Blackjack Money Management


Winning at Blackjack – why is it “better to be lucky than good”? The answer is simple – as long as you are lucky, nothing can go wrong. It means that in a casino, you do not need to think. Just throw a couple of dollars in a slot machine and watch the money pour out. Or try another impossible game like Keno or Sic Bo – it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re lucky, everything is fine. I guess you’ll keep winning at Blackjack. After all, people do win all of the crazy casino games and all of the sucker-bets the casinos sprinkle in throughout the rest of the table games. It happens all the time…


Let’s be reasonable here. Blackjack money management is extremely important. Just as important as Blackjack basic strategy, and understanding the rules of Blackjack. When you sit down at a casino Blackjack table with an insufficient bankroll, you are relying on luck to win. When under-funded, it doesn’t matter if you are applying perfect basic strategy and not making any technical mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert Blackjack card counter. There is never a situation in a casino Blackjack game that is a sure bet. The odds vary, your decisions on hitting, standing, doubling down, splitting, taking insurance and altering your bet will constantly change. The only things that will get you through any fluctuation in the probability of winning are discipline and proper money management.


So – what is proper Blackjack money management? The answer here seems simple: sit down at the Blackjack table with enough money to ride out losing streaks while you apply excellent Blackjack winning strategies. However, it is more than that. Take into consideration how well you know the game of Blackjack. What is your strategy? What are your goals for this session of play? How much can you really afford to lose? Don’t forget, no matter how good a Blackjack player you are and whether the odds are in your favor or not, you will still lose regularly. The real “trick” is to maximize your profit when winning and minimize your losses when losing.


Part of a sound Blackjack money management approach is understanding your risk tolerance, and how much money you are committing. If you play regularly, you want to make sure that you are funded for each individual Blackjack session and that losing sessions will not wipe out your total “reserve” bankroll. Again, we are not relying on luck. We are applying our skills and winning Blackjack strategies over a long period of time to even out any fluctuations and grind down the casino’s advantage, and possibly turn that advantage around in our favor.  


Unless you really do not care whether you win or lose and are willing to let “luck” decide, do not start a Blackjack session with an insufficient bankroll. Your bankroll in this case would be the total amount of money you are willing to risk (and perhaps lose) in this single Blackjack session. Let’s break it down into a logical approach:


  1. For your next casino Blackjack session, set a reasonable goal. Do you want to play for many hours, no matter how much you may be ahead? If you happen to reach your goal in a very short amount of time, are you prepared to walk away? These are important questions. If you are not prepared to take your profit and leave the casino at some point, you are doomed to give it all back. Applying good Blackjack strategy when you are not prepared to take your profit will only allow you to play longer before leaving – a LOSER!

  1. If you do not play often, bring enough money to allow yourself enough time to play, and have a chance of turning a losing Blackjack session into a winning one. This will be based on a couple of factors:

    1. The Blackjack table minimum bet – your “base bet”. If the minimum is $10 per hand, then this is your base bet.

    1. Your expected Betting Spread – what do you expect your maximum bet to be, under ideal conditions? And keep this reasonable – if you are counting cards, you do not want to draw attention to yourself. When winning, do you want to risk a huge bet on the hand that breaks your winning streak? A larger Betting Spread requires a larger Bankroll.

  1. I generally recommend the conservative Blackjack player to start with a session bankroll with a minimum of 30 units, or 30 times the base bet.

  1. If you play casino Blackjack regularly, you should have a reserve bankroll. This should be divided up so that your individual Blackjack session bankroll does not exceed a certain percentage, depending on how regularly you play. You probably will not want to risk more than about 3% of your total reserve bankroll on any individual Blackjack session. In other words, if you are a regular Blackjack player and have a reserve bankroll of $10,000 put aside for Blackjack, your individual session bankroll should be about $300. A $25,000 bankroll will allow you to regularly sit at a $25 table (see the chart below).

  1. Below is a simple chart to use as a guideline. Do not play casino Blackjack with money you cannot afford to lose! Always start a new shoe with the Base Bet. Your Betting Spread (no, it is not “B.S.” for short any more than I would say “B.S.” is short for Basic Strategy – it just leaves a negative connotation), should be determined by your risk tolerance (how much you are willing to risk losing on a single hand), the true count (if you are counting cards), and your remaining Session Bankroll.

Use the parts of the chart that apply to your situation and style of play:


Base Bet (Minimum Bet at the Table – your bet most of the time)

Betting Spread (YOUR minimum to maximum bet)

Session Bankroll (MINIMUM - for a single Blackjack session)

Reserve Bankroll (Regular Blackjack Player – don’t bring it all with you!)


$5 to $20




$5 to $30




$10 to $40




$10 to $60




$15 to $60




$15 to $90




$25 to $100




$25 to $150




$50 to $200




$50 to $300




$100 to $400




$100 to $600





Play smart and play to win!


Now for the hard part – when should you leave the Blackjack table, cash-out and leave the casino? This is for you to decide. How about setting those goals? If your Session Bankroll was $300, and you decided to play with a $10 to $40 Betting Spread, what will you be satisfied walking away with? Maybe if you happen to be ahead by $100 after only 10 minutes of play, you will want to keep playing. But what if you have been losing and struggling to break even for several hours, then find yourself ahead by $100. Does it make sense to leave now? It sure does to me! But I won’t tell you what to do with your money. Just like you shouldn’t tell yourself that you are playing with the casino’s money. That $100 you just won is YOUR MONEY now. You could have lunch, see a movie or just save it for next time....


I recommend setting a “stop-loss”. Perhaps take a break if you happen to be down $100 in a short period of time playing Blackjack. If you are ahead by $200 and want to keep playing, perhaps set a stop-loss at the $100 profit point. This will allow you to continue to play Blackjack, and with a worst-case scenario lose $100 of your profit, but allow you to walk away with $100 of profit. In this case, you have given yourself an opportunity to build on your initial $200 profit, but at the same time you are guaranteed to leave a winner no matter what! This is what Winning Casino Blackjack is all about!


Your Blackjack stop-loss limit should constantly be adjusted as you play. When winning, keep adjusting upward. $100 at a time is great when winning at a $10 table. When you eventually hit a losing streak and fall back to your adjusted stop-loss, walk away. You can now make a conscious decision. Stop playing Blackjack and leave the casino for the day or prepare to start a new Blackjack session. Stepping away from the Blackjack table is a great way to clear your head so you can make these choices without pressure.


This is how to win at Blackjack – start winning Blackjack now! Blackjack money management is extremely important, as you can see. Just make sure you learn Blackjack basic strategy before playing Blackjack in a casino. Good luck…



August 18, 2017