Monday, April 30, 2007

The Bankroll Approach

I'm almost 3 year into online gambling. I'm attempting to turn $500 into a $10,000 bankroll. With little money to start with, I had no choice but to start out at small-stake Blackjack game. Starting out, I'd often manage to win a dollar or two, but I'd quickly started to lose them and have to start over again. It took some time but, after awhile, I was eventually able to graduate with a $1,000 bankroll after accumulating over $500 at the low stakes games. Playing in online casinos is a battle of brain and patience. Move too fast, you will go busted. Patience is the key.

Even today, people don't believe if I told them that I still sit down at low stakes Blackjack games. They ask what I'm doing down there, and often tell me stories about how they turned $5 into $500 or $100 into $1,000. Usually, these stories end with the person telling me that they went broke. There's no surprise there. These folks tried to quickly build a bankroll by gambling and moving up to high stakes games. They'd play in a game that was beyond their bankroll and, if they happened to win, they'd move up to a higher limit and risk it all one more time. Inevitably, they'd lose a few big hands and go broke.

For me, it isn't about the money. It's about showing how, with proper bankroll management, you can start from small bankroll and move up to the point where you're playing in some pretty big games. I know it's possible because I did it once before, turning $600 into $7,000. It ain't easy work!

To ensure that I keep my bankroll intact, I've adopted some key rules:
  • I'll never play in games with minimum stake amount larger than 2 percent of my total bankroll.
  • If at any time during a game session the money that I'm losing is more than 25 percent of my total bankroll, I must leave the game.
I think a lot of players would do well to apply these rules. One great benefit from this approach of proper bankroll management is that it ensures you will be playing in games you can afford. You'll never play for very long in a game that's over your head because, when you're losing, you'll have no choice but to drop down to a lower stakes game. You can continue to sharpen your game at that lower stakes game until your bankroll allows you to move up and take another shot. These rules also prevent you from being completely decimated by a bad run of cards.

Dropping down and playing lower stakes is difficult for a lot of players. Naturally, they view it as a failure and their egos get in the way causing them to get emotional. Many want to remain at the level they'd been playing and win back their losses. But this can lead to some pretty severe tilt and extremely high chance of wiping out your bankroll in a single stroke. I know that dropping down was difficult even for me. When I first played in the $5/$500 game, I lost. Sticking to my rules, I dropped down to the $2/$200 game. I had a losing streak there and had to go down to $1/$100. That was tough. After playing $5/500, a $1/$100 game was boring to me.

But I had the discipline to stick to my rules, and that motivated me to play better at the lower levels. I really didn't want to lose any more because I knew the consequences: I'd have to play even lower and work even harder to get back to where I'd been, which could take as long as a month. If you ever find yourself bored or frustrated playing at the lower stake games, you're obviously not playing well. Take a break from the game. Often, stepping away can give you a fresh perspective and heightened motivation to play well when you return.

There are a couple of more tips I'd like to share regarding bankroll management. First, you should never play in a game that is beyond your bankroll simply because the game seems to be a hot table that day. It's never hot enough to risk money that puts your bankroll in jeopardy. The other point is that you should avoid playing in games that are at the top of your bankroll limits, when a lower stake game offers more opportunity for profit.

These rules are sure to help you as well, as you pursue your own gambling career. So, if you want to build your own bankroll, open a free account at online casinos and start playing today. I'm confident that by sticking to these sound bankroll management rules, I'll make it to my $10,000 goal. Actually, I'm already $6,500 and only $3,500 to the goal. :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Embracing the existence of house edge

Let me be honest here. There is no way to eliminate the house edge. If someone told you that he could make 100% winning bet in a casino, he is lying. As a professional, we know that house edge is always there whenever we are playing in casinos whether it is a land-based or online casino. By accepting the fact that house edge exists, we play by knowing that casinos will always has higher chance to make us losing our chips than we beating the dealer. Personally for me, this is the most important thing that you need to accept before you decide to do gambling as your career. By acknowledging the house edge, any player would likely to be caution all the time to protect his bankroll. We know that any casino is out to get us. We are the fishes and they are the shark! :D

The important thing is not to find a way to beat the house edge but to understand how house edge could work to your advantage in any casino games. I'm a Blackjack Queen so you will always see me at the Blackjack tables! So, I'm gonna tell you this again. It is not possible to eliminate the house edge of a game of Blackjack. So, how the hell am I going to win some chips there if the house will always win? :p

Personally in my opinion, I believe that the software has the intelligence to adjust the game play to avoid the online casino from bleeding chips! You have to accept this unfair fact if you want to play and win in any online casino. Please bear in mind that all this are based on my personal observation during all my plays in online casinos for so many years. However, this does not dispute the integrity of any online casinos out there. I'm sharing my opinion because my belief has been helping me to survive all those gambling sessions all this while. However, no reputable online casinos can be afford to be caught with such behavior in their software or they will have their gambling revoked if proven. Whether you believe me or not, you have to believe that online casinos can make you lose if you are winning big and they will.

In my next post, I will share more on my personal strategies when the casinos are bleeding my chips. Okay, I know some of you may say, "Yeah, right! It's the Blackjack perfect strategy again!". Lol, well, it's not sadly! :p It is something more basic than the perfect strategy. The perfect strategy alone doesn't help you make money. Trust me, a Blackjack game is designed by casinos such that you are losing money even when you make no mistake in the perfect strategy. The perfect strategy only exist to help you to interpolate the house edge, not to beat the game. Well, till next time. Good luck out there! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Professional players are not perfect.

Even professional players make mistakes when we are really on the field. Gambling is always a battle of mind and emotion. I'm still licking my wound from playing at one of the online casinos last night.

I went to Titan Poker for a game of Blackjack with a starting bankroll of $400. After a couple round of calculative and systematic plays, I managed to get my bankroll up to $2,500. The plays continued into late night roughly around to 2am so I was a bit weary and stoned. My emotion started to get erratic due to the tiredness. I lost my professional judgment and went into flat betting with $100 bets infinitely. So naturally I ended with zero bankroll. If you are tired, you should stop playing. It was my mistake to start the play with insufficient mental preparation. When I'm down to zero, my emotion urged me to deposit more to get back the losses. However, my professional side got hold of me so I just cut my losses, went to sleep and woke up this morning feeling like load of shit thinking about last night tryst with the Queen of Spade, lol!

Instead of lamenting my losses, I went through all my mistakes today. Running through my checklist, I can see that I broke so many of my rules even before I went into the field. The first mistake is I went gambling when I was tired and exhausted from the day work. Secondly, I failed to respect my stop-loss limit. So, the moral of the story is, you will need to constantly learn from your mistakes and strive not to repeat the same mistakes ever again. This is part and puzzle of a professional gambler. Failing to learn from your mistakes will only spell doom to your gambling career. So, I could have ended up $2,500 richer last night but I ended up $400 poorer due to my mistakes. Professionals are not perfect but only those who learn from their mistakes are the true winners!