Chicken Soup and Craps Superstitions

Okay, before I get too far into this article let me just say a word about confirmation bias. According to the good folks at Wikipedia, “Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.”

What that means is this. Let’s say you believe that a stick change during a shooter’s hand will bring out the seven. A stick change occurs and you turn your bets off. The next toss is, indeed, a seven. That roll of the seven confirms your superstition so it is further ingrained into your system as truth.

But let’s say the seven does not show. The six shows instead. You don’t get paid on your place be on the six, but other than that nothing really BAD happens. So, your mind dismisses that roll as if it had not happened.

In fact, if you were to keep long run records of when the seven shows on stick changes you would come to the conclusion that the seven occurs roughly once every six tosses – exactly as it should. Of course, many players will shrug at that fact and continue to turn their bets off at every opportunity – saving themselves many dollars over the course of a few years. Never mind the “opportunity” dollars lost when their action wasn’t working. But what the heck. We’re going to do what we’re going to do. So to that end I thought I’d give you a list of craps superstitions you can use to advantage – or disadvantage – depending on who is tossing the dice and what you believe.

1. Dice off the table – turn me off. Why? It’s that rhythm thing. I think anything that breaks the shooter’s concentration or throwing rhythm can and often does break the streak.

2. Dice hit the money – brings the seven. Same reason. Destroyed the rhythm of the roll.

3. Dice hit someone’s hands – brings the seven. Same reason again.

4. New money on the table – this is when a new player steps up and throws his players card and cash on the table in mid-roll, which I rate highly on the “rude player” list. Same reason as above when an addendum. It slows the game down while change is made – breaks the shooters concentration, and … well, you know the rest.

5. Shooter interrupted/distracted by ANYONE – but especially cocktail server, floor person, girl friend, wife, drunk standing next to him, or a pair of 44D’s walking by – seven out. Same reason again.

6. Echo effect. If shooter hears the stick on another table say “Seven Out” the next number he throws will be a seven. Listen for it next time you play – you’ll be a believer too.

7. Ironic Theory. I posted this one on the Axis Power Craps Forum a few weeks back. At some point in the game (for Frank this is 99% of the time) – the dice will do exactly the OPPOSITE of what you anticipated. For example, “Working.” “Seven out.”

8. Full Moon Theory. I think more money is won when the moon is full. The moon controls the tides and the winds – why not the dice? Yeah, this one’s pure fantasy, but it gives me an excuse to go to the casino once a month.

9. Dark of the Moon Theory. This is that country boy thing coming out. You plant leafy crops by the dark of the moon to insure a better harvest. Leafy crops are green. Money is green and … well, leafy. Plus it gives me an excuse to go to the casino a second time each month.

10. “Virgin” (first time) female shooter will have great first roll. Well, this is an age-old standard. I believe it is true only to the extent that her first roll out of the box a C or E. Therefore – I always bet a $4 horn first roll on virgin female shooters.

11. Virgin male shooters will have a terrible first roll. Yep. No doubt about it. Most likely because they generally violate rule 1 right off the bat and throw the dice off the table.

12. You cannot win with an Asian sitting in the box. Look, no racism intended here. It’s just been my personal experience that I cannot win in this situation. So I avoid it.

Well, there’s a dozen or so to get you started. Turn your bets off or leave them working. It’s up to you. Either way – it’s like chicken soup. It can’t hurt.