
Dodging Bullets as
a Darksider "Statistics
are like bikinis: what they show is important, but what they hide is vital." Anonymous The
Calm After the Storm
I’ve
intentionally held off in presenting the second part in this series because of the
continued interest and discussion regarding
Part I. I’ll readily admit that no single article of
mine has ever garnered as much Email, Instant Messages, and Message Board discussion as
that particular piece did. No
sooner had the furor died down here on Irishsetters site, then it reignited with an even
greater firestorm over on Heavy’s
Wrong Way Craps Forum. So
before we move on to the next phase of how to actually dodge MORE bullets, I want to
fleshout the merits and the shortcomings of my ChoppyTable ShortLeash Method. Some
Perspective
I
usually try to present a balanced view of things in a casinocontext. Of course, my opinion is always colored and
influenced by my own experience, knowledge and skill.
When you look at a bettingmethod, and I’m talking about ANY method,
including (and especially) mine; you should look at it from every possible angle. That’s exactly what I do before I venture my
own money on any concepts that come down the pipe, and I strongly suggest that you do the
same. That is precisely why I
recommended that if you are interested in my darkside methods, that you run it through
some choppy table simulations on bugfree software like WinCraps. How
To Evaluate a BettingMethod
To
properly evaluate a gaming approach, you have to not only look at the “math” of
the idea, but also appraise it’s value and suitability to realworld situations. You have to ask yourself whether it is applicable
only in certain “perfect” situations where all the planets and stars have to
line up, or whether it can work in a variety of circumstances that you are likely to
encounter again and again and again at actual casino tables. Moreover,
you should look at the “cautions” or warnings that accompany one method or
another. If the author tells you that it will
only work if the table is icy cold, then you are putting yourself and your bankroll at
risk if you choose to ignore the advice. Likewise,
you should “dry run” any new radical approach against either a rollsimulator
like WinCraps, or use real rolldata that you or others have gleaned directly from the
tables. You
already understand that no single method will work every time that you play, nor will it
fit every situation. There is NO
bettingsystem WHATSOEVER that will beat a negativeexpectation game in every situation. The
MathGuys One Size Fits All TestingMethod
The
problem with appraising any betting approach is that the mathguys run their simulations
over millions and millions of rolls and refuse to acknowledge that there are certain
betting situations that provide triggers to either start or stop a betting sequence. Likewise,
they discard the concept of losslimits or exitpoints because they look at the “long
run” of the game, and refuse to acknowledge that a player can begin betting or stop
betting at any point of his choosing. Their
view is that you can only properly evaluate a method if you set it up to run for millions
upon millions of rolls, and you cannot say, “Wait, I have made enough money today”,
or “I’ve lost my limit for today, I want to stop now”. Instead
their way of evaluating any bettingmethod is to disallow any stops or starts, and say
that you have to run the trial until your ideas are debunked. Obviously, if you run any method through that
neverending, “you cannot stop until you are broke” meatgrinder, NO
bettingapproach will EVER work. That is how
the mathguys PROVE that a negativeexpectation game can never possibly be turned around,
and in that context they are always correct. Clearly
there are some bettingmethods that will work much better than others. When you run those billionroll trials, the
lowvig bets like PL with maximum Odds, or DP with fullOdds obviously will have the best
results (lowest losses) overall. To
their mind, streaks and trends have no place in the game, and such events can only be
viewed in hindsight. To the mathguys, ANY
method that even recognizes them, much less bets into them are doomed to total and abject
failure. Leaving
the Theoretical Lab and Entering the Real World
Needless
to say, my view of the game is slightly different from that of the math guys.
Ø
I
say that streaks and trends not only exist at the craps table, but that seasoned players
recognize them and bet into them with a better than average outcome.
Ø
I
say that you can start betting at whatever point that you choose and that you can stop
betting at an equally opportune time.
Ø
I
say that losslimits and discipline are key factors in determining how much of your money
you’ll be able to keep, and also how much profit you’ll be able to make.
Ø
I
say that you can use “triggers” or key indicators to determine when to start a
bettingsequence, and contrary triggers that indicate when you should stop betting.
