One of the questions I often receive is:

How much money do I need to play blackjack at $25 per hand?

In an earlier post on blackjack risk of ruin I calculated that you need to have a bankroll size of $5,000 to have a 15.9% risk of ruin. This was an example calculation for risk of ruin when including blackjack comps as part of your winnings. For this post I am going to assume that you are playing a blackjack game for 4 hours per day, playing 70 hands per hour, with a house advantage of 0.50%. You also are playing blackjack basic strategy. In this scenario you will lose on average $35 per day (or 1.4 units). To offset this expect loss, you will need to receive some casino comps. Depending on where you play, you can expect to receive the following for your $25 a hand blackjack play:

- Free Drinks valued at $10
- Free Food valued at $15
- A Free Room valued at $60

These comps worth $85 per day, more than offset your $35 expected loss from blackjack play. In this scenario your net win is 2.0 units ( ( $85 comps - $35 loss ) / $25 unit size ). Net win in units per hand is about 0.007 (2.0 net win / ( 70 hands * 4 hours ) ). Net win in units per hand is needed when looking at my risk of ruin chart. If you are comfortable with a 10% risk of ruin, the needed blackjack bankroll is $5,250 for the scenario above. What if you don’t have $5,250 to invest in your blackjack bankroll. The good news is that the value you place on a free room is up to you.

- If you value a free room at $100 per night, then a bankroll size of $2,920 will result in a 10% risk of ruin.
- If you value a free room at $140 per night, then a bankroll size of $2,020 will result in a 10% risk of ruin.

The amount you value a free room is up to you. However, you need to make sure that you deposit the comp value for comps you receive back into your blackjack bankroll. Obviously you should only play blackjack with money you can afford to lose. This post was filled with lots of math. Don’t let the math scare you. If you take the time, you can learn the calculations and find the bankroll size that you need. Any questions, please leave a comment below.