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Craps: Minimize Your Losses / Maximize Your Comps

Larry Edell 02:52 Feb 26th, 2006 Craps

If you play in casino, you probably know about comps. If you play craps, you probably know that your game affords the casino a very small advantage - only about 1% on some bets. If you take full advantage of the comps the casino offers, you can make more money in comps than in winnings! Sometimes, you can even triple your comps in relationship to the initial money wagered! In order to maximize your comps you need to choose the proper casino, have good money management, and develop a systematic business plan to execute it all.

Choosing a Casino: A casino that will maximize both your profits and your entertainment expectations is extremely important. If you play craps for profit, you need to carefully choose a resort that will maximize your comps while offering favorable playing conditions. For example, some casinos offer 100X odds while others offer only 2X odds. And, some casinos offer comp credit for your spread rather than for individual bets. Both of these are terrific advantages for the craps player. However, after you have finished playing for the required amount of time and get your 'free' meal or show; you might find that this is not exactly what you wanted. For example, say you visit a particular casino that offers 100X odds but they have standard rooms, no major show, and there is only one mediocre restaurant. Even though this casino offered superior playing conditions, you’re bound to get tired of going there several times a year. Another casino offers only 2X odds; however, they offer a superior show, five different restaurants, and a Jacuzzi suite. Although this casino’s craps policies are less favorable than the first one, you might end up getting more value for your money in the long run. Before you gamble, you should call a casino on their 800 number and ask to speak to a casino host. Tell him (or her) that you would like to try their casino out. Ask about the different restaurants, shows, and rooms that they offer. Ask if they base comps on individual bet or spread. Ask about the minimum bets and time required to get a free room. Write down the answers and call the other casinos you’re interested in, so you can make an accurate comparison. The “ideal” casino is different for every crapshooter. Choose your casino on what YOU want - not what they want you to have!

Money Management: Many people will walk up to a craps table and then just keep on playing until they lose all of their money. These people have no win goal. The reason you need a win goal is that tables fluctuate. You can be $100 up one moment and $100 down the next. How do you know when to stop and still leave with a profit? Your win goal should be based on your individual session money, and should be 30% of your buy in. For example, if you buy in with $100 and are $30 ahead you should quit. Leave the table and go to your room, or have lunch. Then an hour or so later, buy in with your $130 and quit when you’ve won $39. Be precise. Be disciplined. Follow the plan! Set a win goal and stick to it! The opposite of a win goal is a loss limit, and it’s also 30% - very easy to remember! If you buy in for $100, you leave when you win or lose $30. If you buy in for $500, you leave when you win or lose $150. One of the cardinal rules of craps is to increase your bets while winning but decrease them while losing. But when many people start losing, they keep on playing as if nothing was different, or worse, they keep increasing their bets. Don’t do it! You need a loss limit, and you need to stick to it. So, stick to your guns. Set a win goal and a loss limit. Over the long run, you’ll win more and lose less.

Business Plan: First, you should be a rated player and get a comp card. If your favorite casino has a separate card for slot play, get one of those, too. This way, whenever your favorite casino has any promotions of any kind, you will get mailings from them--free offers! Sometimes it is even possible to combine the promotions of the slot and table games offers. You should also apply for casino credit. You can call the cage and ask how to do this. Your potential credit is based on your checking account balance, so the higher your balance, the higher your credit. Not only is casino credit more convenient, but in many cases you can withdraw your credit and use it free for 30 days. You’ll also have a higher comp rating and be an established player in the eyes of the casino. When you begin playing, just give the friendly dealer your comp card and ask for your buy in. He will check your rating and give it to you in a minute or two. For example you might say “a thousand please” and he might say “in blacks or greens.” He will then count out your chips on the table and set them aside while they check their computer. Once you have the chips, you can play with the full amount, or not. For example, you can play with $500 worth and put the other $500 in your pocket and use it later or cash it in and use it in another casino if you like. When you leave the table, you may be asked if you want to pay off your marker. Don’t be intimidated by this request and just say no. Most casinos require that you pay back your markers in 30 days or it will adversely affect your credit with them in the future. It is to your benefit to buy in with a larger amount than you will play with. Your comps are calculated by three criteria - (1) your buy in (2) your first bet (3) your average bet So, if your buy in and first bet are larger than normal, your comps will be bumped up a little.

Something else you can do to increase your comps is to tip the dealers. Tipping will also get the dealers on your side so you can set the dice easier. The dealers will also notice your playing patterns and help you however they can - including bumping up your comps. The dealers would rather have you, a good tipper back in their casino, than an inexperienced player who doesn’t tip. Finally, you should notice the dealer’s name tags and call them by name. Be friendly with them. If they remember your first name and use it when you leave the table, you’ve done a good job - and they’ll be doing everything they can to get you back! Conclusion: To minimize your losses by maximizing your comps you should:

1. Call a casino host and discuss your needs with him.

2. Choose a casino based on benefits, not features.

3. Have a realistic win goal and loss limit.

4. Increase your bets when winning, decrease them when losing.

5. Get a comp card and play only with casino credit.

6. Maximize your first bet and your buy in.

7. Tip the dealers and call them by name.

8. Find out which comps you want and what levels they require.

9. Adjust your bankroll, comp wants, or play with a partner.

10. And, as always, good luck at the casinos!

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