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.
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. :)