How I Learned to Play Craps from Financial Advisors

It started at the Raymond James National Conference in Las Vegas. I didn’t go to gamble. I went to work with some of my clients. But at the end of the long, session-packed days, I found myself out on the Aria’s casino floor, looking over the shoulder of people playing craps. Several nights of observation taught me nothing. The game made no sense. That was, until a bunch of financial planners helped me figure it all out.

Step 1: Prepare Yourself for the Game

Have several glasses of wine – maybe a Pinot Noir, then a Super Tuscan, and if you feel like it, another Super Tuscan. Why not? Next you need to assess the tables. You’re looking for 2 things here:

  • The lowest minimum. I am no expert, but if you’re a beginner like me, those $500 minimum tables are not for you.
  • Once you locate a $15 table, follow my insider’s trick. Look for the players with Raymond James lanyards around their necks that have large nametags hanging from the end. You may be thinking:             

“Why are you looking for someone wearing a nametag at a casino at midnight? Is it blatant disregard for fashion.”

Don’t worry about the “why” because that gigantic nametag is a dead giveaway. March yourself up to such a table like I did and toss your money on the table.

Step 2: Watch, Listen, and Learn

With as much bravado as I could scrape up, I put my $100 bill on the table. I’d squeezed into a spot between not just a few, but 5 financial advisors! Between them, they probably had 300 years of wealth management experience – but surprisingly little actual craps playing experience. Do not worry. You’re relying on those 300 years here. I timidly placed my first three $5 chips on the table.

Next came what top trainer to America’s CEOs John Spence had told the RJ conference attendees was called a Moment of Truth (MOT). The truth was, I had no clue what to do. I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans and turned to the closest nametag. This was the real MOT – that pivotal point in your introduction to craps that will determine your future addiction interest in the game. Go ahead, this is your chance. Ask. For. Help.

There’s nothing financial advisors love to do more than help. I suddenly had more advice coming my way than I could handle. When to back up my bet. When to pick up my chips. And when to take four $25 chips off the table and stash them safely in my purse.

                        That was the best advice anyone could give.

I played for more than 2 hours and then cashed in for a crisp $100 bill identical to the one I’d timidly tossed on the craps table. Now I’m sure most financial advisors would say, “Don’t gamble. At all. Ever!” But if you’re going to do it, I’d highly recommend surrounding yourself with some really good advice.