Ø
I
say that this isn’t voodoo or hocuspocus; it’s just a matter of recognizing a
betting opportunity and betting into it, or acknowledging a streak or trend where you
choose to keep your bettingdollars safely stowed in your rail. I
make the lion’s share of profit from my own skillbased PrecisionShooting. Waiting for the dice to cycle back around to me is
usually timeconsuming at busy tables, so I wanted a bettingapproach that would have
lowrisk, lowvolatility, and a high expectation of profit. Tables
are Choppy More Often Than Not
Since
most tables are choppy about 60% of the time, it made sense for me to look at possible
avenues to pursue when I was waiting for the dice to come back to my shooting position,
especially since the tables where I mostly play (about 200 different casinos across North
America) are generally choppy at least 60% of the time. While
it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to take maximum advantage of a searing
hot, or a frosty cold table, it seems to take almost superhuman strength to even hold on
to your money when the table is choppy, let alone make ANY MONEY at all. That
is where my ChoppyTable ShortLeash Method comes into play (see
Part I
if you are unfamiliar with it). Verities
versus Bullshit
The
only thing you know for sure in craps is that every shooter will eventually roll a 7. We
don’t “expect” the 7 to show up once every six rolls as it mathematically
“should”. In fact, we know that
there will be long periods when it will disappear off of the radar screen. What we do know, is that VERY FEW players will
make six PassLine Points in a row, and we know that at a cool or choppy table, that
concept seems to prove itself out even more so. We
know that once in awhile, a randomroller will come along and throw a hand that will take
us to our ChoppyTable
ShortLeash Method $285
session losslimit (on a $5 table). Although
we may not necessarily applaud his excellent luck, we accept that loss because we realize
that we are in a casino, and we are indeed still gambling. My
ChoppyTable ShortLeash Method only seeks to eke out a profit on the random swings, flux
and gyrations of what the dice will do at any particular point in time. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good
idea to share my personal experience with this method thus far. My
Current Results
Does
the ChoppyTable ShortLeash Method work, and if so, how well? Yes
it does work, and it works especially well on cool or choppy tables. Let me give you my own results when using this
method over the past 18 months or so:
Ø
In
that time I have put in ~2300 hours of play.
Ø
At
~100 dicerolls per hour (90 to 120 rolls/hour is the North American average), that means
that I witnessed ~230,000 rolls.
Ø
As
a side note, it would take a 40hour per week player about fifty (50) years of fulltime
play to witness the minimum 10million dicerolls that the mathguys say are necessary to
validate or debunk any method.
Ø
In
those ~2300 hours of play, I was able to find 9470 qualified betting situations where a
player made their first PLPoint winner (during a choppytable or cooltrending
dicecycle) which triggered the CT/SL Method into action.
Ø
Keep
in mind that I DO NOT include the results of my own PrecisionShooting into whether
or not the table is trending cool or choppy.
I take my own skill contribution out of the equation, and only
consider how the randomrollers or unqualified dicesetters are fairing with their own
throwing efforts.
Ø
Of
the 9470 times when I began betting against the shooter (after they made their first
PLPoint), it bombedout (the shooter succeeded in throwing at least five more PLwinners)
312 times.
Ø
That
equated to 312 times when I lost $285 (my session losslimit for this method on a $5
table) for a total loss of $88,920.
Ø
Of
the remaining 9158 times when my CT/SL Method won, it generated $119,512 in winnings.
Ø
Overall,
I had netprofits that totaled $30,592.
Ø
That
works out to a netwin of $13.05 per shooter that I bet against.
Ø
The
“breakeven” for this method is ~22 shooters.
