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Date:  27-Feb-95 14:39 PST
From:  David Tallen,71257,3427
To:  All

I have never played craps in a casino (I prefer blackjack), but my
wife and I and some friends are planning a trip to Las Vegas in a few
months, so I thought it was about time I learned enough to give it a
try.  I have a reasonably good grasp of the basics, but I am trying to
figure out a strategy that will give me good odds and good action.
From my reading I have learned that the best odds come from making
Pass Line bets (or "Don't Pass" bets, which seems to offer slightly
better odds) and then making maximum Odds bets whenever the
opportunity presents itself.  Assuming I am correct so far (if I am
not, please share your views), my question is, do I hurt myself (in
the long run) if I also make "Come" bets whenever possible, and follow
these bets up by making Odds bets on them if possible?  The advantage
of this approach is that you can get a lot of action, and a lot of
money wagered at even odds.  The disadvantage is that you might find
yourself with money on every possible point, and then lose all of it
at once when a seven is thrown.

My gut feeling says that it doesn't matter (again, in the long run) if
you lose all of these odds bets at once, because until you do lose,
you will be getting the best return the game has to offer.  I
understand that if the dice are against you for a while, it is
possible to lose a lot very quickly, but I would think the opposite
would also be true.

So, assuming that a person has a sufficiently large bankroll to
weather a spell of bad luck, does this strategy make any sense?

If not, what is a better strategy?  Or, what is YOUR strategy, and
what is the logic behind it?

One other question.  If I use the approach I have described above, and
if I bet \$5 either on Pass or Don't Pass or Come or Don't Come, and if
I always bet 2x odds, what would be a good size bank roll to start
with so that I am not likely to be out of money within an hour?  Let's
assume that I can afford it (not true, but let's assume it).

To:  David Tallen, 71257,3427

David..  first of all, I will qualify myself by stating that I'm
certainly no expert, though craps interests me.  Also, you NEVER have
an even chance against the house.  At best, PASS, DON'T PASS, COME, &
DON'T COME w/2X odds still yields a 0.6% house advantage.  With 1X
odds, the advantage rises to 0.8%.  With no odds, the house advantage
goes up to 1.4%.

That said, it's obvious that you do need to play the odds in order to
have a reasonable chance at winning.  More important, though, is your
personal money management to limit your losses by recognizing when
it's a no-win situation for you.  And especially when you're ahead,
you need to recognize when you are beginning to lose so that you don't
give back all of your hard won earnings.  Imho, your bankroll per
session dictates the size of your basic bet by way of how many complete
losses (lose everything on a pass) you can sustain.

Vegas Library 2 here.  It's a GREAT craps simulator for DOS.  It's
shareware at \$25.  I'm not the author, but I did upload it after
looking at tons of other craps games.

From:  RICK PIKE, 74551,553
To:  David Tallen, 71257,3427

Connie is right -- er, I mean, Wrong.  What I mean is, he is an expert
Wrong Way bettor.

However, I think even he agrees that you really need to learn to play
the game and understand the nuances before you start playing the
altogether different psychological game of the DON'T PASS side.

I'm not superstitious, and I don't have any craps superstitions, but I
will bet that 90% of craps players do -- and it is really hard on
DON'T bettors sometimes.  You might make money, but you probably won't
enjoy the psychological aspects of the game if you are not prepapred
for it!

Just a warning!

From:  RICK PIKE, 74551,553

That's another aspect of craps -- even with the random factors, you
can still destroy any logical money management system with a cold
streak.  The object of the game is to survive with your bank roll
until a hot streak comes along -- and then to leave with the profits
when the table turns back to random or cold.

It's hard, hard, hard, but it's the only way to consistently win.

From:  RICK PIKE, 74551,553
To:  David Tallen, 71257,3427

I'm sure others will tell you, but there is an excellent craps game
simulator in the TRAVSIG-Lib2 library.  It works just like a real LV
craps table -- it has excellent reviews here (and from me).

