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Hot and cold craps tables19 March 2012
The new player comes to the craps table and asks, "Is this table cold or hot?" Dealers will usually shrug and say something equivocal such as "Oh, it's up and down." Players at the table might answer the hot-cold-table question by saying, "The table is ice cold." Or they might answer, "The table is hot." Or they might just shrug, perhaps mumble, and ignore the new person.
Interestingly enough, some craps players will ask the dealers at an empty table if that table had been hot or cold before it emptied, as if such hot and coldness will continue into the future.
Are there actually such things as "hot" and "cold" craps tables? Of course not; but tell that to superstitious gamblers who believe with all their hearts, minds and souls that tables have just such characteristics.
Memorize this: A table is just a table. Touch it. It isn't hot and it isn't cold. A table is just a table.
What the new player wants to ascertain was how the players were doing at that particular table. Were they all doing OK? Or were they all getting their heads handed to them? Based on their answers the new player will either buy-in, hover at the fringes of the table to observe or walk away.
Let us say that the players at that table have been rolling the dice horribly, never making their points and rolling very few numbers between establishing a point and sevening out. They have been losing for quite some time. Are they fated to continue this horror into the future? Are they in the grip of some magical, mystical trend that will continue hammering each and every one of them as long as they stay at that table? Are their immediate futures so bleak that they might as well hand over their money to the casino now and avoid the slow descent into gambling's hell?
Some gamblers believe that such "hot" and "cold" table trends exist, not just in the past (which they obviously do) but into the future. These players believe the unforeseeable future is quite foreseeable based on what they just saw. It isn't. Trends will inevitably come but those trends cannot be predicted based on what just happened. If the 12 comes up three times in a row, the probability of it coming up that fourth time is one in 36; the odds are therefore 35 to one. In short, the odds were 35 to one on roll one and on roll two and on roll three and on into the future.
What is really going on with this "hot" and "cold" table type of thinking? The player is really trying to see if the players at that table or who were at that table are any good; he believes in a constant state of affairs which cannot happen in a dynamic, random game. The players may have had good rolls; they may have had bad rolls, but does that have anything to do with what is about to happen? Not at all.
The simple words "are" and "is" cause a problem in gamblers' thinking. Gamblers believe there is an equalized state in time that can exist right now at a table because of the past. They are totally wrong in this assumption. There is no present tense in craps. The players are not this and they are not that in their shooting; they were this and they were that. What does such past-performance mean for the immediate future of those players at the table? It means nothing. They might be thus and such in a future moment but nobody can predict exactly what thus and such will be. Craps is a game of past and future events; there is no present in the game despite what gamblers might think. And the past event is a dead issue as far as future events are concerned.
So let us say our new player notices that half of the players at the table now leave. Does that indicate that the table will now change from one temperature to another? What if all the players at the table leave? Will that indicate a change in temperature? Remember a table is just a table and those exiting players played in the past but the future hasn't happened yet. Nothing changes except bodies have left and the dealers might not have too many players at their particular table for a while.
So how come some gamblers have these strange ideas about what will and will not happen next at the craps table? Many do not understand why numbers appear as they do; often they discount the concept of probability as if math has nothing to do with the short and long term results of a craps game. They often discount the true nature of randomness. Many players do not understand that streaks will occur on a regular basis in a random game but what those streaks will be and how long they might last is the great "unknowable."
The "hot" and "cold" table concept is merely another type of trend betting idea, which in craps is the most popular form of incorrect analysis. Trend betting has many manifestations too. If a number has shown a few times in a short while, many players will "jump" on that number, hoping to ride it into the sunset. Conversely, many other players will bet against that number occurring again in the near future because it can't keep occurring. Neither idea can be counted on to work; if either could, there would be no casinos offering the game of craps.
The bottom line for craps players at that random game is simple. The past is eminently knowable; the future is not. There are no such things as craps' Nostradamuses.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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