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Chicago mobster ‘shoots’ to win

Mar 6, 2001 7:50 AM

My wife and I recently watched the old Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando musical, Guys And Dolls, which is primarily a movie about craps. In it, Frank Sinatra runs a floating craps game for a living, and usually does pretty well at it, too. That is, until Big Julie comes along and insists that he use his "special" dice.

Big Julie was a Chicago mobster, complete with guns and bodyguards, who really hated to lose at craps. In fact, he always won when he used his own dice — 100% of the time — always.

He had no special system, and his dice weren’t loaded. But they were special, rare dice that had dots on them that only he could see! So when he rolled them, he generously called out the numbers for everyone else who, of course, couldn’t see the results.

He made every point, and nobody doubted that he was honest. After all, he was Big Julie from Chicago and so he never lost.

This got me to thinking about the casino. It never loses either. The casino is Big Julie. Even if you won every single bet you made, the casino would still come out a winner. This is because it takes a percentage from each flat bet, whether the bet wins or loses.

Sometimes it takes more of a percentage than others. For example, it takes 16% of your "Any Seven" bet, but only .3% of your pass line bet with 5x odds.

What this translates to you as the player is that you have a choice – make bets that give the casino a higher percentage or make those that give the casino almost no advantage at all. Since the game of craps will always mathematically favor the casino, there are only three things you can do to beat the game on a regular basis.

  1. Wager low casino advantage bets only. This includes pass/don’t pass with 5x or higher odds, come and place bets.
  2. Learn how to set the dice. When you shoot, even a tiny edge will offset the 1.4% (or less) the casino makes on the pass line.
  3. Maximize your comps. Never play just for comps, but ALWAYS get the comps you deserve!

So despite Big Julie running things, you still have a choice — winning or losing. Choose to win! Don’t let Big Julie get you!