Monthly Archives: February 2010

Using the Martingale Craps Betting System

If you didn’t already know, the Martingale strategy is one of the most popular and well known betting systems in existence. These systems are usually great for risk and bankroll management and guide players into betting by a series of patterns. Not only can this system be used in craps, but it can be used in just about any other casino game. First of all, this is a negative progression strategy, which means that you actually increase the size of your bets whenever you lose. This is also one of the riskiest, yet profitable betting system to use and I will explain it below.

The first important requirement for using the Martingale is to wager on bets that have nearly even odds and even payouts. An example of this would be the pass line or don’t pass bet, which pays out 1:1 (even) odds and also has a very low house edge. The lower the house edge, the better this system will work. Depending on the rules of the craps table, some bets have no house edge at all. For example, the any craps bet and the any seven (big red) pays out true odds (no house edge!) when playing at the CasinoMax‘s crap table. Generally though, the free odds bet in addition to one of the pass bets are perfect for using the Martingale system.

Now the first thing you do is wager 1 chip, which can be $1, $5, $100 or whatever you plan on betting. If you win, then the proceeding bets will always be 1 chip. Basically you never increase the size of your bets when you win. If you lose the bet, then you double the number of chips on the next bet and you keep on doubling up each time you lose consecutively. If you go on a losing streak, your bets would go from 1 chip to 2, then 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and so on. If you are using $100 chips, your bet would be $6400 after 6 losses in a row! If you finally win on that bet, then you return to your original 1 chip bet.

The benefit and advantage of the Martingale system when playing craps is you will always end up with a profit of 1 chip whenever you win, even after a long string of losses. The disadvantage is having to worry about table limits. For instance, if you were betting $100 chips and the table limit was $5000, you would be unable to wager $6400 in order to keep on pace with the strategy. Ideally, you would want to start with a very large bankroll and also begin with the minimum bet or minimum table limit, that way you have lots of room to move. If you started off with $1 chips, you would have to lose 12 times in a row before hitting the table limit, as long as you have a large enough bankroll to play with.

Losing 12 times in a row is somewhat rare, but it does happen. The larger your bankroll is and the larger the table limit is, the better chances you have of winning. This is a great strategy to use if you are a high roller and play on tables with high stakes craps. Still, the Martingale system is notorious for being risky so it is a good idea to know what you are doing in this game first.

Why US Players Find it Hard to Gamble and Play Craps Online

This is an important topic for players located in the United States. You probably have tried gambling at online casinos over the past few years only to realize that there is a certain anti-gaming law. If you are a US citizen or player, there are a few important things you should know about this law and what it means to you as a gambler.

First of all, it is not illegal for US players to gamble. Any law like that would be blasphemy against the US constitution because no one can tell you what you can or cannot do with your own money in your own home. The law is actually directed at the US banking system instead and it works in a kind of loophole around the constitution. In one way, this law bans or impedes gambling indirectly.

Basically, the law restricts the banks from transferring money from players to casinos. It is also the banks who get punished by this law in the end and that is why many e-teller players like Neteller and big name companies like this decided to follow through and ban this kind of transaction. There are still smaller banking places that you can use over the internet who cannot be touched by this law and this is how US players can finally get back into the action of gambling.

Still, many casinos will not allow US players because it is inconvenient for them to work with smaller banks and constantly change their payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. Though, CasinoMax and Cherry Jackpot casinos are some of the best gambling places around that allow US players nowadays and I would recommend checking them out if you are a US based visitor and even for people outside of the USA. Another great benefit about these two casinos is they allow deposits by credit card. You would need to check out which other payment methods are available on these sites because there are many of them available and the list changes regularly. I know these two casinos, owned by the same company, have been known to have very convenient and quick services for US players as well.

So the bottom line is the anti-gaming laws, at least in the US, do not ban online gambling. They just make it harder for people to play online and many US players give up trying to play at online casinos due to frustrations and slow response time. The good news is that the US Congress is talking about rolling back these laws soon, so we will be keeping an eye on it in the future.

Big Six and Big Eight craps bets explained

Yesterday I talked about a bet that I started using at the table called the big six or big eight bet. This is actually one of the more common bets but the odds are not that spectacular. It is also a bet that is different than many people would assume and has some rules to it that I will explain next. I actually won with it and it wasn’t that bad of a bet.

Basically, you wager some chips on a spot on the table that has a Big 6 and 8 spot at the corner of the pass line. You are betting that the dice will land on a six or eight before a seven. Note that you are either betting on 6 or 8, but not both of them. You can also cancel your bet at any time if you start feeling too nervous about it. Remember not to confuse this bet with a Place 6 or Place 8 bet, in where you must roll a 6 or 8 on the very next roll or lose the bet.

