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Cutting Edge Craps
Advanced Strategies for Serious Players
By Frank Scoblete, Dominator
Triumph BooksCopyright © 2010 Frank Scoblete
All rights reserved.
I'm worried about this book. It is designed for serious craps players and for those shooters who have developed a controlled throw and/or are looking to advance their game considerably. This book concentrates on advantage play — in short, play that allows players to get the edge over the house. You want to become a real threat to the casinos? Then this book is for you. In it, you can go from being a savvy, smart craps player or an advantage player with a slight edge over the house to being a dynamo that will be the casinos' worst nightmare.
This is definitely not a primer book on betting systems for the millions of craps players laboring under the superstition that they can find some magic betting formula to beat the random game of craps, and it doesn't explain how the game is played for those of you who are novices. You should know the game of craps before you read this book. You should be good at it, comfortable playing it. In fact, I hope you are great at it. If you want to get the full background to proper craps play, I refer you to Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! (Triumph Books), which teaches everything you need to know about the game and also how to control the dice. That book is also accompanied by a DVD that shows you how to make controlled shots.
My major worry is that the truly advanced concepts in this book will be used by the wrong players — the novice dice controllers and, sadly, those "unadvanced" players known pejoratively as gamblers. Golden Touch Craps, the premier dice-control school in the country, teaches a strict form of dice control based on techniques first formulated by the Captain, the greatest craps expert who ever lived and a man who once rolled 147 numbers before he sevened out — and these techniques actually work in the casinos, as our students have discovered.
Just as important as a controlled throw, advantage craps players need a very strict betting style to be successful. They must make the lowest-house-edge bets that fit into their mathematical edge as determined by their SRR (seven-to-rolls ratio) and also upon an on-axis analysis given by the software program SmartCraps.
Players who have an SRR that shows a change from randomness know they are changing the nature of the game. Players who have a greater-than-random on-axis control are also changing the nature of the game in radical ways. With an edge shown by your SRR and/or an edge established by SmartCraps, you know you can beat the game of craps if you bet properly — and betting properly might just be different depending on how you are analyzing your edge over the house.
Are SRR and axis control the alpha and omega of dice control? No ... and yes. The SRR is a decent indicator of control; it tells you that you have the goods to change the probabilities of the game, while the SmartCraps program is a much stronger indicator because it establishes that you have on-axis control. A low SRR with a high on-axis control is better than a high SRR with no on-axis control. Still, a good SRR of 1:6.5 or higher means the game of craps can be yours. But these indicators — strong or weak — are just indicators. You actually have to go into the casino and play the game. Ultimately, over a sufficiently long period of time, you should have more money in your pocket or purse than when you started. As we say in Golden Touch Craps (hereafter referred to as GTC), "Winning is the most fun!"
In the short run of any game you will have losses; unfortunately that is inevitable. But to be an advantage craps player you must show that you can actually beat the casinos. You must show you can bring home the money; otherwise you are conning yourself into believing you are good at advantage play when you are really not. However, there is an interesting subset to beating the house. Many readers and viewers of our GTC materials just don't practice enough to develop a controlled throw that beats the game. Yet, they nevertheless have improved their game immensely by simply following our strong betting strategies, which include the 5-Count and proper low-house-edge wagers. That's good not great, but good is far better than bad.
Indeed, in this book, for the first time in print, we will show how the 5-Count actually can change the nature of craps into a positive expectation at certain times. Even non-controlled shooters can take advantage of this element in the GTC advanced betting arsenal. The 5-Count is a revolution that keeps on giving. Once again, thank you, Captain, for discovering the amazing 5-Count. In the Appendix of this book you will find the 5-Count section originally printed in Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!
Are most of the ideas in this book advanced? Yes. Should they be played against random shooters who just wing the dice down the table? No. In fact, if you can avoid betting on all random shooters, the better off you will be.
We also have some strategies that are radical — highly radical — that might blow the lid off advanced craps betting. Did I just write "might"? Sorry, these radical bets will definitely blow the lid off advanced craps betting. These radical methods will include a new and brilliant method of betting for those who show truly superior on-axis control, a method the great dice controller Dominator and many other elite (I repeat, elite) GTC bettors have been using with great success for a few years.
Some of you who have seen Dominator use these methods have said to me, "But you teach this thing in class, but he is doing that. What gives?" I usually skirt this issue by saying that Dominator has too much of the gambler still in him, so he sometimes goes a little overboard in his betting style. In truth, this is not entirely accurate because some of his methods actually bring home more money than the regular GTC betting methods would — but these methods are only for truly advanced on-axis-controlled players. If you don't have that elite level of on-axis control, you'll be putting your head in the guillotine using our radical methods.
