It’s nice to win while you gamble, but if you know how casino games are designed, you know that most people lose in the long run. If you’re like me, you know this but want to play anyway.

If you can’t win in the long run, what’s the goal of gambling?

One goal is to play as long as possible before running out of money. Everyone has a bankroll for gambling, even if they don’t call it a bankroll. You have a limited amount of money you can gamble with. Most players take a portion of the money they earn at their job and use it for gambling or other entertainment.

One of the best ways to stretch your gambling bankroll is to play online. The minimum bet amounts are lower than in land based casinos, and you can get deposit bonuses to make your bankroll last longer.

The only other thing you need to find is a game offering a low house edge that’s easy to play. Baccarat is the perfect game for extended play, but it’s not your only option. Once you learn how you can play online baccarat for 100 hours on $100, you can see how long you can play other games.

Your bankroll might be higher than $100, but I decided to use it because it’s a common number for gambling, and it’s an amount that most online gamblers can come up with. It also works well with the goal of playing 100 hours.

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Why Baccarat?

The reasons I chose baccarat for this experiment are because it offers a low house edge, and it’s easy to play. You don’t have to make any strategy decisions; all you have to do is bet on the banker every time.

The house edge on the banker bet is 1.06%. Baccarat tables take a commission, usually 5%, on all winning bets on the banker, but the 1.06% house edge already has this calculated in it.

Some other casino games offer a lower house edge, but you have to use strategy to keep the edge as low as possible. Once you see how easy it is to play baccarat for 100 hours on only $100, you can see how other games can offer similar playing times and experiences.

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Getting Started – Get a Bonus

Online casinos are well known for offering bonuses to entice you to make a deposit. A few offer small bonuses to try their games without making a deposit, but most of these are only $10 or so. But if you make a deposit, you can double your starting bankroll at many different online casinos.

Some casinos even offer more than double your deposit; sometimes three to five times. For this experiment I chose to use a 100% deposit match because it’s common. But you can certainly look for larger ones. A larger bonus just means you get to play longer.

With the goal of playing as long as possible, you need to understand that the chances of winning money and cashing out are small. The longer you play, the more likely you are to lose your entire deposit. But you should still be aware of some of the things that come with getting a bonus.

Deposit bonuses generally fall into one of two categories. Some are cashable, and some aren’t. A cashable bonus means that once you meet the specifics of the bonus you can cash out anything that’s left of your deposit and bonus.

A bonus that isn’t cashable, often called a sticky bonus, means that the amount of your bonus is deducted from your balance before you cash out. This type of bonus is more common than cashable ones, but they also often offer more than 100% on your deposit.

Both types of bonuses come with other terms and conditions. The terms and conditions cover which games you can play and how much you have to play before you can cash out. Clearing a bonus means completing the play through requirements.

Here’s an example:

You deposit $100 and receive a $100 bonus. The play through requirement is 30 times your deposit and bonus. This means you have to make $6,000 in total wagers to clear the bonus. You add the deposit and bonus together and multiply it by 30 to get the play through amount.

In order to clear the bonus you can make 6,000 $1 bets, 1,200 $5 bets, 600 $10 bets, or any other combination of bets that total at least $6,000.

The other important condition is which games you can play. The list of approved games varies by casino. Slot machines and keno are usually acceptable for any bonus, but they tend to have a high house edge. Some bonuses let you play baccarat and some don’t, so you need to find out before you make a deposit.

One trick some casinos pull is they let you play many different games, but they only count a percentage of play toward the play through.

Here’s an example:

You deposit $100 and get a $100 bonus and play video poker. The play through is 25 times your deposit and bonus, but play on video poker only counts 10% toward the play through. This means you actually have to play 250 times the normal amount instead of 25.

This makes the play through on video poker $50,000 instead of $5,000.

If you simply want to play as long as possible with $100, most of the terms and conditions don’t matter. If the chance to win and cash out is small, you might as well get the biggest bonus that lets you play the game you want, even if it makes the play through requirements huge.

Find the biggest bonus available that lets you play baccarat, and you can play for hours.

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Bet Size

One of the best things about playing online casino games is you can play with lower minimum bets. Land based casinos have table minimums and maximums, just like online casinos, but they tend to be much higher.

You can find online casinos with minimum table game bets as low as $1, while many land based casinos have table minimums of $10 or $20.

In order to play for at least 100 hours online with a $100 bankroll, you need to find an online casino that offers minimum baccarat bets of $1. If you don’t see a minimum listed, contact the support department before you make a deposit.

Most Real Time Gaming casinos, also called RTG casinos, offer $1 minimum bets on their baccarat tables. Many Playtech powered online casinos also offer $1 bets.

If you end up playing at an online casino that has a higher minimum bet, you can still play, but you might not be able to play as many hours. If you can get a bigger bonus, you can play longer with a larger bet, but it still might be hard to reach the 100 hour play mark.

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Hands per Hour

The only other variable you need to worry about before calculating the expectations is how many hands you play per hour. When you play online you have a great deal of control over how fast or slow you play. When you play in a land based casino the dealer controls how fast the game plays.

