For all that has been written about roulette systems, long-term success in the game means looking after three priorities:
1. Managing your money.
2. Managing your money.
3. Managing your money.
We could add a fourth and a fifth priority as well, but we hope you’re getting the idea. Whether we’re talking about a tanked-up off-tilt gambling spree, or a calmly placed sequence of bets that, quite simply, are too big for our bank, it amounts to the same thing – if you’re out of money, you’re out of the game.
But How Much is Too Much?
How do you know how much you could comfortably afford to lose? Well, think very hard about the maximum amount you think you’d be happy losing in one night. Be as honest as you can. Now take that figure, and halve it, and you’ll be somewhere close to your real losing figure. The ideal sum will be large enough to have some impact on you, but not so large that you’ll feel worried about having lost it.
Now try and repeat this exercise for weekly and monthly losses, and you’ll have some idea of the amount you could acceptably kiss goodbye to. This decision will have to take in how many days a week you think you might want to spend gambling, and how long each session is likely to last. You’ll really want to be able to split the monthly amount into ‘daily pots’.
How many of these pots you allow will be partially decided by how often you’ll be gambling.
Clearly, if you have one session every Friday night, you’ll be allocating a larger amount of your monthly allowance to each daily pot than if you were looking to play four or five times a week.
For the best results, you should be setting aside a portion of your salary every month. See this as money you can afford to lose. Hopefully you’ll make it last over the month. If you don’t, though, that’s no problem – your money will be replenished when you get your next pay-cheque, so you’ve just got to wait until then before you can resume your gambling career.
If you’re playing online, try and set deposit limits so that you won’t be able to add to your losses if you’re finished before the end of the month. Some people will see deposit limits as a sign of weakness. In truth, many of us need mechanical safety devices to keep our worst impulses at bay. And when your urge to immediately refund your account is thwarted, it won’t be long before you’ll be glad you imposed restraints.
Increasing Bets Safely
If you start to realise success, you can increase your bet size. For example, you may start off with a £250 bank which you then divide into ten daily pots of £25. Win the equivalent of six daily pots (or £150), and your new £400 bank can be redivided so as to allow for both increased bets, and lower risk. We would recommend increasing the number of daily pots from 10 to 12. That still leaves a remaining £100 from your new £400 bank, and that money will allow you to double your daily pot (to £50) for the first four of those 12 pots.
Of course, this depends on how consistent your system is. The more often you lose your daily pot, the more pots you’ll want your total bank divided into – and the more pots-worth you’ll need to win before increasing your bet size. However, the aim should always be to both build up bet-size and allow for longer sequences of losses. The more success you have, the more you need to be cutting your risk levels. If you simply increase the bet-size while only allowing for the same number of losses in a row, you could be setting yourself up for a fall – you’re likely to hit a rough sequence of results at some point. When that moment comes, you want it to be only a minor setback, rather than a catastrophic event that lays waste to your entire bank, wiping out months of work.
Integrating Money Management with a System
Money management, though, can only get you so far psychologically. True success won’t come until you find a system that you have genuine confidence in. You’ll also need to make your bet-size fit in with your system. If you’re trying a progressive system, like Martingales, you’ll need to ensure that your starting bet won’t result in your entire daily pot being wiped out after a sequence of three or four straight losses. Work out on paper how much you’ll lose with each successive bet. You can calculate the running losses by doubling the most recent loss, and subtracting the original bet from the total – if you started betting £2 a time, after three straight losses, your most recent bet would have been £8 – double this (£16) and subtract the original £2 stake, and you’ll have built up total losses of £14.