How to Gamble on a Limited Budget

Small Casino Bankroll Gambling  With One Hundred Dollar Bills on Left and Casino Chips On Right

Being on a strict budget while gambling doesn’t sound like such a great time.

If you’re concerned about your finances, it can be hard to enjoy yourself and nearly impossible to win money. But not every gambler has the luxury of spending a significant amount of money on gambling expenses.

A small bankroll can deter people from gambling altogether or completely ruin their experience. However, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Anybody and everybody should be able to enjoy their time at the casino, despite how much or how little they’re able to spend. Here are seven things you should know about gambling at a casino with a tiny bankroll.

1 ‒ Basics of a Bankroll

Before you dive too deep into this topic, it’s worth explaining the basics of a bankroll.

A bankroll is essentially money that someone sets aside for gambling. In other words, it’s nothing more than a budget.

Your bankroll doesn’t have to be any specific amount and can be large or small. While the concept is relatively simple, the idea of a bankroll and managing it responsibly tends to trip some gamblers up.

That’s particularly true for amateurs, new gamblers, and those who aren’t the most financially disciplined.

Part of the problem that plagues many gamblers is an inability to keep their gambling habits in check. That’s often due to casinos always have a way to keep people gambling.

Less experienced gamblers simply might not have the self-restraint to know when to call it quits. This type of issue is the reason bankrolls exist and should be strictly adhered to.

Before you start playing, it’s crucial that you set aside an amount of money that makes sense for you. Nobody should gamble with money that should be spent on other, more important things like groceries or a car payment.

Even if you’re comfortable spending a certain amount and have expendable income, it might be smart to keep your gambling budget small. As you learn how to gamble, you can increase your bankroll size.

Until then, there’s no shame in gambling on a strict budget.

2 ‒ Why Size Doesn’t Matter

Many people misunderstand and abuse the concept of a bankroll.

You see, it can be a bit humbling to gamble within your means, especially if you have very limited resources to gamble with. Some might be priced out of playing certain games or even blow through their budget within an hour.

When that money is gone, players can either be responsible or withdraw more money. This problem is exacerbated by poor gambling habits and a blatant disregard for casino basics.

Gambling can be very addicting, especially when it’s taking place at traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. These establishments are fun-filled and intoxicatingly entertaining, especially for those who haven’t experienced them before.

Game Being Played on a Red Baccarat Table

Typically, casino gambling is most often equated to recklessness and irresponsibility. It’s a lot easier to overspend than underspend at a casino.

Plus, like I said, gambling on a shoestring budget can be somewhat embarrassing. However, there’s no reason to feel self-conscious about how much money is in your bankroll.

There’s still plenty of fun to be had and several games you can play.

3 ‒ Don’t Be Unprepared

If you’re concerned about how much money you’re going to spend, then there are a few things you should make sure you do.

First of all, you need to decide on how much money you’re willing to lose. You read that correctly. When you walk into a casino, it’s best to think of your bankroll as a sunk cost or an entertainment expense.

Spending money on a few hours of blackjack is really no different than buying movie tickets. You don’t expect to be issued a refund after you finish a movie, do you?

While you certainly have the opportunity to leave the casino with winnings, it’s dangerous to assume you’ll do so.

The second thing you should make sure you do before you go gamble is to know what games you want to play. By doing this, you’ll have a good idea of how much or little you should expect to spend.

Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to consider playing some casual games if you plan on sticking with table games. Most of these games are somewhat skill-based and require a decent grasp on their respective rules and strategy.

4 ‒ Stick to Machines If Possible

The best way to keep your gambling expenses down is by playing the least expensive games.

Generally speaking, machines like slots and video poker are significantly cheaper per hand.

Other games like blackjack, craps, and roulette (which we’ll get into in a second) require a minimum bet. These minimums typically range anywhere from $5 a hand/play to thousands of dollars.

So, if you had a $50 gambling budget, that means there’s a chance you could only get in 10 hands of blackjack. While it’s highly unlikely to lose 10 hands of blackjack in a row, I’ve seen it happen.

Blackjack Players Seated at a Blackjack Table

However, that bankroll might be better suited for machines where each spin or play is a fraction of the cost. In summary, you can get a lot more bang for your buck sitting at a slot machine than a blackjack table.

Additionally, it’s often easier to control your spending at a machine seeing as you’re in control of the pace of play. If you’re a new gambler who is concerned about spending too much money, stick the machines.

5 ‒ Pick Out the Cheapest Table Games

If you have given slots a try and you find them tedious and repetitive, you might feel inspired to try out a table game. I can’t blame you; certain table games are among the most popular games in the casino.

However, as I just mentioned, they can become quite expensive in a hurry. When you’re playing these types of games, the player has significantly less control over the flow of the game.

The pace of play, combined with the necessity to perform well can cause gamblers to lose track of how they’re faring. Once a gambler’s spending habits are out of the window, problems can arise.

To counteract this problem, it’s crucial to practice on your own so you’re not blindsided at the casino. It’s perfectly fine to learn to play casino games on the fly, unless you’re concerned about money.

Instead, find the game you’re most comfortable with and locate a seat at the cheapest table possible. You shouldn’t gamble at tables outside of your comfort level.

6 ‒ Don’t Get Pressured Into Spending More

Peer pressure is a powerful influencer at casinos.

Many casino-goers flock to their local gambling house with friends and families. Places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Reno are built on the gambling-tourist industry and attract millions of people every year.

In other words, casinos are great places for groups of people who are seeking entertainment.

View Of Las Vegas Strip

One of the unfortunate downsides of this fact is that these groups of people are often in different financial situations. If you travel to a casino with people who are more comfortable spending excessive amounts of money, you might feel pressured to do the same.

However, don’t feel bad if you can’t keep up with some of the big spenders. Casinos are often massive, and there are far too many gaming options at a variety of different price points.

7 ‒ Keep Casino-Related Expenses to a Minimum

Like many other forms of entertainment, gambling comes with several other expenses.

Many casinos often have bars, restaurants, and stores inside their cavernous walls.

However, some of these amenities can be quite pricey for people who are on a tight budget. One of the most common mistakes that money-conscious gamblers make is spending precocious gambling dollars on food and beverages.

Depending on where you’re gambling, these expenses can add up quickly. If you can, try to keep your extracurricular spending to a minimum.

A majority of casinos will offer players amenities like free drinks as long as they’re actively gambling. Be sure to take advantage of these freebies so you can gamble as long as possible.

So Have Fun No Matter Your Bankroll Size

There’s no shame in being a responsible and financially disciplined gambler.

The size of your bankroll shouldn’t matter, and it’s possible to still enjoy your time at the casino.

To stretch your bankroll, consider playing the most cost-effective games like machine poker or slots.

If you want to play table games, try to find the least expensive option you can.

Don’t waste your time at a table you don’t think you can afford to be at. If you’re worried about how much you’re spending on each hand, you’ll likely struggle to enjoy yourself and run the risk of losing your money far too quickly.