Sadly too many decent dice controllers are of the opinion that they are great dice controllers. That assumption can be fraught with danger for such dice controllers' bankrolls. If you attempt to use our new and radical methods of betting and you aren't at the necessary level of skill, your bankroll will be creamed along with your ego. So I caution everyone reading this: When in doubt, figure you aren't as good a shooter in the casinos as you are at home. And, just to be cautious, figure you aren't as good a shooter as you think you are, period. Take yourself down a peg, and if you still see that you have the ability to play the radical way, then go for it ... at least for a long enough period of time to actually see if you are pulling off these radical betting methods.
Next, part of being a skilled dice controller includes your mental state while playing. If you've ever been an athlete, you know how important your mind is for success. You can have all the physical skill in the world, but if your mind is not properly trained your body will probably not do what you have conditioned it to do. With that in mind (pun intended) I have written a chapter that will teach you both visualization and meditation techniques. These are designed to give you the mental edge to go along with your physical edge. Indeed, even if you aren't an advantage player, these techniques are in and of themselves good to learn because a trained mind is important in every aspect of life.
Finally, Dominator and I had a serious decision to make before writing this book — how many of the advanced graphs, charts, and other mathematical diagrams to ladle onto our pages. Everything we are going to discuss in this book is proven, either through math or through computer simulations. Dom, the other elite GTC shooters, and I have done everything that we are going to share with you, and we've done it all in the heat of battle in the casinos. There is no pie-in- the-sky wishful thinking coming up. Still, did we want endless reams of figures for those few mathletes who enjoy poring over such things?
I've read craps writers and other gambling writers who pour so many statistics and charts into their articles and books that normal people, such as me and you, find them distracting as opposed to enlightening. I find that I often skip those parts due to their redundancy. Of course, I am not talking about gambling's phony systems sellers who create bizarre constructs but rather about those solid writers who just can't pull themselves away from their abacuses.
So we will give you the math and simulations to show we are correct in our advice, but we'll keep it to a useful minimum.
With all that in your hands, this book should take you to the next step in your knowledge and education about the game of craps. In fact, you might very well join the craps-playing elite.
Remember: "Winning is the most fun!"
Refresher Questions About the SRR, Money Management, and Advanced Play
Question: Just as a refresher, please explain the SRR and how it relates to dice control.
Answer: In a random game of craps, the 7 comes up six times for every 36 rolls or once every six rolls. Naturally that is a long-range average. In short-run play, the SRR can be all over the board, but over time the SRR will begin to give you a very good idea of what kind of edge you have over the house. So, again, the SRR is one 7 for every six rolls, or 1:6. If a shooter can start to reduce the appearance of the 7 to 1:6.3 or better, he can get an edge at the game. The better the SRR, the higher the player's edge will be over the game; that is the theory of the SRR. Players can also have "negative" SRRs of 1:5.8 or lower. Of course, to establish your SRR and to have any confidence in it, you must do at least several thousand rolls of the dice.
Question: You say "theory," but isn't it true?
Answer: It is true, but there are some caveats to using the SRR as the only tool for analyzing your shot. In our classes we stress that the SRR is an important tool but is not the only or perhaps even the best tool to establish your edge over the game.
When we speak in general about the SRR, we tend to use the shorthand that all the other numbers are proportionally increased in their appearance as the 7 is decreased. This is probably not so. Some faces will probably come up more; some will come up less. If you have a high SRR but tend to hit a lot of garbage numbers — such as 2, 3, 11, and 12 — that SRR is not as powerful as you might think. So you have to judge the power of your SRR the best way you can — how you are actually doing in casino play. New players, though, can use the SRR as a confidence booster. As your SRR goes up, you know you are exercising influence over the dice. That is the first and main step in the development of a competent dice controller.
Question: If the garbage numbers come up, should you bet those?
Answer: No. For most players betting the high-house-edge bets is an invitation for disaster. The chances of having an edge over those numbers would be remote for most controlled shooters if all you are using is your SRR. You don't want to try to overcome edges that are often in the double digits merely based on your SRR. You have to be very careful using the SRR to allow you to attempt overcoming high-house-edge bets.
Question: Does every controlled shooter's SRR keep going up?
Answer: Most do, at least early on, but some don't. In practice, if you start out like a ball of fire, it is possible that your bloated SRR will be reduced after you've done thousands or tens of thousands of rolls. On the flip side, if you have a low SRR in the beginning of your practice, it is highly possible that your SRR will increase over time as you get better and better at controlling the dice. This seems to be a general pattern in the development of a winning SRR, although in groupings of numbers you will see startling discrepancies in SRR results, much like baseball hitters go in and out of good and bad streaks. But over time, the SRR gives you a decent indication that you have developed the dice-control skill. From that point on you will probably want to work on your on-axis control, which can be judged by the SmartCraps software program.
Question: What is a decent SRR?
Answer: If you get between 1:6.5 and 1:6.8 you are now truly capable of beating the game of craps — if you make the right bets. You cannot make crazy crapper bets in the middle of the table, or the Field bet, or silly bets such as the Horn and the Whirl/World. You are also much better off making Come bets with odds than you are Placing the box numbers in most cases. Here is a small example of what kind of edges you can get, assuming an equal distribution of numbers, which is probably not the case in reality. But at least looking at these charts will help you see how your edge goes up with an increase in your SRR. Please note how the increase in Odds on the Pass and Come bets really propel those house edges in the shooter's favor.