So here are the odds and probabilities: If you win the bet, you are paid even money or 1:1 odds. The odds of the dice actually landing on these numbers is 5 in 36 on any given roll (whereas rolling a 7 has odds of 6 in 36). The actual odds are also 6:5 and the house edge is actually a whopping 9.09%. A house edge this high is actually terrible since the casino is majorly profiting on this bet. The fact that I actually won well with this bet the other day was only due to pure luck during the short term, otherwise I would be taking some huge losses in the long term as the casino takes a huge chunk of money over time.

Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend this bet if you are a mathematical person looking for the best and most profitable odds in the game. Still, there are bets in craps that have an even worse and larger house edge than even this bet! I will try talk about each of these bets as time goes on. It is nice to know that the big 6 and big 8 bets have such bad odds because this is actually a popular wager to make and it is common among players for some strange reason. I am willing to bet that this one is popular because it is displayed in huge red letters on the table and many people just don’t know the game well enough to understand what this bet really is.

Getting more experience at the casino playing this game

Last night I took a drive out to the local casino again to play some craps and get a better hold of the game and the rules. I also played some slots and roulette as well. This time my goal was to try getting better remembering which bets are which and some etiquette. That dictionary of terms would have been very helpful, especially in trying to talk to the dealers. It is helpful to brush up on the game when it is not so busy and you can ask the dealers questions without rushing around.

Like last time, I practiced with the pass line and don’t pass bets and included a few big six bets and big eight bets as well since these were displayed to catch the eye on the table layout. We all know that there is a 1 in 5 chance that the dice will land on 7. The 6 and 8 are the next most frequent dice roll and probabilities are the same for both of these numbers as well. I found that these two bets were different than what many people would assume as well.

All in all, I did come out about $50 and that was because I was playing conservatively with $5 minimum chip bets. As for etiquette observation, I did notice some people placing drinks on the table! Surprisingly, the dealers didn’t say anything, or else they didn’t see it since it was a small glass and the guy had a pile of chips around it. Other than that, it was pretty quiet and not much action. Still, it’s better than losing all of my money and going home with nothing.

The pass and don’t pass line bets explained

The pass line and don’t pass line bets are the two most common and popular bets in craps. They are also some of the most important as well since there are other supplemental bets that go along with these two that will give you the best odds out of any casino game in the house! In fact, using these pass and don’t pass bets can actually help you reduce the house edge to nothing, nil, zero and maximize your odds as good as it gets.

First I will explain the pass line bet. This is a bet that wagers that the dice will land on a natural 7 or 11 and win. The player losses if the dice lands on one of the craps numbers: 2, 3 or 12. Notice that the odds of getting a 7 are greater than the combined probability of getting 2, 3 and 12. The round ends if the dice lands on any of these numbers and a new one starts. If you win on the come out throw, the house pays even odds or 1:1 on your dollar.

Now if the shooter throws anything else but these numbers, such as 4, 5, 6, 8, 9

Tips on how to follow good craps etiquette

I forgot to mention yesterday that before I wrote an article about superstition in craps, I wrote a good guide for craps etiquette as well. This is actually an integral part of the game and is almost as important as the rules and the betting as well. At least this is true at land based casinos when you are playing live craps, versus the online game. Obviously you do not have to worry about etiquette if you are playing over the internet in your home.

As you might have known, big table games like crap, roulette and blackjack all become “social” games. Because of that, they will have unspoken social rules known as etiquette and each game has different etiquette. You can read the full guide to craps etiquette in the link above but I will mention just a few of the important tips.

One of the most important rules is to at least get some background of the game before playing. The reason is this game can be very complicated for a new player who knows nothing about the game. Even people who are playing may not even understand the entire game and all of the bets as well. This will save a lot of time since the questions you will end up asking the dealers and other players may end up being long and complicated. Of course there is no problem asking about something simple or specific in he game. The best thing to do if you are a new player is to watch the game from the rail, or bring a friend with you and play when it’s not busy. Besides, many people will sit at the rail and watch the game as a spectator and never play.

Another tip is to be on your best behavior and do not be too loud. This usually applies to people who drink too much and get a little over excited. Speaking of drinks, never put your drink on the table or inside the padded area since they could spill all over. The same goes with cigars and cigarettes. Usually a table will have some sort of slot or a place to put your drinks and smokes.

One thing you should never do is walk away with the dice or conceal them. There is a risk that people can switch the dice with fixed ones and casinos do not like it when the dice go out of view even for a moment. This also goes for dice that fly out of the table. If they fly in your direction, the best thing to do is let them fall on the ground but do not go after them unless the dealer tells you to since this is just another opportunity for a cheating player to switch them for fixed dice.

Now with etiquette in respect to the dealers. If you want to play craps, place your money on the table and ask to have it changed to chips. Never hand the money to the dealer since they are actually not allowed to touch the money or the player. Instead, just lay it on the table and they will give you chips. When making bets, never throw the chips around the table since they tend to roll all over and it can become a hassle for the dealers and take up more time if your chips get mixed in with other people’s bets.

