Gamblers aren’t viewed as a great source for financial tips. In fact, general society stereotypes them as degenerates with money troubles.

It’s true that some gamblers are bad at managing their money. However, plenty of other players are successful at managing their funds.

You can learn financial pointers from these gamblers by looking at their bankroll management strategies and betting tactics. I am going to discuss some of the biggest ways that gambling can help you improve your personal finances.

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Coming Up with a Financial (Bankroll Management) Plan?

Developing a plan is the best way to start managing your personal finances the right way. Doing so gives you a guideline on how to spend your money and save.

Gamblers do the same thing by considering how much money they can afford to put into their bankroll. One way to do this is by going through monthly income and expenses to determine how much is left over for a bankroll.

Here’s an example:

  • You make $3,000 per month after taxes.
  • Your monthly bills and expenses are $2,000.
  • You have $1,000 remaining.
  • You use $500 of this for your starting bankroll.

The main idea is to avoid spending money that you can’t afford to lose. The same concept can be applied to handling your personal finances.

You can go through your income, monthly bills, and expenses to figure out how much you can afford to spend each month.

Here’s an example:

  • You make $2,500 per month after taxes.
  • Your monthly bills and expenses are $1,700.
  • You have $800 left over.
  • You save $400 of this per month.
  • You have $400 remaining to spend on whatever you’d like.

Just like a gambler who doesn’t want to lose money needed for more-important things, you must avoid spending money that should be put towards something else.

The thought of going through all of your income and bills isn’t exciting. However, it can pay big dividends over the long run as you develop a plan and stick with it.

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Being Responsible with Your Money

Continuing off the last point, you need to figure out what’s an acceptable expense versus what’s not. Far too many people fall into the trap of spending a little here and there on things they don’t need.

Gamblers are similar in this regard, because they must decide how much they can bet while remaining in line with their bankroll goals. The process of doing so differs based on whether you’re playing a house-banked or skill-based game.

A house-banked game sees the casino hold an advantage. This means that you’ll theoretically lose money over the long run.

Therefore, you need to decide how long you want your bankroll to last. You must then figure out what you can afford to bet in each session to sustain your bankroll.

Here’s an example:

  • You have a $500 bankroll.
  • You’d like to play five hours with this money.
  • 500 / 5 = $100 in losses per hour
  • You’re playing blackjack.
  • The house edge is 1%.
  • The table sees approximately 80 hands per hour.
  • (100 / 0.01) / 80 = 125
  • You can bet $125 and theoretically last for five hours.

Skill-based casino games like poker, daily fantasy sports (DFS), esports betting, and sports betting differ slightly, because they give you a chance to win profits.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll crush skill-based gaming and win big. But your bankroll management goals will be somewhat different since there’s a chance that you can win long term.

Here’s an example on setting up a skill-based bankroll management plan:

  • You’re playing DFS.
  • You like entering big tournaments.
  • Big tourneys have lots of variance.
  • You want at least 100 buy-ins to deal with this variance.
  • You have a $2,000 bankroll.
  • 2,000 / 100 = $20 per buy-in

You can use either type of bankroll management plan and apply it to different areas of your life. A bankroll management plan for house-banked games can be used to determine how much you can spend on entertainment and shopping.

Here’s an example:

  • You have $1,000 in extra spending money every month.
  • 1,000 / 30 = 33.33
  • You can spend an average of $33.33 per day.

A bankroll strategy for skill-based games could be adapted to investing in property, stocks, or a business.

Here’s an example on setting up an investing bankroll plan:

  • You have $700 to invest each month.
  • You want to purchase stocks once every week.
  • 700 / 4 = $175
  • You can spend $175 per week on stocks.

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Know When to Stop

Knowing when to quit spending is one of the toughest part about handling your finances. Of course, this becomes difficult when you’re in the moment and not looking at the big picture.

The same holds true for gambling, because players must figure out when they should walk away from a session. The last thing a gambler wants to do is get frustrated and make bad betting decisions just because they’re angry.

Setting a stop-loss limit helps in this matter. A stop loss refers to the point at which one quits gambling based on losses.

This limit can be whatever once chooses it to be. For example, a gambler might set their stop loss for $150 per session.

A stop-loss limit can apply to many different areas of life, including visiting a grocery store, going to a bar, or attending a sports event. The idea is to set a point at which you’ll stop spending on whatever you’re doing.