Question: What would be the best way to bet a decent SRR?
Answer: When you are shooting, one way is to do a Pass Line bet and two Come bets with Odds or a Pass Line bet with the placing of the 6 and 8. At a 5X odds game (or better) you are probably better off with just Pass Line and Come bets. Do not allow yourself to get into the dementia that can occur at a craps table as you see gamblers hitting high-house-edge bets. You are merely seeing a little window when you are at the table, and those hopeless gamblers exist outside that window too. Those poor saps playing a random game of craps who make the high-house-edge bets are long-term losers, no matter what you are seeing at that moment. They have to be; they are playing a negative-expectation game. For controlled shooters who do not have strong on-axis control (next chapter), using the Come will get you on numbers we wouldn't recommend you Place-bet, such as the 5, 9, 4, and 10. Keep in mind that just because a random shooter has hit a bunch of Crazy Crapper bets, that does not mean he will continue to hit those bets, because he has no control over the dice. You are just watching randomness in action when a random roller shoots those bones. He is no different from a slot machine's RNG (random-number generator), which makes the slots a random game as well.
Question: Do controlled shooters win most times they shoot?
Answer: A major myth in the world of dice control is that a controlled shooter wins most times when he or she gets the dice. Except for the Arm — a woman who was the greatest dice controller of all time, whose eccentric throw seems not to be duplicable and who won the majority of the time when she got the dice — we have never met a good or even elite dice controller who wins most times when he or she gets the dice. Hard though this is to believe, most turns with the dice will be losers.
To use a baseball analogy, dice controllers are .300 to .400 hitters, but their wins more than make up for their losses. People who play at the tables with elite GTC shooters are sometimes disappointed that every hand by one of them isn't a winner. It would have been nice if Babe Ruth could hit a home run every time he came to the plate, but that just doesn't happen. However, dice controllers do tend to have many more long rolls, some even monster hands of 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, or 80 numbers before sevening out. Check our world records page on the Internet at www.goldentouchcraps.com. Don't get fooled by false advertising or craps gurus who claim they can make you win almost every time you take the dice. These folks are simply taking you for ploppies.
Even more important for long-term profits are the small wins, usually associated with repeating numbers. Keep in mind, truly bad rolls — those point/seven outs — can only lose you those initial bets. So the many times you have winners on short rolls of repeating numbers will contribute more income to your bankroll than those occasional monsters, although naturally those monsters are the truly fun ones to write and brag about.
Question: Does your dice-control edge stay stable over time?
Answer: In a random game of craps all the numbers are stagnant, and the edges remain the same on the first roll, the hundredth roll, the trillionth roll. But when you deal with skill, your edge will increase or decrease as time passes. How should this affect your betting? If you are a relative novice or intermediate player without strong on-axis control, then you should be betting the best bets (that goes without saying), but your bets must be pegged to your bankroll, not what you perceive as your skill level. Arrogance over one's perceived edge is dangerous. Yes, we know some dice gurus like to postulate that people have the same edges over time, but this isn't so. Edges ebb and flow and ebb and flow some more. That is the very nature of a skill game — the ebb and the flow.
No one could have predicted how many home runs Babe Ruth would hit in his career. Prophecy is not in the cards ... or dice ... in skill games — except to say, "I do have an edge, I will win money, but my edge and my wins will change from this time to that time." Overbetting can be a killer of your bankroll. Yes, you might be underbetting too, but that just slows your winning down; it can't destroy you like overbetting can. If you continue to see a high SRR and you see your bankroll increasing, then your bets should increase in proportion as well. It is very difficult to establish stagnant SRRs of this or that percent, because in skill activities many things will come into play in the short run. I'll discuss these later in the book.
Question: What are the limits to the SRR? If you change your dice set doesn't it change the SRR?
Excerpted from Cutting Edge Craps by Frank Scoblete, Dominator. Copyright © 2010 Frank Scoblete. Excerpted by permission of Triumph Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. The Worrywart,
2. Refresher Questions About the SRR, Money Management, and Advanced Play,
3. On-Axis Control and Radical Betting Styles,
4. The Hardway Set Anomaly,
5. Looking at Other Hop Bets,
6. Group and Team Play,
7. Problems with the Throw,
8. Handling Degrees of Surface Bounciness,
9. Practice on Different Surfaces,
10. Brand-New Information,
11. End Throws, No-Dice-Set Casinos, and Throw-Them-Harder Ploppies,
12. The Patterns of Dice-Control Performance,
13. Betting, Emotions, and Friends,
14. Meditation and Visualization,
15. The Casino Isn't Your Only Problem,
16. Take Them for All They're Worth,
Appendix I. The Captain's 5-Count,
Appendix II. The Captain's Greatest Roll,
Appendix III. Dice Positions and Dice Sets,