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Taking the Table’s Temperature
 

   

Ask any group of craps players what constitutes a “hot” or “cold” table and you are likely to get a variety of answers.  Most veteran players can recognize a sizzling hot or ice-cold table.  Oh the other hand, the majority of the players in the game misread choppy tables.   Too bad, since the tables are choppy the majority of the time.  

Right way players generally define a “hot” table as one that is producing a significant number of “box numbers” and “passes” relative to the number of sevens being rolled.  A “cold” table is one that is producing many seven outs relative to the number box numbers rolled.  A savvy bettor can easily exploit either of these types of tables.  However, a “choppy” table - one that is kicking off a mixed set of results without any obvious pattern – is almost impossible to play profitably.  

We’ve all heard that craps is a game of independent trials, and that past observations do not necessarily indicate future results.  And it’s true that tables have a way of changing directions suddenly and for no apparent reason.  But there is a certain rhythm to the game.  Tables run hot, then cold, with a lot of other stuff happening in between.  I sometimes compare this shifting temperature/cycle of the table with the swinging of a pendulum.  Imagine that at one end of the “swing” you have a very hot table – and at the other end of the “swing the table is ice cold.  The pendulum continually swings back and forth from hot to cold and back again.  The vast majority of the time the pendulum is swinging toward hot or cold, or away from cold or hot.  But most of the time it’s somewhere in the middle where there is no exploitable trend. 

With that in mind it’s possible to sort the tables into five different categories.  They are:    

1.  Cold Table
2.  Cool Choppy Table
3.  Choppy Table
4.  Warm Choppy Table
5.  Hot Table

It should come as no surprise that three of the five table categories are “choppy.”  That’s the way it is in the Real World Casinos.  So how do you identify if a table has an exploitable hot or cold trend?  Here are a two down and dirty charting techniques that might help.

Begin by quickly scanning the tables before starting play.   Look for a table that producing results that fit your planned playing strategy for the day.  Then rate that table based on the five categories listed above.  Right way players should look for a table in categories four or five.  Don’t players should look for a table in categories one or two.  Either the Do players will be winning or the Don’t players will be winning.   If everyone is losing then you’re looking at chop. 

Next, you might take a look at  “Cycle Length".  Most of you have heard me talk about Come Out Cycle plays and Point Cycle Plays.  By Cycle Length I’m referring to the number of rolls between 7-outs. Craps statisticians tell us there are an average of 3.5 rolls between a point being made or a seven-out occurring. The average players “hand” is just a bit over eight rolls.  Armed with that information, simply by counting rolls you can determine if the table is showing long or short cycles.    Generally right way players are looking for long cycles, while Don’t players are looking for short cycles. 

Cycle length and table temperature are simply tools to use in table selection.  It’s true that the “dice have no memory.”  But they do have a history – and history has a way of repeating itself. 

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