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Last Updated: February 28, 2013

Money Management Advice

I get asked a lot about Money Management in gambling. It is not a topic I address often, because money management is just mathematical voodoo. What you can expect to lose gambling is the product of the total amount you bet and the house edge. It does not make any difference how you break up your total amount bet. Given the same game, the expected loss is the same making a million bets of $1 and one bet of $1,000,000.

While money management does not change expected loss, given the same game and total amount bet, it can affect variance. Here are some money management strategies, according to what your goal is.

Player 1 plays for the social aspect of gambling, not so much to win. He prefers to bet conservatively, minimizing his risk of losing, while at the expense of likely not winning either. This player should flat bet. In other words, his wagers should be the same every bet, or close to it.

Player 2 is a risk seeker who wishes to either win a lot or lose a little. Of course, with a high winning marker, and low losing marker, it is more likely to achieve the losing one. The appropriate strategy for player 2 is to press his luck after wins, letting them ride. Most of the time the player will hit a loss before reaching his winning goal, but sometimes hit a good run and parlay his wins to whatever makes him happy.

Player 3 is a small win seeker, at the expense of the chance of a large loss. There are many betting systems that cater to this goal, but they all press bets after losing, until there is a win. Often this player will leave the casino happy for reaching his modest winning goal, but the occasional large losses will take back all the small wins, and more.

Judging by the ratio of expected loss to total amount bet, all betting strategies and money management systems are equally worthless. How much you bet and why should depend on the reason you are playing in the first place. Whatever form of money management you choose, once a bet is made you should always follow the best mathematical play. Finally, never pay for a betting strategy. As mentioned, they are all equally worthless, so you may as well use one of the free ones easily found on the Internet.