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The one-bet solution3 October 2011
In the world of detective fiction, it was the venerable Sherlock Holmes who had to be cured of his cocaine addiction in Nicholas Meyer's fun book The Seven Percent Solution. Sigmund Freud gave him a hand too. Not a bad team up.
In craps almost all players have their own form of addiction which I call the multiple-bet syndrome or, in pseudo-Freudian-psychological terms, the "I need more action because I can't get enough action so give me the following numbers" syndrome.
This syndrome is so widespread in the craps world that almost all players suffer from it but remarkably few of them even know they have the disease. It is that pernicious.
Go to almost any craps table in the country and once the shooter has established his point, try to find players who are only betting on one number. I dare you. If a shooter rolls several numbers without a seven showing, you have a more decent chance of finding a snowball in that really, really hot place ruled by Satan than you do of finding a craps player who is only betting on one number. I double-dare you to find such a player.
For some reason craps players think that betting more numbers gives them a better chance to win. While this might seem to be true, our intuition in this matter is totally wrong because you can win on one number and then the seven shows its ugly face and it and all those other numbers the player bet get wiped off the layout in the blink of an eye.
Every number you bet in a craps game means you are playing a distinct and separate game against the house. Your chances of winning playing so many games are almost nil in the long run and only slightly better even in the short run. The more games you play against the house, the more decisions you face, and the more decisions you face the better chance the house edge will grind or maybe rip away at your bankroll. That's the sad fact of math and the impact of enough time for that math to work itself out. The more bets you make, the less time it will take the casino to start carving up your winning dreams and desires.
Most craps players will shake their heads when reading the above paragraph and simply ask, "What the heck are you talking about?"
Okay, let us do a simple analogy. There are six players at the table all betting one number -- let us say each has one place bet on a different box number. How many games are being played against the house? No problem, there are six separate games taking place, one game for each player.
Now what if instead of those six players making one bet apiece, you are making all six bets? How many games are you playing? Obviously, you are playing six games with each game giving the house an edge against the number you are on. You are giving the house a great shot of shooting you down.
So here comes the solution: What if you only make one bet? That's right. What if you only make one bet, perhaps a pass or come bet with full odds, or a place bet of the 6 or 8? Why not just play one game against the house as opposed to several games? Why not limit your potential losses from what your expectation is now playing multiple games to what your expectation would be if you only play one game against Lady Luck?
I know at first this solution to the multiple-bet syndrome will strike craps players as crazy. They are used to playing many bets and their systems are fine tuned for such betting -- and, sadly, for the losses that eventually come from such betting.
Craps players are used to steady action, just as Sherlock Holmes was used to his daily dose of cocaine. But the cocaine wasn't good for him and multiple bets are not good for players.
If you play only one bet against the house, it's your number against the seven -- all other numbers are irrelevant. When they appear, they appear. Who cares? In reality they do not exist for you. Right now numbers are appearing on craps tables all over the world. Does this mean a thing to you? No, who cares? If you are a darkside player it is the seven against whatever number is the point or don't come number. It's one-on-one to the finish.
I know that if you are a serious craps player, you might be shaking your head in disbelief that I would recommend such a betting scheme -- or you are shaking your head and thinking, "Scoblete is not as dumb as he looks in his picture! This is a great idea."
The ups and downs will be somewhat more dramatic playing one game against the house but over time you will reduce your expected losses remarkably. If you are used to betting four numbers, playing four games, a single number will reduce your losses substantially. So why not try it.
For the past year I have been betting one number on all random shooters. I am not ahead on these shooters but I am much better off than I would have been had I bet three numbers, which had been my former protocol. On Golden Touch controlled shooters with good axis control (see my book Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players! for a full explanation of such betting) I bet the one or two numbers they are setting for and leave it at that. On these shooters my results have been impressive.
So give my one-number solution a try. Give it some time to get used to the flow of the game betting in this way. And maybe drop me a line and let me know what you think.
Get the Edge! Join Frank Scoblete in Las Vegas, October 21, 2011 for Advantage-Play Friday.
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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