Here’s an example:

  • You go to an NBA game.
  • You have $500 in your wallet.
  • But you’d like to ration this money out to spend at more games.
  • You set a stop-loss limit of $100.
  • You can’t spend anymore than $100 on food, drinks, and souvenirs.

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Fight the Temptation to Spend More

Following stop-loss limits isn’t easy, because you’ll often be tempted to spend more than you should. Of course, giving into temptations is no reason to blow money.

Gamblers must be disciplined when it comes to following a stop-loss limit or any other part of a bankroll management. They need to use their past failures and commonsense to realize a good stopping point. Unfortunately, stop losses don’t solve the emotional part of the problem.

That’s why some players use techniques like taking deep breaths, going for a short walk, or even meditating. These are good methods for clearing one’s mind and fighting off urges.

The same holds true of going to a mall, visiting a tourist attraction, or online shopping. Having good techniques in place to keep you from overspending is crucial.

You can use some of the aforementioned techniques, or you can come up with your own. The key is to have a few ways to ground yourself when you have the urge to overspend.

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Look for the Best Prices (Odds)

Many goods and services are found for varying prices across the internet. The more time you spend comparing prices, the more likely you are to save money.

Gamblers commonly look for the best odds to help them win more (& save more) money. After all, casinos can differ on their blackjack rules, poker rake, roulette wheels, and more.

Here are different ways that players look for the best odds:

  • Slot machines with high return to player (RTP).
  • Sportsbooks with lower juice (a.k.a. vigorish).
  • Poker rooms with lower rake.
  • Blackjack tables with favorable rules (leading to lower house edge).
  • Craps tables with higher odds bets (don’t have a house edge).

Gamblers who spend time finding the best odds will increase their chances of winning money. You can use the same concept to save money when purchasing various items and services.

Assume that you want to sign up for internet service at your home. You could look at 3-4 companies to see which offers the best deal in terms of price and speed.

Another example involves shopping online for a certain brand of sweaters. You can check out multiple online clothing stores to find the best deal on this specific brand.

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Understand How Small Improvements Pay Off)

You may not think that finding a box of crackers for $0.10 less at one store will make a difference in your net worth. But you can save lots of money over the long run if you continue finding these small advantages.

The most-skilled gamblers are well aware of what a few percentage points can mean for their bottom line. Just a single blackjack rule can save them hundreds of dollars over the course of several sessions.

Here’s an example:

  • You find a blackjack table that pays 3:2 for natural blackjacks (21 on first two cards).
  • A 3:2 payout lowers the house edge by 1.4% (compared to 6:5).
  • You bet $10,000 at this table over the course of a month.
  • 10,000 x 0.014 = 140
  • You’ll theoretically lose $140 less at this table.

Identifying small advantages and continually exploiting them can help you save plenty of money over the years. Just think about some of the different ways that you can save money again and again.

It may take time to figure out exactly where you can this value. But I highly recommend doing so when considering how much money you stand to save.

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Risk Management

Risk is a part of life no matter what you do. Even paying $10 more to join a gym closer to your house has a certain risk-reward element.

The stakes go much higher when it comes to bigger purchases. This is where considering how gamblers view risk can help.

A player may love the idea of winning a progressive slot machine jackpot. However, the short-term risk associated with playing these games is extremely high.

If the same gambler wants to preserve their bankroll longer, then they should choose a more-reliable game like baccarat or blackjack.

Risk management plays a huge role in every type of gambling. One needs to figure out how much they’re willing to risk to win a big payout.

Here’s an example using a DFS:

  • You have a $1,000 bankroll.
  • You want to play contests with a $100 buy-in.
  • These contests offer bigger payouts.
  • 1,000 / 100 = 10
  • This only gives you 10 buy-ins.
  • You reconsider after deciding that the risk is too high.

You’ll likely ponder many big purchases throughout your lifetime. It’s important to figure out the return that each purchase offers.

A sleek sports car will make you look cool and serve as a status symbol. But you don’t want to buy this car if you need to continually haul things.

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Putting the Value of Rewards in Perspective

Many types of companies offer rewards as a means of drawing and retaining your business. Credit cards, online shops, and airlines are just a few examples of businesses that offer rewards.

Gambling is the same way in that casinos offer comps, which are rewards given out based on one’s play.

