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Frank Scoblete - Cutthroat Craps: The Golden Shooters - Part 2

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  • Frank ScobleteLast issue, I described two shooters, A and B. Shooter A just winged the dice down the layout as if he were trying to not only hit the back wall but send the dice right through it. Shooter B, however, took great care with his dice sets, grip, and delivery. But is Shooter B, the shooter who takes deliberate care with his rolls, really a Golden Shooter? Is he really capable of changing the nature of the game so that an astute bettor, such as yourself, can take advantage of his roll? From the information I?ve givben you, you could not state definitively one way or the other. In fact, some pundits would say that you could make a strong argument from the above information I have given you that you can not make any argument at all from the above information!

    I think those pundits are wrong.

    Here is what the above information tells us:

    1. Shooter A is definitely a random roller, not a rhythmic roller. He couldn?t possibly have any control over the dice at all. You bet on all the shooter A?s of the world and craps can?t possibly be anything more than its mathematical underpinnings -- which is to say, you will lose in the long run that percentage of your total action based on the types of bets you make. Period. Shooter A is a waste of your time. In addition to that, Shooter A?s choice of alcoholic beverage is suspect and his jokes are bad. Why risk your money on him?

    2. Shooter B has a chance to be a Golden Shooter as he seems to be very careful with his dice set, delivery and betting. As you watch Shooter B it is obvious that he thinks he has some effect on the dice or he would not take such deliberate care with his roll.

    3. If both Shooter A and Shooter B have absolutely no control whatsoever over the dice, or if rhythmic rolling does not exist and Golden Shooters are merely a figment of my overactive imagination in unholy alliance with my wishful thinking, betting only on Shooter B and avoiding Shooter A is still a smart move! Why? Because you have cut your exposure to the house edge!

    4. Shooter B is also very much aware that he is playing two distinct games against the casino when he rolls. He is playing the game of craps and all that that entails, but he is also playing the comp game. That?s right. His deciding to Place his numbers before his come-out roll and leaving them off during the come-out roll indicates that he is aware the floorperson will record his maximum spread -- $170 + his Pass Line wager -- and not his spread when his Pass Line bet might bump down the Place bet. Bumping down the Place bet and taking Odds usually reduces the ?comp? spread because most casinos do not give you credit for the Odds bet -- an important thing to consider. Another important thing to consider is that his bets are not working, not at risk, yet still earning him comp credit.

    5. Therefore, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by assuming that Shooter B is a Golden Shooter. If he isn?t, so what? You have cut your exposure to the house edge so you are actually reducing your losses. That?s a gain. But if he is a Golden Shooter, then you have a chance to play a positive-expectation craps game! And that could be a terrific gain indeed.


    Since you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain by avoiding Shooter A and betting on Shooter B, the next question is how should we bet on him? Should we go the traditional Pass/Come with Odds, or should we figure some other method of betting?

    I?d like to propose that in Shooter B?s case above, we deviate from tradition and mimic his bets because those are the numbers he?ll tend to hit! If he is indeed a rhythmic roller and our longed-for Golden Shooter, he will tend to hit certain dice combinations more often (slightly, moderately, or greatly more often as the case may be) and he?ll tend to bet what has made him money in the past. It makes sense then to bet with him then. That would mean Placing the 6 and 8 and Buying the 4 (if you can afford it). Would the casino have a significantly greater edge on you if you did mimic Shooter B? Not really. Placing the 6 and 8 comes in with a house edge of 1.52 percent, while buying the 4 for $25 or $50, and only paying the vig if you win, comes in at about 1.3 percent. Essentially you are making a bet that has a combined house edge close to that of the Pass Line or Come when you don?t take odds.

    Of course, skillful, professional, rhythmic rollers such as Dominator, Howard Newman and Mr. Finesse of Golden Touch Craps have different dice sets for different parts of the game. For example, on the come-out where the 7 is a desirable number, you might see these guys use one set and, once the point is established, you will note he sets an entirely different way. You?ll note that he does this every time it is his turn to roll -- come-out roll, one dice set; attempting to make the point or other numbers, a different dice set.

    Still, most Golden Shooters will not be that accomplished and they will, sadly, not be found 50 percent of the time as in the example of Shooters A and B above. Indeed, you will probably discover that the overwhelming majority of players will be more like Shooter A than Shooter B and that even those players who do take care with their dice sets will often just fling the dice down the table once those sets are completed or, conversely, those who take great care with their shooting style will often not care how the dice are set before they shoot. Neither of these types is a Golden Shooter. They just have developed a bit of style in their shooting.

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