Superstitions, legends and voodoo magic in craps

A few days ago I wrote an article on the main site about interesting superstitions and legends in the game of craps. Throughout this article, I wrote about a number of strange superstitions and actions that many people believe will change the luck of the game. Luck itself seems to be a mystery of sorts because you can see it and you can manipulate it, it just seems to happen at random, much like an act of God.

That’s where the voodoo and superstitious beliefs come in. People believe that oddball events can lead to arcane and divine intervention of the game and disrupt the “flow” of luck or the essence of Zen. For example, some people actually believe that if a shooter throws the dice down the table and those dice happen to hit someone’s hands, the luck of the game will change.

Another strange, yet silly legend has to do with the number seven. It is told that the luck will shift if you shout out the name “seven” while you are playing the game. In fact, the correct way to do it is to address “seven” as “it” or “the devil” in order to preserve the good luck on the craps table. There seems to be no logic to it since people are saying words and that shouldn’t affect the physics of rolling dice (unless there is voodoo magic in the works).

There are a number of strange things listed in this article I wrote, including the concept of “Lady Luck” that is known throughout the world and the gambling industry. Many of the superstitions revolve around the number seven and how frequently it will show up depending on what strange actions you take. Theoretically, by that same superstitious logic, you should be able to adjust your bet for or against the number seven whenever you see a luck changing action taking place such as the dice being tossed out of the table.

There is some science to it though, the number 7 on the dice actually is the most frequent number to be rolled because there are more combinations of the dice that can add up to 7 than any other number. The rarest numbers that show up most infrequently are 2 and 12 (snake eyes and box cars). There are some people that don’t understand this but the mathematics are fact in this respect if you look at the odds charts. For most people though, superstition is just a fun element to throw into the game and people will just play along with it because it makes the game more interesting. Either way, the casino is going to win in the long term! So enjoy some fun and go with the “essence” of luck in the short term.

Went to the casino to play craps and hung out

I usually head out to the casino on a regular basis and will write about it on the blog. I will try keeping the topics on craps on this blog and will write about the other games I play on my other blogs in order to keep things organized. I usually play all sorts of different games and stay for about 6 to 8 hours whenever I get the time off to go.

As for craps, I tried a little bit of all of the bets and tried getting used to the terms I was writing about the other day. To be honest, I haven’t been playing this game in quite awhile and I used to be extremely good at the game. Now I am actually getting the time to head out to the casino and play this game again so hopefully I can get my edge back!

I do recall my favorite bet that I used to win a lot at. I usually played the don’t pass line bet, which means I win when the shooter rolls a 2, or 3 and lose when the shooter rolls a 7 or 11. If a 12 is rolled, the bet usually results in a “push” or tie bet where my money is returned to me and a new round starts.

Since I was playing at a land based casino, there were many other people playing there as well and they all gather around the table. You will quickly find that craps is a social game much like roulette. Only this time the players are usually cheering for the shooter. Typically the pass line bet is for “right” bettors where you cheer for the dealer to pass. When you bet on the don’t pass line like myself, you would be known as a “wrong” bettor because you don’t want the shooter to pass on the come out roll. Many times I would be the one cheering when everyone loses, but of course I used good etiquette and did not do this. Although, I was not the only one wagering on the for the dice thrower to not pass.

There is some logic for what I’m doing though. The don’t pass line actually has a slightly lower house edge than the pass line. This means my mathematical odds increase, I lose less money and less frequently over the long run and I tend to win more often in the long run than I would on the pass line. I actually came out about $50 ahead when playing craps with $5 chips. Other than that, I also played roulette and slots throughout the night as well.

I did not try out the free odds bets, but I know this is related to the don’t pass line and it is the best bet in the house. I will try to write about this later on because it is extremely important for all players to know.

Learn what different words mean in craps games

You may have heard strange phrases and words being used in craps. For instance, you may have heard players shouting out “snake eyes” or “boxcars”. Usually these terms are announced by the more experienced players who have been playing for awhile. Actually, snake eyes is a slang word for rolling a 2 and boxcars is jargon for rolling a 12. Even with integral parts of the game, such as the dealers, there are different terms for each one.

A couple of days ago I wrote up a small dictionary with definitions of terms for craps. So far there is a fairly nice sized list but I know that this doesn’t include all of the common terms yet since the game is so huge. If I forgot one, please add it to the comment and it’s definition and I’ll try adding it to the main dictionary.

The type of words you will normally hear when playing craps will be related to a type of bet, some specific dice outcome or an announcement that dealers and players will make. It is actually a good idea to read up on some of the common terms since they will frequently be part of the game. For example, the pass line bets and the don’t pass bets are very common in the game and there are a lot of different terms used for specific times of betting in a round.