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Good betting choices for advantage-play craps players

13 August 2009

Many players in the dice control community attempt to formulate and then justify odd betting choices, thinking that they are prescribing excellent wagering schemes when, in fact, they advocate idiocy.

One such formulation is called the "see a horn, bet a horn" principle that advocates betting the horn with its 12.5% house edge should you see a streak of such horn numbers, those being 2, 3, 11, and 12. No one is quite sure what a streak consists of but some have likened it to the Supreme Court's opinion about pornography, which I'll paraphrase, "I can't define pornography but I know it when I see it."

Of course, a conservative religious person might see pornography in a kiss, while those reared in the sexual revolution might only see pornography when it involves a child. Who is right? Take your pick of either side — or any side in between.

However, we can make certain astute observations about whether one should bet a horn after seeing a controlled shooter hitting several horn numbers. The answer is no, obviously, since a house edge of 12.5% is out of the reach of most controlled shooters' abilities.

With six chances of occurring in a craps game, the horn has the same possibility of hitting as does the 4 and 10.

The Horn:
2 = one chance (1:1)
3 = two chances (2:1; 1:2)
11 = two chances (6:5; 5:6)
12 = one chance (6:6)

Total = six ways

The 4 and 10:
4 = three chances (2:2; 3:1; 1:3)
10 = three chances (5:5; 6:4; 4:6)

Total = six ways

Let's compare the house edges on both of these wagering choices (we will focus only on the "right" bets):

Horn = 12.5%
Place 4 and 10 = 6.67%
Buy 4 and 10 at \$35 with \$1 commission paid on all wagers = 2.78%
Buy the 4 and 10 at \$25 with \$1 commission paid on winning wagers only = 1.3%

Now given these house edges, players would have to be a true Crazy Crappers (as the Captain calls them) to bet the horn in a random game. But what of a controlled shooter, someone who can influence the outcome of a dice roll? After all a controlled shooter is changing the statistics of the game to favor himself. That is true but only true in certain instances — very few controlled shooters can overcome that massive 12.5% house edge.

Unfortunately, the controlled shooter would have to be just as crazy betting that horn on controlled shooters as they would on random rollers and here's why. Even if we took the worst 4 and 10 bet, the simple placement coming in with a large 6.67% edge, it is still only about half as bad as the horn. Yes, a 6.67% edge is extremely difficult to overcome but it is still less difficult than that horn horror.

If we look at the other ways of "buy" betting on the 4 and 10, we see edges of 2.78% and 1.3%. These edges are incredibly good in comparison to the horn edge.

Of course, the "see a horn, bet a horn" advocates insist that in "some cases" those streaks (which they must recognize intuitively) of horn numbers means it is wise to throw your money (away) on this bet. After all, they claim, a controlled shooter might just be setting the dice for that horn. True, they might be setting for the horn — whether they can overcome that massive house edge or not. (In almost all cases it is not!)

This setting for the horn is utter nonsense when we realize that someone setting the dice to hit the horn has overlooked, through ignorance or stubbornness, the fact that it would be a much better proposition to set for the 4 and 10 by using a set called the 2-V which is designed to specifically hit those 4s and 10s.

Why would a shooter and/or bettor choose to go after a 12.5% house edge whose numbers have six ways of hitting when he can set those dice in a 2-V to go after the 4 and 10, a far better bet?

As incredible as it seems, the advocacy of the "see a horn, bet a horn" theorists is based more on a kind of mystical faith than on any kind of reasonable and logical approach to controlled shooting at craps. Such a theorist can give circuitous and long-winded explanations as to why one should bet a horn when you see a horn but not one of those puffy explanations holds water. It's a dumb bet that can't be beaten except by the most masterful of dice controllers.

Now, even if a shooter can beat the horn's high house edge, as some Golden Touch dice control masters can, it is still an idiotic bet. If they waste their energy going after the horn, they have given up real money-making opportunities by ignoring much better propositions one of which I explained above.

"See a horn, bet a horn" is an unfunny joke perpetrated by the comedians of craps and dice control analysis that will have very few of their adherents laughing as they withdraw their funds from the ATM for more such foolish bets. Serious dice controllers stay away from such jokes because they know the truth about percentages and house edges. It isn't funny to lose money.

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Best of 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

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