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When To Walk Away


Dear Professor,

In one of your articles, I read that you recommend buying in for ten times the normal set-up for each bet. Wouldn't you walk away from the table, long before losing the total buy-in?

Hi Lori, great question,

Several factors influence how long I will play, as well as, when I decide to color up and end my game.

 The limited buy-in means that I am emotionally prepared to use all of that bankroll (Ten set-ups to see ten shooters) as an investment in the game. Strategically, the ten-times buy-in prepares the player with an investment large enough to sustain the ebb and flow of wins and losses. If I end up in a choppy game but perceive a sense of promise within the energy of the game, I will stay the course. If, on the hand, I get the sense that I have invested in a dog fight, I will choose to cut my losses and color-up.

 This buy-in provides a fair shot of catching the dice out of probability. In other words, I am dedicating my bankroll for one session to find a shooter. Think of it as the cost of admission. This fixed amount is pivotal to understanding money management and how it applies to all betting situations when Playing 4 Keeps®.

 Each bet you make must have its own bankroll supporting the action with an amount that is ten times the minimum bet. It is a function for all my Playing 4 Keeps® betting strategies. Ten set-ups are the absolute stop loss which limits your financial exposure. Be emotionally prepared to risk and lose this amount. However, if you are not comfortable with the amount, pick a lesser unit to bet. Go with the table minimum allowing you to buy-in for less. Of course, table limits are set by the casino, and you may have a minimum bet which is still out of your comfort zone.

 The ten unit buy-in is reasonable and provides enough capital to have at least ten opportunities to experience a winner. If I do not experience a profitable hand out of ten attempts, then I stop playing. There is a positive take away; I confirm that I picked a cold game. Locking in the experience, the feeling of a losing game, helps build a collection of feelings, based in perception, sensing differences between winning and losing energy. I never invest the time and money, before touching into the etheric energy of a game, and sensing the potential for a game. I explain this process in my playbooks.

 Understand, ten bets are a conservative buy-in, albeit quite adequate. Accept and become comfortable with this amount, properly bankrolled with ten set-ups. With ten set-ups, as your buy-in, you have enough cheques in front of you for a fair chance in the game. You avoid the pressure of being under financed. Here are some more thoughts to consider regarding your question about bankroll and when to walk away.


  • The first one has to do with a player’s comfort level to risk. You should not risk more money than you are willing to lose. This also means playing a unit rate that fits the ten times one bet rule. I remember the first time I played at a quarter table at the Mirage. I was nervous. I did not play long as the pressure was getting to me. I did not feel the game was going my way and I colored-up. To my surprise I was up seven units, for $175. My average win at a $5 table was between 20 and 24 units.


  • Second, a proper bankroll is necessary to survive the challenges of the house edge. Being under bankrolled can conflict the player emotionally, struggling with their comfort level and risk factor, especially in and choppy game.

  • Third, this has to do with positioning yourself in a winning game. A neat trick if consistently applied by magically playing only those games that you can win. Kidding aside, it is doable, and it is a huge advantage as you learn to recognize the “winning energy.” Practice and master the skill, as you hone your ability to recognize winning and losing energy using your perception.

  • Fourth, perception has its most vital role when informing you, ahead of time, that the game is about to break down. Accepting this advanced warning and coloring-up is a huge advantage play for the savvy player.

  • Also, keep in mind, your thoughts and beliefs, feelings of abundance conflicting with fear and lack. This conflict of duality is usually an unnoticed reason for inconsistent profitable sessions, being honesty with yourself when playing scared, fearing the loss.

 When playing any casino game, a player must feel comfortable with an appropriate bankroll. Make no mistake, never think the intention is to risk and lose all the money. Simply betting on a frail hope of correctly guessing the game’s outcome resembles the typical loser’s approach. A player’s focus needs to connect to their intention to win. If the player’s focus is not aligned with their intention, there is a problem. For example, is the player’s focus influenced by negative emotion, subliminally influenced by the fear of losing?

