How to Take $1000 Home from the Casino

One of the things my pal Marvin “DiceTrkkr” talks about is learning how not to lose as opposed to learning how to win. That reminded me of this article I wrote for our newsletter way back in February of 2007. The secret is no secret. Buy in for $2000 and maintain a $1000 loss limit. Stick to your plan and you’re guaranteed to walk from the tables with $1000. Not interested in that approach? Then don’t waste your money on betting strategies that promises you you’ll make $1000 a day (or any other specific amount) at the tables. That’s just a hook to snag the suckers and reel them in.

What does it take to win $1000 a day? Essentially the same betting strategy you’d use to win $100 a day. You just have to increase your bet size ten-fold.

Back in my early years at DI I tracked my average win per session at roughly $37. I played about 300 sessions a year in those days so you can do the math. If I wanted to fight the grind and put in the hours to replicate those early efforts I could play three sessions a day and pretty much be assured of winning $100 a day plus. With that thought in mind, let’s take my typical betting strategy from those days and see what it would take to push my take home up to $1000 per day.

My standard play back then was to qualify shooters first, then begin with $66 inside. After one hit on any inside number I would regress my bets to $22 inside, leaving just $1 at risk. The second hit was “same bet.” After that I pressed every second or third hit until I hit $110 inside, at which point I would regress to $44 inside and then start pressing again, or convert to come betting and put everything on automatic pilot until the seven showed. Sometimes I scored large wins. Sometimes I hit my loss limit and left early. But when everything was said I averaged a profit of $37 per session.

In order to turn that into $370 per session while playing the same strategy I would have to begin my play by spreading $660 inside. The first hit on any number would pay $210. Regress to $220 inside and you’re off to the races. Of course, playing at higher levels can be a bit unnerving. It requires a substantial bankroll. On the other hand, it also opens up options you don’t have when playing at lower levels. You could, for example, take one hit at $660 inside and regress to $160 across – not only locking up a $50 guarantee for the hand, but adding a couple of additional numbers to the spread you can collect on. You’ll have a hard time taking that steep of a regression when starting at $66 inside.

Let’s say you’re an Advantage Player taking a full Kelly approach craps. You determine that you have a 1.32% positive expectation per decision (toss), and you have a total bankroll of $50,000. Your average bet will be approximately 1.2% of your total bankroll, or $660. Funny how that amount keeps coming up. You limit your wagers to your own toss, since that’s where you have your advantage. And since you have an AP mindset you never regress or press your bets. Once placed they stay placed. Theoretically, taking that approach one could expect to win $1000 in around 115 tosses of the dice – or about two hours play on a private table.

This, by the way, is why the Advantage Play (card counter) crowd tells us that if we have SRR’s of 1.7 or higher we should all be making millions at the tables. In their version of Perfect World Casino that is how things work.

How do I play these days? My strategy falls somewhere in the middle. I may start out with a full Kelly wager, then regress to a fractal Kelly after a few hits. After that I press my bets back up to what I’ll call a high fractal Kelly. In short, I still regress. I still press. At certain levels I just camp out and collect “$50 for $1” or “off and on for $70.” And if I see signs that my toss is going south on me I still turn my bets off.

How do you win $1000 a day at casino craps? Begin by learning how not to lose $1000 a day at casino craps. Once you master that part of the game you’ll be well on your way.