- software -
Blackjack Info: Money Management
This money management technique may or may not work for you. I seem to do better when I use it myself. However, if this approach does not seem right for you, I would still recommend giving thought to what system would work for you - and still set limits on winnings and losses - particularly the losses of course.
For the majority of players and for the majority of casino games, the odds of course are in favor of the house. This would seem to be an "obvious" and unnecessary statement. However, it seems that we are all human, and when we get into the middle of a game we can forget that and think that the odds are now in our favor. Not likely.
The second thing to remember about odds is that we will rarely if ever experience the quoted odds for the game at hand. While blackjack can be close to even up odds with the house (normal blackjack) we will only experience those odds if we play a million or ten million hands. For those that simulate blackjack with computers (I am one that does) one must play millions of hands in order to eliminate both good and bad luck and simply see the real mathematics. For short periods of play - even if we have even up odds - the odds can easily be 20% or more in our favor or against us. That is why perhaps we still call gambling a "game of chance".
Setting an Amount to Lose
I was in a casino last night. It had a sign that said something like "determine your stopping point before you start. And if you cannot, call 1-800-gambler" - which apparently was a hotline for those with a gambling problem. Well, this makes a lot of sense. If odds are often against us, why do we gamble? The answer is that for some of us it is entertainment - much as visiting an amusement park or other place of interest. Okay. That works for me. But then the next question should be "what are we willing to pay for that entertainment?" That amount should also be an amount of money that we can afford to spend. And when we hit that amount, we also need to be disciplined enough to say "okay, we have had our entertainment, now it is time to stop". That is the time to enjoy the rest of our environment, dinner, good company, a show, or something similar.
Being Willing to Win
This one may seem very odd, but it seems to me that many gamblers are unwilling to win. It is a strange part of human nature, but I find that most people when winning, never leave the table or machine they are gambling at. They wish to only leave when they lose. To be sure, most gamblers that I see leaving blackjack tables leave when all of their money is gone. Some of the ones that do win for a while, seem to think that they are now playing with "free money" and increase their bets until they still lose quickly. Well, the problem with only leaving a table when you lose, is that you will for certain ensure that the casino always wins. One must be brave enough to leave a table a winner occasionally - as odd as that comment is. I tend to do my best when I force myself to leave when I am winning at times. For example, if I find that I have twice my original stake in front of me, yet the "ride seems to be over" and I've lost the last three or four bets, that is a good time to cash in. To be sure, many others at the table will stare at you since not many are willing to leave when they are winning. However, you can laugh all the way to the cashiers cage.
A few people (and it is just a few) are good at this. You can see that when they are ahead they may separate part of their chips from others - with the idea being that "I will bet this, but not that". In one or two extremes, I have seen people put some chips in their pockets to keep them from spending them easily. These people, though few in number, are good at money management.
When one is winning at blackjack or another gambling game that is time to remind yourself that you were lucky, and that the odds are usually slightly against you. To believe that that luck is going to continue forever, is nonsense. Consider cashing in when ahead. And when I do leave a table, I force myself to cash it in at the cashier. I am not necessarily done for the night, but I have won "that session" much as a tennis player wins "a game" or a "match". If I go play at another table, I start over on re-staking myself. Then mentally I have closed the last session a winner and must think about basic money management all over again at this new table.
If you are to be a winner on a trip to Vegas for example, you might end up playing ten blackjack sessions or more. To actually win, you might have to leave five of those a winner. Don't be afraid to leave a table a winner. It is the most common mistake.
Don't chase losses. This one is also odd, and I will be the first to tell you that I can find no mathematics to back it up. However, if you find yourself at an "awful" table, I would suggest leaving as soon as reasonable. My worst times in blackjack were the nights when I was at an awful "table from hell" - one in which the dealer always got to 20 or 21 even when starting with a 5 or 6. Several times I told myself that the table would turn around. So, after losing my stake, I would re-stake myself to the same amount. I would then lost that - and then re-stake myself again and then lose it again. Now there is no mathematical reason why an "awful" table does not turn around and become good at some point. However, I am very certain I've seen tables that just never turn around soon to become good. Rather than stay there and question why a table is bad, it is best to get up and find a good one. I remember one awful table in Vegas that was unbelievably bad. One person at the table said that they were going to complain to the casino about the dealer - since the dealer was also very unfriendly. One could do that. But if I were the casino, I would say "thanks, but why didn't you just get up and go to another table?". Exactly. I did that, and my losing streak turned into a winning streak. Set an amount that you are willing to lose at a table - your normal stake? half your normal stake? and tell yourself you will move if you lose it quickly.
Play safely, and enjoy your play, and best of luck to you!