How to Protect a Roulette Bankroll

You might know the game of roulette inside and out but this knowledge means nothing if you are clueless about managing and protecting your roulette bankroll. Proper bankroll management is one of the most important traits of an astute roulette player. Its absence will almost certainly result in the wheel eating up your entire gambling budget.

Quitting the roulette table as a loser often is not a matter of chance but of personal choice. Many roulette players approach the game without any money management plan in mind, bet sporadically all over the layout, resort to steep (and useless) betting progressions, and ultimately lose their shirts to the house.

If you are looking to prevent this, we suggest you take some time to familiarize yourself with what roulette bankroll management entails. A good way to start would be by reading our article on the subject.

Can Bankroll Management Help You Beat Roulette?

1True odds

Let us first remind you that roulette, like the vast majority of casino games, offers you a negative expectation. There is a saying which states that gamblers rely on luck while gambling businesses rely on math because math is the master of luck.

There is a good deal of truth to this statement. All casino games are structured in such a way so as to return less money than players have gambled over the long term. To use roulette as an example, winning straight up bets pay at short odds of 35 to 1 despite the fact the mathematical ratio of losing to winning outcomes is higher at 36 to 1 (for single-zero wheels) or 37 to 1 (for double-zero wheels).

2Negative expected value

The same applies to all available bets in roulette – you are always paid at poorer odds than probability actually dictates. This practice enables the house to maintain an edge over players at all times, ultimately meeting its expected profit margin in the long term.

From expectation perspective, each bet at the roulette table gives you negative expected value of 2.70% (or 5.26% in American roulette), so that you inevitably end up losing nearly -$0.03 out of every dollar you sacrifice in the long run.

3Can Bankroll Management Actually Help?

Bankroll management cannot help you overturn the house edge and arrive at a positive expectation in a random game of chance like roulette unless you find a way to predict the results through exploiting wheel biases (a rarity in this day and age).

4The Purpose of Bankroll Management

So what is the point of bankroll management if it cannot help you overcome the house edge and beat the wheel over time? The thing about casino games is that they can yield decent profits in the short term. However, the more trials you go through, the closer you get to your negative expected value.

This is where money management comes in. Roulette players should manage their bankrolls in such a manner so that the house advantage is not grinding into as many decisions. The amounts you wager at any given time should be proportionate to your roulette budget. It follows there are two main ideas behind bankroll management, namely:

  • To reduce the damage the house edge does through exposing less money at risk over time.
  • To protect your bankroll and allow you to stretch your roulette budget over the long run.

Getting Started with Your Roulette Bankroll

The wisest way to approach roulette money management is to set up a separate budget reserved exclusively for gambling at roulette. A player could never feel at ease at the table while gambling with what they call “scared money”, i.e. funds that they need for everything else other than playing like rent, mortgage or money for their children's college fund.

So the best way to get started is to open a separate account for gambling and grow it until you arrive at an amount you can confidently play with. How big should a roulette bankroll be? This is no easy question to answer but the rule of thumb is the bigger, the better. You can set aside a small amount to add to your bankroll each week or month.

Total vs. Session Roulette Bankroll
How Much is Enough – Profit Target
When to End a Session
Understanding Variance in Roulette

Minimizing Bankroll Damage with Casino Comps

Comp points

How much value could you gain from comps?

Many players who are regulars on the floor try to preserve their bankrolls for a longer time by taking advantage of comp points. To give full comp points, many casinos require the player to remain in action at least four hours for the day. Needless to say, such extended sessions can be quite costly for the player.

The comps you get depend on your theoretical losses per hour. In turn, your losses are calculated by multiplying the number of bets per hour, the average bet size, the house edge, and the number of hours you play.

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More Tips on Bankroll Protection in Roulette

While roulette should not be viewed as a money-making machine, or at least not over the long term, there are several other ways for the player to extend their bankroll's life. Take a look at the four tips below if you are looking to extend the longevity of your roulette bankroll.

Stay within your limits
Pick the right roulette games
Do not let your emotions get the best of you
Say “No” to progressive betting