When most gamblers talk about money management, they’re talking about either how to handle their bankroll before they step up to the table or how to handle their bankroll while betting and playing. Very few people talk about money management after the game.

Also, almost no one talks about money management while things are going poorly and you’ve almost lost it all for the session. After all, it’s not pleasant to talk about losses. But like I’ve mentioned many times, in order to increase your odds of winning, you have to face the ugly reality of losing so that you can control those adverse moments.

In that spirit, let’s talk about a little-discussed topic of money management that focuses on preserving a bankroll that’s been devastated or is about to be devastated. I call this aspect as ‘remnant money management’

HOW WE ARE CONDITIONED TO DEVALUE OUR BANKROLL AND THROW AWAY MONEY

Whether it’s winning or losing, or something in between like a choppy session, the necessity of money management comes from the fact that Vegas is designed to separate us from our money. We are conditioned to accept an attitude of loose spending.

Not only is everything in Vegas more expensive, but everything is designed to cause us to lose perspective of money. This loss of perspective happens in our mind, but it’s reinforced via our stomach.

I’ve mentioned several times on RoadGambler.com how much I love In-N-Out burger. I eat there so often that I’m aware of the price. Before I even order, I have the correct change ready. 

The In-N-Out joints in Vegas charge more for the exact same product that you’ll find at In-N-Out’s in California or Texas. Sure, the rent might be higher at some of the Vegas locations, but every spot charges what the market will bear. Consumers are willing to pay higher prices, so merchants charge higher prices. If consumers in Vegas refused to pay the higher prices, then a Las Vegas In-N-Out burger would costs the same as a Texas or California In-N-Out burger. In the end, because of what we, as consumers are willing to accept, the same Las Vegas burger costs more compared to the rest of the country.

It’s not just Las Vegas burgers that are overpriced. Next time you’re in Las Vegas, check out Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in the Bally’s food court. It’s my favorite fried food with overpriced Las Vegas flair, but in this case, the chicken is so good it might be worth it.

My favorite fried chicken in Las Vegas
Holy moly, look at those prices per piece. But then again, take my money!
On this one, I’ll volunteer to be attenuated to the high prices.

In a sense, we are conditioned to accept that higher prices are the norm. We become desensitized to the higher prices and begin accepting that we are supposed to be separated from our money. 

In addition to this conditioning to accept higher prices via our stomaches, Vegas, with all its’ gambling, money, gaudy lights and flashing million dollar jackpots, has a tendency to make people lose perspective of money. I’ve talked about this in past articles. It’s a concept known as monetary attenuation. 

When that much money and wealth is displayed, all of a sudden $5 is no longer all that important. $5 is the equivalent of a penny in the laundry machine. When that penny is dinging in the dryer and preventing us from sleeping, we don’t think of it as money, but rather as a nuisance. When we’re walking around a multi-billion dollar hotel casino that oozes wealth, and the doorman greets us with a smile that’s usually reserved for VIPs, the $5 bill in your pocket starts to seem very insignificant, almost as if was a nuisance that doesn’t belong in the pocket of someone so important.

Coffee stand in Bally’s. Delicious coffee, but wow, not cheap. Fancy, though, and the gambling scenery is cool if you’re into that kind of thing.

REMNANTS AND HOW TO SAVE THEM

One of the results of all this conditioning is that we start engaging in activities that are the equivalent of ‘throwing away’ money because we’re frustrated, depressed from a losing session, over-exuberant from a winning session, or just being plain silly because of over-drinking.

For example, let’s say you’re at the craps or blackjack table and you buy in for $100. You’re having an unlucky time, and you’re down to your final $9. Instead of walking away with $9, you make a ridiculous prop bet that you normally never make. Sure, sometimes, you might hit the bet, but more often than not, you’re going to whiff and walk away empty-handed. Even if you hit, the high house edges on those last-minute desperation prop bets will impact your bankroll over time. The best solution in these final moments of desperation is to not be desperate. Put that money in your pocket and walk away. 

Or, if you’re playing blackjack, you decide to make a final stand on an equally ridiculous blackjack bonus bet. Again, put that money in your pocket and walk away.  

Let’s talk about tipping. Let’s say the cocktail waitress brings you a drink and you normally tip $5. Because you don’t have any red chips, and you don’t want to be embarrassed and ask for change, you end up tipping a green $25 chip for your drink. There’s nothing wrong with being generous. I am generous to those who earn or deserve my generosity, but over-exuberant tipping, because you’re winning or feeling too embarrassed to ask for change, is not wise.

Tipping Dealers is Not Wasteful

FYI, it’s not wasteful to take care of those who take care of us. For dealer tips, I usually average about $10-$25 an hour in tips. If a dealer is someone I personally know, I’ll tack on an extra green at the end of my session. Tipping is not ‘throwing away’ money. That’s just being smart and investing in the game and the people we love. I never consider dealer tips to be ‘throw-away’ money because dealers work so hard, and are usually one of the lowest tipped games staff in the casino.

