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Money Management Techniques for Craps Players
Managing your money in Craps is extremely important, as the money in play can quickly escalate with many craps strategies. It is also crucial to getting satisfaction/enjoyment from the game, avoiding tilt, and maximising your chances of staying in action in the longer term.
If you stick a couple of hundred dollars onto an online site and end up betting it all in a couple of hands, and losing, you are going to feel very unsatisfied and want to play/deposit more. Whereas if that bankroll has lasted multiple sessions over several weeks then, even if you have ran badly and not made a profit, at least you can say you have had a good amount of entertainment for the money.
As a good starting point we want to think about how much weíd be prepared to lose in a single session ie worse case scenario. By way of an example lets say $100 maximum. Now some of the best bets in craps involve taking the maximum odds so first we should check these. Lets say they are a standard 3x-4x-5x. Now we donít really want to bet more than a tenth of our money on one hand (ie $10), and with the presence of the odds, and say 1 number via the Come, we can easily be betting 12 units plus on one hand. So we should really be playing down at the 50c or $1 level on the initial bets. If you need to tighten it up further then stick to just pass line bets with max odds, rather than reducing down the odds on both the Pass bet and the Come bet.
The reason itís important to allow yourself at least 10 hands of play is to allow you to compartmentalise a loss to a single hand where it canít have a huge bearing on your overall session. Lets take a realistic example of Points getting established and you keep on betting the Come and say some hardway bets. Maybe you see all this money of yours out on the layout and think youíre in a great position for a fruitful win on the hand, and then boom the 7 comes and the whole hand is wiped out. Before you can even catch your breath you realise all those continuous Come bets and Odds etc have obliterated a third of you allowance in 1 hand. Youíre already tilting and youíve only played one hand. Whereas if we have that strict limit per hand we are never that affected by a seven out (playing the Right side obv). You should be constantly checking your chips on your rail (in your balance) and also on the layout. Be fully aware of how much exactly you have in play at all times.
Discipline is an important factor. Set yourself a limit of when to stop playing when you are losing and when to stop playing when you are winning. If we take an online balance of $250. Set a plan beforehand of say quitting when down to $150 or when up to $400. The easiest of these to quit on is the win limit, because weíre feeling good and itís never a bad feeling to quit after making a profit. The hardest by far is quitting after losing when you still have money left. You feel the table owes you something and your luck will turn. This is where you will have to learn most of your discipline. The easiest way to do this is to build it up gradually. Start by quitting after any loss. Take a break, wait at least half an hour, and then try again. Gradually build that up with a bigger stop loss figure, and a bigger waiting period. If you can get disciplined enough to always stick to your pre-set rules at these lower losses, youíll be ready to start playing a bit bigger and harder. At all times never bet what your canít afford to lose (or even close to it), as this will assist greatly in keeping your emotions in check, and keep you making good/rational bets.
Similar to setting win/loss limits is to set time limits. This is another way to help cut losses short, or to ensure session profits stay as profits. It is probably harder to do than the fixing money targets, as sometimes you just donít want to walk away if you are say breaking even. The best way is to coincide sessions with needing to be somewhere or do something. eg you need to leave the house in exactly 1 hour, and have some free time, so you play a session knowing you have that strict time limit.
Locking up your session profits (almost literally) is always a good approach. If you are playing live simply put these chips into your pocket or convert them back to cash and leave some chips on the rail to play with. If you have your start amount plus at least 20% in your pocket then you will almost always feel it was a worthwhile trip. The remaining chips now can be great fun. The pressure is off, and you know you have a shot at trying to hit some big profits. If you continue to run good, occasionally take off some more chips into your ďlocked upĒ profits. When your chip rail eventually empties it becomes very easy to walk away, and to do so satisfied. A final point in this area is to never end on a huge bet with loads on the layout. This is the sort of scenario that, after losing the bet, might tempt you to delve into your locked up money. Always leave yourself a nice descending decline to wrap up on. eg 10 unit plays, 8 unit plays, 6 unit plays, and ending on a couple of units on the passline, or a single shot at a hardway or 2 or 12. Expecting to lose on these last few units rather than expecting to win. For example if you have $100 on the layout with most numbers covered, you are expecting to win and will be pissed off if you lose, whilst if you end on a couple of single bets on say the number 2 you are very much expecting to lose and have a nice tail out to your session.
Make bets with good odds. At risk of stating the obvious your money is going to last longer on average by making low house edge bets, than it will with high house edge bets. So decide on some base strategy/strategies that involve a low house edge, that you would like to play. And then stick to it. You can add in some good-odds variations as you become more comfortable.