By Mike In Hawaii
What is MetaCraps™. Well "Meta" is something
bigger, more inclusive, at least as I use the term. You could talk about
MetaRoulette or MetaBlackjack etc. In each case I would be trying to say "The
entire game and all its relevant environment"
It is clear, and constantly pointed out, that
God Math, capital M math, to infinity and beyond!, absolute Math, as many
decimal places as you like Math, can easily prove that there is no hope for you
winning at Craps. Not in the long run.
It is the basis of what I call the "Dumbo
Paradox". Absolute Mathematical proof that professional gamblers who play banked
casino games like Craps cannot exist, any more than elephants can fly. But such
professional gamblers do exist. And yet the Math is not wrong. So what is going
on? This has been a difficult question to answer.
Only one of two things is going on. Either
there are people who are supernaturally lucky, blessed, living outside of any
believable laws of Math and physics, or the problem is stated incorrectly. The
Math (God Math) is simply solving the wrong problem.
Enter MetaCraps™. Imagine standing at a Craps
table looking at the chips, the felt, the betting areas, the stickman, and the
dice. You are seeing the game of Craps.
Now back up a few steps. Also see the pit boss,
the floor supervisor, the casino manager, your fellow players, yourself. That is
the realm of MetaCraps™.
I am sure you have seen those Russian wooden
nesting dolls. You open up the big one and inside there is a smaller nearly
identical one. Open that one and yep, inside is a smaller nearly identical one.
Some nested eight dolls deep or more. MetaCraps™ is like that.
The tiniest Craps "doll" is the single die,
then a pair of dice, then all the combinations those dice can roll, then all the
numbers those combinations can add up to, then all the bets you can make on
those sums and the mechanics of betting and playing Craps. Still more layers.
There are the mechanism of making bets, working with the dealers and the
stickman, shooting the dice when it is your turn. Eventually you work your way
out to what most people consider the game of Craps. Standing at the rail holding
chips, watching dice and making bets.
At this point all is mechanics. It is at this
point that Math (Capital M) can prove you are doomed! You are playing a negative
sum game and time is on the side of your opponent.
Fortunately MetaCraps™ does not stop there. But
the next few layers are difficult. They are harder to quantify, less mechanical
and worst of all, human. Humans are just not very good at certain things. Many
Craps players are not even aware that this "outer realm" exists. However, it is
these outer layers, the game of Craps played outside the rail, where the player
has his or her greatest chance of leaving the table a winner. Consistently.
Does the Casino play MetaCraps™? You bet they
do! Just look. They have iron rules for the behavior of all their employees who
work at a Craps table. They have extensive protocols for every little movement
and constant watchfulness to see that these protocols are followed every second.
Then they have people watching the people who are watching the employees. Above
all are cameras watching and recording everything. Why? Because the Casino
knows that Craps is more than dice, bets, felt, odds and chips. It is a human
game played by humans. Humans stand outside the rail.
And humans suck at discipline! Humans make poor
mechanical robots. Humans intrinsically hate rules. Humans cut corners, are lazy
and not always honest, especially around money!
But the Casino needs these humans to run their
Craps game. They put lots of time, effort and resources into training and
supervising these human components of the game of MetaCraps™. Working to
regiment them into proper gears and wheels that can be counted upon to function
as reliably as a pair of high quality razor edged dice.
What about the players? Most let their grasp of
MetaCraps™ stop at the rail. They are undisciplined, unsupervised, not
necessarily well trained, and probably knocking back the free booze. The Casino
watches them carefully to ensure they are not cheating nor disrupting the game.
But otherwise the players are on their own. The Casino wants them focused on
playing from the rail inward. They want them to shoot Craps, not play MetaCraps™.
So most players fail to even have an awareness
of the additional layers of MetaCraps™. These very parts of the game hold the
potential to turn them into winners. They are probably experts at the mechanics
of the game of Craps. But they are focused on Craps from the inside out. They
are fixated on the dice, the bets, the felt, and the odds, the little mechanical
stuff. Sure it is essential stuff and a full grasp of it is important. But
inside the rail the Casino is in charge.
