The longer you gamble, the more you increase the chance that the casino will take your money. That’s a simple fact. Accept it. That’s why our other lessons emphasize minimizing your play, such as the occasional trip to Vegas or playing at your favorite online casino for a few hours once or twice a week. The Vegas local or gambling addict who plays eight hours every day is going to lose a lot more than the less frequent gambler. Remember, the main reason we play craps, whether live or online, is because of the incredible fun and excitement the game provides, not because it’s going to make us ga-zillionaires.
The casino (or “house”) is going to win over time for one basic reason: the house advantage. Even if you consistently play the one bet that has the smallest house advantage (i.e., the Don’t Pass with Odds), the casino will take your money if you play long enough. As we have learned, the only way we win is to:
- Minimize the house advantage and exploit the distribution variance when it turns in our favor, and
- Know when to quit.
The problem with most craps players is that they don’t do either. They don’t know enough about the game to realize they’re throwing their money away on proposition bets or other bets with relatively high house advantages. Even if they’re smart, solid players, they don’t have the discipline after hours at the table to stick to the bets with the lowest house advantage. That is, they get tired, bored, or develop a sense of desperation when losing, such that they lose control and start making stupid bets. In other words, they don’t know when to quit.
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Part of learning the game of craps and becoming a threat to the casino is learning to recognize when these feelings start creeping in and not let them take control. You must learn to be honest with yourself and be able to tell yourself, “I’m tired and not thinking straight, I need to color out and take a break.”
Another part of learning craps is having the discipline to stick to your loss limit, as discussed in our other lesson about planning and budgeting your craps-playing sessions. If a particular session is going badly, don’t dig for more money. And especially don’t blow your last $15 on a stupid proposition bet hoping to win it all back on one roll. Learn to have the discipline to quit and pocket those remaining two or three red chips. Walk away, cash them in, and use the money to buy a few beers at the bar and watch the game or meet new friends.
The moment you catch yourself thinking, “Should I go for the yo’?” or some other bet that you know is terrible, it’s time to quit. The moment you think, “The table is ice cold, I don’t know why I’m still here,” it’s time to quit. The moment you think, “I should be over there at that table instead of this one,” it’s time to quit. The moment you begin wondering how drunk you are, it’s time to quit. When you catch yourself yawning, it’s time to ask yourself, “Am I awake and aware enough to continue making good decisions?” If you’re honest with yourself and your answer is no, then it’s time to quit.
Quitting in life is oftentimes considered unhealthy. However, quitting gambling or playing craps when the time is right is not a bad thing. In fact, quitting when the time is right is a good thing. So, as a smart, strong player, don’t be afraid to quit when you know it’s the right thing to do. You’ll probably walk away feeling good about yourself for doing so.
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