Planning for the Big Win
By Mike in Hawaii
I was recently told a true story. A
friend had returned from a trip to the Ninth Island as we call Vegas
here in Hawaii. A friend who was with them hit it really big on the
craps table soon after they arrived, several thousand dollars ahead.
Unfortunately the story did not end there. He could not wait to get back
to the tables and toss around some purples, $500 chips. You can imagine
This is what I call “Outside the Rail”
stuff. The game of craps is not a single, simple game. For one thing it
is played in two phases, the come out roll phase and the chasing points
phase. It is also played in two places, inside the rail and outside the
rail. The rail being that nice chip tray that surrounds the sunken
playing area sometimes called the tub where the felt is located.
Inside the rail is
the domain of the casino. They make all the rules, conduct the game and
control how everything is done. However, the game does not stop there.
The players stand outside the rail. Outside the rail they have a chance
to make up their own rules and control their own behavior. What you do
outside the rail is of tremendous importance in determining if you win
or lose at craps.
There is only one
known, short term, guaranteed winning, 100% sure fire, money making
craps system. Just one!
First you have to be
lucky enough to get ahead. Then you have to have the discipline and the
prior planning to quit while you are still ahead!
The first part is
not really that hard. It is estimated that 70% of everyone who walks
into a casino is ahead at some point in their gaming on a given day.
The second part of
the guaranteed winning system above is virtually impossible to
implement. Every day that 70% who get ahead prove it when they walk out
Everything about how
a casino works, the free drinks, the excitement (especially at a hot
craps table), the floor plan, the Feng Shui (yes they do hire
experts in Feng Shui); everything is designed to keep you playing until
your pockets are empty.
In real estate they
say the three most important factors are location, location, location.
Well in craps the three most important factors are discipline,
I assume you all
want to win, intend to win, and enter the casino with a positive
powerful mindset focused on winning. But how many of you have made a
detailed plan for what you are going to do when you start winning?
Especially winning big?
If you don’t have a
detailed plan on how to hold onto that money, you will give it all back.
If you have not worked it out in advance, ground it into yourself,
conditioned yourself and gotten your mind right before hand, you will
never be able to leave that table with all those new chips.
Here are some
First, never think in terms of “Playing
with the Casino’s Money”. Too many people think, “Oh Boy! I am ahead,
now I am gambling with the Casino’s money, I can go wild!”
NO! Bad Gambler!
It is your
money. You have won it. That is the entire idea. Think of all the times
that you have lost money. Did the casino consider that to be “your
money?” Of course not! They immediately considered it to be their money.
Outside the rail you have to implement the same rule. You win it. It is
now your money. Handle it with the respect all your other money
Second, do not
forget who and what you are. If you are a nickel gambler, do not start
throwing around greens just because you lucked out and got way ahead.
Big wins are few and far between. They need to pay off lots of small
loses (we assume you are using methods of controlling your downside as
well, but that is a different topic).
It is like the small
businessman. He cannot simply open his cash register and pocket a couple
of hundred dollars. That is called “till tapping” and is the fast track
to ruin for a small business owner. Much of the money in that cash
register belongs to all his suppliers who have delivered goods to him
for which he has not yet paid.
You need to hang
onto your new money to pay off previous losing sessions and keep your
gambling money bankroll healthy.
If you get really
lucky and win like crazy, you can find a lot more money in your rail
than you are used to seeing. That does NOT make you a high
I once got very
lucky and rapidly ended up with a nice long stack of greens in my rail.
Way above my usual buy in. The temptation to start betting with the
greens instead of the reds was very strong. But that is not what I had
allotted for that trip. I had allotted several well-funded sessions
betting an average of $15 to $20 using reds. A nice stack of greens
could not be allowed to change that.
Third, one word,
Or, Stash, Rat Hole,
Reserve, Set Aside, Squirrel Away, whatever you want to call it. If you
get significantly ahead, divide your chips up. Convert them to two
different kinds. Those you are still playing with and those you will not
touch again until you turn them into color and take them to a cashier.
You can use two
sections of rail; one for chips still in play and one for your hoarded
chips. Another good method is to hoard chips in the rail and hold in
your hand the chips you are still playing with. Whenever your hand gets
a bit full, check to see if a few chips need to permanently leave your
playing group and move into the hoarded group.
Of course one NEVER
moves chips from the hoarded group into the playing group. If the
playing group drops to zero, you quit. If your hand becomes empty, you
As one example, you
buy in with $100 and get very lucky on a wonderful streak. You now have
$270 in chips. What did you start to play with? $100. So you definitely
would put $170 into the hoarded amount where it will stay until it is
colored up and cashed in. It is no longer in play for this session.
Suppose you have a
rule that you will never lose more than half your buy in before you give
up on a session and quit. In that case you would leave just $50 in your
hand (half your $100 buy in) and put $220 into the hoarded stack in the
Now you have a plan.
When lady luck yanks the rug out from under you, you have a limited
distance to fall. Just what is in your hand. When she turns trickster
and makes a play for your winnings, she finds them no longer in play!
Your personal outside the rail rules have protected them.
You can safely
continue playing as long as you continue winning. If your hand keeps
filling up, you keep moving a few more chips from your playing hand to
the safety of your hoarded chip stack and it grows and grows. You keep
the amount in your hand equal to your allotted loss limit, in this case
$50. The inevitable reversal of fortune will not be able to clean your
In the example
above, when you quit, you will still have lost the $50 you allotted as
your loss limit for that session, but you can now use your empty hands
to pick up the $220 plus that is still hoarded in the rail and happily
head for the cashier.
Remember, you win
it, it’s yours! If you think in terms of “Playing with the Casino’s
Money” when you get nicely ahead, it will soon be back home with the
boxman. Make a solid plan for how you are going to leave with your
winnings when you do get lucky.
The ultimate secret
to winning at Craps is not the part where you get ahead. It is the
discipline and planning needed to quit gambling while you are still
Mike in Hawaii