Smarter Gambling

5 Ways to Make Your Casino Money Last Longer

Bankroll money
Written by Joshua

Casino trips are entertainment for many players, but sometimes you want to make your trip last longer. Perhaps you’re planning on staying longer than normal, or you’re taking a multi-day trip to a market like Las Vegas.

In those circumstances, running out of gambling budget can be frustrating, and so in today’s post I’ll share 5 ways of making your casino money last longer.

1. Lower Your Bet

Tiki Shores by AGS bet panel

This may seem obvious, but many players get into a comfort zone with a certain bet level, and will stick to it. Others will find lowering their bet less fun or more boring, as it means proportionally smaller payouts.

But the reality is that you’ll need to do this, especially if your longer trip doesn’t come with a larger bankroll. And even if you do bring a larger bankroll, starting out by betting lower can ensure that things pace well, so if you hit a particularly bad run you haven’t exhausted your funds before your trip is through.

There are plenty of ways to find lower bets on the casino floor without sacrificing fun. Check out my previous post on how to find lower bets for ways to do so! Or check out some suggestions on lower bet games.

2. Adjust Your Denomination, Not Your Bet

Denomination button slot machine Munchkinland

If you’re playing $1 a spin, did you know you could play a quarter denomination slot and still stick to that bet? And that playing that higher denomination slot, over the long term, will give you a better payback percentage? I certainly didn’t when I was newer to slots, but now will take swings at machines that are set up that way because they fit in my budget and can deliver.

Going up in denomination doesn’t mean you have to raise your bet, but over the long term you’ll see your money last longer. Here’s an example. Based on publicly reported slot payback data, Mohegan Sun’s nickel slot machines have a house hold that’s roughly half of its penny machines.

A house hold of 50 percent less means, on average, your money will last twice as long, because it’s not holding back as much over time. So given the choice between a $1 spin on a penny machine or a $1 nickel machine, you might want to seek out those nickel denomination games.

3. Pace Your Budget

For longer trips, such as multi-day trips, pace yourself by allocating a daily budget. For all-day trips to the casino, you can do the same based on how long you’ll be there.

I now have a formula I calculate for longer trips like Vegas, where I break my budget down based on day. If I’m going to be working on a trip, I may allocate more money to weekends, when I’m free, versus weekdays, where I might only play a couple of hours. I also have a “break glass” extra day of budget if things go horribly wrong.

For a longer day casino trip, I might only allow myself half my budget until I reach the half way point, although this setup tends to be less rigid than the longer trips, where ensuring I have money for each day is a bit more critical.

All of these steps are really designed to pace myself, avoid letting emotional gambling get the best of you and send you on a spiral that burns your cash before time is up.

4. Leave the Casino with Cash

While you may enter the casino with the expectation that the budget you bring will be lost (in fact, that’s a pretty healthy position to take, so you don’t chase losses), there are times where you get lucky and win! In those circumstances, it may be tempting to raise your betting to try to ride the wave, and that’s certainly an option.

However, another option is to not do that, and lock in some winnings for another casino visit or a future day of the trip. Some players will use devices like Winners Banks if they win big, but that doesn’t factor in those times when you’re a bit ahead, trending just fine but not doing anything spectacular, so you’ve still got your bankroll and have been playing awhile.

Keeping going steady as she goes vs. raising your bet protects you if (or when, let’s be honest) a rough patch occurs. You’ll appreciate maintaining that bet level when it happens.

Most importantly, leaving the casino with cash means your budget survived the whole trip, which is the goal anyway.

5. Pick the Right Machines

There are a number of aspects of playing slots that can have an impact on your budget. The speed in which games spin, and the level of volatility games have, can impact how your budget lasts over a few hours or days.

You can select games that spin slower and have a lower volatility, which can make the ride smoother and reduce the risk of a drought that can sap your bankroll. I have listed examples of lower volatility slots in the past.

What steps do you take to make your money last? Share them in the comments!

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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