the Martingale system that make use of progressive betting. It means that you start with a bet of a fixed amount. You then either increase or decrease it with each hand depending on the result of the previous round. These strategies can be very useful in helping to minimize losses, but as with everything regarding gambling, there are no guarantees.
Fixed Wager Bankroll
In contrast to a progressive betting system, a fixed wager bankroll means that you will be betting the same amount on every hand. The advantage to this is that you will know in advance exactly how many hands you can play with your bankroll and if you want to play more or fewer hands then you can increase or decrease your bets accordingly.
Fixed Wager Autoplay
If you are playing an RNG baccarat game, or even some of the latest live dealer games, then there is often autoplay functionality that you can use. This means that you set up your bet and how many rounds you want to play and then leave the game to get on with it.
A major advantage of this is that you can play other games while keeping an eye on the baccarat action and you know once it has finished the autoplay, then that will be the end of your bankroll, and it is time to stop playing.
Baccarat is a low-variance game; this means that the wins are likely to arrive very regularly. However, it does not mean that there is no volatility. In other words, you can still have a run of bad luck and a very poor session, and it is always important to remember this. Never assume that you will win back your bankroll, regardless of what the statistics say. The more disciplined you are about this, the more likely you are to continue having fun at the tables.
Common Baccarat Bankroll Mistakes
There are some common mistakes made by baccarat players in regard to bankroll management; here are some of them:
Making an All-In Bet
Regardless of what game you are playing, you should avoid making an all-in bet. Risking your entire bankroll on a single hand is a very bad idea. While you will hear tales of people taking big risks like this and coming out on top, the reality is that you are far more likely to lose all of your money.
Betting on the Tie Bet
While the Tie bet may look tempting due to its far larger payout, there is a reason the payout is much larger; you are far less likely to win the bet. Less than 10% of baccarat hands will end in a tie, and therefore, the Tie bet is a very easy way to burn through your bankroll.
Betting on Side Bets
Just as with the Tie bet, baccarat side bets can often be very attractive, and some of them offer enormous payouts. However, once again, you are far less likely to win the bets offering large payouts. It would be an exaggeration to say that side bets should never be used, but you must consider them in relation to your bankroll and not risk too much on them.
Many baccarat players make use of Roadmap scorecards to help them look for trends or patterns in the game and make betting decisions accordingly. This is something that is often encouraged by casinos, and there are modern online baccarat games offer you many different Roadmaps.
The reason it is encouraged is that it will not help you win. The result of past hands will have absolutely no bearing on the results of future hands. Many people have superstitions about what appears on these Roadmaps, but that is all they are, superstitions.
There are many different baccarat betting strategies around, and many of them can help you to manage your bankroll. Some of these are very complicated; however, the most basic one is to always start by betting on the Banker as this bet has a slight statistical advantage. Ultimately, baccarat is a game of luck and no betting system is guaranteed to work all of the time, but there is nothing wrong with looking into and employing one of the more respected betting systems.
Be Careful When Using Bonuses
It can be very tempting to accept huge deposit bonuses from casinos in order to make your baccarat bankroll as large as possible. However, you must always be aware of the bonus wagering requirements. It is normal for bonuses to have to be wagered at least 30 times or more before you can withdraw any winnings.
Furthermore, not all casino games will contribute equally to these wagering requirements. Very often slot machines will contribute 100%, meaning that for every $1 bet a $1 is reduced from the wagering requirements. However, baccarat usually contributes just 5% at most, meaning that for $1 bet just $0.05 goes to the wagering requirements. Furthermore, at many casinos, baccarat does not contribute to wagering requirements at all. This means that while it may be tempting to expand your bankroll with casino bonuses, you should always be careful and make sure you understand exactly what conditions come attached.
Baccarat is a hugely enjoyable game, and it can provide you with hours of fun. However, just as with any form of gambling, there is an element of risk; you do not want to be in a position where you have lost more than you can afford. Be sure to use all of the tips explained above and it will go a long way to making your bankroll last longer and your baccarat experience even more enjoyable.
At the same time, on our website, you can find all the information you could possibly need about baccarat, such as the rules of the game, the different versions, the side bets, and which online casinos are the best places to play. By using all of this information together, there is no doubt that you can have a fantastic time playing online baccarat.