The Ideal Amount of Time for Playing Casino Games

Clock on Top of Casino Table Game
You may not pay much attention to how long you play casino games. Instead, you might just gamble for entertainment without a second thought.

This scenario represents the ideal way to play casino games. You can enjoy yourself without stressing about the amount of time you’ve spent playing.

However, you should definitely consider tracking how long you play casino games. The reason being is that you want to make decisions with a clear head and use optimal strategy.

Unfortunately, no perfect blueprint exists for how long to play casino games. But you can form a better idea on this matter by checking out the following advice.

Factors to Consider

Again, no universal answer exists on how long to play casino games. Therefore, you should consider how your own situation relates to the following factors before deciding.

Skill-Based vs. Non-Skilled Casino Games

One of the biggest divisions in casino gaming is skilled vs. unskilled play. The former refers to games that require a large degree of strategy, while the unskilled category includes games that don’t require much thinking.

Blackjack and poker fall into the skill-based class. You need to use extensive strategy with these games to boost your chances of winning.

Meanwhile, slot machines, baccarat, and roulette don’t require many hard decisions. Instead, you just play the game and let fate do the rest.

Skill-based games are more mentally draining. After all, you need to think about each decision to improve your odds.

Therefore, you won’t be able to play these games as long and still use optimal strategy. On the other hand, you can keep playing slot machines or baccarat for hours without using much brain power.

Your Experience With Gambling

Gambling isn’t thought of like running or lifting weights, where you gradually see improvement over time. Instead, it’s viewed as pure mental stimulation and entertainment.

However, your capacity for gambling increases over time just like with weightlifting or running. Going further, your decisions become more automatic as you become familiar with games.

Poker Cards Spread Out on Table, Deck of Cards

Even poker, which requires more thought than pretty much any casino game, can be mastered with enough time. If you play the same stakes for hours each day, you’ll eventually notice patterns in your opponents.

These patterns allow you to essentially play on autopilot after a while. You don’t have to use as much mental energy as a result.

That said, experience is a defining factor in how long you can gamble. The more experienced you are with certain casino games, the longer you’ll be able to play.

Bankroll Size

You obviously can’t gamble as long if you don’t have the money to do so. Unfortunately, many a player has ignored this logic and blown money they can’t afford to lose.

Therefore, you definitely want to account for your bankroll size with regard to gambling. If you’re well-funded, then you should have no problem gambling for hours.

With a smaller bankroll, you should be more aware of how long you’re playing casino games. You might even set an alarm on your smartphone to avoid losing track of time.


Your amount of rest before a gambling session has a big impact on your thinking capacity. With more sleep, you’ll make better decisions and have additional mental energy.

In contrast, a bad night of sleep leaves you struggling from both a mental and physical point. You may have trouble playing with a level head for any longer than one to two hours if you’re sleepy.

The old rule stands that you want to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. You should especially follow this standard if you plan on gambling a lot the next day.


One of the biggest factors that gamblers overlook is their diet. They don’t realize that eating crappy food has an effect on how long they can efficiently play casino games.

Therefore, stopping by McDonald’s or Wendy’s before your casino session is a bad idea. Meanwhile, lean meats, vegetables, and fruits have the ability to boost your mental abilities.

Wins and Losses

Considering the luck associated with any form of gambling, you’re going to have both good and bad sessions.

Cold streaks don’t technically have any bearing on how long you play. However, you’re not a robot and will experience emotions when you’re on an up or a downswing.

You may be able to gamble all night when Lady Luck is smiling on you and you’re winning lots of money. But you’ll struggle mightily when stuck in a cold streak.

If you have any inclination of leaving during a downswing, then follow your feelings. The last thing you want to do is continue playing when you’re not having a good time and risk making bad decisions.

Applying Work Science to the Optimal Gambling Time

As mentioned before, no ideal time exists for how long you should play casino games. In fact, the subject is rarely discussed in gambling circles.

But you’ll gain insight into the matter by looking at how the office world handles optimal working times. Office work and gambling bear some similarities, because they both involve using brain power over brawn.

Clock, Outside Casino Neon Sign

Time and time again, research has shown that four hours per day is the optimal amount of time for critical thinking.

Why then does the modern work world require people to log at least eight hours every day? A big reason why is because few people work optimally for four hours straight.

Nevertheless, four hours seem to be the gold standard for how long you can reasonably gamble before suffering a decline.

How Can Some Pro Gamblers Play All Day?

You might look at the above advice and think, “But I’ve heard stories of gamblers playing all day and night. Why should I stop after four hours?”

Professionals can gamble for hours on end due to a combination of factors. For starters, they have a big enough edge to where they continue making profits even after their play drops off.

Another factor is that they have a high level of experience. Some gamblers have been playing a certain game for so long that making good decisions is automatic.

Finally, they have the mental fortitude to handle both winning and losing sessions without blinking. Somebody who earns a living through poker or card counting won’t freak out when they’re having a terrible session.

Taking everything into account, you shouldn’t compare yourself to professionals when figuring out how long to gamble. Instead, concentrate on your own situation and decide what’s best for you.

Keep Track of Your Casino Sessions

You don’t want to just wing it with regard to determining your gambling session length. Instead, you should have some documentation on how long you can play.

I suggest keeping notes on you how long you play each session. You can use these notes to form a composite average.

Writing in Notebook

You might even consider keeping detailed notes that cover how you’re feeling based on how long you’re playing. For example, you might jot down that you lost concentration after three straight hours of play.

The idea behind these detailed notes is to figure out when you begin playing sub-optimally during a long session. You may eventually notice a pattern and determine exactly when to quit for the day.

Why Is Figuring Out Your Gambling Time so Important?

Gambling is a thrilling activity that keeps you playing for hours. The downside is that your concentration can diminish before you even realize it.

Once this happens, you may play worse and lose more money. This problem is particularly worrisome with skill-based games like blackjack and poker, where bad decisions lead to more losses.

Even concentration in non-skilled games like slot machines and roulette is important. You may do something stupid like try to win back losses or make bigger bets when you’re mentally exhausted.

That said, you should formulate an idea on how long you can reasonably gamble before losing your edge. The goal is to stop when your performance begins going downhill, or even beforehand.


The best way to determine how long to play casino games involves considering your own situation.

  • Are you playing skill-based or non-skilled games?
  • How long have you been gambling?
  • What’s your bankroll size?
  • How is your diet and do you get enough sleep?
  • Are you on a hot or cold streak?

These are the main questions to ask yourself when determining how long to play. Each of these factors play a significant role in your gambling capacity.

For example, skill-based games are more mentally draining than the unskilled category. Therefore, you won’t be able to adequately play poker or blackjack as long as slot machines or roulette.

Your experience also has a big role in how long you can play. The more experienced you are, the better able you’ll be to gamble on autopilot. Your diet and sleep are some of the most overlooked aspects in this regard. Eating well and sleeping enough give you the mental stamina for long gambling sessions.

Defining the amount of time you can reasonably play casino games is important. After all, you don’t want to gamble for hours when you’re mentally exhausted. This scenario leads to making bad decisions that drain your bankroll. That said, you should figure out your optimal gambling time and stick to it until improving in this regard.