Press your advantage!

Jan 27, 2004 1:24 AM

I read recently how every betting system can be broken down into one of three types: grind, positive progression and negative progression.

"Grind" is just my way of describing a betting style (or lack thereof) where someone always bets the same amount, regardless of whether that amount is large or small.

A positive progression is when the gambler increases his bet after a win and a negative progression is when he increases his bet after a loss.

In the long run they should all be affected equally by house percentage but in the short term the gambler can expect far different results.

A grinder will most often have results that closely resemble the house percentage on his bet multiplied by the number of bets he makes. This type of gambler has the best chance of breaking even but has the worst chance of a big win.

A negative progression bettor might use the classic "martingale" method: in which he doubles his bet after every loss in the hopes of eventually winning the one unit bet he started with. This bettor has the best chance of winning but when he does lose, he can lose an amount that exceeds the amount of all of his one-unit wins.

This article is dedicated to the gambler, like myself, that uses a positive progression system. You see, I often tell players that the two scenarios gamblers should avoid is, one: chasing your money by making larger and larger bets after losing; and, two: not taking advantage of a long winning streak by not pressing (increasing) your bets.

Players that advocate use of a positive progression are apt to tell you that you are "playing with the house’s money" when you press a bet after winning.

Gambling pundits on the other hand, stress that once you win a bet it is not the house’s money but your own. While I can’t argue with that logic there is one thing I know: the best way to make a score is by taking advantage of the seemingly uncommon but certainly not rare, winning streaks.

By the way, the word "press" on a craps table means double your bet unless you qualify it by a specific dollar amount that you want to increase your bet by. The word "parlay" means you a increasing your bet by the amount of your payoff.

On even money bets I will often press the bet after the first win and then press the bet every other time it wins. This gives me both the opportunity for a big win while still taking some profits along the way.

Another alternative is to press a winning bet one unit after every win. The cardinal sin is to take a winning bet down to one unit in the middle of a winning streak. I have seen players do this far too often and then kick themselves when they discover the hand was only half done.

Place and buy bets are the bets gamblers show the most imagination when it comes to pressing and parlaying. I have worked my share of small minimum games and have seen some amazing results.

Four or Ten: Place for $5, when it hits give the dealer two dollars and have him buy it for fifteen. Hits again, give him $7 and buy it for fifty. Hits again, give him $7 and buy it for $150. Now you have $21 invested and three rolls of four or ten. Every time that number is rolled again you will net $293 and have another chance to win another $293.

Five or Nine: Place for $5, when it hits give the dealer $3 and take it to $15. Hits again, take it to $25 and get $11 change. Hits again, take it to $60. Hits again, give the dealer $6 and take it to $150. Your investment is now $3 and every time it hits again you get $210!

Six or Eight: Place for $6, when it hits straight press to $12 ($1 change). Hits again, straight press to $24 ($2 change). Hits again, press to $48 ($4 change). Hits again, press to $96 ($8 change). Hits again, press to $150 ($58 change). It has taken five hits to reach this level but you have already taken $67 in profit and will collect $175 more for each win.

You can also put your bets on the "buddy system" in order to get them up faster or at least at the same rate. Common methods include giving the dealer $5 when you are paid $7 for a $6 six, so you can take your $6 each six and eight to $12 each. Or, using the $21 payoff from a five or nine to press both the $15 five and nine to a quarter ($1 change) or using the $30 payoff from a $15 buy on the four or ten to take both to a quarter ($9 change).

Now those that know me know I never recommend the prop bets but the most dramatic parlay results can occur if you are willing to invest your chump change. A $1 hard six or eight goes to $10 on the first hit, then to $100 on the second. You now can collect $900 for a third hard six or eight for a $1 investment. A $1 hard four or ten goes to $8 on the first hit and to $64 on the second. A $64 bet on the hard four or ten pays $448 if it hits again.

A $1 bet on the "ace-deuce" or "yoleven" parlays to $16 and the bettor will collect $240 for a repeat. A $1 bet on the "aces" or "boxcars" parlays to $31 and then pays $930 and a chance for another $930. In twenty-seven years I remember seeing both two and twelve roll five times in a row.

When making combination bets like the "C and E" or the horn bets, the number of ways to press and parlay them are endless. If the shooter throws an eleven when you have a $2 "C and E", you can parlay your bet to $16. A second eleven will now get a payoff of $112.

When you make a $5 "horn high" bet instead of the more common $4 horn, you can get a pleasant surprise when the number you bet the extra dollar on hits. I watched a player parlay his "horn high twelve" bet from $5 to $30 when the "aces" hit ($1 change). Then "boxcars" rolled and he got a payoff of $342! But he wasn’t done yet. He proceeded to throw the stickman $45 so he could press his bet to $75. Twelve rolled again and he got a payoff of $855. Not too shabby for a $5 investment!

(Dale S. Yeazel is the author of "Precision Crap Dealing" and "Dealing Mini-Baccarat." Full color E-books on CD-Rom available for only $20 each (plus tax) at Gamblers Book Shop and Gamblers General Store in Las Vegas (