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The Benefits of Playing at Cheap Tables

I’ve long talked about the benefits of playing craps at low-limit tables.

~They offer low bankroll exposure if you carefully monitor your 7-exposure amounts at all times.

~They offer low “entry-fee” Pass Line or Place-bets which allow you to validate your dice-influencing skills without making it prohibitively expensive.

~They allow the skilled shooter to use multi-stage or low starting-value Initial Steep Regressions. This alone gives the dice-influencer much more bet-making flexibility when it comes to scaling his wagers to match his current shooting ability.

~They allow the skilled shooter to use more moderate, or even more aggressive, bet-progressions once they lock up an initial low-buck profit.

~At the same time, low-minimum tables usually have a high enough maximum-bet allowance which still satisfies all but the highest of “press” moves in the event that your shooting gets grooved-in and starts to throw off innumerable repeaters.

~Needless to say, cheap tables are also an excellent place to hone your dice-influencing skills without exposing too much of your bankroll to the volatility you’ll often experience when building a consistently reliable toss.

The Drawbacks of Playing at Cheap Tables
~Cheap tables generally tend to be busier than their high-buck brothers, but they are also a perfect place to try out or perfect your game in a real, live casino environment.

~In addition, in a multi-table pit where several tables are open, the lowest-limit table tends to get short-shrift in the comp-ratings game. Floor Supervisors tend to rate all players lower than their actual bets would warrant, because they’ll spend less time and less care in getting an accurate read on each players betting-level, and therefore your comp-rating will often be far lower than your play merits.

~The culprit in a multi-table, multi-denomination craps pit, is the perception that people at a low-min table are low-stakes players, and therefore don’t “deserve” to be rated as high, as frequently, or as carefully as higher-buck players. Now obviously this unofficial policy varies from shift to shift, casino to casino, and of course, city to city.

On the other hand, sometimes the exact opposite occurs.

~In some cases, the “largest player” in terms of rail-bankroll and bet-size, will actually be rated much higher at a cheap table. That is because the size of his bets so clearly outstrip those of the other players. If he is a steady “toker”; then the increase in comp-ratings can be anywhere from 20% to 40% higher than his action would normally call for at a higher-minimum table.

~Another drawback however, is that cheap tables may not always be open, or the cut-rate limits may not be available in the lowest-denomination that you are looking for at the time you are actually looking for them.

Cheap Tables Validate Your Talent

Here’s a very practical reason for “taking your show on the road” and seeking out a low-limit table.

~Even if you practice endlessly at home, you still need the challenge and proof of real-game exposure and validation. You may be a craps-wizard at home, but find that your real-world casino-game falls seriously short.

In that case, low-minimum tables provide both the opportunity to verify your skill, as well as a practical, low-cost way to point up the fact that more refined at-home practice is required.

The added benefit of course is that all of that can be accomplished while you are minimizing your overall bankroll risk.

The Success-Equation is Simple
~Low-limits can keep the early-game jitters to a minimum when you are getting started.

~Low-limits let you groove-in your dice-influencing with a lower bankroll-to-bet ratio.

~Success at lower-limits permits you to move your bet-levels up without putting you into “scared money” territory. That is, when you start to THINK about how much money you have exposed on the table, you are diverting your attention away from focusing on your next shot…to focusing on your next bet. In most cases, that equates to a shorter-than-warranted hand.

Regardless of the dollar amount that you have exposed on the table; if you misdirect your attention away from the “skill” element and focus it onto the “worry” element; then your mind is concentrating on the WRONG thing.

Cheap tables let you concentrate on your shooting, and not on the money. When your shooting is grooved-in, the money will roll in.

Therefore, seeking out the low entry-cost tables gives you the chance to validate your at-home practice without putting undue strain on your budget. If your shooting proves itself and substantiates its advantage; then you can move up to the higher-limit tables.

When Should You “Drop Back” to a Low-Limit Table?

~If your shooting has been in a negative-swing rut at the higher-value tables; you can often get it re-aligned and back on track at a cheap table where you can relax a bit more and focus on re-capturing the sweetness that has gone awry.

~If you’ve been away from the tables for quite a while and you feel that your shooting-skills are still as rusty as a field-abandoned ’57 Chevy Cameo (despite your spate of intense recent practice); then the low-rent tables may be just what you need to restore your confidence and refresh your casino-validated edge.

~If you walk up to the dice pit and there are two empty tables where one is set at $5 and the other is set at $15; then starting your game at the vacant $5 table makes a lot of sense. We all know how often new players seem to come out of the woodwork when you are the solo performer at a table; so if you can get them to occupy the cheap one where you are ‘warming up’…you can move over to the still-empty $15 layout as soon as the $5 one fills in. Doing that not only makes for a more efficient use of your time and skills; but it will likely give you much more solo shooting time at the more expensive layout once you get there.

~If you are playing with a very limited trip or session-bankroll; then a low-budget table may be your only alternative. Frankly though, if your bankroll is too small; then you really shouldn’t be in a casino in the first place. Your chances of turning a tiny session buy-in into something big is not only quite remote; but it may also be a strong indicator that your desire to play and gamble is much more intense and deep-seated than your actual desire to win.

When Should You “Step Up” and Leave a Low-Limit Table?
You should consider moving over to a more expensive table when any of the opposite conditions that we just talked about present themselves.

~If your shooting is grooved in, and your toss is a thing of beauty; then it makes no sense at all to be wasting your time at a crowded cheap table.

~If your casino-validated edge is as obvious as Melanie Griffith’s botched lip-implants; then waiting through and betting on a seemingly endless collection of random-rollers will mostly squander and totally erode whatever advantage your own shooting offers.

~If you walk up to the dice pit where one table is set at $5 and the other is set at $15; then it is likely that the $15 table will not only be less-crowded, but it is more likely to stay less crowded as long as the $5 table remains in operation. In that case, elbowing your way into the cheap table will not only give you far fewer shooting opportunities; but it is also likely to cost you far more money as you make neg-ex wagers on random-rollers.

Is There Still A Place in Your Heart…and Your Game-Plan for Cheap, Crowded Tables?

I think there is.

I also think it is safe to say that many dice-influencers feel TOO COMFORTABLE at low-rent tables even though they know that their current shooting-skill and current total bankroll would clearly justify playing at less crowded, higher-minimum tables.

Unfortunately, many betting-under-their-true-potential players are held back by a mental-inertia which is often far greater, far more burdensome, and far more discomforting, than the added profit of making the switch would be worth to them.

To my mind, I think there can be a place in your heart and your game-plan for the cheap, crowded tables; but you have to be honest with yourself as to WHEN to play them…how LONG you play them…and WHY you CONTINUE to play them.

Answer that and you’ll determine whether your emotional attachment and rationalized dependency in seeking out cheap tables is still justified…or if your current skill-set has outgrown that particular security blanket.

Until then,

Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

The Mad Professor

Copyright © 2007-2008



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 16, 2008 3:36 PM.

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