Table Stake

Dice are capricious and their favor is fleeting. With the right sequence of dice outcomes, any particular strategy can be made to look either inspired or insane. Eventually the dice will favor your strategy, but they very likely will not do so right away.

Imagine for a moment that you have followed your strategy and that you have exposed as many bets as your strategy allows. You have money all over the layout. Now imagine that every single bet is lost. Your table stake should be large enough to withstand that scenario several times without slowing you down.

If you are serious about Craps then you cannot simply walk up to an appealing table with whatever money you happen to have available. Although you may be lucky from the moment you buy in, you should plan otherwise. You need enough money in your table stake to survive a lengthy losing sequence yet still have enough money to implement your attack. A reasonable plan will anticipate the gradual loss of more than half of your table stake without compromising your ability to fully fund every bet in your strategy.

Your anticipated exposure to instant loss should be thoughtfully managed as well. Even mathematically reasonable strategies can differ widely. Because any intelligent strategy requires bets on multiple simultaneous games, some non-trivial preparatory calculations are necessary. Your calculations must include several factors which are influenced by your strategy.

The most obvious factor is the number of bets that your strategy will expose to instant loss. Strategies requiring fewer simultaneous bets involve smaller financial exposure. If one or two instant losses of your full spread will cripple your table stake then your strategy calls for excessive exposure.

A less obvious factor is the volatility of your bets. Comparing different possible bets, the volatility and risk of overexposure increase as the probability of winning decreases. For example, Odds bets taken on point numbers are more volatile than are initial flat bets on Pass and Come. Strategies that emphasize taking Odds in high multiples will experience enhanced volatility as well as possible overexposure. Significant volatility and possible overexposure also characterize Place bets. Silly bets such as Propositions, Hopping bets, and Fire bets should be eliminated from your strategy because of their extreme volatility as well as their excessive percent disadvantages.

The simplest reasonable strategy includes only flat bets on Don’t Pass. A table stake of only eight bet units would support such a cautious strategy. An expanded strategy which includes Odds laid against Don’t Pass points would require significantly more bet units in a minimum table stake. If Don’t Come is played as well then the minimum table stake must expand yet again. Analogous reasoning applies on the bright side.

My strategy on the bright side requires a minimum of 40 Come bet units for each table stake. Depending upon its components, your own strategy may require table stakes with more or fewer units. I recommend that you give the matter some thought.

Your total bankroll should contain enough table stakes to span your gambling trip. Plan for five to six separate table stakes for a weekend fling. If your trip is permanent then you will need at least twelve table stakes.

Plan your money. You will need enough to stay in the game.


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