As the dealer at the Santa Ana Star in New Mexico told me, if it came down to it, no one would want to be a craps dealer if the other dealers didn’t share with them.

The problem with not investing in the things we love is that eventually, it will go away. Just think of what happened to Let-It Ride or Carribean Stud. Craps can very much go the same way of LIR, Caribbean Stud, or even Red Dog (a once very popular game), if we don’t support it and the people involved. Guys and gals, we have to take care of our craps dealers, unless we want to play bubble craps.

The Huge Amount of Money Left Behind

What is considered wasteful ‘throwing away’ is when people are down to their final bet and instead of betting or tipping away the money (which can be justified because at least the dealers can benefit), people just leave their remaining chip in the rail and walk away. I was in Vegas this past weekend and saw this happen at least four times. Granted, the largest amount left behind was $9 and the smallest was $1, but it’s money that was wasted. The dealers can’t take it as a tip.

That money is supposed to be turned over to the state (although I’ve seen times where the box just put it into the casino bank).

The about left behind by gamblers is not insignificant. It’s quite huge. In a five year period, the state of Nevada collected $35 million dollars from gamblers who abandoned their remnant money: money left behind collected by the state.

Just Walk Away

From abandoned money to just plain wasteful habits, it’s imperative that you protect your remnant bankroll. But how?

If you are down to that final remnant, just put it in your pocket and walk away.

‘Walk away, just walk away.’

Say it to yourself.

Walking away is easier said than done when you’ve bought in for $500 and all you have left is $10. But it’s something that you must do, if you want to protect and improve your future self. It all comes down to discipline.

Don’t Compound Bad Mistakes with More Bad Mistakes

When I say save your money and walk away with your remnant, I’m not necessarily referring to your loss limit. Many of us go to the table with loss limits, and depending on our loss limit, the money left over from the loss limit usually isn’t at the point of being considered a remnant. While there’s no hard and fast rule on what constitutes a remnant, I usually consider a remnant to be less than 10% of my initial buy-in. Most people I know tend to set their loss limits at around 50% or so. That loss limit allows continued play after a cooling off period.

But there are times when we lose discipline and make the mistake of ignoring our loss limit.

Or maybe we make the mistake of making that final desperation bet…and it hits!

You’re down to your final $2 and you throw out a hi-lo craps bet and, lo and behold, it hits.

At this point, whether you’ve ignored your loss limit or made that final desperation heave and got lucky, it’s never too late to make the right decision. Take that money that remains after the mistake, put it in your pocket, and walk away.

Do not compound one mistake with more mistakes.

Remnant Management When Winning

Remnant money management isn’t just about the times that you are losing, it’s also about when you are winning. When you’re walking around happy and upbeat after a winning session, if you have spare small bills, go and put away those small bills. I love $10 bills and always throw those guys into my remnant pile.

I find that when I’m up, I tend to have a habit of wasting money. You know those snack kiosks near the casino floor? They make 7-11 prices seem like a bargain. I can’t recall how many times I’ve paid $11 for a bag of chips and bottle of sweet tea (a drink which the casinos usually do not serve).

For some reason, I love the feel and ambiance of Paris Las Vegas. If you’re ever there, you’ll find that Paris operates a snack kiosk near the elevator entrance, adjacent to the casino floor. One the years, I’ve probably spent close to $1000 worth of snacks and sweet tea at that kiosk.

But since I just had a winning session, $11 for a snack isn’t that bad. Or is it? Yea, it’s probably quite wasteful.

Hey, we all have our weaknesses and our splurges. I’m not saying don’t splurge; rather, I’m saying that you should be mindful.

MY ACCUMULATED REAL WORLD RESULT

Since the beginning of 2019, I’ve been doing an experiment. Instead of ‘throwing away’ or wasting remnant money, I’ll tuck it into my right pocket and then take it back to my room and throw it one of my luggage compartments. I won’t look at the cash until I arrive home.

On a recent trip to Vegas, after a 5-day binge, this is what was in my bag. I didn’t count it, so I have no idea how much is in this stack. I just know that it’s not an insignificant amount.

A few days ago, I took all the ‘throw-away’ change and put it into this bag. This has been accumulating since January 2019.

The subject of the next Weekly Contest. Don’t worry, foreign currency will not be counted.

I have not yet counted it. It’s right in front of me, and I have no idea how much is in the bag.

This year alone, I’ve been on 38 gambling trips according to my count. If I had decided to throw away this remnant money, this would not be in my possession, or it would be greatly diminished.  This remnant money saved is part of my bankroll that otherwise wouldn’t be with me.