You should not play Craps from the inside out!
You must play Craps from the outside inward. At least if you want to win. More
than that, you cannot play MetaCraps™, the game which you can win, just from the
rail inward. You have to take a few steps back and see yourself and the layers
which you have to bring to the game. You have to implement your own
version of the ingredients, the aspects of MetaCraps™, which every Casino in the
world implements every time they open a Craps table.
Discipline, betting routine, money management,
supervision, watchfulness and tight control of their human element at all
There are at least three additional human
levels in the game of MetaCraps™, levels which exist outside the rail. Levels
that only the player can implement for himself or herself.
The first is betting strategy or your
pre-established routine for a given situation or set of conditions. You should
have already worked out how you are going to bet at a cold table, what you are
going to do if a table turns choppy, how you are going to respond to a natural,
etc. before you ever get to the table. Let's hear it for WinCraps!
The second is money management or your
disciplined control of loss limits, win limits, and all the things that ensure
you will control your losses and quit while you are ahead. Plus all the fiddly
details of handling and keeping track of your special gambling money.
The third is situational awareness or
your constant observation of the flow, the energy of this particular table.
Sometimes this gets downright mystical.
I like to think that if a person applies
themselves to being focused on what they are doing and what is going on around
them, they can get input from parts of their mind which cannot speak, or use
language. Half of our brain is like that and it is perfectly capable of
reasoning and "telling" us what to do. But it has to use sensations, feelings,
emotions, visions, images, colors, other non-verbal nudges to try to get through
to us. It can if we expand our definition of "listen".
If your Craps game only exists from the rail
inward, you are missing the biggest, most important aspects of the game. You
must put time, effort and resources into training and supervising YOUR human
components of the game. If you want to win.
Rules and Who's in Charge
When we talk about MetaCraps™, we are talking
about not only Craps, the game most people "play", but also the critically
important aspects of the entire experience of gambling at Craps which exist
outside the rail.
These outside the rail components are extremely
important for two reasons. First these outside the rail aspects give you the
very best chance of being a consistent winner.
Second --- You get to make the rules!
Suppose you got to make the rules inside the
rail. How about "do-overs". You crap out on your come out. Your new rule says
you can yell "DO-OVERS" and shoot again. Or you seven out on your first roll
after you set a point. "DO-OVERS!" and you get to shoot again.
BTW, this is a hypothetical. I certainly would
not recommend trying it at a real Casino Craps table. Inside the rail is the
domain of the Casino where they make the rules and you have to figure out how to
live with them as best you can.
But outside the rail is your private domain.
Most players just throw away this opportunity to define a winning game for
themselves. Probably because they have not done the "step back" exercise and
taken in the larger picture which is MetaCraps™.
Outside the rail you have several problems and
advantages, all of them human based. Because they are human based, they rely on
your personal will and discipline to first make sensible rules and then enforce
them on yourself. You can even make rules that are based on more than just
mechanical concepts. You can tap into your human nature and special attributes.
You can make rules, establish procedures for yourself, which are more religious
Your rules can be extremely powerful. Just one
example illustrates this incredible power. From moment to moment you get to
decide how much to bet, how to bet, or even if you are going to bet or not.
This last one is perhaps the ultimate
subjective rule. The one that determines whether or not you will even bet. The
Casino's game of MetaCraps™ certainly includes such subjective rules. They also
have the ultimate subjective rule. For any reason, at any time, they can ask you
to leave and not play any of their games.
Back to business. Let's start with just one
small concept from Money Management. This is one of those outside the rail
shells, one of the most important of the nested dolls. You have to define your
own rules for Money Management and you have to enforce them yourself. Some of
them are simple math rules. Some of the rules can be rather psychological or
seem almost mystical.
