Travel Fanboy

“New Minimums” Help You Stay Ahead

It doesn’t happen often for this fanboy, but occasionally I find myself ahead while at the tables. When that happens, I have a few choices. I can continue playing until I eventually lose my daily bankroll. I can stop immediately and walk away, preserving my winnings. Or, I can create what I like to call a “new minimum”, an arbitrary number that, once hit, means I’ll be walking away from the table.

This strategy isn’t for everyone. Some of us go to Vegas only to gamble, establishing a daily gaming budget and playing until it’s wiped out or we’re too tired to continue. Usually, however, I have more I’d like to accomplish while in Sin City. I like spending my money on not only gambling, but good meals, nice bars and whatever else may come may way. So, in the unlikely event that I’m actually in the black during a gambling session, I like to ensure that I walk away with something.

How it works:

Let’s say I buy in at the craps table for $100. Maybe an hour or so in, I surprisingly notice I’m up to $200. I can then set an arbitrary barrier I’m promising not to go below. Maybe it’s for $150 or simply the original buy in. It takes discipline in practice, but it means that I’m able to enjoy gaming, all the while spending little. I can then use my remaining dough to fund my other activities for the night. New minimums also allow me to continue gambling. I’m not playing scared and walking away immediately.

Where/When to use it:

Keep in mind that this is a money management strategy, not a gaming strategy. I’ll never promise that you can beat the game using money techniques, because, well, you can’t. That is, unless you’re counting cards or outright cheating. The great thing about new minimums is that you can use it with any game. The digital games like video poker and slots make it easy to take your ticket at any time. For table games, count the chips and set them aside (like an inch, don’t slide them too far). If you’re ever colored up at the table, use those chips to establish your new minimum. One of the easiest ways is also laziest. If I ever receive a large denomination chip due to winning, I simply don’t ask for change.

Maybe this strategy is for you. Maybe you like to play till the green is gone. Do whatever works for you. Just remember to have a budget, be responsible, and have fun. See you at the tables!


Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.

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