 When fear of losing takes place, a loss is more likely to occur. Metaphysically, the negative emotion attracts the loss. Be careful what you wish for comes to mind. Whatever you focus on tends to manifest. The difference between an intention aligned with abundance, and a frail hope, based in lack, is usually the difference between a winner and a loser. Play with the convictions of your belief and your skill to win.

 Your strong intention to win plays a significant role for succeeding in the game. A positive affirmation, however, is not enough. You need several interventions helping you to overcome the house edge. A proper bankroll is one of the necessary interventions. Thirty units is the recommended buy-in for each bet made for a pass line player with double odds. (One unit bet on the pass line, and two units bet in odds. It takes three units for a pass line “setup”, ten times three is thirty units.) Emotionally, you must be prepared to play it all. This involves emotional detachment from the loss. Your buy-in is your commitment to your investment. If you are not committed, prepared to send all your troops, if needed, into battle, you are playing scared.

 I have heard players say, “I buy-in for $500. Once I have lost $250, I move on to another table.” Well, I hear fear, not strength in the statement. If the player is only prepared to lose $250, then why buy-in for $500? If the other $250 will never see action, what is the point? Is the first $250 the stop loss or is it fear of losing $250. I may seem ridiculous here, but it is a thought form, subliminally expressing doubt to succeed. It is not a strong intention for winning. Listen to it again; if I lose $250, I quit playing the game.” The affirmation is anticipating the loss and stating a planned action. Thus, $250 is the player’s stop loss, and they premeditate the exit in their defeat. What is the point of buying-in for an additional $250? Is it ego showing off, or just a lie covering fear? Be confident, not scared.

 Very few profitable sessions ever result by winning the first bet and never looking back. Even at our best, finding the perfect winning game is a rarity. Usually there is an ebb and flow with wins and losses. A player will typically suffer a setback in any game before hitting it right and finishing with a profitable session.

 I use $150 as an example buy-in for a five-dollar player. Theoretically, a player could make a $5 line bet with $10 odds and see ten shooters before going broke. This would be about one trip around the table giving the buy-in bankroll a fair chance of running into a profitable hand or two.  

Study this example. Say a player buys-in for $150, ten times one set up and plays the same $5 line bet with $10 odds. Now, let us say the player experience three losses in a row and decides to stop playing. The player moves on to a new table and buys-in for another $150 and again has three losses in a row and stops playing. Eighteen units down and the player moves on to yet another game and buys-in for another $150. Again, the same thing happens, losing three times in a row and the player aborts the game. After three short losing sessions the player is down twenty-seven units, out of thirty units. 

The difference between this type of play and allowing the thirty-unit investment a chance to “work” has to do with more time invested in the game. More time at the table allows a player to utilize knowledge gained and to make intelligent adjustments to their betting structure. Game knowledge is essential for successful play. Time invested provides you with the knowledge, supporting your intention to win. If the game is running cold, you should not be playing in the first place.

 In the beginning, because you are new to my philosophy of applied metaphysical energy, you may not recognize the energy aspect. You still have your gut feelings. When you do not feel it, watch the game for free and learn. By watching, you will not win, but you certainly cannot lose. Watch and learn! You can stop playing and watch during the game, until you figure it out. You do not have to risk your money. If you cannot figure it out, do not play and leave the game. There is always another game.

 Lori, you are correct with your thinking that you do not have to play away all thirty-units. I am not saying that you do. There is always a point for cutting losses and walking away. This is something you must learn and recognize from your feelings, applied metaphysics. Perception of the energy lets you know what to do. Contrast this with intellect, thinking what to do. When the energy changes, the savvy player notices the shift, colors-up, and walks away ahead of disaster.

 Not every craps game is a winner since the dice tend to maintain probability. Nonetheless, there comes a time of opportunity to win money when the dice do roll out of probability. However, if a player is not properly bankrolled, they usually will not have enough funds in the rail to sustain their play. With sustained play, you can be present for the hot hand. However, to be there, you must be prepared financially and emotionally, to get the most bangs for your buck. Add the disciplines of money management with bankroll protection and you will still be standing at the table when the opportunity comes knocking. 

Copyright © 2010 Michael Vernon


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