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Planning for the Big Win  
BY:  Mike in Hawaii

I was recently told a true story. A friend had returned from a trip to the Ninth Island as we call Vegas here in Hawaii. A friend who was with them hit it really big on the craps table soon after they arrived, several thousand dollars ahead. Unfortunately the story did not end there. He could not wait to get back to the tables and toss around some purples, $500 chips. You can imagine the ending.  
 
This is what I call "Outside the Rail" stuff. The game of craps is not a single, simple game. For one thing it is played in two phases, the come out roll phase and the chasing points phase. It is also played in two places, inside the rail and outside the rail. The rail being that nice chip tray that surrounds the sunken playing area sometimes called the tub where the felt is located.  
 
Inside the rail is the domain of the casino. They make all the rules, conduct the game and control how everything is done. However, the game does not stop there. The players stand outside the rail. Outside the rail they have a chance to make up their own rules and control their own behavior. What you do outside the rail is of tremendous importance in determining if you win or lose at craps.  
 
There is only one known, short term, guaranteed winning, 100% sure fire, money making craps system. Just one!  
 
First you have to be lucky enough to get ahead. Then you have to have the discipline and the prior planning to quit while you are still ahead!  
 
The first part is not really that hard. It is estimated that 70% of everyone who walks into a casino is ahead at some point in their gaming on a given day.  
 
The second part of the guaranteed winning system above is virtually impossible to implement. Every day that 70% who get ahead prove it when they walk out broke.  
 
Everything about how a casino works, the free drinks, the excitement (especially at a hot craps table), the floor plan, the Feng Shui (yes they do hire experts in Feng Shui); everything is designed to keep you playing until your pockets are empty.  
 
In real estate they say the three most important factors are location, location, location. Well in craps the three most important factors are discipline, discipline, discipline.  
 
I assume you all want to win, intend to win, and enter the casino with a positive powerful mindset focused on winning. But how many of you have made a detailed plan for what you are going to do when you start winning? Especially winning big?  
 
If you don't have a detailed plan on how to hold onto that money, you will give it all back. If you have not worked it out in advance, ground it into yourself, conditioned yourself and gotten your mind right before hand, you will never be able to leave that table with all those new chips.  
 
Here are some suggestions:  
 
First, never think in terms of "Playing with the Casino's Money". Too many people think, "Oh Boy! I am ahead, now I am gambling with the Casino's money, I can go wild!"  
NO! Bad Gambler!  
 
It is your money. You have won it. That is the entire idea. Think of all the times that you have lost money. Did the casino consider that to be "your money?" Of course not! They immediately considered it to be their money. Outside the rail you have to implement the same rule. You win it. It is now your money. Handle it with the respect all your other money deserves.  
 
Second, do not forget who and what you are. If you are a nickel gambler, do not start throwing around greens just because you lucked out and got way ahead. Big wins are few and far between. They need to pay off lots of small loses (we assume you are using methods of controlling your downside as well, but that is a different topic).  
 
It is like the small businessman. He cannot simply open his cash register and pocket a couple of hundred dollars. That is called "till tapping" and is the fast track to ruin for a small business owner. Much of the money in that cash register belongs to all his suppliers who have delivered goods to him for which he has not yet paid.  
 
You need to hang onto your new money to pay off previous losing sessions and keep your gambling money bankroll healthy.  
 
If you get really lucky and win like crazy, you can find a lot more money in your rail than you are used to seeing. That does NOT make you a high roller!  
 
I once got very lucky and rapidly ended up with a nice long stack of greens in my rail. Way above my usual buy in. The temptation to start betting with the greens instead of the reds was very strong. But that is not what I had allotted for that trip. I had allotted several well-funded sessions betting an average of $15 to $20 using reds. A nice stack of greens could not be allowed to change that.  
 
Third, one word, Hoard!  
 
Or, Stash, Rat Hole, Reserve, Set Aside, Squirrel Away, whatever you want to call it. If you get significantly ahead, divide your chips up. Convert them to two different kinds. Those you are still playing with and those you will not touch again until you turn them into color and take them to a cashier.  
 
You can use two sections of rail; one for chips still in play and one for your hoarded chips. Another good method is to hoard chips in the rail and hold in your hand the chips you are still playing with. Whenever your hand gets a bit full, check to see if a few chips need to permanently leave your playing group and move into the hoarded group.  
 
Of course one NEVER moves chips from the hoarded group into the playing group. If the playing group drops to zero, you quit. If your hand becomes empty, you quit.  
 
As one example, you buy in with $100 and get very lucky on a wonderful streak. You now have $270 in chips. What did you start to play with? $100. So you definitely would put $170 into the hoarded amount where it will stay until it is colored up and cashed in. It is no longer in play for this session.  
 
Suppose you have a rule that you will never lose more than half your buy in before you give up on a session and quit. In that case you would leave just $50 in your hand (half your $100 buy in) and put $220 into the hoarded stack in the rail.  
 
Now you have a plan. When lady luck yanks the rug out from under you, you have a limited distance to fall. Just what is in your hand. When she turns trickster and makes a play for your winnings, she finds them no longer in play! Your personal outside the rail rules have protected them.  
 
You can safely continue playing as long as you continue winning. If your hand keeps filling up, you keep moving a few more chips from your playing hand to the safety of your hoarded chip stack and it grows and grows. You keep the amount in your hand equal to your allotted loss limit, in this case $50. The inevitable reversal of fortune will not be able to clean your clock.  
 
In the example above, when you quit, you will still have lost the $50 you allotted as your loss limit for that session, but you can now use your empty hands to pick up the $220 plus that is still hoarded in the rail and happily head for the cashier.  
 
Remember, you win it, it's yours! If you think in terms of "Playing with the Casino's Money" when you get nicely ahead, it will soon be back home with the boxman. Make a solid plan for how you are going to leave with your winnings when you do get lucky.  
 
The ultimate secret to winning at Craps is not the part where you get ahead. It is the discipline and planning needed to quit gambling while you are still ahead.  

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A gambler who doesn't have the patience to wait will have nothing to wait for. - From Wit & Wisdom To Help You Win, by John Gollehon -

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