There are four aspects of money management which are crucial to the winning Crapshooter. They are buy-in, win/loss limits, comps and record keeping. Without a good system of money management, the casual player is more in the business of contributing to his or her favorite casino than having fun or making money.
Many experts have suggested that you buy in for 100 times your average bet, but they are confusing buy-in with gambling capital. If you are a $5 bettor and plan to spend $500 (your gambling capital) you should still buy in for $1000 if you play for comps. When you are a rated player, the pit boss records your buy-in, your first bet and, when he gets around to it, your average bet. If you are a serious player, your gambling capital should be 100 times your average bet, but try to buy in for a larger amount to get a better comp rating.
If your gambling stake is $500 and your buy-in is $1000, you can get the other $500 from the casino by applying for a line of credit. This way you’ll get increased comps by playing with the casino’s money.
Your win/loss limits should both be 20% of your gambling capital. If your buy-in is $1000 but your actual stake is $500 – NEVER bet the other $500 – then you should quit if you win or lose $100 (20% of $500, not $1000). It might be difficult to stop after winning (or losing) just $100 but you need to treat your playing like a business, not like a fun game in which you just play until you lose all of your money. I have also found that by tipping the dealers (betting one unit on the line for them) they will tend to give you a higher comp rating. When dealers see you tipping they want you back and will treat you better, and give you more comps.
Comps are extremely important. By playing four hours a day you can receive free room, food and beverage (RFB) if you gamble a minimum of just $20. Try to play at a casino that gives you comp credit for spread, not individual bets. For example if you bet $10 pass, and $12 six and eight, you are a $10 player at individual bet casinos (like Mirage Bellagio, and Treasure Island). On the other hand, at “spread” casinos (like the Stardust, Caesars, and Flamingo Hilton) you are a $35 player! This makes quite a difference when your comps are determined! If you play four hours a day (two 2 hour sessions each day) for three days you can receive in comps two nights lodging (value about $300), six meals (value about $100) and two shows (value about $50). This means you’ll have $450 you didn’t have before! You need to ask the pit boss for the meals or shows after each session, though. They don’t come automatically.
Finally, you need to keep records of your wins and losses. Carry a small pad and pen and make your entries when you are finished with each session.
Later you can add your trip expenses, such as transportation and incidentals. Then you can add the value of the comps you received – in many cases the comps will be more than your winnings. And in most cases your comps will be more than any money you have lost. If you report your winnings as taxable income, your losses can be deducted, but your comps are an extra free bonus! Playing craps is fun, but you really need to treat it like a small business. Maximize your comps, have a set win/loss limit, start with a high buy-in, and keep accurate records. Soon your small business will turn a tidy profit!
And, as always, good luck at the tables!