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# A penny for your thoughts

5 March 2012

Two posters on my private members-only website at www.goldentouchcraps.com have an interesting theory when it comes to the mathematics and percentages of craps. They dismiss the house edges based on their concept of the short-run versus the long-run. The paraphrases below explains their ideas fairly clearly:

In the short-run, forget about the 1.41 percent edge on the pass and come bets because the casinos don't deal in pennies. Have you tried betting \$100 on just the pass line and see if you lose that \$1.41 for that \$100? I have never walked away from a craps table counting pennies won or pennies lost.

Casinos don't deal in pennies so the \$1.41 percent per \$100 is not there. Even if I buy in for \$200 and play for eight hours, I never lost \$2.82 for that \$200. So the math is not always correct in the short-run that we play in.

Frank: So session one you win \$75 and in session two you win \$2. Now what did you win per session? \$38.50 per session. Now add a winning session of \$11. Now what did you win per session? \$29.33

You are winning pennies (or losing pennies). You just don't realize it. And that is how the casino grinds away at our bankroll; they are penny wiser than we are. Given enough pass line and come bets, that 1.41 percent edge will translate into \$1.41 lost per \$100 wagered.

Casinos do think in terms of pennies, therefore you should too.

So you don't like the fire bet because you lose a buck. Well, don't order a drink till you win your fire bet, and then if you do win you can afford to tip. So there is how to bet the fire bet by saving money on drinks. I don't get the idea that the fire bet costs you 25 cents every time you make it. I never took home pennies from the casino.

Frank: If you play the fire bet on every shooter let's see what happens. You lose about 25 cents per \$1 wagered. Given 12 players at a table, you lose \$3 per hour (the average time for shooters is about five minutes each). Now if you play four hours a day that comes to \$12. Unless you are a big drinker, you aren't going to have 12 drinks in four hours so that skipping of a drink with a \$1 tip still doesn't make up for the fire bet.

Of course if you bet \$5, your losses are multiplied five times. So your daily loss will be \$15 per hour or \$60 in a four-hour playing day. That's a decent entrĂ©e in a good restaurant.

You just don't see the percentages when you play because you have many losses and then hit for a big win. You just aren't seeing the average working itself out.

None of this \$1 stuff seems like a lot of money, I'll admit that. But what happens to most gamblers is simple. They begin to think of all the crazy crapper bets as "not much money" and suddenly they are in the hole for a lot more than \$12 (\$1 bet) to \$60 a day (\$5 bet). They are losing a lot of money.

So, I hate to say this but as wonderful as the fire bet seems, it is a waste of your money. Order a drink and tip the waitress; she needs the money more than the casino does and you'll save yourself a fortune over time.

There is a fundamental difference between the short-run and the long-run. What works in the long-run may not work in the short-run. So your betting strategies have to be different too.

Frank: For some reason casino players think that there is a "fundamental difference" between the long-run and the short-run in terms of what betting strategies they should employ. Nothing could be further from the truth. Players have only one way to bet properly and that is to bet the lowest house edge bets. Why would you bet the poorer bets using as your rationale, "Well, the short run is different therefore I can bet stupidly." A stupid bet in the long run is a stupid bet in the short run.

Here's another way to look at the short-run/long-run debate. Think of all the casinos as one gestalt entity with the same house edges on all the bets. Now think of all the players as one gestalt entity with you making the betting decisions for your entity. So what bets would you make for the millions of members of your gestalt entity? Obviously, you would make the best bets because you would be in the long run with the very first bets you made. You'd have to bet the very best bets or your entity would get crushed by the casino in a very short order. So why would you not make those same bets just playing as one person at one table?

If you think that your short run makes everything different you are wrong. All those short-runs all over the world at the thousands of craps tables actually made up the long-run. There were wild streaks at the various tables; incredible occurrences, but over the spread of all those tables all over the word, the math held total sway.

Now, your short-runs make up the long-run too, although they aren't spread out in terms of territory but in time. Don't get confused by this -- YOU are in the long-run no matter how often you play from today forward. So you must make the best bets. You have no other intelligent choice to make.

Bottom line: The casinos count pennies and so should you. The casinos are in the long run and so are you.

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Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

#### Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

#### Books by Frank Scoblete:

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

#### Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com