My craps strategy, which is fairly boring, is based on reading some
money management strategies by several different authors, and
comparing house advantage vs. return vs. random factors

My strategy is the following (let's assume a \$5 table with double
odds). Place a \$5 pass line bet.  Establish a point.  Double odds on
the \$5 pass line bet.  Put down a \$5 come bet.  Roll dice.  Come bet
moves to a point, put double odds on it.  Put down another come bet
for \$5. Roll dice.  Come bet moves to a point, put double odds on it.
Now stop and let the dice roll until you hit any of your bets.

So, the overall strategy is to put the minimum on the line and take
maximum (double) odds, establishing a point plus 2 other come points.
If a come point hits, make another come bet so that you always have
the point and two come bets working.  Plus, you get a little return on
the come bets if a 7 comes up.

Sometimes, but not too often I'll place some money on the 6 and/or 8
if the table seems hot, and swap it if my come bet establishes there.

I never make any other bets (no FIELD, no Big-6/Big-8, and no center
table/prop bets).
When I want to tip the dealers, I place a bet on the pass line and
say "this bet is for the dealers"

This strategy works similarly if you play DON'T PASS/DON'T COME.

From:  Rick J. Price, 72762,2274
To:  RICK PIKE, 74551,553

Your strategy is pass & 2 comes all backed with maximum odds. I've
read that in other sources as well, and played it successfully and
unsuccessfully.  Since pass & come with odds are basically the same
bet, what's the advantage to stopping at 3 table bets? Why not 4 or 5?

From:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714

I was talking to some dealers this  weekend up in LV.  A "hot" table
usually refers to a lot of points being made, which may or may not of
course mean numbers are being rolled.  Normally, they will use the
reference, "he was a good shooter," or "they were pretty good
shooters" if they rolled a lot of numbers but did not make a lot of
points.

From:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714

I might qualify that one bit farther.  "Most" gamblers do not consider
comeout 7/11's as a hot table.  Since most of them play odds or
double odds, if they have two comeout winners of seven and then
miss one point with double odds they are behind \$\$-wise.  Yet they
have won two out of three bets.  As we both know, that is why we
prefer the don't side.  It may seem like us WRONG WAY players have
to lay the odds but in fact if you look at craps realistically app. 50%
of all winning bets on the PASS side are 7's or 11's without odds, so
they might win more bets then they lose, but they still lose money.

From:  RICK PIKE, 74551,553
To:  Rick J. Price, 72762,2274

From my reading of various books and money management strategies,
the house advantage starts getting too large for effective money
management and expected rate of return after you have the point plus
two come points on the table.

Of course, you can certainly do more -- on a "hot" table I often place
the 6 and 8; on a mediocre or cold table, I stick to the basic pass+2
come scheme.  This seems to work well for me, and I have had long play
sessions and a fairly successful win:loss ratio.

To:  RICK PIKE, 74551,553
From:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714

Statistically FYI the "comeout winners" 7 and 11 are supposed to make
up 27% of all decisions.  the other half of the winners (pass side)
should be approximately 23% being point winners.  Naturally, these
don't take into account the 1.414 house edge (not counting odds which
lower that).

I know what you mean about the 7/11's, you may get two or three of
them, then a point with double odds, lose it and you are even.  Even
though you just won 3 out of 4 bets.

To:  Del Ratcliffe, 72777,2245

Del..  the Field bet sounds like a good move if the table is hot.
Otherwise, the "show" for a 7 is something like 1 in 4 so after you've
got a point and two numbers up, the 7 is primed and ready to goI

One in four for a seven, really Conrad! Dice are very simple. THere
are 36 possible combinations, one for a 2, two for a 3, three for a 4,
five for a 6, six for a 7, five for an 8, four for a 9, three for a
10, two for an 11, and one for a 12. Therefore the chance of rolling a
seven is *exactly* 6/36 = 1/6.

From:  Del Ratcliffe, 72777,2245
To:  David Tallen, 71257,3427

David, I use the same system as Rick Pike details in another message -
Pass line/wi max ods + 2 come bets with max odds.  I have found that,
depending on the game (which I'll talk about later), I can usually
cash in with a bankroll of \$200.00 on a \$5.00 table.  If I go through
that in, say, 30 - 45 minutes (strictly adhereing to the strategy, no
prop bets), I feel I  had a pretty cold run on the table.  Well over
half of the time, using this strategy, you'll find yourself "up" on
the house at some point.  The trick, if you ask me, is to know when to
stop when you are "up"!

