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Are You a Psychic?1 February 2007
Many gamblers wish they were psychics. They wish they could with mind-power get on the flow of the cards or the dice and be able to predict that this or that will happen because that or this has just happened. The fact of the matter is this: gamblers are not psychics; they are losers. Their bottom line is that their bottom line is in the red.
We don't need a superficial argument to prove this. There are 2,000 (give or take) craps tables in American casinos and most are going all day and all night, every day and every night. The casinos are in the long run as a group almost every day of the week because of the amount of action that they book. Therefore, the casino results are helpful for us in determining the answer to this question: What are the results of all this play?
You don't have to be a mathematician skilled in obscure formulas to figure this out. The bottom line for the casinos is that they win. Let me repeat that: The casinos win! Why is that? Because the games are mathematically structured for them to take a tax or vig from winning place bets, or win more decisions on the pass and don't pass, come and don't come, the casinos take the gamblers' money - this is a fact, not speculation. The casinos win something like 16 percent of all the money bet at craps and about 13-15 percent of all the money bet at blackjack.
That's a lot of money.
The casinos can only win because they have the math in their favor. (Yes, their big bankroll is help as well.) That is the only reason for their being able to take the would-be psychic gamblers' dough. Sadly many of our psychic gamblers think they can outthink, out-intuit the game of craps. They truly believe in all their hearts - in all their losing hearts, that is - that they have the skill to outfox the game of craps by utilizing various betting and money-management schemes.
You can have two gamblers at the same table - one feels that the dice will stay hot because they have been hot and he bets accordingly, while the other thinks the dice are going to cool off because they always cool off. You know what? Both gamblers will ultimately lose their money - no matter how they bet. They will lose whatever the house edge is on the totality of the money they put into action.
Can I prove my assertion? Yes. Look at how the casinos win, each and every day, and that is proof enough. The real proof is also, of course, in mathematical formulas but we don't have to really get into those. In the real world of play, where money is bet, the bottom line for the casinos is good; the bottom line for the gamblers is not good. The bank accounts of both prove this out.
What about the idea as some psychic gamblers put it of "leaving the table when I am ahead"? Sounds good, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Aside from the fact that the games are not usually 50-50 contests (even if they were the casino vig would take care of the seemingly evenness of the game), leaving when you are ahead does not change anything.
Okay, let's go step by step through this and see what happens. Some gamblers will win their first bet and leave. However, more gamblers will lose their first bet and have to stay. The second bet will be the same, etc. Some will win, be even, and stay; some will lose and stay. That means just about all in the second group stay for the third round. Some are down two units; some are even. It doesn't take a genius to see what will eventually happen. The casino wins the money based on the math of the game. Memorize this: Gamblers cannot win just by using money management and "leaving" when they are ahead. The house edge takes its toll no matter how you structure your play - if you are a gambler. Of course, almost no gamblers win that first bet, pack up, leave the casino and never ever come back. Indeed, the gambler comes back time and time again to use his psychic losing ability.
However, advantage craps and blackjack players are not in the same game as normal gamblers. They are either changing the nature of the math (controlled shooting) or they are aware of those times when the math favors them (card counting). But they still must understand how much of an edge they have to make proper bets.
A controlled shooter has to know if he can overcome the house edge on the bets he makes. The lower the house edge, the stronger the edge of a controlled shooter. Period. Only a poor soul would proclaim that he likes to bet the yo's, the snake eyes, boxcars or other high vig bets because he thinks he can overcome the house edge on them. That could be one of the dumbest and saddest ideas around. If you can overcome a house edge of 11.11 percent on the 3 and 11, he must be shooting with an edge of about 12 percent or higher. Wouldn't he make more money going after other numbers with much lower house edges? Obviously he would.
Why not make a place bet of the six or eight and really rake in the dough? If a controlled shooter can overcome a house edge of 11.11 percent or higher, then he would make much more money betting a six or eight where the house edge is only 1.5 percent. That is just common sense - and good math!
Too many supposedly skilled dice controllers have a lack of understanding of the math of the game and they severely overrate their skills. They are the flip side of the same coin as psychic gamblers - and losers nevertheless.
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