If you don’t do this already, you should start doing this and see how much you can save. Start saving your ‘throw-away’ remnant money, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

TL;DR AND A TEASER

The lesson here is to preserve your bankroll. If you are down to your final bet, don’t waste it. Don’t walk away from your money. If you are up, don’t let your over-exubberance lure you into wasteful habits. Over the long run, you will be walking away from a significant amount of money. 

Invest in the things that are necessary, but don’t waste. There is a difference. 

You’re probably asking, ‘how much is it?’

Well, this is going to be the subject of the next weekly contest…

Tune in Wednesday for a chance to win 1/4 the stack. I can’t give you the whole stack, but I’ll give you a chance to win a good chunk of it. Oh, I just noticed that there’s foreign currency in the bag. We won’t count that.

Posted in: Gambling

16 thoughts on “Remnant Money Management: Saving Your ‘Throw Away’ Final Attempt Desperation Money”

  • Jeff Roberts says:

    Roadgambler, First off, love your video’s and I watch them all the time. I will be heading to Vegas on the 1st of Sept after a 7 day Alaskan Cruise. Can’t wait, looking forward to it. My wife and I visit Vegas at least 1-2 and sometimes 3 times a year. We live in Hawaii so there is no gambling here. Here is my problem if you want to call it one :-), I love the game of Craps so bad and when I have the chance to play, I just want to play, win or lose. Bankroll is not a consideration. However, when we do go to Vegas I have a limit on my cash flow for the entire time I am in Vegas and manage my bankroll accordingly, that’s to say that I don’t blow my entire bankroll on the first night I am in town, I will space it out over the week I am there. I never expect to come home a winner and always expect to come home without my Bankroll. If I come home with any money in my pocket, well then that’s a bonus. Again, this is vacation and I am budgeted for it. I know this might not be according to a proper “Bankroll Management” plan but again, I love the game of Craps, both the Ups and Downs. I must point out that I am not a “High” roller of any sort, when I buy in, I will buy in with $500 and will play up to a $15 min limit table. At most I will have on the table at a time would be maybe $70, so kind of a low roller I guess you can say. Again just enjoy the game. Great post, great read and for the record I always Tip 🙂 regardless of a winning or losing session. Keep the videos coming and good luck on your future visits to the tables.

    • RoadGambler says:

      Jeff,

      It seems you are disciplined and have everything under control. Discipline like that is what leads to a successful trip.

      If you haven’t already, try hitting up some hosts that specialize in Hawaiian state tourists. Now, tbh, I would only leverage those hosts for a vacation or two, and then not use them for anything beyond those one or two trips.

      I’m not a fan of those hosts because they tend to represent two casinos that have relatively stingy craps games, the California and 4 Queens, both of which are downtown properties.

      But if you’re willing to slash and burn, get some free airfare, room and food out of them, and then say goodbye. Sometimes you can get them to bite – and overcomp – if you can show an acceptable level players card at another property.

      I’ve used hosts a single time for free airfare, rental, room, and food, and then left them, never to come back. It’s a business, after all.

      Good luck on your future trips, my friend.

      • Jeff Roberts says:

        Yea, Hawaiians considers Las Vegas their 9th Island and you might as well call “The Cal” “The Hawaiian” because it seems that when Hawaiians go to Vegas they are always there. I’m not knocking Hawaiians, people reading this, don’t take it the wrong way. They usually have good vacation packages from here (air, Hotel) when you stay at The Cal but I don’t really like downtown. I get Comped pretty good through MGM resorts. I haven’t had to pay for a full week of rooms in a Long time, usually only have to pay for 1 night for the whole week. With that said, the Resort fees are getting more expensive then a regular room. I never tried having a host, figured I never “High Rolled” enough to have one. My wife on the other hand will feed those slots though :-). This trip I am going to work on having my resort fees comped. For the 6 nights we will be at the Aria I am paying for 1 night + all resort fees. I think I can get that cost worked down. Wish me luck :-)…

  • RG,
    Great post.

    My personal goals are to never lose all of my buy in. I always have a stop loss threshold that I never cross. Usually it’s half but that can vary slightly. My theory is not to kick a dead horse and know when to stop.

    As far as tipping is concerned, I do have some personal guidelines. If the dealers are professional as far booking bets, being attentive, taking note of my betting sequences, making correct payoffs, concentrating on the game instead of silly crosstalk with other dealers, not banging the stick, not slamming stacks of chips on the table to distract the shooter, then and only then will I tip.

    In short if they act professionally, they will be rewarded with generous tips including those times when I lose.

    Having played this game of craps for over forty years I have seen both good and bad dealers. In conclusion, I simply will not reward bad behavior.

    • RoadGambler says:

      Great points on tipping, Flash. There are few things that make a craps game better than professional and competent craps dealers. My fear is that the good dealers all leave, which is why I tend to take care of craps dealers. Call it a selfish reason, but there’s nothing wrong with being utilitarian.