When I say "depending on the game", I mean the rules of the house.
Many casinos are getting very competitive in the games they offer.  I
recently played at a casino in Biloxi that offered \$3.00 minimums, and
a unique free-odds system:  3x on the 4-10, 4x on the 5-9, and 5x on
the 6-8!  This was a great game!  It requires a little more starting
bankroll to take full advantage of the odds, but the payoff is
fantastic, IMHO.  It makes it easier to keep track of your payoffs,
also - a \$5 wager with max odds returns \$35.00, no matter what the
point number is!

One last thing - and I'd love some feedback from anyone on this - I
will take a field bet every once in a while with this system!  If the
house pays triple on either 12 or 2, I'll occasionally take a field
bet if my three points are the 5, 6 and 8.  This way, I get a payoff
on any number except a 7. (My field bet is always the amount of the
original bet, not the odds bet).  When the house pays trip on the 12
or the 2, it lowers the vig to a point that is actually better than
most bets on the table.

From: David Tallen, 71257,3427
To: All

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this discussion.  I've
learned a lot.  It seems that most of you either make a Pass Line bet
and follow it up with a couple of Come bets, or you bet the Wrong way
and follow that up with a couple of Don't Come bets.  This all makes
sense, since these bets offer the best probability of winning (lowest
vig).

However, the numbers are still against you.  Is there really any
practical hope of winning money somewhat consistently over time?  Or
are we all simply hoping to "get lucky"?  It's fine to set yourself a
loss limit, and always walk away when you reach it, but does that mean
that you will usually be walking away a loser?

In Blackjack the secret, apparently, to winning is to be able to tell
(by counting) when the odds are in your favor, and then bet more
money. Winning a higher percentage of these larger bets will, in
theory, earn you enough to overcome the larger number of (smaller)
losing bets.  However, since you never have a statistical advantage in
craps, you cannot know when to place larger bets, so how do you win?
Or are we saying that you cannot actually win at craps (once again,
over the long run), but you can lose at as slow a rate as possible by
betting smart?

Like every gambler, I want to believe that it is possible to win, but
I cannot ignore the mathematics.  If what I am doing at the craps
table is having a lot of fun and paying the casino a fee for the
privilege of using their facilities, then I want to admit that to
myself and go into the game with the understanding that it is not a
money making endeavor, just a form of entertainment for which I am
expected to pay a fee.

I know that most gamblers do not want to over-analyze their particular
game, because then it won't be any fun.  They may have to face up to
the fact that what they are doing does not make financial sense,
though it may be entertaining.  However, you are not in a casino right
now.  Sit back and reflect a moment.  Do you believe the casino can be
beaten at craps?  Why do you believe it?  How do you go about it?  I
assume that you MUST bet more than your standard bet some times, to
offset the fact that you are going to lose more times than you win.
How do you decide when you are going to bet more? Make a believer out
of me.

From:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714
To:  David Tallen, 71257,3427

I have studied the game and the mathematics of it.  To answer you
first question, no, mathematically you can't beat craps as compared to
BJ.

The only way to win is to have a VERY slow progression as you were
losing but you would still have to set a very tight limit.  The
percentage can be offset with a mild losing progression.  The problem
is the streaks, not the house PC.  It is the streaks (losing) that
will defeat a money management system.

I personally (don't side) set a small progression when I am losing.
Additionally, I will not let any one shooter make over two points
against me without "stepping aside" waiting for them to miss.  Then
continue with my progession with the next shooter.

This is not failsafe, but hopefully, if the dice are generally
streaking during a session, I will be there for the good streaks and
standing aside during the bad streaks.  One must remember that the
dice do NOT remember so this is more of a strategy than a system to
win guaranteed!!

