Money Management

This subject is of extreme importance in all gambling games, and particularly so in blackjack, where you not only must manage your bankroll, but your time as well.

When playing twenty-one, you don’t want to be barred or have the casino put in countermeasures, such as constant shuffling up or harassment to discourage your participation. There­fore, you must be as inconspicuous as possible, especially if you have studied the methods of strategy and betting outlined in this page.

The single best method of avoiding casino heat is to hit and run-to make some money, leave the table, and go on to another table or casino before the management is wise to your expert play. To do this, you should never spend more than one hour at any one table. Besides limited play at one table, I would suggest never spending more than two hours in any one casino during any one shift.

As for money management, the following rules should be adhered to:

Play with 50 times the minimum bet in reserve at any single table. If you are at a $1 minimum table and that’s your minimum bet, you should have $50 either in your pocket or on the table as your reserve.
If $5 is the minimum bet, you’ll need a reserve of $250. This doesn’t mean that the whole sum should be placed out on the table. I like to put only about half that amount on the table, keeping the rest in my wallet. If I lose the $125 of the $250 I brought with me, I either pull out more money or move on to another table. This gives the appearance of having been tapped out, which casino floor men and pit bosses love to see. If all $250 is on the table and you’ve still got $125 of it, then you’ll be table hopping and might draw the attention of the casino personnel.…

Just the facts

Poker attracts a lot of professional and semi-professional players because it is a positive expectation game. This means your money is at greater risk (depending on your level of skill) than it would be when playing other casino games.

Poker strategy is based in part on the ranking of the various hands and how often they appear. You should be thoroughly familiar with this ranking when playing the game.

The goal when playing poker is NOT necessarily to have the best hand; the goal is to win the biggest pot. You’ll need skill more than luck to do that.

Never put money directly into the pot or touch the pot. Only the dealer should handle money that is in the middle of the table.

Poker doesn’t have a basic strategy like blackjack or video poker. Every situation is different. Good players use a combination of methods to consistently win. This includes understanding the odds, reading the other players, and properly pressing each advantage.

It’s important to follow the rules. Your hand may be declared dead if you don’t, and this could cost you a pot.

Beginners generally lose to more experienced poker players. If you’re a beginner and you don’t want to lose, you should avoid playing in a casino.…

How Much Should a Player Win at One Table

At last we come to the good news. Betting with our systems, there will be times when the money will be flowing into your rails, when you’ll have doubled your original stake in no time at all. Above all, the right bettor should remember this single rule: Leave when the hot roll is over.

Expect only one hot roll per session and leave the table when it has ended. Take your money and run just as soon as that shooter has sevened out, after holding the dice for a half hour or longer. That’s really the best advice I can give a right bettor.

If there’s been no single hot roll, but you’ve been winning steadily, try to double your original stake. If you can’t seem to get this far ahead, put away your original stake plus fifty or sixty units, taking them from the rails and placing them into your pockets. Play with the rest of your chips.

If you keep winning, keep playing and then remove another fifty or sixty chips again. Keep doing this until there are no more chips in the rails or there aren’t enough for a complete betting cycle. Don’t reach into your pockets for more chips once you’ve salted them away. These are to be considered untouchable until you’re at the cashier’s cage, exchanging them for cold cash, green and crisp.

If you’re betting wrong and you’re ahead, leave in the mid­dle of a hot roll when all your bets have been removed from the layout by repeating numbers. Leave with some winnings intact, but make sure to leave.

If you’re betting wrong and winning, try to double your money, then either leave or put away your original stake plus all the rest of your chips except for one cycle’s worth. Play them out. If you lose, leave. If you win, stick around and keep putting chips into your pockets until there are no more chips on the rails or until you don’t have enough chips remaining for a full cycle of betting.

But never, never reach into your pockets for chips, once they’ve been placed there from the rails. Simply leave the table and cash in, and you’ll find yourself a constant winner. To be a winner, you must leave a winner. Always leave while ahead, and you can never go wrong.…

Hold ’em Holding the Nuts

Hold ’em is somewhat more volatile than seven-card stud. There is no ante and no reason to stay in if the first two cards are not good (unless you’re the big blind).

On the other hand, this makes pot stealing rather easy. Betting aggressively tells everyone you have two aces or two kings. Sometimes the other players will bow out, or they might think you’re bluffing and call you.

The most promising and occasionally the most dangerous situation is believing you hold the required cards, the nuts, to the best hand. Let’s say you have two aces in the pocket.

You bet aggressively. Some people drop out, but a few stay with you. The flop reveals another ace, a ten, and a four, all unsuited. You have the nuts, so you change strategy and decide to draw people in.

You bet modestly. It works. Nobody folds. The turn brings a two. Everyone checks to you. Again you bet modestly. Everyone calls. You still have the nuts, and you prepare for the kill. The river reveals another ten. Now there is a problem. One of the remaining players could have four tens.

Happily, there is no indication of this because everyone checks to you. You push out a big pile of chips. The first live player to the dealer’s left raises. Everyone folds to you. Now you must fold with a lot of money in the pot, or you pay even more to possibly lose.…

Handling Hostile Casino Personnel

Not all boxmen are men of character and sterling qualities. Many of them are hard-bitten and mean. They sit dourly at the table, sneer, and take secret delight in the losses the players suffer. Unlike the dealers, they don’t get tokes, so if the players win, all they get out of it is a trip to the pit boss to explain away the loss at their craps table.

Most boxmen don’t like their jobs. Many are older men who have nowhere to go in the casino. They sit all day at the tables, watching dice fly across the layout, watching money and chips change hands till their eyes get blurry and their brains get razzled. I pay little attention to boxmen, unless they’re super­friendly, which is not often, or unless they’re rude and annoying, which is the case more often than not.

If a player is having a hot shoot, the boxman often makes it his business to interfere by continually examining the dice and slowing up the game any way he can. Or he may annoy the player shooting the dice by suggesting that he throw them in a different manner.

Some years back I was playing craps with a client at a Strip hotel-casino, showing him the fine points of the game. I had been standing at the table but not betting, and my friend, when it was his turn to throw the dice, quickly sevened out. I was about to pass up the dice when he suggested that I throw them for luck.

He made a substantial line bet for me, and I shook the dice, then threw them in my own fashion, which is to fling them high and watch them bounce off the far wall after coming down from a height of three or four feet above the table.

The first three numbers I rolled were craps, which lost money for my friend. Then I got a really hot hand. Once I got started the numbers poured out of the dice.…