Common estimates place the number of hands dealt per hour on average for land based baccarat somewhere between 60 and 75. You can easily play three or four times that many online, because the software makes it easy and it’s fast.

Most online baccarat games let you set a bet amount and simply click a button to deal the next hand. It’s like playing slots; you can just keep clicking as fast as you want.

The software takes care of everything else, including reducing your playing balance on losing hands and adding to your balance when you win. You don’t even need to look at the cards to see if you win or lose, because the software does it instantly.

The problem is that the faster you play, the faster you run through your bankroll. In the next section I use 100 hands per hour for the calculations.

This is faster than you can play live, so it shouldn’t feel too slow. But it’s important to resist the urge to play faster.

Once you learn how to play for 100 hours on $100, feel free to calculate how long you can play if you play more hands per hour. Plug 200 hands per hour into the formula you’re getting ready to learn to see if you can afford to play faster.

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Calculating Expectations

Playing online baccarat 100 hours on only $100 might sound hard to do, but you don’t even need to get lucky to make it happen. You know all of the variables involved, including the house edge, so it’s easy to determine how long you can expect to play.

In order to figure out how long you can play, you need to determine the expected loss per hour and compare that to your total bankroll. Once you have these numbers, it’s a simple calculation to see how long you should be able to play.

You learned how to get a bonus in the first section, so instead of starting with $100 you’re starting with at least $200. I’m going to use $200 for this example, but you can plug in a bigger number if you get a bigger bonus.

In the second section you found out how to play baccarat for only $1 per hand. Just like the other parts of the formula you’re getting ready to learn, you can plug in different bet sizes to learn how they change how long you can play.

The number of hands you play every hour also changes the expected loss. I’m going to use 100 hands every hour for the first set of calculations. It’s easy to play more than 100 hands per hour, but if you do, it makes your expected loss per hour higher.

Here’s the formula to determine your expected loss per hour. You can use this for any casino game, as long as you know the house edge.
House edge X hands per hour X bet size = Expected hourly loss

You’re going to make the banker bet on every hand, because it has the lowest house edge. The house edge on the baker bet is 1.06%. Now all you have to do is plug the numbers into your formula.

1.06% X 100 X $1 = $1.06 expected loss per hour.

With a bankroll of $200 from your deposit and bonus, it’s clear if you play 100 hands per hour at $1 per hand you can play at least 100 hours.
To get an estimate of how many hours you can play; simply divide your bankroll by the expected loss per hour.

$200 / $1.06 = 188.68 hours

You can bet more per hand if you want, but it reduces the expected number of hours you can play. Or you can play more hands per hour. If you get a bigger bonus you can bet more or play faster. Now that you know the simple equations above, you can plug in any numbers you want to get an idea how long you can play.

  • Here’s an example:
  • You get a 300% bonus on a $100 deposit and play 100 hands per hour at $5 per hand. This gives you a starting bankroll of $400. Here’s the calculation for how long you can expect to play.

    $5 per hand X 100 hands per hour X 1.06% = $5.30 expected loss per hour.

    $400 / $5.30 = 75.47 hours of expected play.

  • Here’s an example using 200 hands per hour:
  • $1 per hand X 200 hands per hour X 1.06% = $2.12 expected loss per hour.

    This means that if you want to play 200 hands per hour instead of 100, you need a starting bankroll of $212.

    You can also use the same equations for any other casino games you can play online as long as you know the house edge. Baccarat is simple, but blackjack offers a low house edge if you use a strategy card and some video poker pay tables also have a low house edge.

    Craps offer a low house edge on the pass line and don’t pass line, and offers 0% house edge on the odds bets behind each of the starting wagers.

    One thing you need to keep in mind is that the equations above are based on expected loss rates. These are based on averages over a long period of time.

    If you want to make sure you can play a minimum number of hours, you should build in a safety amount. In the short run you might lose a higher rate per hour than expected.

    I suggest a safety amount of at least 20%. If you need a $200 bankroll to play as long as you want, you should start with at least $240 if possible. Of course, it’s even better if you can have a larger safety margin. It’s even better to start with $300 or more if you expect to need $200.

    On the positive side, if the expected loss holds true, when you start with more than you need you can play longer.

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    Another Option

    Playing online baccarat for real money can be exciting. But the truth is that most people lose in the long run. Even if you can play 100 hours or more, you still are likely to lose your deposit.

    The other option is to skip the deposit and simply play free online baccarat. It doesn’t offer the thrill of playing for real money, but you can play an unlimited number of hours when you play for free. All you have to do is sign up for a free account at an online casino and you can play for as long as you want.

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    Now you know how easy it is to play online baccarat 100 hours on $100, and you know how to figure out what other games offer extended play chances. Remember to read the terms and conditions on your bonus offer to make sure you can play the games you want to play.

    If you just want to play for as long as possible and don’t feel comfortable risking your hard earned money, you can always play for free. You can find dozens of free baccarat options on your computer or phone, and never risk a penny.

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