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# A personal superstition

31 May 2018

QUESTION: Your column on superstitions got me thinking. I don't know if it's superstition or not, but in general, I will not consciously go back to a machine that I played no matter the result on the same day.

If I win a significant amount (for me that's \$50 or more on slots, and it varies on video poker depending on the denomination), I will make it a point to avoid that machine for the rest of the day, even though I know that my win doesn't change the probability.

Conversely, if I seem to be losing at every machine I play on a given day, I will seek out games that I usually don't play because of prior bad luck, kind of a reverse luck mentality.

With VP, I usually play Bonus Poker and I love Deuces Wild, but I will switch to either less volatile Jacks or Better or more volatile Double (or Double Double) Bonus just to change my luck.

Without believing that any of this changes anything, I think it's just searching for the lucky spin that is out there waiting for me to press.

ANSWER: Thanks for the story. I always appreciate readers sharing their experiences.

You're correct in that your method makes no difference in the probability of winning or losing. Returning or not returning to a game is a matter of personal preference.

QUESTION: I'm new to craps, and I like to bet the field. Other players were telling me it's a bad bet. Can you explain?

ANSWER: I've explained the field bet before, but it's been a few years and new readers are coming on board all the time. So let's walk through it.

The field is a one roll bet. You win even money if the shooter rolls 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11. You also win on 2 or 12, and there's a bonus. At some casinos, the payoff is 2-1 on either 2 or 12. At many, it's 2-1 on 2 and 3-1 on 12. At a few, especially in northern Nevada, it's 3-1 on 2 and 2-1 on 12.

There are 36 possible roll combinations of two six-sided dice. One is a 2, two are 3s, three are 4s, four are 9s, three are 10s, two are 11s and one is a 12. That gives you 16 possible winning rolls.

The three most frequent rolls — six ways to make 7 and five each to make 6 or 8 — are losers. Also a loser is 5, with four combinations.

Your 16 winning possibilities are more than offset by 20 losers.

If you bet \$1 per roll and each combination came up once, you would risk \$36. You'd get back the \$16 wagered on winners, along with \$1 on each of the 14 rolls that are 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11, and either \$2 each on 2 and 12 or \$2 on one and \$3 on the other.

Add in the winnings, and at the end of the trial you have either \$34 or \$35 of your original \$36. The house has \$2 if both 2 and 12 pay 2-1, for a house edge of 5.56 percent. If one or the other pays 3-1, the house has \$1, and the edge is 2.78 percent.

If you wish to accept that, it's you're choice, but there are lower-edge bets at craps. Pass or come (1.41%), don't pass and don't come (1.36) and place bets on 6 and 8 (1.52) are among the best. They're multiroll bets, where the field is a single-roll wager that requires a fresh risk for every roll.
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Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

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Winning Tips for Casino Games
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.