Using Wagering and Bankroll to Win at Blackjack

In simple terms, your bankroll is how much money you have when you begin a game of blackjack. The minimum amount of money you’ll have to bet will be determined by the bankroll, and is usually equivalent to your bankroll divided by 150. For this reason, you’ll always want to be sure that you have a large enough bankroll to play aggressively and well. A good rule of thumb is that you should have enough money in your bankroll to survive the average losing streak, usually about three hands.

When wagering, all you really need to know is that you should always increase your wager when the odds are in your favor. Of course, the odds will sometimes not be in your favor. When this occurs, you’ll want to wager only the minimum bet, never more, or, depending on how bad things are looking, leave the table. Remember that leaving is sometimes an important part of smart playing and not necessarily a sign of admitting defeat. Always try to bet proportionally to the count and, when in doubt, use the following table to stagger the high wager:

Count 1 Deck 2 Decks Shoe

<0 1x 1x 1x (or 0)

0 2x 2x 2x

+2 4x 2x 2x

+4 4x 3x 2x

+6 4x 4x 3x

+8 4x 6x 4x

+12 4x 6x 6x

+16 4x 6x 8x

Other Things to Keep in Mind:

Many people do not know that dealers and casinos have ways of spotting which players are counting cards and which are not. While it is not illegal to count cards, the dealer will take certain actions if he or she figures out what you are doing. Usually, the dealer will start shuffling more frequently in order to reset the count and keep you from winning. The best way to avoid having this happen is to keep in mind that the dealer is always watching the bet spread and that you should not make large jumps too often. Many players will even purposefully lose on small, unimportant hands in order to keep the dealer from becoming suspicious. In the event that the dealer does catch onto your strategy, you should find a new player and be more careful during the new game.