Golden Touch Craps
How much should I be winning at the tables?
I have been giving some thought to this lately because of some of the posts I have read on the private pages of the GTC website and discussions I have had with different people. I get the impression some folks think they are not winning enough and think they should be making a lot more on their rolls.
I tried to think of ways to describe what would be a reasonable expectation in terms of wins for a controlled shooter who has a decent shot. In the classes and in Frank's books he talks about having a 401G and how the amount you bet should be based on that 401G. With those parameters you should have an initial amount that you risk and no more than that until you collect enough money to warrant putting more at risk.
For example, let us say you always start with a pass line bet, single odds and place the 6 and 8 if neither one is your point. For a $5 player this could be $5 on the PL with $5 in odds and $6 on the 6 and $6 on the 8. This comes to an initial amount at risk of $22. After making an appropriate profit for your level of risk tolerance you will then put more money on the table. But the critical number is your initial amount at risk. That is your starting point and that is what you want to use when measuring how much is a reasonable expectation for a win.
It does not matter if you buy in for $200 or $2000. If you start with $22 at risk, your buy in does not impact what you can expect to earn. Everything you make is in relation to what you are risking, not how much you have to back it up. The only time what you have to back it up comes into play is to make sure that you have a 401G that can support what you are risking.
Now I believe the key to coming out a winner is to keep your losses small and let your winnings grow when you are winning. That may seem trite but in reality it makes all the difference in your strategy and approach. It is why we say an advantage player only plays under ideal conditions. The numbers of turns you take with the dice, the length of time you stay at the table at one session, what to do when your shot is not working, why you should be rested when you play, etc. All those guidelines given in class and in the books are geared towards that principle.
In order to translate that into the answer to the original question, I have come to the conclusion that you should expect your wins to average around 4 times your initial amount at risk. Expect your losses to average around 1.75 times your initial amount at risk. This is a rough game and I believe you can expect to experience more session losses than session wins. It is difficult to come out a winner. But if you are betting properly and have a reasonable amount of skill you should be able to make up for the losses with the wins even though there are more losses.
With the example I gave of the player who starts with $22 for his initial amount at risk he can expect his average win to be around $90, roughly 4 times his $22 initial amount at risk. He can expect his average loss to be a little under $40, roughly 1.75 times his $22 initial amount at risk.
The following is a reasonable pattern of wins for that player:
$4, 11, 13, 16, 33, 50, 55, 66, 88, 88, 99, 103, 110, 110, 110, 110, 121, 121, 132, 143, 165, 176, 220
The following is a reasonable pattern of losses for that player:
$5, 5, 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, 16, 16, 22, 22, 22, 22, 22, 22, 27, 33, 33, 33, 44, 44, 44, 44, 49, 55, 55, 66, 77, 77, 88, 88, 99, 154
Over 56 sessions, the player has 23 winning sessions and 33 losing sessions. But the losing sessions are smaller on average than the winning sessions. In the end this player can expect to be ahead a total of approximately $850 which equals a bit over 38 times his initial amount at risk.
What is important to notice is that some of the wins are rather small and the largest win is only 10 times the initial amount at risk and that only occurs once in the series of 56 sessions. But the losses though more frequent are smaller in nature. There are many that are under the initial amount at risk and the largest is only 7 times the initial amount at risk.
Furthermore if we look at the high numbers we note there are 11 wins that are 5 times the initial amount at risk or larger but there is only 1 loss (the 7 times one) that is greater than 5 times the initial amount at risk. The 11 highest losses are only 2 times the initial amount at risk or larger.
This is the type of pattern you should be aiming for if you want to see your 401G growing at a steady pattern. While it is a lot of fun to have a huge win it comes with a high degree of risk. It is better to strive to keep the losses small and let the wins grow when they are coming. But do not push it too far. Keep your expectations within reasonable ranges so as not to over extend yourself.
It is not reasonable to expect to win $400 or more with an initial amount at risk of $22. That would be approximately 20 times and that is far too difficult to achieve. You also should be keeping your losses under the 4 times ($90) range and there should not be many of that size.
You can use these charts with your own figures for what you start with and determine if you are reasonable in what you are expecting to win at any given session and if your losses are in an appropriate range or not. If you are way out of line with these parameters you may want to rethink your approach to the game.