But all have one thing in common. A literal
"Bottom Line". You create all of these outside the rail rules and personal
routines for the same reason you study intensely the inside the rail aspects of
Craps, to enhance your chances of winning consistently. Here is a simple money
management concept to start with.
Before there can be money management, there has
to be money. What kind of money? Gambling Money. How do you create this special
kind of money? You set it aside for this one exact purpose.
How many people gamble with just any old money?
How many players do not have two distinctly different kinds of money with them
in the Casino? How many people just reach into their everyday wallet and pull
out some of the money in there, hoping they remember to leave enough for the
buffet in a few hours?
I guarantee the Casino expects its employees,
its human components of the game of MetaCraps™ to have two kinds of money. Their
personal money which is in their wallets, with which the employee buys lunch,
takes the bus, pays his rent and phone bills etc.
And the Casino's gambling money, which the
Casino regards as something extremely different. To prove this an employee need
only pocket a single chip of the Casino's gambling money improperly. The only
exception is a toke given by a player and there are strict rules about how the
employee handles that to make it crystal clear this bit of Casino money is a tip
and being handled as a tip for all the world, the cameras and the supervisors to
You need think about money the same way. You
need to have Gambling Money which is different than all your other everyday
money, both in the accounting sense and the psychological sense.
I have a special metal lock box at home that I use as
a piggy bank for my gambling money. As I get a bit of
extra cash I can convert, I put that cash in the special
metal box, just like foreign exchange, like I was
it to Yen or Pesos. Money becomes
different when it goes into that box.
Just like a good accountant, I never commit the
sin of "co-mingling funds". When the gambling money goes to the Casino it goes
in a special second wallet. A really nice super thin front pocket wallet bought
just for this one purpose. It could be a simple as a rubber band, or a large
paperclip. As long as it is just for keeping your gambling money separate and
away from the everyday money in your everyday wallet.
I always have a small notebook to record every
buy in for every game I gamble at. How much I bought in for, and how much I
cashed out. This may sound fiddly, but it is quite important.
If you do not keep your gambling money separate
for, you have no way of knowing how much you
are really winning
or losing. Humans have wonderful selective
some simple bookkeeping you will remember your
wins and forget
your losses. It is just human nature. You
should always know how
much of your gambling money you took on any
given trip to a
casino, and how much you came back with.
Even more important, if you do not do some
simple record keeping, you have no way of being sure that none of your
non-gambling money is ending up on the table where it does not belong.
What else is special about gambling money? Here
I shudder in horror. A legion of writers will tell you it is money "You can
afford to Lose". Saints preserve us!! No one can afford to lose money. What a
horrible karma, what a lousy vib, what a terrible concept.
Never let your mind set pre-defeat you.
Psychological concept #1 has to be:
Never Go to a Casino to
Gambling Money is "Money you can afford to
Risk". The very fact you can separate it out into a special place like my
metal gambling money box and leave it in there, helps prove that it is money you
do not need for essential day to day expenses.
Thus it is not "Scared Money". You do not
cringe when you drop it on a craps table and ask for chips. You do not start out
with your mind preoccupied with the specter of defeat as you would if you played
with everyday money you could not actually afford to lose. Non-gambling money
you should never be risking in the first place. Your everyday money literally
has no business being out and about in a Casino's gaming area.
When you put gambling money on the table to
convert to chips, your mind is able to focus on the coming contest. This is why
that particular money exists. This is its defined purpose in life. Your gambling
money has been waiting for this moment to take its chances, sally forth and
bring back some of the Casino's gambling money as prisoners.
"I once proved I could move a loaded railroad boxcar by myself. I released the
brakes and started to push. It was like pushing a brick wall. I pushed on it
as hard as I could for about a minute. Then I became aware that there was
give. And then a clear motion that built. And be in low hold, It was rolling.
Very very slowly. But it went several feet before it stopped. It was about
40,000 pounds. Maintain an even strain."
Mike In Hawaii