Here’s an example of comps:

  • You bet $1,000 on slot machines.
  • Comp rate is 0.2%.
  • 1,000 x 0.002 = $2 in rewards
  • The slot machine has a 5% house edge.
  • 1,000 x 0.05 = $50 in losses
  • 50 / 2 = 25
  • Losses are 25x greater than rewards.

The biggest thing to realize about comps or any type of rewards is that they’re never worth anywhere near the value of what you’re spending.

Take credit cards, for example, which promise cashback on your purchases. This sounds like a good deal when considering that you can immediately buy what you want, then receive cashback afterward.

Credit card companies know that the average person won’t pay off their bill in a timely manner. These companies make a killing when considering that the interest is much higher than the cashback is worth.

It’s never bad to get rewarded for something that you’ll be purchasing anyways. But don’t get carried away and think that the freebies are worth more than they really are.

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Gaining an Advantage with a Risky Investment

Some of the best ways to build your wealth include buying property/rentals, buying stocks, and putting money into a mutual fund. All of these things can help you make money outside of your job when done right.

However, each type of investment can also blow up in your face and cost you serious money. This is why you really need to perform research when making an investment.

Gambling offers a similar scenario in the form of advantage play. An advantage gambler is somebody who develops a skill that allows them to earn long-term profits.

Here are examples of different advantage-play techniques and skill-based games that can offer long-term profits:

  • Card counting (blackjack)
  • DFS
  • Esports betting
  • Hole carding (blackjack & other card games)
  • Poker
  • Sports betting

Making consistent profits from gambling is an appealing idea. However, it’s also risky and difficult to gain an advantage.

First off, you have to become skilled enough to beat whatever game you’re playing. A card counter doesn’t walk into the casino and immediately make thousands of dollars. They practice counting cards for hours before they’re ready to take on the house.

Likewise, a poker pro doesn’t immediately start beating their opponents. They instead learn through experience and studying strategy.

An advantage gambler also needs a large enough bankroll to survive low points and eventually realize profits. For example, a card counter doesn’t stand much chance if they only start out with a few hundred dollars. They instead need thousands of dollars to comfortably count cards and win.

The same holds true when buying property or any other type of purchase that can pay off. You don’t want to put every single penny into a rental property.

Leaving yourself broke like this can go horribly wrong if the building needs major repairs or you can’t find enough tenants. It’s important to not only have the money to invest, but also enough to keep back in case of emergencies.

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Avoiding Bad Gambles in Life

Taking gambles is a part of life. But you definitely want to avoid bad risks that go against your better logic.

Skilled gamblers look at the house edge to determine what is and isn’t a bad bet. Keno, Big Six, lotteries, and craps prop bets are among the worst gambles in the casino

These games/bets all have terribly high house edges. A high house advantage increases the likelihood that one will lose money over time.
Life is the same way in that you want to weigh the odds before taking a gamble.

Here’s an example:

  • A friend asks you to invest in their bakery.
  • They have plenty of experience in baking.
  • But you know this friend to be unreliable and bad at time management.
  • Your heart wants to invest in the business since it’s your friend.
  • However, logic tells you that it’s a bad idea.

The odds don’t change just because you want them to. Therefore, it’s good to use logic when making risky decisions.


The gambling world doesn’t serve as a substitute for traditional financial advice. But it offers an interesting perspective on ways to handle your money.
Coming up with a plan is the first parallel that can be drawn between gambling and finances.

Good gamblers know the importance of developing a strong bankroll management plan. You should also have a solid plan in place when managing your everyday money.

Setting a stop-loss limit and resisting urges to spend more is another thing that you can learn from casino gaming. It’s important to have a spending limit in place and techniques for preventing yourself from getting out of control.

Shopping for the best odds/prices is another gambling skill that translates to traditional finances. You can save lots of money by continually finding the right price, especially when it comes to big purchases.

Calculating the value of rewards also comes into play in both gambling and finances. Realizing that the rewards (e.g. credit card cashback) don’t equal the expenses helps you avoid spending money just for freebies.

Gambling is also great for teaching how to look for value in investment opportunities. Poker players and sports bettors are very good at considering the value of a bet. You should take a similar approach when investing money.

Traditional financial education is the best path for learning everything you can about handling finances. But you can see that gambling as a hobby or professionally can also teach you quite a bit about finances.

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