Struggling with the Math

From time to time I talk about the struggles craps players face when dealing with casino math. Essentially we players come from three different schools. First off there are advantage players who base 100% of their play on mathematical decisions. It doesn’t matter to these guys if the four has just rolled six times in a row – they are going to stick with the Pass Line and maximum odds, a couple of Come bets with maximum odds, and may on occasion place the six and eight.

Next on the list are the serious recreational players who rely largely on the math of the game when making decisions, but who also stay attuned to things advantage players say don’t exist in craps – things like streaks and trends. Serious recreational players tend to rely more on Place bets than Come bets with odds because “a number has to roll twice for you to get paid if you bet the Come.” They overlook the hard math associated with that decision in favor of non-math based logic.

Last of all, there’s the recreational gambler who doesn’t worry about the math of the game at all – she or she is just there to have fun. Often these are folks who just get to the casino once or twice a year. Sometimes they are players who are brand new to the game. They may be Field bettors or prop bettors. They may be parlayers or power-pressers. Or they may stick to the old Three Point Molly play. When they win they do so because of the math of the game. Standard deviation, always a factor in craps, kicked in and put them in the plus column. They got lucky and were in the right place at the right time.

I’m no stranger to the struggles players go through with the math of the game – and odds are you aren’t either. The fact is, sometimes things that “look” logical – aren’t. Take, for example, the thing serious recreational gamblers look for. The “streak” or “trend.” The trend is your friend, right? We’ve all heard it before. However, since craps is a game of independent trials, what happened in the past has no bearing on what happens in the future. Still, when the table heats up one of two things happens. The gambler in us kicks in and we get some money on the layout – or the logic in us kicks in and we stand there and possibly watch the roll of the day pass us by.

Through the years I’ve developed a philosophy regarding trends and the “dice have no memory” thing. That philosophy is simple. The dice have no memory, but they do have a history. And as any student of history will tell you – it has a way of repeating itself.

Back in 32AD there was unrest in the Middle East. A thousand years later, during the Crusades, there was still unrest in the Middle East.

Two hundred years ago the Barbary Coast pirates held this country’s feet to the fire, kidnapping American citizens and holding them for ransom while they extorted millions of dollars from the young American government.

Today, the war against radical Islam continues. If I were to make book on it, I’d say a thousand years from now that region of the Middle East will still be in turmoil.

How does this tie back to casino game play? click on “read more” below for the rest of the story.