  • It also pays to keep in mind that the tables will ALWAYS be there …if you are having a bad night just STOP ! Try again at another time .

  • I only have one casino anywhere close to me and don’t get to go very often but I think because of tipping I am remembered by a lot of dealers. It makes the game even more fun when you have the help of the dealers and the banter with someone that’s glad you’re there.
    I have actually had dealers push for a comped meal for me.
    I have no problem with pocketing my money and walking away. The table will always be there.

  • Hi road gambler. craps to me is a love hate relationship. i love it when im winning and “kind of” hate it when im losing. Ive been learning patience when playing but my weakness is stopping when im ahead. for example. the past two sessions i ve played ive been up 400 both times but continue to play and walk away up only 100 or 200. sometimes ive been up more and walked away with less than my starting bank roll. I always think that when i quit the “hot roll” is coming. any advice on this??? the casino i play at has 10x odds and I always bet the max odds with 2 or 3 numbers per shooter if possible. thanks for any advice.

    • First off, you should congratulate yourself for walking away up, no matter the amount. Don’t feel like you always need to leave at the very top. If you do that, you’ll eventually devastate your bankroll.

      What I do is set a win goal, and when I’ve met that goal, I stop playing. Sometimes I’ll condition the goal on a time minimum. For example, last week I had a win goal of $500, and it only took me 10 minutes to reach it. Since I had driven 20 minutes to get to the casino, I wasn’t going to stop.

      I encourage you to set a win goal also. Sometimes, that win goal will mess with your head. You’ll reach your win goal and then the dice will roll like you’ve never ever seen, and when you get home, you’ll think to yourself, why did I pick up?

      The answer is that you picked up because you have discipline. In the long run, if you practice discipline at the table, you’ll have the best chance of winning and most importantly, you won’t become a degenerate. It’s all about control and testing your control.

      Stick with that script, and you will find that craps is a life long form of cheap and practically free entertainment.

    • Uhhh, no. I’m like 99.99% sure I’d say no.

      $25,000…lemme think.

      I mean, I can always get someone to make the videos for me. So at $25,000, I would say yes.

      I would just play blackjack for the next 24 months. Now if you said no gambling, hmmm…

      It’s always tricky in these situations to think about the hypotheticals. I’ve been at tables where someone will say no, but when money is actually flashed, the answer quickly changes to yes.

      Did you ever hear about the $100,000 bet involving the guy getting a boob job? Real story.

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/man-gets-breast-implants_b_10023844

  • Nice article RG. Your premise is similar to the idea of “The Threshold of Misery”, a term coined by poker player Mike Caro. You are probably familiar with it. Worth study, as we are all guilty most likely.

  • Hi RG,
    I just shared on one of the FB groups about my most recent contribution/loss at the craps table. I live in a state that does not have/allow casinos (other than horse racing and slots, no table games). I travel for work and love getting to throw some dice when near a casino. Anyway, I am writing to thank you for the lessons on win/loss goals. While I am disappointed that my long-anticipated trip to a casino this evening was cut short by my pre-set loss-limit, I’m glad that I got to play and didn’t lose the entire bankroll. I live to fight another day!
    I do have a question for you. I see your strategy of PL+max odds and Come+max odds; I see your shift to the dark side when PSO is trending. What I experienced this evening was a mixed bag. PL/Come hit more often than DP/DC, but timing was such that I hit 4-5 numbers and lost about 8 numbers. My $400 buy-in ($15 table w/100x odds) couldn’t withstand that so I played 2x odds – mainly because I watched a couple of rounds and could see how up/down the table was. I walked away at $225. What advice do you have for this situation? If I had a larger bankroll I may have let it fluctuate some more to see if I could ride out the bad trend. Your thoughts and expertise are appreciated.
    Love your videos. Great learning tools and entertaining. Would love to play along side you one day – see if some of that skill and luck would transfer.

    • Hi Sherri,

      Thanks for your question. I will have your answer in an article on Friday. Directed personally for you.

      I have had others ask a smilier question on this issue, so it will benefit many if I answer it in an article. Your question is a good one which deserves a detailed and reasoned answer. I promise I won’t get too technical. Or I might get technical. No promises.

      However, in the meantime, let me state that the play styles you see in the videos are not optimal. At least not all of them. I wrote an article clarifying that point. The number one and overarching objective of the videos is to entertain. If it were up to me, I would only play my RoadGambler style of craps, which yields the lowest house edge possible (that’s not really mathematically arguable). However, people started complaining that my RoadGambler style of play was the same play style over and over.

      So I switched it up.

      I won’t play a reckless style, and sometimes I’ll take a strategy that I think is reckless or suboptimal and tune it to my preference.

      Stay tuned, my friend. Check in Friday.

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