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If Craps is Your Business, Don’t Under-Fund It

Most businesses fail because they are under-funded.  Whether they be new entrepreneurial adventures, or “old economy” war-horses, lack of capital usually means doom and extinction if there’s not enough cash-flow to fuel growth or fund improvements and upgrades. 

A little while ago we talked about how many bets you can expect out of your bankroll in an article called Don't Cut Off Your Bankroll's Blood-Flow . If you haven’t read it yet, or need a refresher, I would kindly urge you to do so.

You’ve heard the old saying that goes, “don’t show up to a gun fight armed with only a knife”.  Well, one of the worst moves that you can make is playing with too little money, or wagering too high for your bankroll.   If you are not armed with a big enough “war chest”, you won’t have the where-with-all to deal with the inevitable unforeseen circumstances that crop up during casino battles.

My “home” casino has notoriously high table minimums, and that partially explains why I like the much lower Vegas, Reno and Mississippi limits.  On the other hand, I know that if I do play on a $15, $25 or $100 minimum table, my session bankroll has to reflect the reality of the moment.  If it doesn’t, I have no business being in the casino because an under-funded bankroll means an overwhelming chance of failure.   And nothing spoils your day quite like losing your bankroll simply because you were under-gunned during the “rumble in the green-felt jungle”.

The chance of winning does not depend on how much money you have, but rather, the amount of your bankroll compared to the size of your bets.  That is what affects the odds of having a profitable session.

Here's an example:

Say that Mick, Rick and Dick play craps.

Each guy only makes $5 Pass Line bets with no odds.

Each one is hoping for a $50 profit, however their individual bankrolls differ:

         Mick has $25, and a 29% chance to hit the mark.

         Rick has $50, and a 43% chance to succeed

         Dick has $100, and a 57% chance to score

The likelihood of success improves as the size of the bankroll increases.

A low bankroll reduces the number of plays before you either reach your win goal, or lose everything.  I want to maximize my opportunities while minimizing the exposure that my money has to endure.

Here’s what happens when these $5 Pass Line bettors want to make either a set-amount of $50 in profit, or lose it all in trying:

         With a $25 stake Mick can expect 49 decisions, boom or bust.

         Rick’s $50 stake anticipates 99 rounds, good or bad.

         Dick should go 207 hands on his $100, win or lose.


What happens when they try to double their starting stake?

         Mick has a 46 percent chance to earn $25 on his $25 stake.

         Rick has a 43 percent shot at doubling $50.

         Dick has a 36 percent probability of netting $100 on his $100 buy-in.

( * For a more extensive table of this data, check out the Alan Krigman article How Bankroll Size Affects Your Chances )

The relationships between bankroll, bet size, and the odds of having a successful session is complex.   But one thing remains crystal clear:

A limited bankroll increases your vulnerability.   If craps is your business, don’t under-fund it!

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

By: The Mad Professor

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