To:  David Tallen, 71257,3427

David..  as Allen has mentioned, it's the streaks that will either
make you or break you. The idea behind money management is to minimize
your losses while looking for that hot table to make a big win.  I
guess you can say that you're looking for that big win to offset a
bunch of small losses.  If you're talking about a "grind 'em out"
strategy in craps where you can undoubtedly win almost every time you
play, I don't think there is one.  I've seen books with extremely
complex strategies, but the bottom line seems to be the same:  hold
your losses to a minimum while waiting for the streak to make a big
win.

I, for one, am quite willing to walk away after only a few minutes at
a table if things aren't going my way to try again another time.  My
"system" is based on those particular playing habits.  Others like to
play for at least an hour or more per session.  I could go broke very
quickly playing my system if I had a minimum playing time of one hour
per session.

I do look at the whole Vegas trip as an entertainment.  I feel that
the gambling portion of my trip is successful if I can win enough to
cover all of my expenses, i.e., the Vegas trip is free.  If I've got a
few bucks left over, then I'm really in the pink.  I don't go with the
idea of making money, per se.  I guess I should also point out that
I'm seldom on the tables for more than 4 or 5 hours per day, a little
here, a little thereI  connie

From:  Dan Goldman, 71361,1636
To:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714

PMJI, but I'm a very occasional craps player (I get to LV once a year,
usually), and I don't understand this:

>> Statistically FYI the "comeout winners" 7 and 11 are supposed to
make up 27% of all decisions. <<

There are 6 combinations of 7 and 2 of 11, for a total of 8 comeout
roll winners.  This means that the percentage of winning comeout rolls
should be 8/36, or 22.22%, right? Or do I misunderstand your the
'decisions' nomenclature?

To:  Dan Goldman, 71361,1636

Dan..  I see that Allen has already bailed on his statement and agrees

BUT (sorry, Allen), I believe that he quoted it correctly the first
time.

His statement was that the "come-out winners make up 27% of all
decisions".  The key word is *decisions*.  7's and 11's are winners on
the come-out roll, and that is a decision.  A decision is the same as
a pass, and there can be a number of *rolls* to a decision.  For
instance, say the point is 6.  If the shooter makes a 6, s/he is a
winner; if the shooter throws a 7, s/he is a loser.  That is also a
decision or a pass.  Hence the total number of decisions include:
winning 7s and 11s on the come-out roll, losing 2s, 3s, and 12s on the

I don't have the stats to back it up, but I do believe that I read in
one of the craps books that 7s and 11s on the come-out roll do make up
27% of the decisions

To:  Charles Kroboth, Dallas, 70007,5521

Charles..  I actually don't need to put it down on paper.  Basically,
it's just progessing the bets quicker and without "testing the
ahead.  The downside is that if you've struggled to get \$200 ahead,
increasing to \$50 bets can potentially wipe out that gain in one pass.
On the upside, if it is truly the start of a good run, you can
multiply your winnings a lot quicker.

Personally, I play conservative and would not use the more aggressive
method unless I was ahead after a few sessions.

Re CRAPS32 itself, the stats are only there for you to see what
actually was rolled, either during that one session or cumulatively.
I do reset the stats for each game I play in order to look at the
distribution.  As expected, if I've lost, the distribution is normally
really skewed (lotsa numbers and few sevens, or lotsa elevens).  The
more the distribution approaches normal, the better I seem to do.
That's pretty much common sense, though.  When you're on a crap table
and lotsa numbers are being rolled (and thus few sevens), the DO side
is making a killing and I'm getting killedI  connie

P.S.  it just sounds like you need to get out a little quicker if

From:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714
To:  Charles Kroboth, Dallas, 70007,5521

Naturally, the more odds you can take the more the house percentage
is lowered against you.  BUT,  with double odds on the pass side the
house percentage is down to 0.8%, on the don't side 0.6%

From there you don't drop the house percentage enough to make that
much difference, IMO.  The problem becomes money management.  As I am
a staunch believer after 30 years of testing gawd knows how many
systems, it is the STREAKS that defeat most systems and LV knows it.
That is why you see most house limits set so that from the smallest
bet to the largest bet allowed, you cannot progress more than 8 times,
doubling your bet.  A \$2 limit table will have a limit of \$1000 for
just this reason. If you were to double and win 8 times your bet would
have to be \$1024, over the limit.

