Craps Money Management

“Bet with your head, not over it.” Those words should be the mantra of every Craps player. In the heat of the game, it is far too easy to lose sight of objectives and commitments. Unless money management is uppermost in the mind of the player, emotions can easily assert power over any strategy. Here are some ways to ensure that the opportunity to win big and have fun doing it does not turn into a steep slide into losses and disappointment.

Set Some Limits. No players should never ever wager more than he/she can afford to lose. Before ever stepping up to the Craps table, create a “bankroll”—a fixed amount of money to wager with. If it is all lost, stop playing. Never run off to the ATM for more funds. Also set a fixed deadline for ending play. Be prepared to quit, win or lose, ahead or behind. Adhering to these limits could ultimately be the secret to success. Don’t be tempted to exceed them.

Set Specific Goals – Having a target for winning, such as “$400” or “double the initial stake,” allows a player to gauge progress. It also provides a measure of when success has been achieved. Players without goals often over-bet or over-play. They never know how close they are to winning or when to stop.

Divide and Conquer – Instead of planning to stand at the Craps table for one long session, divide the play into two parts, each one financed with half of the bankroll. Take a long break for dinner or some entertainment in between. This approach helps a player be more relaxed and avoid getting too wrapped up in the action.

Play at a Pace – Craps, more than any other casino table game, can quickly suck a wallet dry. There is no need to win or lose everything on the first few rolls. A good rule of thumb is to wager no more than 1%~2% of the bankroll on any single bet. A $5 Pass Line bet should be backed by a bankroll of $500. As winnings gradually build, the size of the wagers can be increased in proportion to the total amount of funds held.

Expect Streaks – Every roll of the dice is an independent event, and the bones have no idea they just came up craps the last five throws in a row. Streaks are quite common, both good and bad. When a losing streak occurs, as they frequently do, take a break and start again later. And when the table gets hot, a common occurrence, be prepared to wager accordingly.

Play the Odds. The numbers do not lie. The House edge is lower on even-money bets, such as the Pass Line and the Come, and on the Field and Place Bets than it is on the proposition bets—Any Craps, Any Seven, Hardways, C&E, Hop Bets, and the Horn. Don’t be too tempted by long odds.

Have a Plan – Whatever strategy or system is used, it pays to learn it well and apply it consistently. This is true not only of betting progressions, such as Martingale or Labouchere, but also Taking Odds, Place Bets, and Come Bets made in conjunction with Pass Line and Don’t Pass wagers. Inconsistency threatens even the best system.

Stay Flexible – Don’t confuse stubbornness with tenacity. When an approach isn’t working, change it up. Try another method of play. And if that fails, move to another table. A player who recognizes when he/she is stuck and adjusts to the conditions of play is likely to win again and again.

Follow the Money – There will always be someone at the table who knows the game better, has played it more often, or who is winning more consistently than everyone else. Once this person has been identified, follow his/her betting patterns. Back their bets with similar wagers. Why not ride a good player’s coattails to huge wins?

Be Disciplined – All of the above advice is worth nothing if it isn’t followed. Commit to walking the talk. It is okay to play an occasional hunch or take a big risk now and then, as long as it is also okay to leave the table after a few quick wins or with some money left in a wallet that would soon be empty if a few more wagers were made.