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Be consistent when betting craps

Aug 3, 2004 4:02 AM

Craps is probably the most random of all games. That is, the decision-making paraphernalia is least capable of rigging with easily detectable safeguards. Each roll is an absolutely pure, isolated, independent event. Past decisions are of no consequence and the present is not a predictor of the future.

Basically, you cannot pick the next side outside of a guess, chance, or "luck," there is no logical selection skill level involved. So-called intuitive skills may be ascribed to psychic phenomenon yet no self-professed "psychic" has ever demonstrated "winability" out of ordinary expectancies to my knowledge.

From a probability standpoint, each side will show with equal probability given a large number of trials. Relatively, they are a 50/50 proposition to each other with an even (1/1) payoff (excluding house percentage). The closest thing to a random coin toss as you can get. Short-term deviation can be expected, but which way?

You may ask, if all this chatter is presumably so, then why should a sensible man shoot craps outside of simple recreation or a flirt with luck? Bad question. True, the dice rolls go on and on and on ad infinitum, nothing changes that. But there is one significant variable you can throw into the random game equation and that’s you.

You are the variable because you can vary the side you pick and you can vary the size of your wager. Also, you can vary the time of your limited exposure. When to jump in and when to quit. These three variables are really all you have going for you as you push through the rainstorm of chaotic randomness.

Only you can discombabble the efforts of the steady roll of random dice. Just don’t anticipate what they will do, just control what you will do regardless of their silly antics.

Your optional decisions should not be based on what the dice are doing — pass or don’t pass. Your involvement should be based on what you are doing — win or lose. You can’t control the dice but you can control yourself. Just don’t get out of control.

Let’s look at one of our three controllable options:

Side picking: There’s no end to the number of ways you can select a side for wagering purposes. Most common are those that examine recent trends, cycles, patterns, etc. They rely on perpetuation, recurrence, repeatability, even opposites, etc. There’s only a 50-percent chance your choice is right on the next roll and each successive roll thereafter. What just happened is no indicator but some selectors treat it as such.

There are those who fall in love with a particular side. Oscar Biggler and Nick The Greek were notorious "don’t" bettors. Others go for crowd adulation and camaraderie or free odds opportunities and play the pass line. Either way, each is assured of winning about 50 percent of the time in the long run.

Many players follow the "follow" system. That is, they go for a repeat of the last decision only. A couple of the foreign high rollers play this exclusively and win and lose millions in baccarat. Their idea is to stay relatively even during choppy doldrums and make their killing when a streak occurs on either side which "does" happen.

If there is a bias, the followers are in a position to exploit it. But a pure random game shows followers still susceptible to the most probable 50-percent winner syndrome. Again, it depends on proper bet manipulation — a player-controlled factor.

Then, there are avant dernier and you play the side that appeared time before last. This can get you on single chops or streaks as well. All these systematic side plays work and don’t work about half of the time.

Then, there are the seat-of-the-pants bettors. They have no set pattern of side picking but bet by whim and hunch. If a guy is guessing wrong, he can even fake himself out of any chance of hitting the prescribed 50 percent.

That’s like the guy who seeks a partner who’s a genuine chronic loser. A guy who can’t pick his nose. He sets him with a stack of dollars on one end of the table and let’s him squander away his stack. Meanwhile, he bets $10 on the loser’s opposite picks. It’s a sure-fire method but you absolutely need a chronic loser.

Basically, what I’m saying is that side selection is not that instrumental in winning and losing sessions. Trends come and go. It’s entirely possible to have more losers than winners in a session and still make money. The secret is money management.

I do believe one should have a fixed systematic method of side selection and stick to it. The pendulum swings both ways. It’s not that great a deal. The main thing, it relieves the player of the chore of figuring out or guessing the next side. When it’s automatic, the bettor can concentrate on his betting which is where it’s at.

Bet sizing, stop losses, profit taking, etc., are all under the bettor’s control. He doesn’t look for and keep track of the do’s and don’ts, only his recent wins or losses regardless how the dice are going.

Next week is the start of the nitty gritty of the 3/5 system I promised you for good money management procedures.