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Best of The Midnight Skulker

Gaming Guru

 

My Advice for a Don't Player

26 June 2010

Earlier this month Frank Scoblete, in an article titled "Advice for a Don't Player", published and responded to the following letter:

Frank,

I've been playing craps for about a year and I just started experimenting with the Don'ts, but I can't seem to gather any steam with it. I end up meandering around, a little up, a little down, but I can't get the momentum that I do with the pass line. I am a math teacher and, mathematically, the Don'ts are the best bet in the casino. Why don't they seem to work?

How do you incorporate the Don'ts into your strategy. Help me out!

James

Hey, Frank. Mind if I take a whack at this one? I do not disagree with your answer, I would merely like to delve a little deeper into the subject.

Dear James:

As you have discovered the front and back lines are different in more ways than just that they are bets on opposite things happening. First, the momentum you experience on the front side comes from getting paid, or watching others getting paid, on every roll during a hot hand, and with an experienced crew that is every 25 seconds or less. Second, a majority of players are front-siders, which generates a feeling of camaraderie among them. Finally, cheques flow one way: into your rack; to press a bet you simply tell the dealer to do so or leave the additional cheques on the table.

At a cold table, play is interrupted as dealers suck up the losing front side bets and the dice are passed to the next shooter. Second, wrongsiders are often the pariah of the table and must be very discrete about celebrating their wins. Finally, a Don't player's dream is a very cold table, but those are the tables a majority of players desert, which forces the wrongsider either to switch sides or to bet against himself and risk the embarrassment of shooting himself in the foot by rolling up a storm. In other words the steam you seek may be there but not readily detectable.

Another pitfall for the convert to the dark side to avoid is the use of the same betting progression as was used on the Do's. Don't players have to put up more money than they will win when making Lay bets or laying odds. Consider a popular Do progression of increasing one's bet by 50% on a win. A player using this method might make a $10 Pass Line bet and take double odds, say, $20 on a point of 5. If the bet wins ($40) the player increases it to $15 and takes, say, $30 odds on a point of 10. If that bet loses the player is out only $5 for the series.

Things are a little different on the Don'ts. A $10 Don't Pass bet with $30 odds on a point of 5 wins $30. Increasing to $15 flat with $60 odds on a point of 10 leaves the player out $45 if the 10 makes. In fact, on the front side a 50% winning progression requires only two consecutive wins to guarantee a profit for the series while the same progression on the dark side requires at least three in a row to guarantee a profit. Granted, the player is the favorite once a Don't bet is established behind a point, but this advantage is counterbalanced by having to risk more money to win less than the Do player.

The Do Nots tend to be a grind, but that does not mean they have to be devoid of all excitement. As Frank noted players who bet on multiple numbers can get annihilated in a hurry when Dugan pops early. On the other hand the wrongsider behind multiple numbers cannot lose, but can win, all of those bets on a single roll. Hence, by making multiple Don't Come bets and tailoring flat and odds progressions to taste (as in how many consecutive wins are needed to lock up a profit for a series), a Don't player can take advantage of a cold table without needing an Ice Age.

As a post script I would add that I personally rarely bet Don't Pass to avoid "betting against the shooter". (Of course, all players are betting against the house, not each other, but some shooters take Don't bets personally.) By betting Don't Come only I can openly root for a comeout seven along with all the frontsiders after a shooter makes a Line point and partially negate the pariah problem I mentioned earlier.

The Midnight Skulker
The Midnight Skulker has been playing craps for over three decades and has played almost everywhere in the country. He is a computer expert and a frequent contributor to Internet newgroups, where his opinions and observations have earned him much respect.
The Midnight Skulker
The Midnight Skulker has been playing craps for over three decades and has played almost everywhere in the country. He is a computer expert and a frequent contributor to Internet newgroups, where his opinions and observations have earned him much respect.