Gambling Bankrolls

by Henry Tamburin

Managing your Gambling Bankrolls is essential in that most players know that the casino has the math on their side when they gamble. 
So they focus on cutting the casino’s edge to the bare minimum by learning correct playing and betting strategies. That’s good but there is one lesser known, but just as important variable that you need to pay attention to– the speed of the game or the number of decisions per hour played.

Casinos want fast games where there are lots of hands dealt, dice thrown, and reels spun per hour. The reason is that every time you make a bet, your gambling bankroll is being exposed to the house edge.
The faster you play, the more shots the casino has at your gambling bankroll. So it makes sense that if you slow down and not make as many bets per hour, you can reduce the exposure of your money to the house edge, your gambling bankroll will last longer, and you will lose less in the short and long term.

Most players compare the merits of one casino game to another by only comparing the house edge. But that can be misleading.
For example, Roulette and Caribbean Stud have the same 5.3% house edge so it appears that a player would suffer the same monetary loss regardless which game he plays. Wrong.
The Caribbean Stud player will lose on average about 30% more money per hour of play because the game plays faster. In a typical crowded roulette table, a player will experience about 30 spins or decisions per hour whereas at a crowded Caribbean Stud table the number of decisions per hour is about 40. 
If both players bet $10 per decision, the roulette player stands to lose $16 per hour on average ($10 x 30 x 5.3%) whereas the Caribbean Stud player stands to lose $21 per hour or $5 more.
That’s a big difference for every hour played.

Casinos of course understand that speed is in their favor and not too surprisingly they do whatever they can to speed up their games.
The obvious is to train their table dealers to deal lightning fast. But they also have gone high tech to speed things up in an unobtrusive manner.
For example, it’s fairly common nowadays to see a blackjack dealer dealing the cards from an automatic Continuous Shuffling Machine (known as CSM’s). With this devise the discards are placed back into the CSM after every round or so where they are randomly shuffled with the 4 or 5 decks in the machine while the dealer continues to deal the cards. The cards are, therefore, dealt non-stop to players. The bottom line is that casinos can pump out about 20% more hands dealt per hour using a CSM compared to a hand dealt game or one that uses a standard automatic shuffler.
And that 20% more hands per hour translates to a faster game where players stand to lose more.

Slot players can play incredibly fast since the invention of the bill acceptor and credit meter. You no longer have to deposit coins one at a time into a machine (a slow process).  Instead you can quickly insert a bill into the acceptor and if you are like most slot players rapidly pound away on the credit and spin buttons to the tune of 1,000 or more blazing spins per hour (yikes). And the new coinless slots eliminate hopper fills and lugging coin buckets to the cashier (decreasing your down time) which allows you to average even more spins per hour when you play.

So I implore you to s-l-o-w down when you play because speed will kill your gambling bankroll.  But I’m a realist and know that it’s hard for most casino players to do that. So to help, I’ve prepared some tips that will help you take it slow and easy when you play. 

Don’t play heads up or one-on-one against the dealer where you make your playing decision in a blink of an eye (very fast game). Instead, play at crowded tables with 6 (or 7) spots filled and take your time making your playing decisions (much slower game).
Don’t play on any table that uses a Continuous Shuffling Machine. They are good for the casino but bad for the player.

If you have a choice between a single deck game where the dealer manually shuffles the cards vs. a 6 or 8 deck game dealt from a dealing shoe, opt for the manually shuffled single deck game because the dealer will stop and shuffle more often (that slows down the game).
However, do NOT play those Single Deck 21 games that only pay 6 to 5 on blackjacks (nothing to do with speed, but the lousy payoff for a blackjack hand makes this game a rip-off regardless of speed).

Use the 5-Count method explained by Frank Scoblete in his craps books. The 5-Count is a method which determines which shooter to bet on. When you use it, you won’t be betting on every shooter (only 50% on average) which will slow down your game and make your gambling bankroll last longer. 

Mini-baccarat is a fun and an easy game to play with a low house edge. But it’s a very fast game where it’s not unheard of for 150-200 hands dealt per hour of play.
Here’s a simple playing technique to slow down your game and also help you take advantage of streaks that may occur – only bet on the bank hand after it wins (this will decrease the number of bets you make per hour by about 50%). 

Games Based on Poker
Given a choice between playing Let it Ride, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker or Pai Gow Poker, opt for the latter.
The game is slow moving and deliberate with a lot of ties which results in a much s-l-o-w-e-r game. 

Slow down when you play the machines. Pull the handle rather than hit the spin button. Cash out more frequently. 
Change machines frequently and choose games with long bonusing rounds since you are not risking money while you watch and play the bonus game. If you are playing with a partner take turns playing while the other watches.

If you are a table player here’s another inducement to play slower - you will get more comps to stretch your gambling bankroll for less risk. But that’s a topic for another day. 
So until then, be like that tortoise that beat the hare and take it s-l-o-w and steady when you play.

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