Lesson Nine
How Much Does it Cost to Play?

If you are going to play craps, you’ll have to invest in the game. So, how much does a craps player need to be properly bankrolled in a craps game? This is a very important question that needs an answer for your success.

Emotional Bank Roll

IMG_5918Each individual must consider a few things besides the money involved, when it comes to financing their craps game. First, examine your emotional feelings about risking money. Be honest with yourself. Identify how emotions influence your comfort with risking money.  Here are just a few things to consider.

1. A player’s emotional bankroll is the player’s tolerance for risk. What are you comfortable betting? What are you comfortable losing?
2. Do not play with money that you cannot afford to lose or would be uncomfortable risking.
3. Do not play with scared money. Scared money loses. You end up chasing a loss trying to recover and it is fueled by negative emotion.
4. Dice games will have different minimum bet requirements. The player is advised to play a game where the minimum bet fits their bankroll.
5. Gambling money should be kept separate from the rest of your money. You should have a dedicated amount of funds that is just for gambling.
6. When you face the House Odds, you are not expected to win. How comfortable are you with a losing possibility?

The Cash in Your Bankroll
When it comes to how much money is needed for your play, the answer is as varied as the bets themselves. However, it is my recommendation, in order to give yourself and your money a fair shot, buy-in for ten times the amount of each bet you plan to make. Example: Let’s use a $5 Pass Line bettor taking double odds, ($10), and Place Betting the six and eight for $12 each. The bankroll needed would be $390 for one session of play, $150 for the Pass Line with Odds and $240 for the six and eight Place Bets.

Planning a weekend trip playing craps? Using the above example, If you are planning a three day weekend trip, figure a total of five times the session buy-in, 5 x $390. Keep is simple, round up to an even $2,000. With five buy-ins, this amount of bankroll provides a feeling of financial backing. This also provides you with a reasonable gambling stop loss. A session is limited to $400 in the above example. Maximum loss is limited to $2,000.

Understand, this does not mean that you have to play and lose all the money in the bankroll. You can quit playing anytime that you wish. Perhaps you have a cold run and, after three losing sessions, you call it good. You decide to cut your losses and stop playing. Play responsibly always! Play with discipline. Keep you emotions in check.

A mistake many players make is to start off playing under bankrolled. That is to buy in for say $100. (Scared money) When the $100 is lost, the player brings out another hundred. Perhaps the ritual is repeated many times.  Digging in the wallet is digging yourself into a hole.

If you only have $100 to gamble with, fair enough. Accept the fact that you enter a game handicapped, under bankrolled. Making only one bet would be the prudent move. Also, find a low minimum limit table. ($5) Understand that you are not likely to win much but, at the same time, any loss will be limited to $100, so you can’t lose much.

The most important thing is for the player to accept Craps as a game. Play for the enjoyment. It is like any other entertainment requiring a price for admission. One difference, however, if you play the game of Craps correctly, you might get to play for free or even earn a profit. Gambling is adult entertainment. Play in control like an adult. Know your loss limit and have the discipline to stick to it!

Pay Now or Pay Forever
There are additional costs that can occur. Those costs can depend on how much you want to invest in yourself in order to improve and enhance your level of skill. Knowledge is power. The more tools that you acquire in your gaming tool bag, the more of a leg up or an edge you will have to help you win. Overcoming the House Advantage is challenging and that’s what makes the game so exciting. Become an advantage player. Become a savvy player. Become a student of the game.

Think of it this way; either you can be at the mercy of the casino or you can show no mercy as an advantage player. Learn more about becoming an advantage player with the articles published at this web site.

Stayed tuned to P4K and trust me to keep you informed with cutting edge strategies.

You investment in the front end will no doubt save you money, over the many years of playing by trial and error. Shorten the learning curve here. Learn from the voice of experience or chose to pay for your mistakes learning the hard way.

Tipping the Boys
The last thing to mention here, before we close out Lesson Nine, is compensating the dealers. The dealers are working for you. They providing you with a service, similar to personnel in a restaurant. It is appropriate, therefore, for players to be gratuitous. A rule of thumb for an appropriate amount is between ten and fifteen percent. The percentage could be based on your buy-in or on what you win. Again, it’s somewhat like a restaurant experience, you tip according to the service received and the entertainment value received.

Here are some ways to tip the dealers:

  1. Dealer hand-in, simply toss a tip to the dealer and say, “for the boys!”
  2. Tip out the loose chips at the end of your session when coloring up.
  3. Tip by making bets for the “Boys”. This is the preferred method. It buys the crew’s favor. It gets them on your side. It gets the crew interested in the game.
  4.  When betting for the “Boys”, the casino will not enforce minimum bet requirements.  So, $1  could be the minimum bet on a $10 minimum bet table, for example.
  5.  Make a Pass Line bet and announce, “The Boys are on the Line.”
  6. Make a Pass Line bet with odds and say, “The Boys have shoes!”
  7. Control or piggy-back a bet. The Boys’ bet is on top of your bet. This means you control the bet and as the dealers wins, you decide to either reinvest the winnings or hand it all in to the dealers. Examples: To control a Pass Line Bet, put the dealers’ bet on top of your Pass Line Bet and say, “The Boys are on my back!” or “Boys are on the Line, under control.” When the bet wins, you can parlay the dealers’ bet. When the tip bet wins a second time, your one unit bet is now four times larger. Cool! They will like that too. You risk one they get four!
  8. Another way to make a controlled tip bet is with a Hardway bet. You make a bet on a Hardway number for yourself and for the dealers under control. If you include yourself, you would say, “Two way parlay, Hard Six!” You would then toss a two-unit bet to the stickman. All the profit from a win is reinvested on that Hardway number. When it hits the second time, the dealers will love you forever.
  9. There are a number of other ways to make bets for the crew. Because you are usually betting smaller bets, (recommended), the high vig bets are usually a favorite of the Boys. When the bet hits, it hits for more. This being said, making a Pass Line Bet or a Pass Line Bet with Odds, will more likely get the boys the money and that is the goal.
  10. You should consider the money won or lost when making dealer bets when figuring the 10% to 15% gratuity.
  11. Take care of the dealers. They work hard at their job and they really do work for you. It is a stressful job. The dealers have to service many players who do not know or exhibit proper craps table etiquette. Being polite and tipping goes a long way towards having an enjoyable session. Winning or losing!


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Copyright © 2006-2015 Michael Vernon – Playing 4 Keeps®

This concludes my How To Play Craps lessons. I hope that you have learned a lot and that you continue to pursue a winner’s edge. Thank you for visiting Playing 4 Keeps®. Come back often and catch up gaming information published on my blog by category!

See you at the table!
Michael “The Professor” Vernon