That means that you need to bet against and win on ~22 players between each
session losslimit where a shooter does make all six PLwinners in a row. The
Deputy and The Sheriff Sometimes Get Their Man
As
you can see from my abovenoted results, one of the shortcomings of my method is that the
strength and tenacity of the Sheriff (the ComeOut 7) and his Deputy (the ComeOut 11) do
work against you, and sometimes contribute to its downfall. I
would guesstimate that of the 312 times that it failed (out of 9470 attempts), the
principal reason was that the shooter threw a number of ComeOut 7 and/or 11 winners
(losers for us). I
stated this in the first Dodging Bullets article, but it bears repeating again. Sometimes the randomroller will throw enough
ComeOut 7 or 11 winners, that it will knock us out of the betting process by hitting our
$285 losslimit. HOW
it Works and WHY it Works
The
entire basis of using this ChoppyTable ShortLeash Method is that there are very few
times when a randomroller will be able to throw six PLPoint winners in a row, or
intersperse enough 7 and/or 11 ComeOut winners that it will knock us out of the game. Yes, it DOES happen, but it doesn’t
happen often…and on a CHOPPY or COOLTRENDING table, it seems to happen even
more infrequently.
Ø
A
PassLine player has about a 40% chance of completing his first Point, and only a 16%
chance of completing his second Point. If he
is still holding the dice at that juncture, he has a 7% chance of making his third
PLPoint in a row, and then a ~2.8% chance of making his fourth, etc. That "diminishingprobability" is the
entire basis for this method. While each roll
is independent, we have to look at the totality of the series that we are currently in,
and judge whether it is a viable betting situation.
Ø
Now
the mathguys will confirm that a shooter does indeed have a 40% chance of making his
first point and only a 16% chance of making his next point in a row, but then they go on
to state, "We CANNOT say that just because he made his first point, that he only
has a 16% chance of making the 2nd. You can only say the shooter has a 16% chance of
making two points in a row BEFORE he starts a series of throws...once he picks up the dice
all bets are off as far as predicting what may happen."
Ø
They
acknowledge the numbers, yet say the diminishingexpectation (40%/16%/7%/2.8%/1.2% and
0.5%) of a long hand no longer continues to be true the moment a hand begins; and it is
therefore IMPOSSIBLE for those numbers to hold true simply because these figures only
apply “in theory”. Therefore they
opine, you cannot look at the “big picture” or at a string of rolls, simply
because it is made up of numerous, yet independent throws.
Ø
Their
logic is to “Ignore the rainstorm and just consider that it is single droplets
of water that are flooding your basement. It
doesn’t matter if it is pouring cats and dogs; a storm is only made up of individual
drops of water. Therefore, storms only
happened in the pasttense, and whatever is happening now can only be considered as
individual raindrops. You have to overlook
and disregard the totality of the deluge, no matter how much damage is being wrought”. Obviously, their logic is just plain FLAWED, and
they don’t use the brains that God gave dogs, to have enough sense to come in out of
the rain.
Ø
They
will tell you that streaks are only something that we can look at as a past event, and
that if someone throws twenty or thirty 12’s in a row, it would be absolutely foolish
for anyone to make a bet on the 12, simply because the odds are still 1in36.
Ø
They
opine that what has happened in the past, even the immediate past, and what is happening
right now, has no relevance or bearing on what may happen on the very next roll. Therefore, their best bet is for you to keep your
money safely tucked in your pocket, and that betting on a streak or a trend is,
well…gambling. I’ve got to tell you
that since we are in an actual casino, we do acknowledge that there is some element of
risk in each bet that we make. Our task is to
minimize that risk in relation to the reward that we are seeking.
Ø
While
everyone agrees that each roll is separate and distinct, craps veterans will tell you that
you can bet into a trend or you can stay on the sidelines.
They know that streaks happen, and the very fact that you are in a casino
indicates that you are prepared to take some chances with your money. To my mind, this is as good a time as any to make
a wager on that streak. Although it
doesn’t guarantee success, it sure seems like an appropriate time to put some money
into action.
Ø
What
my method does; is to recognize each individual roll, but also view each throw in context
to what is happening at the current time. We
then match our bets to best suit the situation, by recognizing the overall strength and
likelihood of a possible 7Out. We maintain
that perspective, and we continue matchingourbetstotherelativelikelihoodofa7Out
as a particular hand progresses.
