Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Alan Krigman
Slowly but Surely Wins at the Tables as in the Fables26 February 1996
The same strategies are more often inductions into the legion of losers: 1) folks who fight long odds and bust without overcoming them; 2) players who give winnings back to the casino, failing to lock-up profits, when hot streaks fizzle; 3) individuals who blow their whole bankrolls in short blazes of glory.
But casino gambling isn't just boom or bust, riches or rags. Players can wager small fractions of their bankrolls, uniformly, on bets having good chances of winning and paying reasonable returns. Slow but sure play won't create instant millionaires. Or instant paupers, either. Rather, it offers solid citizens a better shot at a day's pay than most people realize is possible.
You can't operate the slots this way. The machines are predicated on longshots -- huge, though admittedly elusive, payoffs. You're only one pull away from a pot of platinum. You can lose for hours then recover, maybe break the bank, on your last coin or credit.
Steady bets on wagers with close to even-money payoffs are, however, an option at the major table games. But, can you earn money using this approach?
Such action is unlikely to get you many bet units ahead at baccarat or roulette. You'd need a sustained series of inspired guesses or an unusually long string of hits on whatever you wager -- say, "banker" at baccarat or "red" at roulette.
Craps and blackjack are another story. Because of the structure of these games, uniform bets offer good profit potential.
Picture a typical situation at craps. A player who puts $10 on the pass line and makes two $10 come bets, all with triple odds, may have up to $120 on the table. A single seven can wipe out everything. A hit, depending on the numbers involved, may pay from $10 to $70. A decent roll -- a shooter who holds the dice for fifteen minutes and hits a dozen numbers on which the player has bets -- can yield a net of $500 or $600; more numbers bring greater returns. Pressing can increase or decrease profits, even turn wins to losses. This, because there's no way to know in advance whether a shooter who hits a few numbers is at the beginning of a hall-of-fame roll or about to seven-out.
At blackjack, the promise of uniform bets is brightest in provisions to split pairs and double down when appropriate. Advantages are especially great when these plays can be combined. Here's an ideal but not exceptional example.
The gain is $40, four bet units. And, it's achieved by risking additional money precisely when the math favors the player.
In these types of situations, upswings -- and profits -- five to 10 times the total at risk aren't uncommon with uniform bets. It doesn't always work. A bankroll can disappear. Or a hot streak can push profits so high you can't resist pressing, knowing you'll quit as soon as a bet goes down yet still bag a bundle. But steady wagers, with respect for what few bet units are worth on the "street," can make you a relatively consistent winner.
As Sumner A Ingmark, persistent poetizer of punting parables, assiduously asserted:
A bettor, patiently, taking care,
Best of Alan Krigman