What’s the Best Bet when Down to my Last 5 Dollars?

 What’s the Best Bet when Down to my Last 5 Dollars?

Most of the contact I have with readers is about game odds and strategies.

Less often, someone will ask about hypotheticals and playing philosophy, and in this recent email:

“You’re in a casino, having a tough day, and you’re down to your last $5 with time for one more bet before you go home. What do you do?”

I replied that I leave and keep the $5 in case I need it for something on the way home.

But if I’m to play along with the hypothetical and bet the $5, I might just try to double the money with a $5 bet on blackjack, the pass line at craps or the player bet at baccarat.

Alternatively, I might take a chance on winning many times my bet while having a reasonable chance of at least getting my $5 back. Then the choice would be a $5 max bet on a dollar video poker machine.

But really, I’d probably just buy an iced tea for the road.

Just to get some other ideas, I asked a couple of friends.

JEFF: It has to be all $5 on one bet? I can’t just play a few spins on penny slots? Then I probably play one hand on something I usually wouldn’t play, and make it a long shot. Maybe I’d bet it on my birthday at roulette. If there’s a Big Six wheel, maybe I put it on a $10 or $20 space.

I’m probably going to lose, but $5 isn’t going to make or break me, and if I win I get a good payoff.

SHARON: I’m a slot player, You know that. I bet it on one spin of the slots. If I’m going to lose, it might as well be playing the game I like.

I also asked my wife Marcy to chime in. She doesn’t like to lose money, and her answer rang true: “I wouldn’t get down to my last $5 in the first place.”

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