Winning Systems & Craps Pros – No Such Things

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Winning system for craps

There’s no such thing as a consistently winning craps system. Accept it. Don’t be blinded by the false hope of beating the craps out of the casino that other websites try to peddle. Every book and Internet article by authors claiming to have a consistently winning craps system is pure bologna with one only purpose–transfer your hard-earned money from your pocket to their pocket. If you hear anyone say or read anyone’s written material claiming to have a consistently long-term winning system, then he’s either ignorant and doesn’t understand the game or he’s a liar trying to get your money. Don’t listen to these idiots and liars. Don’t let your burning desire to make a quick buck cloud your good common sense. Got it? Let’s look at what a craps system is.

A craps “system” is nothing more than a process that guides you in what bets to make, how much to bet, and when to make them. For example, suppose you’re an eccentric and the only bet you ever make is a $5 Big 6 when the shooter is left‑handed and wears green shorts. Those betting rules, however odd they may seem, form your system. Therefore, a system is simply a set of rules that you follow to make your bets. If that peculiar “Big 6” system happens to result in you winning $100 after 20 minutes, then you’ll walk away convinced it’s the greatest winning system ever devised. You might even try to sell it on the Internet for the unbelievably low price of only $89.99, plus $12 for shipping and handling, as many shysters do. But never forget, it’s not the system that makes you a big winner, it’s the distribution variance at any particular instant in time. (Refer to our other important lesson about Distribution Variance.)

No matter how bizarre your system may seem, if it suits you and makes you feel comfortable, then it isn’t bizarre at all. For example, suppose you lose $500 per hour playing that “Big 6” system, but suppose you get oodles of satisfaction from making that bet. For you, putting your chips in the Big 6 box is better than honeymoon sex. In this example, your satisfaction may be worth $500 an hour to you. If it is, then your seemingly weird “Big 6” system isn’t weird at all.

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Therefore, whether a system is considered “good” or “bad” depends entirely on the needs of the player using it. No matter what system you use, always understand that it will never produce a house advantage lower than the simple Don’t Pass with Odds and Pass Line with Odds bets. No system is a guaranteed long-term winner for anyone.

I thought about describing a few of the more common so‑called Craps “winning” systems, but quickly decided against it. They don’t work over the long haul, so what’s the point? You can find many variants of progression systems, regression systems, and tons of other really crazy systems on the Internet. They’re generally worth the same–absolutely nothing. They’re usually either lies or based on complete ignorance of the game. If you’re curious, then go ahead and browse those other websites, but if you’re vulnerable to persuasion by claims of easy fortune, I suggest giving your spouse the credit card before you read their lies and outrageous claims about how their systems can beat the craps out of the casino. If you’re an easy mark, hide your credit card before reading those claims because they’re designed to get you pumped up so you’ll buy something.

The latest trend in concocting craps systems seems to include using the notion of dice control or dice setting. More and more people have learned that no craps system based solely on a specific combination of bets is a guaranteed consistent long-term winner. So, to keep their profits coming in, the shysters cleverly adjusted their betting systems to include the use of an ingeniously devised scam known as “dice control.” In one of our other lessons, we talk in detail about how ridiculous dice control is. So, don’t fall for this latest trend. These new systems that rely on dice control can’t guarantee a penny more of long-term winnings than any other system ever developed or yet to be developed.

Some clever shysters offer to give you their new betting system for free, and then entice you to pay hundreds of dollars to teach you the “art of dice control.” I must admit, it’s ingenious. Instead of you paying $89 for the betting system, they give you the system for free and then persuade you to pay $500 for a seminar on dice control. Very clever, indeed. Don’t be a sucker. Don’t fall for it.

I know what you’re thinking, “My friend Leroy bought one of those systems and came home from Vegas a $500 winner. He swears by it. If the system is bogus, why did he win $500?” This reminds me of my old friend the stock broker.

Long ago when I was single (seems like forever ago), my roommate in Washington, DC, was a junior stock broker with one of the big names. As a junior broker, his task included cold-calling and cold-mailing. One night, he invited his office buddies over for a card game. It wasn’t long before they all were mocking their clients by telling stories of how they ripped them off. They joked about persuading sweet old ladies into buying a stock and then laughing as they watched it drop like a brick. I interrupted their jollity and asked, “How do you guys make money if so many of your clients go broke?” My friend responded, “It’s a crap shoot.”

