Casino Strategy 101: Variance part two - how to mitigate swings
Negative variance will always be a part of the casino gaming world, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and let back luck destroy your bankroll.
Variance is an inevitable part of gambling.
Regardless of how skilled or experienced you are, runs of good and bad luck are always going to happen.
Although there isn’t a way to overcome the negative effects of variance, you can mitigate it by using a combination of bankroll management and bonuses.
In practice, you won’t completely reverse a run of bad luck by managing your money and collecting free credits. However, these techniques can ease the potential hurt.
Let the percentages guide your bets
The basics of bankroll management are simple: the size of your bets is determined by the size of your bankroll. Although there is some debate as to the actual percentages, it’s generally accepted that five per cent is the maximum you should take into a game.
For example, if you had £1,000 set aside to gamble with (this should be money you can afford to lose), you would play with £50 or less.
Looking through the different casino games available, you could load up Vegas Strip Blackjack Gold and have 50 bets at the minimum stakes (£1).
Playing at this level, you’d be wagering two per cent of your session bankroll (£50) and 0.1 per cent of your total bankroll (£1,000).
As a general rule, this is the level you should be playing at. So, if your bankroll was £500 instead of £1,000, you could use the above percentages to guide you towards a game where the minimum bet is £0.50.
Although these figures may seem overly conservative, it’s important to remember that variance can result in long periods of bad luck. As we noted in the first part of our guide to variance, the numbers are based on infinity.
To put it another way, you always have to be thinking about your results over a long period of time.
Because of this, you could easily lose 50 blackjack hands in a row. But, if you stick to the percentages listed above, this wouldn’t crush your bankroll.
In contrast, if you ignored that advice and bet £10 per hand, that type of run would cost you 50% of your £1,000 bankroll.
Make bonuses part of your betting strategy
Alongside bankroll management, bonuses can help mitigate bad runs.
For example, as a new customer at Betway Casino you can receive up to £1,000 in bonus cash. As long as you can meet the wagering requirements for this offer, the free credits can be used to win real money.
In the context of mitigating variance, consider the following scenario:
• You play the Jurassic Park slot game for an hour and lose £35.
• You notice the promo page has a 25 per cent reload bonus.
• You take the offer, deposit £100 and receive £25 in bonus credits.
• You use your extra credits to win £25.
• You place enough bets to meet the playthrough and only lose £10.
• At this point, you’ll have unlocked your £25 bonus and your £25 bonus win,
• In total, this means you’ll have added £40 to your balance (50 – 10) for a total gain of £5.
Things may not always work out like this, but the potential is there. If you can learn to use bonuses in a productive way, rather than wasting them, you can offset the variance.
Variance will always swing both ways. Sometimes the results will go in your favour, sometimes they won’t.
As a player, you should concentrate on making the best move in a given scenario. However, for the times you make the right move and bad luck strikes, all isn’t lost.
Bankroll management and bonuses are safety nets. By adding these to your arsenal, you’ll not only have the opportunity to even out your results but become a better overall casino player.