Strategy # 22
Let's take my bankroll first. On an overnighter to the boats I'll usually play four sessions. Sometimes more if I'm doing a hit and run routine. Or if I'm working a grind I may just play two. But total hours played will range from 8 to 16. I shoot for an average session of 2 hours or less - I have that diabetic thing working so I can't stand as long as I used to, plus I have to grab a light snack every few hours. Other than that, though, I don't let the clock dictate whether I end a session or not.
That is contingent on what's happening at the tables. My typical buy in is $700 with a $350 loss limit. So most of the time I'm taking along $1500 - $3000. Lately, thanks to the Treasury Department (huge tax bill) and the pitiful performance of the stock market (dwindling dividends) I've been playing a little lighter - but for my action the above numbers are about where they should be. With a $350 loss limit - should I lose 4 sessions back to back the most I would lose is $1400 - so the $1500 number gives me some minor cushion. Some people ask why I buy in for $700 when my loss limit is $350 - why not just buy in for $350.
The answer is this - I work the comps game as hard as I can, and count comps as part of my overall win. A player buying in for $700 gets rated better than a player buying in for $350 - as the floor person records your initial buy in on the players rating card, and the casino assumes that you buy in for what you are willing to lose. The other reason is psychological. I talk from time to time about the mental side of the game - and I think it is very important. For that reason, I do not want to walk away from a table after throwing my "last chip" in. Yes, the $350 loss is the same, regardless of how much I buy in for - but there is a psychological advantage to walking away with chips in your pocket.
From the old playbook - I generally approach a table with the intent of playing the do side. Occasionally I will start out on the dark side. Whichever way I choose to start out, I make that decision before entering the casino. Once there I spend a few minutes charting for a table that is running the way I want to bet.
Charting is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the casino. It does not mean endless hours watching the game before joining in. It simply means you want to look at the table and evaluate what the current trend is. Doesn't mean the trend will continue - the old saying is "you can't tell what's ahead by looking in the rear view mirror."
if you walk up to the table and six out of seven players are on the don'ts it should tell
you something. If you ask the dealer how it's going and he says "save your
money," then you should damned well listen to him. And if you stand there and watch
the shooter throw five yo's back-to-back then maybe you should throw out a horn high
eleven and get in the game. When I chart I look for six things.
Okay, I'm in the game. I prefer to have seen a shooter throw the dice one hand before betting - and will often pass on a shooter until I've seen him handle the dice. My basic play is as follows:
All of the above are designed to position the player to follow the trend and take advantage of any streaks that develop. About the only thing I did not cover is the transition move from the do side to the don't side when it occurs in mid-decision. About the only time you find yourself faced with this is when you are on the dark side and suddenly a shooter comes to life. In these situations - say I have a DP on the 9 and a DC on the 4 with $25 total action - I will place the six and eight for 12 each.
On the first hit on either number I regress to $6 each for one more hit. On each subsequent hit I use an up and out progression - pressing the first hit - then placing the number adjacent to the number that hit with the second hit - and continue to press to the $44 inside level before regressing to $22 inside and starting the same progression I outlined in steps 5 - 7. I never take down a don't bet. Once it's up it stays up.
Okay, that's the way I play 90% of the time. However, there are occasions when I'm in a dark side kind of mood. I've posted this play many times. It's a tad on the high risk side but I still like it.
I know a guy in Vegas who plays the above strategy all the time and does quite well on it - but his final play is even riskier - going to the next level and parlaying to a $300 hop sevens for a $1500 pay off. Very high risk - but he does quite well with it.
The key to my personal play is following the trend, locking up a win early, and making each bet "pay for itself" before pressing. Last of all - my strategy varies somewhat when I'm the shooter, as I have a high degree of confidence in my ability to influence the dice. Therefore, I bet my signature numbers, which are basically the 8 thru 12 plus the hard 8 and 10.
I always parlay the first hit on hardways, press the first hit on 11's and 12's. My press and regress action is the same when I'm shooting as outlined above. And of course, you absolutely MUST remember your money management and discipline moves - I'm a HUGE fan of the hit and run strategy, locking up a small win ($100 plus) early and moving on.