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Best of Frank Scoblete
Hamlet1 March 2016
Brilliant lines reflecting brilliant analysis by brilliantly fleshed-out characters; a play that will make you think and wonder about it all. I’ve read Hamlet over 40 times and it gets better and better with each reading. As a play it can be read in one sitting. Give it a try. And if you do – give the play some thought. You might find a lot of Hamlet in yourself. I did.
In one scene, Hamlet says, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” I thought of this line the other night and wondered if maybe, just maybe, this insight by Hamlet has anything to do with casino gambling.
And, of course, it certainly does.
Just think of your school days. You sit in the class with a friend of yours. You really like the teacher of this class. You think she is great. On the other hand, your friend hates this teacher. She thinks the teacher is an evil witch. Who’s right? “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
I have strong thoughts about casino gambling – all gambling for that matter – but am I 100 percent correct? Are there radically different thoughts about casino gambling that I have rejected but that are equally valid.
Take the game of craps. I say avoid all bets but the pass line and come bets with full odds (or whatever odds you can afford). Keep the pass line bet low and max those odds as best you can.
If you must place bet merely place the 6 and/or 8; nowhere near as good as the pass line bet since you must place them in $6 increments – an expected loss of 9 cents per six dollars. A $5 come bet’s expected loss is a mere 7 cents. Go up the ladder with these bets and you can see something interesting happening.
On a $60 place bet of the 6 or 8, your expectation is to lose 90 cents. In a 5x odds game; a $10 pass line bet with $50 in odds has an expected loss of 14 cents. Note the wide range in expectation even though the placing of the 6 or 8 is considered a good bet.
As for the rest of the place bets? Ignore them. I truly disdain betting on all the one-roll proposition bets which my mentor the late Captain of Craps called “Crazy Crapper” bets such as 12 (midnight) or 2 (snake eyes) and so on; also those hard 8 or 6 bets, or the hard 10 or 4 wagers; and the field; and the horn, and the whirl, and the any craps and the fire bet. In fact, there are times in my writing where I rant against these bets as if they are the Imperial Storm Troopers from Star Wars.
OK, is it possible that there is another way to look at the betting game of craps that turns my ideas on their heads? Is what I think of as good also capable of looking bad to someone who thinks differently than I? In fact, there is a way to look at all the stupidest bets at craps and make a case that they will cost you far less than my methods of play.
Here goes. Most players will make Pass Line bets and use the odds. So let us take a $20 pass line player who takes $100 in odds. His expectation is to lose 28 cents. Say he also likes to place the 6 and the 8 for $60 each. His expected loss will generally be $1.80 on these bets. So overall his expectation is to lose $2.08 on these bets over time.
But many players are not satisfied with just pass line and place bets of the 6 or 8. They also like to throw out a dollar (or more) here and there on all the worst bets on the table.
If our player throws out a hard 6 and a hard 8 for $5 each, his expectation is to lose 45 cents per number for a total of a 90-cent loss.
No one can say this is a good bet based on math but what if our player decides since he likes the excitement of these bets he refrains from making his place bets? Instead he ratchets up the hard 6 and hard 8 to $10 each. Now his expectation is to lose $1.80, the same as placing the 6 and 8 for $60 each. He gets the thrill of rooting for an outlandish hit with the expectation of losing no more money than if he had bet correctly (correctly meaning the way I say to bet).
You can figure loss per hour too. Keep the normal bets far lower than you usually do – or don’t bet any of them at all. Just go for the high house edge but with lower amounts so you don’t let these bets clobber you.
Interesting way to look at it. I guess, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
Frank Scoblete’s latest books are "I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps," "Confessions of a Wayward Catholic" and "I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack." Available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.
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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