1 Out of 3
I’d like to talk about a departure rule that has become the centerpiece of my play. I call it “1 Out of 3.” Believe it or not, the “1 Out of 3” rule first came to my attention a couple of years ago in a conversation I had with a professional sports gambler. Truth is, I wanted to see if there were any insights I could take from sports betting and apply them to craps, baccarat and blackjack.
The first half of our conversation was not very fruitful. He went on about the markers he uses to rate a team: home team inter-division games versus interconference bi-weekly games. But then he made a comment that caught my attention. “Of course, I never make more than three bets a weekend.” That seemed strange to me because if a system called for a bet, who cares if you make 5, 10 or 25 bets that week. “No,” he insisted. “ More than three bets and you put yourself in a very difficult mathematical position.” Well now I was all ears. I had to hear the explanation for this.
And his explanation was very simple. Three bets is the perfect mathematical model for a sports gambler to work from. That is, when sports betting if you make just 1 bet a weekend, then you have to win 100% of your bets to be a winner that week. If you make two bets, you have to also win 100% of your bets to be a winner. By making three bets, you only have to win 66% of your bets to be a winner.
Now watch this! If you make four bets, you have to win 75% of your bets to be a winner. Just by making three bets, instead of four, you gain a 9% advantage. If you make five bets, you have to win 60% of your bets to be a winner. But he argued it is much more difficult to pick three winners when making five bets than two winners when making three bets. Plus in sports gambling you have to worry about the vig on your losing bets. This can add up the more games you play.
Well, I started thinking about what he was saying and you know what? This guy is absolutely right! What a brilliant principle. If you make an odd number of bets, you need a lower percentage of wins to be an overall winner than if you bet an even number. And three bets seems to be the perfect number to work from. I felt like I had just been introduced to some mystic mathematical principle of gambling. The only problem was that this three bet a weekend rule seemed to be most applicable to sports gambling. Was there a way to apply this rule to casino gambling?
Then I realized there really was a way. This three bet or wager rule could be applied to our betting strategies, table departure and most importantly daily departure rules. Once I started experimenting with this three bet rule, I realized that I could control my fluctuations, win easier and come back from losing situations much more easily. Let me show you how.
For the three bet rule to make sense in gambling, two things must apply. The first is that your worst loss should be recoverable with just an average win. Second, you must give yourself enough of a chance to find a winning table and never lose a major portion of your buy-in to find it.
And then it dawned on me. My average wins in blackjack, craps and baccarat have been between 5-10 units per session. I also noticed that when I won, I never needed more than a third of a buy-in to win, whether it was 1 or 2 units or 50 units! Also, most times when I lost more than a half a buy-in, I found myself playing the next two or three sessions just battling to get even. If I just had limited my losses to 5 to 10 units, I would have easily gained back m loss the next session and had been way ahead shortly after.
And that is exactly how I have constructed my table and daily departure rules and chosen the strategies that let me win in this “1 Out of 3” scenario. In blackjack, I play three units on three different tables. If just one of these bets breaks through and I collect on the 1, 1, 2 progression, I should come out a winner after three tables. With a good day, I can easily win 8-10 units. But my losses average 3-4 units.
In craps, we play three tables and expose about 10-12 units. A reasonable win on one of the three tables and we should find ourselves up after three tables. Most losses are never beyond 6 units. Easily recovered. But this based on designing playing strategies and departure rules around this “1 Out of 3” principle.
In baccarat, I only bring 10-12 units and play three or four modes. Using the same “1 Out of 3” principle, I do three bets per table over three tables.
This guiding light is the key reason I win. In other words money management. Money management where my losses never reach the scenario of an unrecoverable loss. This “1 Out of 3” principle plays out of the condition of letting you win a little, win a lot and lose a little. It never puts you in the position of “losing a lot.”
So, next time you watch a football game, think about that old pro sports bettor. His three bet a weekend principle seems to work on both the football field an in the casino. Till next time.