I remember once meeting the legendary ?Dice Doctor? Sam Grafstein at the Gambler?s Book Club in Las Vegas. My first book, Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win!, had just been published and I was there to do a book signing. When Howard Schwartz, the marketing director of GBC, told me Sam had come to meet me, I thought: ?Oh, God, he?s going to lay into me.?
Sam?s writing had lead me to conclude that he was a cantankerous old timer who would be disdainful of my new efforts in the craps field. That turned out not to be the case. He had nothing but praise for me and the book. So we got to talking about craps and how to approach a game. At one point in the discussion, Sam said: ?You know, Scoblete, there are times when you just have to go with it.? The ?with it? meant the flow of the dice. The ?with it? meant, in outdated Hippie talk, ?letting it all hang out.?
I remember that conversation with Sam and our subsequent playing together at Binions Horseshoe, Las Vegas? premier craps casino. Sam rarely ?let it all hang out? and there was not a time in our two hours of play that he went ?with it? as the tables were choppy and there was no ?with it? to go with.
But I understood what he meant. All dice players do. There are times in a craps game, rare times in the main, that everything just goes the way you want it to go. I remember once hitting nine hardways in a row - six of them hard sixes. I don?t bet the hardways so I made my money on my come bets with odds, but the guy next to me started to bet those hardways after I hit the first two and raked in a small fortune. I once saw a guy parlay a hard four three times and win on it each and every time until he took it down. The moment he did, the shooter rolled an easy four!
When craps goes good, it is a game where fortunes can be made. Then every bet, even bets with outrageously high house edges, pay off again and again. ?Hey, give me a yo!? Eleven! Pay the yo! ?Boxcars for me, baby!? Twelve! Pay the twelve! Oh, yes, when a craps table gets hot many players are indeed going ?with it? and winning bundles of money.
Unfortunately for us (and fortunately for the casinos) craps tables go good infrequently, yet many craps players try to go ?with it? even when tables are cold and there?s nothing to go with. That?s why they lose much more money than they win. For example, on the come-out roll, some players insist on betting the ?Any Craps? bet in the mistaken notion that this bet will save their pass line bet from the dreaded craps numbers 2, 3, and 12 and enhance their ability to beat the game. It will and it won?t of course. Certainly, you will not lose when those numbers appear - and they will appear four times on average in 36 come-out rolls - and you?ll get a seven to one payout when they do. So, if you are ?protecting? your $10 pass line bet by betting two dollars on Any Craps, you will win $14 if they appear, lose your pass line bet of $10 and be four dollars ahead of the game - for that one roll. Overall, you ?win? $56 on the Any Craps wager in 36 rolls. But you will lose $48 when any of the point numbers are established (because there are 24 ways to make 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10) and you lose $16 the eight times the 7 or 11 is rolled. You lose $64 overall but you win only $56 for a net loss of eight dollars. Your Any Craps bet is not protecting anything but the casino?s bottom line!
Other players insist on making those hardways bets, again thinking that they will be going ?with it? when they?ll usually only be going down the tubes. Each of those bets comes with a heavy house edge. For every $100 you bet on the hard six or eight, you can expect to lose nine dollars. For every $100 you bet on the hard four or 10, you can expect to lose $11. That?s not good. True, when a table is hot and a shooter is rolling like a forest fire in California, then even bad bets are good - for that particular stretch of time. But no one can predict when that stretch of time will arrive and when it will leave - yet, players make those bad bets all the time regardless. Perhaps, they are wishing that a hot roll will take place and are betting according to their wishes. Perhaps, they have never considered the heavy toll such betting takes on their bankrolls. Perhaps, they are just Crazy Crappers, people who delight in throwing chips on the table and shouting: ?Give me a yo! Give me a Big Red! Give me a loan because my bankroll?s dead!?
Grafstein had a little formula for going ?with it? that makes much more sense than always betting those Crazy Crapper high-house-edge bets. ?When you?ve won a good amount of money, then you can throw a little on the long shots and see what happens. You can try to make the big score after you?ve made a score.? Frankly speaking, a steady diet of going ?with it? will leave you without it -- ?it? being the money, that is.
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