To illustrate their con, suppose a broker uses a fancy company-generated chart to throw a dart and pick a stock that might perform well in the near future. It’s just a guess; he doesn’t know anything more about stocks than the old lady he’s allegedly helping. Suppose for every 100 cold‑calls, the broker gets 10 investors, of which nine lose their shirts. But the broker gets lucky and the stock for client #10 takes off like a rocket. The other nine losers think the broker is an idiot, but client #10 thinks he’s a genius. Client #10 is a client for life. The broker repeats the cycle and out of another 100 cold-calls, he gets lucky with another lone client. Slowly, the broker builds up his client base, not because he’s a genius, but because he got lucky with one out of every 100 cold-calls.

The situation with your friend, Leroy, is similar. For every 100 buyers of that bogus winning craps system, there’s probably one or two who get lucky and win the first time they use it. That’s Leroy. He got lucky and happened to hit the distribution variance at the perfect time and walked away a winner. Leroy thinks the system is a gold mine. He thinks the $89 price tag was well worth it. However, I’ll bet you this week’s pay check that Leroy eventually, over time, is a loser using that system. Wanna bet?

Leroy’s system (for which he paid $89 plus shipping and handling) is no more a consistent winner than someone else’s weird system of betting the Field when the shooter has blond hair and yellow teeth. If you only bet the Field when the shooter has blond hair and yellow teeth, eventually one of those blond-haired, yellow-toothed shooters will get hot and that weird system will win for that short term when the variance happens to favor the Field bettor.

Remember, it’s not the system that makes you a winner, it’s the distribution variance. Any system, no matter how ridiculous, can be a short-term winner. However, all systems are long-term losers because no system can beat the built-in house advantage over the long-term.

For those of you reading this lesson who are experienced craps players, let me ask, who among you has at some point in your craps life tried some sort of logically sounding system from someone who sounded like they knew what they were talking about, whether you paid $89.99 for it or read about it for free on a blog? Who among you took that system to Vegas hoping to beat the craps out of the casino? The system sounded so logical, so factual, so easy. You just knew you were going to win with it. After you played your new $89.99 system, who among you went home a loser? Be honest.

You must understand that if any craps system were truly a consistent winner over the long-term, all those mega-billion-dollar casinos in Vegas, Macao, and Monaco would have gone bankrupt long ago. Actually, that’s not accurate. Instead of going bankrupt, the moment some Einstein figured out how to truly beat the craps out of the casino, the greedy casinos would have altered the rules of the game so they keep the house advantage and can continue raking in billions.

Every craps system ever devised is nothing more than some sort of hedge-bet combination. As you learned in our lesson on hedge bets, there’s no combination of types of bets or bet amounts that can swing the house advantage to your favor. For example, if your system calls for making two different bets at the same time, then one bet does not eliminate or lower the house advantage for the other bet. The only thing that can make you a short-term winner is distribution variance, which we describe in detail in another lesson.

You’re probably thinking, “If there’s no such thing as a winning system, and if dice control is a scam, and if we’re doomed to lose over the long-term, why should we bother playing at all?” Very good question! I can think of three reasons why people play craps:

1) They’re ignorant of the game’s mathematical facts and refuse to learn them so they fall victim to the scammers who convince them they can beat the casino with wacky betting systems or silly dice control;

2) They’re so arrogant, even though they may understand the math, they play anyway because they think their good luck will defeat the math; or

3) They play because the game is so fun and exciting, and because they know how to play smart with discipline to prolong their playing time, which keeps them at the table longer, which increases their chances that they’ll be at the table when the variance takes a turn to cause a blistering hot roll (we discuss a method for accomplishing this in another lesson).

I play because of reason #3. I play because it’s just so darn exciting and because of the occasional moments when the variance hiccups in my favor and I need a wheelbarrow to carry my chips to the cage.

You’re probably thinking, “If it’s all a scam, how do these shysters sell so many books and get their names in lights?” Another good question! To be honest, the answer offends me. The shysters who knowingly pass off their bologna to unknowing victims offend me. The gambling industry that acknowledges these shysters as “pros” or “experts” in the gaming world offends me. As you might expect, the bottom line is all about money. The false hope of winning big is what sells books and gambling merchandise such as practice boxes to hone your dice control skills. The casino industry loves these shysters because they hook the unsuspecting victims into visiting the casinos where they then lose their shirts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in the entrepreneurial spirit and I have nothing against someone making money. My issue is with the shysters who knowingly take advantage of the weak and ignorant by spreading false hope and lies. What offends me is how the shysters con people out of their hard-earned money by claiming they have the secrets to beating the casino.

I recently read a series of Internet articles on another website by a recognized and respected author. He claims to be able to use his various systems to profit from every bet that he makes. For example, to see his apparent dishonesty (or his ignorance of the game), let’s look at one of his systems with his rules for making Place bets on the 6 and 8.

