All casino gamblers dream of hitting a big score, whether it is a huge slot win, a long winning streak and blackjack, hitting several numbers on a roulette wheel, or an epic run of luck at a craps table. 

Losing streaks, as well as other facts of casino play can cause a lot of stress for players. Stress can cause people to act strangely, wildly, and erratically. Any of these behaviors affect a player's control and once a player loses control, good things do generally not follow.

How can a player stay in control? How can they be unaffected or at least minimally affected by the normal human reactions to the stress of casino gaming? Read on to find out.


  1. Key one: Maintain your normal schedule
  2. Key two: Have a specific gambling bankroll
  3. Key three: Make bets relative to your bankroll
  4. Key four: Manage you bankroll
  5. Key five: Deal with frustrations
  6. Key six: Deal with distractions
  7. Key seven: Avoid alcohol
  8. Summary

1 – Key one: Maintain your normal schedule

If you are like most casino gamblers, you rush from the airport or from your car directly to the casino floor. You immediately begin playing your favorite game and play well into the night – or morning. After a few hours of fitful sleep, you are hard at it again.

It is understandable. People go to a casino to have fun – fun being described as gambling for a shot at a big win. It is a time to abandon all the shackles of everyday life – to live a little.

Messing with the normal routine has its costs, however. To help reduce stress in the casino, consider trying to keep a schedule as close to everyday life as possible, including:

  • Go to bed and get up at roughly the same times.
  • Brush your teeth, shave and shower the same times as at home.
  • Have meals on the same schedule as when at home.

By doing this you will:

  • Get ample sleep.
  • Keep your body rhythm normal.
  • Keep blood sugar levels normal.

These will all help maintain control by making as much as possible seem normal. There will be no sleep or food deprivation which can lead to an altered emotional state. Keeping your normal daily pattern makes things seem normal. This will help keep you on an even keel – less likely to lose control.

2 – Key two: Have a specific gambling bankroll

Keeping the same schedule can help keep things feeling normal, but the activities in the casino are anything but normal. You are gambling. You are constantly putting your hard-earned money at risk. A necessary part of gambling is losing streaks. Losing streaks are a major cause of stress in the casino.

To keep your stress level at minimum, make sure you have dedicated bankroll. This bankroll must be specifically designated as a gambling bankroll. It must consist of funds that are entirely available to gambling. They cannot be needed for anything else.

If your bankroll is truly jus for gambling, it is much less stressful when you have losing streaks – and you will have losing streaks.  Losing your next car or house payment will definitely cause stress levels to soar.

3 – Key three: Make bets relative to your bankroll

Simply having a dedicated gambling bankroll is not enough to keep stress levels down. You must have a bankroll that is sized properly for your planned casino play. Plan your play.

  • Which games
  • Bet size
  • Sessions per day
  • Total number of sessions
  • Length of each session

By looking at these criteria it is possible to determine the total bankroll required. Try to estimate the number of bets per hour as well as the bet size to determine the total amount that will be bet.

Bring at least 35-50 percent of the estimated total betting amount, if possible.

Manage your casino bankroll

4 – Key four: Manage your bankroll

Having a bankroll – even what is considered an adequate bankroll – is not enough to keep stress levels down. You must also manage that bankroll while at the casino. That way, those nasty losing streaks will not stress you out. Manage your bankroll by:

  • Divide the total bankroll into several session bankrolls – one session bankroll for each session of planned play.
  • Keep each session bankroll separate.
  • Bring only one session bankroll to each session. 
  • Should you lose the entire session bankroll, that session is done. Leave the casino and do something else until your next session.
  • It is also a good idea to keep the bet size the same throughout the session – unless you have at least doubled your session bankroll. 

5 – Key five: Deal with frustrations

It seems that frustrations are an integral part of gambling. Frustrations include:

  • If playing video poker or blackjack, there are periods where every decision you make seem to be the wrong one – even though you know you made the right play.
  • The slot or video poker machine buttons stick or malfunction.

If the frustration of proper decisions not working is getting to you, your can switch to another machine or table. A better decision might be to take a break.

If there are mechanical problems with a machine, either switch machines, try to get the problem fixed by maintenance, or take a break.

Casino distractions

6 – Key six: Deal with distractions

The casino can be a very busy place. There are lots of people, lots of noise, and lots of alcohol. With these things come distractions like:

  • Other players giving you unwanted advice
  • Other players asking for your advice
  • Constant interruptions with questions or small talk.
  • Other players blowing smoke toward you
  • Thinking about problems at home or work

Any of these can, and most often do cause stress. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to avoid these distractions. If caused by other people, all you can do is politely let the offending player know that you would appreciate it if they would not continue distracting you and hope for the best. If it continues and is about to cause loss of control, leave. Move elsewhere or take a break.

If you are thinking about other problems rather than the game, it is time for you to take a break.

7 – Key seven: Avoid alcohol

Gambling is supposed to be fun. Having a beverage or two can help lighten the mood. Having a few too many can cause some people to completely lose control. 

The best way to avoid problems is to simply not drink too much. For many, however, this is much easier said than done. If you are prone to drinking a bit too much, maybe a friend can help keep you under control – or help you out of the casino if it is already too late.

8 – Summary 

  • There are many causes of stress in a casino but many of these can be minimized.
  • Keeping the same (or similar) schedule as at home will help reduce stress.
  • Having a dedicated, adequate bankroll will reduce the stress of losing streaks
  • Manage that bankroll by splitting it into session bankrolls and stopping any sessions where the session bankroll is depleted.
  • If distracted or frustrated to the point that it is affecting play, take a break.
  • Keep the drinking of alcohol under control.

Following these seven keys will greatly reduce stress levels – and therefore minimize losing control – when gambling in a casino. Give them a try. They work.

Jerry “Stickman” has been involved in casino gambling for nearly 30 years. He is an expert in blackjack, craps, video poker and advantage slot machine play. He started playing blackjack in the late ‘80s, learned several card counting systems and used these skills to become an advantage blackjack player and overall winner of this game. He also acquired the skills necessary to become an overall winner in the game of craps, accomplishing this by a combination of throwing skill and proper betting techniques. Stich is also an overall winner playing video poker.