How to Bankroll a Weekend in Vegas

Proper bankroll size and management for a 3-day casino trip.

Proper Bankroll Size and Management for a 3-Day Casino TripA weekend in Vegas can be a grand experience. Many of us dream of such a vacation. It doesn’t even have to be Las Vegas. Atlantic City, Niagara Falls, Richmond – all have fantastic gambling halls with luxury casinos, exquisite dining, the whole sha-bang!

I think there’s one primary reason so many people never take the plunge—money. Most people think it’s going to be an expensive trip. It won’t be cheap, mind you, but the gambling aspect itself is the most intimidating, due to its unpredictability. How do you prepare a bankroll for a three-night stay, not knowing whether you’re going to have any luck or not?

Proper Bankroll Size and Management for 3-Night Casino Stay

To better understand how much money you’ll need, we must first define what a “bankroll” is. Your bankroll is the amount of money you have set aside—extra cash only—specifically for wagering. The cost of the hotel room, meals, and other entertainment is not part of your bankroll.

The first thing I would suggest is to find out what all of your other expenses are going to be. Go to Priceline, Groupon, Kayak, Travelocity—whatever discount website you want—and look into hotel packages. If you’ll be flying in, see if you can bundle an airfare/hotel deal. Then check out the website of the casino and/or hotel and look into their restaurant prices, and other local fare. Figure out how much you’re going to need for all these other expenses (don’t forget extras like cab fare, tips, snacks, etc.), set that aside. Any extra money you have left over is your bankroll.

You’re going to need at least $100-$200, per person, per day—more if you can swing it. Land-based casinos aren’t like online casinos, where the table games are as cheap as $0.50 or $1 to play. Depending when and where you go, you can expect table minimums ranging anywhere from $5 to $25 per hand. The slots may seem cheap, but the odds are terrible, and the game play so fast it can eat through your budget at lightning speed if you’re not careful.

If you don’t feel you have enough cash, keep saving up and plan the trip for a later date. Otherwise, keep reading…

Divvy the Total by Days and Sessions

Assuming you’re going to be accessing the casino for three days, the first step is to divide your entire bankroll by 3. This gives you an equal amount of wagering power for each day of your trip.

Next, you need to divide each of those parts into separate amounts for different session. Maybe you want to play some blackjack, some roulette, a little craps, and give the slots a go, all on day two. That’s four separate sessions. Divide that day’s allotted cash into four parts. Do this for each day, and make sure you don’t short yourself on sessions. After all, it’s supposed to be fun!

When you’re at the casino, set a profit goal. 25% is a reasonable amount. If you reach your goal, set aside any further profits you may make and keep them as winnings. This way, you won’t make the all-too-common mistake of giving all your profits right back to the casino.

Subdividing your bankroll like this will make the entire experience a lot more enjoyable, and ensure that you never run dry before the trip is over. Proper bankroll size and management will also help you remain accountable for your spending throughout the weekend in Vegas, or wherever it is you may go.

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