The rules for the system are:

  • Make Place bets on the 6 and 8 at the same time.
  • Wait until one of the bets hits, but wait no more than five rolls.
  • If one of the bets hits within five rolls, turn off both Place bets. The reason given is that a losing 7 is more likely to appear before another 6 or 8.
  • If the shooter rolls five times without hitting a 6, 8, or 7, then turn off both Place bets.       The reason given is because a losing 7 is due to hit after five rolls.
  • If a losing 7 appears, wait until a new point is established and then make Place bets on the 6 and 8 again. Repeat these steps over and over to make a profit.

I assume this shyster is an outright liar instead of merely ignorant of the game because he’s an author of multiple gambling books, has been featured on TV shows about gambling and Vegas, and is a featured celebrity on certain gambling websites. So, if he has those kinds of credentials, it’s hard to believe he’s ignorant of the game. Therefore, if he’s not ignorant, it’s reasonable to assume he’s lying through his teeth with the ultimate goal of selling you something.

If you’ve read our other lesson about the concept of the Gambler’s Fallacy, then the first thing you should see that proves his system is bogus is that he relies on the Gambler’s Fallacy by stating a losing 7 is “due” to appear after a certain quantity of rolls. We know from our lesson on the Gambler’s Fallacy that the notion of a specific number being “due” to hit is just plain nonsense. The odds of any number appearing on the next roll never change regardless of what numbers have appeared in the past (i.e., in craps, previous outcomes have no effect on future outcomes). The odds of a 7 appearing on the next roll is always exactly the same regardless of whether a 7 hasn’t appeared in the last five rolls or the last five billion rolls.

The second thing that shows his system is bogus is the fact that the house advantage for both the Place 6 and Place 8 is about 1.5%. No matter how often you turn your Place bets on or off, the house advantage is always about 1.5% for each bet when they’re on and working. No wacky “on and off” system will change the casino’s advantage. Therefore, with a constant house advantage for both bets, you won’t make a profit over the long-term.

Although his system is full of bologna as described above, it’s actually a fairly good one in terms of limiting the house advantage because it involves only making the Place 6 and Place 8 bets that have relatively low advantages. Where the system fails is (1) when he claims you’ll profit from it, and (2) when his betting actions rely on the Gambler’s Fallacy. The simple fact is, as with all craps systems, there’s no guarantee that his system will win and it certainly won’t make you a winner over the long-term. However, as mentioned earlier, any craps system, even this guy’s system, can be an occasional short-term winner. His wacky system of turning the Place bets on and off will eventually align with the distribution variance such that the dice fall in his favor. But the temporary winning streak doesn’t mean the system is worth a nickel, so don’t brag to your friends about the wonderful new system you just bought for $89.99. Always, remember, the variance will soon correct itself and his system will lose in the long-term.

If someone tells you about a “winning” craps system, you should ignore them because they either have no clue what they’re talking about, or they’re lying to get you to buy something. Don’t fall for it. This brings us to the next topic, which is about “craps professionals.”

If you’ve read as much craps material as I, you’ve probably heard of people who play craps professionally. What does that mean? What’s a “professional craps player?”

Dictionary.com defines “professional” as someone with an occupation that they do for a living. So, that implies a craps professional makes a living playing craps. Based on what you’ve learned by reading all the lessons on our website, do you think there’s such a thing as a professional craps player? Or more precisely, is there such a thing as a successful professional craps player? I hope you answer with a resounding, “No!”

Let’s face it, craps is gambling. When you gamble, you play a game that has a built-in house advantage that you can’t and won’t ever overcome, especially in the long-term. It’s statistically impossible for anyone to beat the casino over the long-term, so how could anyone make a consistently successful living playing craps? They can’t and don’t. If anyone, even the recognized and respected gambling book authors, starts talking about professional craps players, you should turn and run away because they’re about to try to hook you into buying something you don’t want or need.

If you truly understand the game (as you will when you learn from all the free articles on our website), you’ll know in your head and your heart that you play the game for the fun and excitement it can provide, not because of any false hope of beating the casino. You play hoping to win, but not expecting to win. You never play habitually. Instead, you play only occasionally when you take a Vegas vacation or when you sit with a glass of wine every other week at your favorite Internet casino (such as the Sun Coast). You never play with more money than you can afford to lose. You never fall for bogus systems or silly techniques (such as dice control) that claim will beat the casino. You always play smart and disciplined with the goal of being able to stay at the table long enough to experience a hiccup in the distribution variance that causes you to win big. You ask, “What’s the best way to play to minimize my losses so I can stay at the table long enough to maybe hit one on those hiccups in the variance that you keep talking about?” We explain that in another article.

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Author
Written by John Nelsen in partnership with the team of craps pros at Crapspit.org