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Trend betting: Is this advantage craps play?28 April 2015
You see them everywhere in the casino, often with paper and pen, frantically scribbling down numbers or colors or cards. You see them studying long lists of decisions at various games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and carnival games such as Let It Ride and Three-Card Poker.
They are the “charters,” often called “trackers”: players who think that, in random games, what has recently happened will be repeated in the near future.
They faithfully believe such things will happen even when everything we have learned about randomness for centuries cries out against such thinking.
The “charters” are looking for streaks, for trends, for things that can only happen in the “short run” because these players make strong distinctions between the short run and the long run. They believe that in the short run (“since anything can happen”) they don't have to use the overall mathematics of the game to structure their betting; they need to hop on the streaks as they have just appeared. This is often called “charting tables,” as if tables can be predicted to have continuing hot or cold streaks.
Some of these lost souls actually believe a table does have hot and cold characteristics. They will even go so far as to ask the dealers if the table has been hot or cold, even if no one is currently playing there. They believe that, in some mystical and mysterious way, the table contains some kind of energy that decides whether things will go right or go wrong for them should they play there.
One Internet craps player who fancies himself a gambling expert coined the term “See a Horn; bet a Horn.” He firmly believed and strongly advocated to his small clique of gullible readers that charting/tracking random decisions works because “Dice don’t have a memory but they have a history.” Obviously everything has a history — that is a truism, a trite truism certainly — and then this poor soul goes on to offer expensive courses that have tracking of random results as an integral part of the curriculum. He thinks you should structure your bets based on what just happened at the table in a random game.
On one website, the above individual wrote: “[We] are running a seminar weekend … and one of the new sessions we're putting on is called ‘TrendMasters.’ Guess what's at the heart of TrendMasters? You got it. Charting.”
This individual is also selling an “Intuitive Betting Strategy” to those not intuitive enough to see the flaws in such silliness.
“Charters” sound like the confident captain of the Titanic who said, “Even God himself couldn’t sink this ship.” Charting appeals to hopeless, hapless gamblers who sadly believe the same nonsense that their Internet gurus preach, such preachers being more like the age-old used car salesmen trying to get rid of something that just doesn’t work.
Another Internet craps guru sells a charting/tracking system that is advertised as guaranteeing “income for life.” This system relies on hot number/hot table theory also, with a mixture of “intuitive” design thrown in for good measure.
Sadly, gamblers are looking for just such magic to turn a negative expectation into a positive one. Dice control can give you an edge over the casino — if you learn how to do it (a physical skill) and bet correctly (which many craps players just can’t bring themselves to do); but charting, tracking, using your intuition and analyzing random history can not do it. A couple of “intuitive” Internet denizens strongly urge that you develop your psychic talents to pick out which tables to play on and which shooters on which to wager. Here is a saying you should memorize: Random is random.
Now, there is a flip side to this — just as silly and just as preposterous as the plop side. You have what are called the “flippers.” The “flippers” believe they have to bet against what has just happened because what has happened in the recent past must be evened out by its opposite and such evening out will occur, as one “flipper” puts it, “coming soon.”
It is important to note that randomness will have all manner of streaks. No matter what random casino game you play, streaks abound. No one denies that this is an "untrite" truth. The big lie comes in when players and misinformed Internet “experts” advocate using these past random streaks to tell you something definite about the future. Seriously, the only thing you can learn from a random streak in a random game is that there will continue to be random streaks in a random game — although exactly what and when those streaks will happen can’t be predicted.
But there is something you can understand about random games — the probability of what will happen and how much of an edge the casinos create around those probabilities. We know that on the very next roll of the dice (no matter what happened in the roll before or the roll before that or before that, etc.), the 7 has a 16.67 percent chance of appearing. We know what the percentages are but we don’t know exactly what will happen next.
So how should a smart casino player wager? Certainly not in any way, shape or form to follow the charters/trackers or intuits or other ploppies. The best way to bet is to choose those bets with the lowest house edge — based on mathematics, not mystical whimsy. You should also know the speed of the game, because fast speeds can be bankroll killers even in games with low-house edge bets.
There are no good short-run strategies based on recent streaks. You must play the math of the game to reduce the casino's edge over you. To do anything else is to hit your head against an iceberg.
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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