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Can’t Win For Losing
Part Four

(read part I here, or part II here ,or part III here)

Okay, here’s another bumper-snicker that I saw the other day.


That got me to thinking about what will happen to him when he dies.  Let’s peer into the future and take a look. 

Osama bin Laden has a heart attack and dies. He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.  "I don't know what to do here," the devil says.  "You're on my list, but I have no room for you.  You definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got a couple of people here who weren't quite as bad as you.  I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I'll even let YOU decide who leaves."

Osama thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil led him into the first room.  In it was Manuel Noriega and a large pool of water. He kept diving in and surfacing empty-handed, over and over and over. Such was his fate in hell.  "No," bin Laden said, "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and I don't think I could do that all day long."

So the devil led him to the next room.  In it was the Ayatollah Khomeini with a sledgehammer and a huge pile of rocks.  All he did was swing that hammer to break big boulders into small pebbles, time after time after time.   "No, I've got this problem with my shoulder. I'd be in constant agony if I has to break rocks all day," bin Laden commented.

So the devil opened a third door. In it, bin Laden saw Bill Clinton, lying on the floor with his arms staked over his head and his legs staked in a spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was his girl Monica, doing what she does best. Osama bin Laden stared in disbelief and finally said, "Yeah, I can handle this."  The devil smiled and said, "OK, Monica, you're free to go."

What we ASSUME that we already know, sometimes endangers our well-being.  In the casino context, what we assume that we know often endangers our bankroll.  Survival of our playing-stake is the only way we can ever be in a position to turn a profit off of Precision-Shooting or someone else’s lucky rolling.

Most people will tell you that you need a sufficient bankroll to weather losing streaks.  This is correct, but it is only part of the picture.

First, you have to add up all of the bets that you usually have on the table.  Even if they are “hedge bets” that offset some of your other bets at the same time, I want you to add them into the total.  Here’s an example:

Start with $5 on the Pass Line.

You back it up with $10 in 2x Odds.

Then you Place bet $12 each on both the 6 & 8.

After two or three more rolls, you put $5 in the Come box, & back it up with $10 in 2x Odds once it reaches a number.

At this juncture, you have $54 in action.

You also decide to add a $51 No-4 to protect all of that Place and Come action, until the hand is resolved.

Total action so far is $105.

Second, I want you to add in all of the bets that go into one entire SERIES of bets.

Let’s say that you always hedge your come-out line bet with a 3-Way Craps bet for $3.

You take care of “the boys” for $1 each on the Hardways for $4.

When your stomach starts to get queasy because you have so much Place and Come action, you start progressively betting the Big Red or Hopping-7’s for an average of perhaps $18 per hand.

All told, this player will usually have about $130 in action on most hands.  That’s a lot of cake to have in play, don’t you agree?

I’ll tell you this.  If the guy that bets that way has a $500 buy-in, then he’s generally going to be a loser almost ALL of the time.  Why, because he will almost NEVER be in the game long enough to get anything going.  Even if he is disciplined, and always walks away from the tables if he loses three major hands; he is almost always going to be playing from behind.  It’s a hole that is too big to forever be digging himself out of.  The average amount of money that he has in play is too high of a percentage of the buy-in.  It will also consistently keep the average player in a negative-winning mood.  That is, he will have difficulty making the right moves and bets when the good-roll does eventually come along. 

If your bankroll is short, then you either make moves that are TOO risky in relation to the remaining size of your stake; or you are too apprehensive to “bet it up” when the right time and opportunity comes along.  Either way, it usually spells disaster.

Was it Dante’s Inferno that had a sign on the gates of hell?  It said, “Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here.”  Without a realistic Loss Limit, you can pretty much abandon all hopes of ever consistently succeeding at this game.  The slot machines are over there, sir.  Or as Clarke Griswold’s dealer would say, “How about you give me half of your bankroll, we go out back, I’ll kick you in the nuts, and we’ll call it even.”

So let’s get back to basics.

Your session bankroll should be AT LEAST ten-times the TOTAL of your bets per “complete” hand.  If you are making bets before the Come-Out roll, more bets once the Point has been established, and even more bets after another series of events within that same hand, then I want you to add them all together.  That will give you the total amount of money that you have in play during one hand.  It is that figure that I want you to multiply by ten.  If that sum is more than your usual buy-in amount; then there is a very good chance that you are over-betting your bankroll. 

Oh, you don’t have to change the way that you play just because the Mad Professor suggested it.  But if you are tired of losing, and you are tired of losing too much; then consider these suggestions. 

Join me for Part Five, which is begins the "D'ya Wanna Win or D'ya Wanna Gamble?" series  where we continue our trek on the way to casino profit.  I’ll show you how to maximize whatever bankroll you have to work with.  Until then…

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

The Mad Professor

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