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Playing the Darkside21 December 2006
I am not a Darkside player. My emotional constitution just won't allow me to see the Darkside as a viable option in craps play. If the casinos banned the Darkside, I wouldn't shed a tear. In fact, I would cheer.
I am well aware that the math of craps is slightly better for Don't Pass and Don't Come players and that there is no reason whatsoever for me to not play the don't side of the craps board. Darkside play is a legitimate way to go after the casinos' money.
I just can't bring myself to do it - and, believe me, I have tried.
While the intellectual part of me looks upon craps as just a casino game to be beaten by making the best bets possible and by controlling the dice to hit fewer sevens than probability would indicate, the emotional side of me just can't stand the thought of betting with the seven or trying to hit the seven during the point cycle of the game.
When you are betting with the seven, you are betting differently than 95 percent of all the craps players you will play with at the tables. Aside from the fact that they will all look askance at you for being the odd man out (some of them might even snort or grump at you for being "wrong"), the true fun of a craps game is the camaraderie that develops as a shooter starts hitting number after number and point after point. You don't get to join in the trill of the game if you are betting for the shooter to fail.
Darkside bettors exist in a lonely world where they must of necessity root for shooter after shooter to seven out - and quickly at that. For some reason, even though that means making money for a Darksider, rooting for shooters to seven out just doesn't ring my emotional bell.
Even though I play craps for money and want to make the sensible bets, I just can't bring myself to play the Darkside of the game. I want to be one with the tribe of my fellow dice players as we root and toot for the shooter to roll forever. You just can't do that from the Darkside.
So, for those of you who are novices to the game of craps, the Darkside is the mirror image of the "right" side. When the shooter takes the dice on the come-out roll, most players are rooting for him to roll a 7 or 11, two winners, and not roll a 2, 3 or 12. These players are all betting with the shooter and they want the shooter to do well.
The Darkside player is doing the opposite. He is betting the "don't pass" and is rooting for a 2 or 3 (the 12 is a push) to roll, a winner for him, whereas a 7 or 11 is a loser.
When the shooter establishes his point (be it a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), the right players want him to make the point and not roll the 7, whereas the Darkside player wants him to roll the 7 and not make the point. So if the shooter is getting hot and hitting numbers, the table will be cheering him but the Darkside player will be praying that he hits the 7 - and quickly at that.
Make no mistake about it; the Darkside wagers of Don't Pass and Don't Come are excellent bets to make at the game. The house edge is just a shade below 1.4 percent and by laying odds, you can knock the edge down to one half or less of a percent.
Mathematically, playing the Don't is really a good bet.
The only major terror factor in playing the Darkside is a shooter getting hot and knocking the Darkside player off of number after number. The only way around such an occurrence is to not let one shooter nail you more than once.
If you wish to play the Darkside here is my recommendation. Ignore the come-out roll. As soon as the shooter establishes his point number, then bet a Don't Come bet. A 7 or 11 will lose this bet for you but if the shooter rolls that 7, he just sevened-out and a new shooter will take his place. If he rolls that 11, then you must exercise discipline and not continue to bet while this shooter has the dice.
Once your Don't Come bet actually makes it up on a number, the game turns heavily in your favor - the 7 has an edge over every possible point number. If you have an adequate bankroll, feel free to lay the odds of the Don't Come bet. But just keep this as the only wager you make against the shooter. If the shooter sevens-out, great; but if he hits your number, thereby knocking you off, you wait for the next shooter. Never allow one shooter to make you lose more than one bet.
It is very rare that you'll be at craps tables where several shooters in a row have epic, Darkside-destroying rolls; so making one bet versus one shooter is a sensible way to play the Darkside. Your money will last a long time playing this way and you'll find that your swings of fortune will be much more moderate than if you bet several wagers against the same shooter.
However, let me warn would-be Darksiders about the nature of their betting choice. Most players will shun you at the tables. You will not find welcome in their eyes and when shooters are cold and you are winning money, you will be thrown looks like daggers. If you can handle that kind of hate, then you will be a great Darkside warrior. If you can't handle that kind of hate, then play the right side of the craps equation and join me.
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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