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Do Make the Don't One Step at a Time9 July 2004
The enemy of a "Don't" or Darkside player in craps is the shooter who gets hot. A shooter hitting point after point, number after number, can drown a Darkside player in a sea of red ink and sunken boatloads of lost bets that will take endless hours to recoup. What makes Rightside bettors cheer with abandon will make a Darkside player groan in chagrin.
While the math of craps shows that there is very little difference in the long-term expectation between the Rightside and the Darkside of craps, the math also shows that the pattern of how a Darksider wins contrasted with how a Rightsider wins is markedly different.
On the Darkside, for example, a Don't Pass or Don't Come bet will face a strong losing potential when it is first placed because of the deadly effect of the 7 and 11. That duo can appear eight times, all losers, for every three wins (the 2 or 3) on the initial placement of the bet. Once up on the number, of course, the Darksider has the best of it since he is favored to win on every number. Most Darkside Don't Pass and Don't Come players like to do the mathematically correct thing by laying odds on their bets once they are up on the numbers. Of course, a single loss on the number requires two wins to make up for it, whereas on the Rightside a player taking the odds needs only to win one bet to make up for one loss and show a profit. That's because he is not the favorite to win an equal number of bets in the long run. Thus his taking of the odds means he wins more than even-money when he does win. The Darksider loses the whole bet but only wins a fraction of his odds when he does win.
So a hot shooter devastates a Darksider while it elevates a Rightsider.
But there is a relatively simple way to avoid all hot shooters. It's not a fancy betting system or a hedging system. It's as easy as one, two--no three needed.
1. Don't bet on the Don't Pass!
These three simple rules will avoid all hot rolls by an individual shooter and, just as important, if there are any controlled shooters at the table, these rules will help you avoid them as well - at least when they are deliberately setting and shooting against your interests.
Some Darksiders have fallen for the logical fallacy that a shooter can't make enough "points" to hurt you if you keep escalating your bets in a Martingale (i.e., a double up as you lose progression) in order to recoup in one win what you lost in all those losses. This is not so. A shooter need only make seven points to put you at the table maximums in most casinos if you are starting with $10 Don't Pass bets and backing them with full odds. Even though this will not happen that often, it will happen on occasion and those occasions will be enough to wipe out all the little wins you accumulated over time with your Martingale. The way you avoid betting on hot shooters is to figure that anyone who has burned you once is just as likely (or in the case of a controlled shooter, more than likely) to burn you twice. The Don't Pass line, where the 7 and 11 come up with annoying regularity, is just asking for the same shooter to burn you once, twice, thrice and even more. Why? Because a controlled shooter will often be looking to hit that 7 and will therefore be setting for the 7. I know my friends in Golden Touch Craps are always setting for the 7 on the come-out. Why would you want to bet into such a big disadvantage? Unless you are insane or a masochist, you wouldn't. Apropos of that, a few weeks ago at Sam's Town in Tunica, a Don't Pass bettor making $300, $600, $1,200, $2,400 on my come-out roll lost to my four straight sevens, which I was setting for and hitting. Wouldn't he have been better off just losing that initial $300 and waiting for the next shooter? Yes, he would have. But he was in a personal contest with me. I could see it on his face. He was daring me to hit another seven--and I did and I did and I did and I did once more and he allowed himself to be wiped out.
The Don't Come, while mathematically the exact same bet as the Don't Pass, has certain features that make it a more attractive bet for the Darksider looking to minimize his exposure to hot shooters or dice controllers. First of all, while the bet loses on a 7 or 11 in its initial placement, the 7, which will occur three-fourths of the time on a loser, knocks off the shooter; he sevens out. This shooter will therefore only be able to hurt you once on a 7, unlike the Don't Pass shooter who can roll many 7s in a row to frustrate and aggravate you. My advice, if the 11 shows, is to take it as a warning and not bet against this particular shooter again.
Now, if the shooter is a controlled shooter, when your Don't Come bet is out there, it is highly likely that the dice controller is looking to hit any number but the 7. If he has skill, it is much more likely that he will be reducing the appearance of the 7 and increasing the appearance of the other numbers. Thus, you face reduced chances of being burned on the initial placement. Once up on a number, you still have to worry that a dice controller will bang you out but at least you made it to the point in the game where you have the math with you. If a shooter should hit the number you're on, that's it for him. He beat you; accept it. Wait for another shooter.
By playing this way, any one shooter can only hurt you once, whether he rolls for a minute or until the end of time. To take a beating on the initial placement of the Don't Pass can happen over and over. To take a beating on the initial placement of the Don't Come rarely happens because three-fourths of the time it is a seven out.
If you have been playing craps for any sustained length of time, you know that it is rare that any shooter has an epic roll; rarer still that two or three will have them back to back to back. Playing the Don't in such a conservative fashion will not win you buckets of chips, but it will prevent you from losing barrels full of them to a shooter who is hot either because Lady Luck is smiling on him or because he has the skill to control the dice to some degree.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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