**Putting New Spins on
Old Systems**

Someone
is always coming up with exotic plays based on “due numbers,” the “law of
averages,” or the “law of large numbers.”
Often these plays involve placing all of the box numbers on the layout
– leaving that action up for a specific number of rolls, then taking it all down. Of course, the seven is the killer on that action. You can risk $64 across in an effort to win, say,
$14 - $18 a toss for two or three tosses, then bring it all down. Of course, that’s rarely what happens. More frequently player discipline fails and the
bets stay up for the third, fourth, or fifth roll before the seven shows and takes them
down for you. Perhaps you win $7 - $14 net
when it’s all said and done. Or maybe
the seven shows early and you find yourself down $50 - $64 right off the bat. When that happens most people quickly reevaluate
their strategy and try to find a less expensive way to cover all of the numbers. The Anything but Seven strategy – known by
some as the Iron Cross – is one of the most popular.
Let’s take a look at it.

The
ABS system calls for the player to place the five, six and eight in combination with a
Field bet. This combination of wagers not
only covers the box numbers, it also covers the horn numbers. Placed in the right denomination – every roll
will yield some sort of win. Let’s
assume we’re using $10 units. Your wager
will be $34 inside – no nine – plus a $10 wager in the Field. If the five, six, or eight roll you’ll
collect $14 on the place action but lose $10 on the Field bet. Net gain - $4.
If any other box number or the eleven roll you’ll collect $10. If the two or twelve roll you’ll collect $20
– or perhaps $30 if the casino triples the field on either of these numbers. Every roll is a winner – except when the
seven shows. Then you drop $44. Unfortunately, if you go by the math of the game
you’ll discover that the seven shows up early and often enough to make this system a
loser the majority of the time.

In
order to avoid the long-term exposure to the seven some players bypass the come out roll
and bet on all of the place numbers for one roll only. Let’s say you’re using $5
units. You bet $5 each on the four, five,
nine, and ten, and place the six and eight for $6 each.
You’re total action will be $32 across.
On your one roll of the dice you’ll either win $9 on the four or ten ,
or $7 on the inside numbers. However, there’s
still a one-in-six chance you'll lose all $32 if the seven rolls. And if that happens, you have to win five more
decisions just to get back even.

Here’s
an interesting variation for folks who want a shot at a one roll win. With this strategy you place all of the box
numbers before the come out roll and have them “working.” But you also play a Pass Line bet to hedge your
working action. Let’s take a look at it
playing $10 units.

Prior
to the come-out drop $64 on the table and tell the dealer you want $64 across –
working. Then you play a $65 Pass Line bet. If any point number rolls you’ll win from $14
to $18, depending on the point established. If
a seven rolls you win $1 net. Nothing wrong
with that. But if a point number rolled you’re
stuck with a $65 contract bet on the Pass Line. What
do you do about that? Well, let’s
think about it. After you net out the
previous win you have $51 “at risk” to the seven.
Let’s assume the point established is the six. Is there a way we can hedge that $51 at risk on
the five? Absolutely. You can lay the six for $75. Now what is the worst that can happen? IF the six rolls you win $65 on the Pass Line
– but lose $75 on the lay for a combined $10 loss.
However, since you collected $14 earlier on the come out roll you are a net
$4 winner for the series. If the seven should
show you would lose the $65 on the pass line – but win $60 on the don’t pass
– a net $5 loss until you factor in the earlier come-out win. Do the math and you turn out to be a net $9
winner for the series.

A
heck of a lot of work for a $4 - $9 win, huh? Especially
since there’s another fly in the ointment. Our
initial $65 Pass Line bet was exposed to a potential loss at the hands of the two, three
or twelve craps. The cost to hedge that
– too much over the long haul. That’s
the problem with hedge systems. You end up
hedging your hedges. Then things just get
silly.

Systems are fun to play around with, but the simple fact is that without influencing
the outcome of the roll there is no way to mathematically overcome the house’s edge
at craps. Anyone who tells you there is
– is wrong. Hedge bets may feel like
they soften the blow of a loss, but by and large they don’t work. The smart play?
Play within your bankroll, practice good money management and discipline,
limit your hedges, and focus on the bets with the lowest house edge – the Pass or Don’t
Pass, and placing the six and eight.

**
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