Multiple odds distort your MMngt.  Here's how I would tell anyone to
adjust accordingly.  If you normally bet a TOTAL of \$30, \$10 on the
pass and \$20 odds when the point is established, then \$30 should still
be your total bet if you are say offered 10x odds.  So, basically for
convenience sake, I might lower my initial bet to \$5 and take \$25 odds
or 5x.  That way my total bankroll is never in jeopardy because of the
higher odd's bets allowed.

A long accepted 'rule' is that the ideal bet vs bankroll for optimum
win/lose ratio is 20:1  That means if your bankroll per session is
\$300, then your bet should not total more than \$15.  If you bet more,
then you risk a short run wiping you out.  Any less and you are not
taking full advantage of the money you have.  Personally, I usually
take or lay single odds and sometimes double.  I find that more than
enough risk of capital.

To:  Charles Kroboth, Dallas, 70007,5521

No, I don't deposit money, but I do have a line of credit at the
Mirage. The end result is the same.  You take out markers to play
which automatically puts you into the computer for rating.  You don't
have to have a line of credit or cash on deposit, though.  All you
need is a player's card, which is free.  Then each time you step up to
a table to play, you give them your card to "check in" and thus be
tracked.

Re the the stop-loss, as you surmised, it depends on where you're at.
If I've been losing right out of the gate and get to that point
immediately, then I'd probably quit.  If I was on the high end of
things, I might take another chance to see if I could get it going
again if it was like one loss in a number of wins.  My system is not a
science as in many of the books.  It's just the guidelines I use to
keep myself from going overboard, either losing too much or giving
back what I've already wonI connie

From:  Charles Kroboth, Dallas, 70007,5521
To:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714

I have a question about the 20:1 ratio for determining bet size.  If
your session bank roll is \$300 and your bet is \$15, does that bet size
have to include your odds bet or is that a beginning bet of \$15?  If
your playing two numbers (like Connie's system) would that be \$7 or \$8
on each number?

From:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714
To:  Charles Kroboth, Dallas, 70007,5521

Yes, that includes odds.  It goes to show you that most of us bet too
high in relation to the bankroll we are willing to use.  If you were
betting two numbers then they are at risk with each shooter using
Connie's example.  Thus, the proper bankroll if you were betting \$15
and laying double odds of say \$45 using the 5 or 9 as an example on
the Dont side, then you would be risking \$120 with each shooter.
Therefore, your bankroll "should" be \$2400 in order to sustain any
kind of losing streaks.  I actually should correct a statement.  the
20:1 would be your total bankroll that you wish to expose for a trip
not a session.  So the above would still apply.  I got many of the
above 20:1 ratios and such from a book written years ago called,
"Crossbetting and Proper Money Management".  They used the 20:1 based
on sports betting where the "book" charges 5% juice.  The tables vary
slightly for higher and lower percentages.  The less juice, it
fractionally reduces the ratio, but not by much.

From:  Allen DeRosie, 74521,2714

It is irrelevant where you stand there or leave.  That is purely a
psychological reason for leaving as we both know since the dice don't
have a memory.  "Losing streaks" by my definition, is merely some
period of time that you or anyone would choose to lose and then leave.

In your particular case, since you would be betting approx \$30 plus
single odds on two bets (on average), and using 5 and 9 as the
"average" point, accordingly you would be wagering or risking \$150 per
shooter.  Some times a little more sometimes a little less.
Therefore, the "recommended" bankroll for you to go to LV with to
gamble with would be \$3,000 in order to properly have a chance of
winning before you might "bust out".  Anything more than that, you
should be betting more.  Any less and you should be betting less.

You can see the logic given your own situation.  It would not be
unheard of for you to take a hit (loss) of \$210 per shooter if 4/10
were your numbers and you had to put double odds on one number.  Using
the logic of a \$3000 bankroll, that would allow you 14 "losing"
sessions per trip, or about 4 a day on a three day two night trip.
Four losing sessions would not be that unrealistic if things were not
working out.  That just allows you your full potential to win.  I am
not suggesting you lose \$3000, just that that is the "ideal" bankroll
given the size of bets your are risking.

# # # # #

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