Ø
The
mathguys will also tell you that you cannot look at a string of sequences (dice outcomes)
no matter how long or short, and that if you consider the effect of anything more than one
roll at a time, it is just utter nonsense and complete foolishness. To their way of thinking, you must restrict your
view to each separate roll as though nothing came before it and nothing will come after
it. It is with this myopic and narrowminded
view that they want you to appraise any and all bets, and they will tell you quite
candidly that to do anything contrary to that advice would be quite foolhardy on your
part.
Ø
However,
some astute craps players including myself; look at the game as a whole. Instead of just considering individual and
independent rolls, we look at how they are strung together. We look at the big picture of
trends and streaks instead of the minutia of each separate roll. That being the case, we
consider the overall expectation of the 7, and integrate it into a workable
bettingmethod. The
Strength of the Seven
Ø
Everyone
readily acknowledges that each roll is independent, but seasoned craps veterans also know
that the dice are inexorably drawn to the 7. My
ChoppyTable ShortLeash Method seeks to take advantage of that. The dice are not drawn there (to the 7) by way of
magic, magnetism, or mysticism. They are
drawn to it by the math. There are more
possible 7’s on a pair of dice than any other combination. We simply take that fact
into consideration, and we apply it to choppy tables (through my ChoppyTable ShortLeash
Method) with the hope (and VERY high likelihood) of making some money.
Ø
Please
understand that progressive betting methods are nothing new, and I certainly didn’t
“invent” any of them. Rather, I
looked at what the chances of any randomshooter throwing six PLwinners in a row were;
then I applied a low losslimit to a method that works quite well, especially on those
frustratingly annoying choppy tables. It’s
not voodoo, it’s not magic…it’s just a reasonable prospect of winning.
Ø
My
ShortLeash ChoppyTable Method takes the expectation of the 7 into consideration and
says, "Hmm, the table has been choppy, and 7Outs are occurring with some
frequency...I think this may be as good a time as any to venture some of my money...but I
also want to limit my exposure in the event that this randomroller gets really hot."
Ø
When
there is a 1in6 chance that any one roll will present a 7, no one in their right mind
can say that it doesn't figure into the game, nor that a bettor cannot take advantage of
the fact that only 1in200 shooters will make six PLPoints in a row.
Ø
Yes
there is a chance that any player, on any given day, in any particular casino, may throw
six PLPoint winners in a row; however the odds are 2001 against it happening. Personally, I LIKE those odds.
Ø
As
craps players, we cannot ignore the fact that long hands are few and far between. The reason we don't see that is because of the
power of the 7 is such that the math prevents it from happening very often. Yes, we will occasionally see some long hands
where a player does make at least six in a row, but the math of the game is strong enough
that we won't see it VERY OFTEN.
Ø
In
fact, we won't see it often enough to turn the ChoppyTable ShortLeash Method into a
losing approach when we employ it at cool or choppy tables.
Don’t take my word for it. Prove
it, or DISPROVE it for yourself.
Ø
While
everyone agrees that each roll is indeed independent, if the dice weren't mathematically
skewed towards the 7, then we would have many more long hands in the 100 to 800
rollrange, without EVER seeing a 7. At the
tables that I play at here in this crapsuniverse, they are choppy about 60% of the time. The choppiness of the tables at your end of the
solar system may be skewed somewhat differently, so I suggest once more that you run my
method through numerous trials BEFORE you venture dollarone of your own money on it. Don’t take my word for it, I WANT YOU to
prove it to yourself.
Ø
My
ChoppyTable ShortLeash does not try to “beat expectation with fluctuation." Instead, it uses the EXPECTATION of the 7 over the
random FLUCTUATIONS of each independent roll.
Ø
By
waiting for a player to make his first PLPoint, the darkside bettor has a legup (based
on expectation) that the shooter only has a 16% chance of repeating his second PLPoint,
and a 7% chance of repeating his third. There
will always be FLUCTUATION with a random game, but sooner or later, the 7Out will appear.
Ø
My
method says that only 1in200 players will get to complete six PLPoints. If you only start betting against that player
after he has made his first Point, you are deeper into the expectationcurve than
someone who randomly bets against any and all players who picks up the dice.
Ø
The
universal crapplayers question is: “Can you capitalize on those numbers, knowing
ahead of time what the dice are expected (but NOT guaranteed) to do?” My answer is that, on a cooltrending or choppy
table, the answer is, YES YOU CAN! My
ShortLeash ChoppyTable Method is NOT a neverfail approach to the game. Instead, it is
one approach that usually pays off handsomely; and when it fails, it does so to a degree
that its losses are easily outweighed by its consistent wins. The
whole basis of my approach is that when properly applied to choppy tables, the wins
generally outweigh the losses time and time and time again. That is how I accomplished the
abovenoted results, and how I continue to profit from choppy table
situations. A
Mechanical Example of How This Method Works
Let
me give you an analogy that will perhaps make it easier to understand:
Ø
Let's
say that you have a simple mechanical machine.
Ø
It
has one moving part, and that part has a failurerate of 60% for every one hour of use.
That means that there is a 40% chance that that machine will still be working after one
hour.
Ø
Now
let's say the same machine has two moving parts, and each part has the same INDEPENDANT
60% failurerate. That means that there is only a 16% chance that that machine will still
be working after one hour. Of course there is an 84% chance that it WILL NOT continue to
work.
Ø
If
we add one more 60% failurerate moving part to that same machine, it means that there is
only about a 6.5% chance that that machine will still be working after one hour. In the
U.S. Air Force they call this declining rate of reliability, Mean Time Between Failures
(MTBF).
Ø
If
we add another similar 60% failurerate moving part to that same machine, it means that
there is only about a 2.5% chance that that machine will still be working after one hour.
Ø
When
we add five unreliable parts (each with an INDEPENDANT 40% reliability rating), we end up
with a machine that only has an approximate 1% chance of making it through one hour of
operation.
Ø
When
we add the final sixth unreliable part to an already very undependable and erratic
machine, it lowers its Mean Time Between Failures to a wholly untrustworthy 0.4% chance
that that machine will still be buzzing along after one hour.
Ø
If
that machine was the aircraft that you just bought a ticket on, how safe do you think you
would feel?
Ø
If
you knew that your onehour flight had less than a onehalf of onepercent chance of
successfully making it to its destination, just how safe would your ass be?
Ø
Is
that the kind of aircraft that you would send your wife and children on? Wait don't answer
that...the MATHGUYS are CONFIDENT that it WILL make it to it's destination because EACH
part has a 40% reliability rating and NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would consider the
overall reliability of the sum of all the parts...that would just make too much sense for
them.
Ø
So
would you happily and blithely put your family on that plane because each moving part has
a 40% chance of making it to their destination? To do that, you have to completely IGNORE
the fact that it really only has a 1outof200 chance that it will actually make it there
because you have your sight firmly locked on to each individual piece that is
independently reliable 40% of the time.
Ø
If
you were a frequent flier, how many times do you think you could actually dodge the bullet
and continually make it safely to your destination?
Ø
The
mathguys call that way of thinking the Gamblers Fallacy. Okay, but what do you call the
guy who thinks that he's going to make it safely to his destination on that wonky 99.6%
failurerate aircraft. Now THAT is GAMBLING! A
Final Thought and a Challenge
If
you have a copy of WinCraps I would challenge you to try this out for yourself. Simply define what you would characterize as a
choppy table, and then start running the dicerolls manually. When the outcomes satisfy your definition of what
a cooltrending or choppytable is; then apply the first phase of my CT, SL Method
(after the player completes his first PassLine Point) and let the dice roll. Don’t
just run the test once or twice. Really PROVE
it to yourself whether it works or not. Then you can make an informed decision as to
whether or not this betting approach holds any merit for you, and whether it might figure
into your future wageringmethods. Coming
Up…
In
Part Three of this series, we’ll return to where we left off in Part
One, and take a detailed look at:
Ø
How
ProgressiveThinking can beat ProgressiveBetting.
Ø
Why
Betting
More
to Win Less is not right for everyone.
Ø
How
ProgressiveOdds can figure into your gameplan.
Ø
How
OddsOnly bets affect your likelihood of winning.
Ø
And
as they say…much, much more. Until
then, Good
Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life. Sincerely, The
Mad Professor

