In the 1980s, when the Captain first explained his 5-Count method for selecting shooters to bet on at craps, he stated that the 5-Count would do three things that could help turn a negative-expectation game into a positive expectation game:
1. It would eliminate around 50 percent of the shooters, those who ? in the aggregate ? would lose you money.
2. It would position you to be in the game when the other 50 percent of the shooters rolled, among whom would be four types of shooters:
A. shooters who would break your heart by sevening out shortly after you put your money at risk (these formed the majority of post 5-Count shooters)
B. the shooters who through sheer luck were having good rolls
C. shooters who had developed a ?rhythmic roll? that was an unconscious controlled dice shot; this through trial and error in the casinos
D. shooters who were conscious rhythmic rollers or, as we now call them, dice controllers who had purposely learned how to flip the game into the positive zone when they rolled the dice
3. The 5-Count can give you far more in comps than your risk warrants and even if you don?t run into ?rhythmic rollers? or controlled shooters you might be able to get the monetary edge over the casino by taking comps into consideration.
The Captain?s philosophy, as he articulated it in my books Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win!, The Captain?s Craps Revolution and Forever Craps: The Five-Step Advantage Play Method! was that craps could be changed by someone physically altering the probabilities through rhythmic rolling and he discussed why he thought the 5-Count was the best way to locate such shooters.
In my 14 years of playing craps the Captain?s way, I became a true believer in the power of the 5-Count and I have preached the Captain?s philosophy to any craps player who would listen. Despite the fact that my craps books have been the best-selling craps books in the world for the past dozen years, few players have embraced the 5-Count, although among intelligent craps aficionados his concept of controlled shooting has gained many adherents, including those whose exploits in the casinos (such as Sharpshooter, Dominator and other members of the Golden Touch Craps crew) have become the stuff of legends. Indeed, Sharpshooter?s book Get the Edge at Craps: How to Control the Dice! is the definitive theoretical and practical explanation of why controlled shooting works and Sharpshooter is quick to recognize the role of the Captain in bringing the concept of controlled shooting to his attention.
Still, even many experienced controlled shooters eschew the 5-Count in favor of other types of ?shooter qualification? concepts, thinking perhaps that any ?shooter qualification? method is as good as any other ?shooter qualification? method.
There have been two types of criticisms of the 5-Count over the years, one short-sighted and frivolous, the other valid and serious. Criticism # 1 concerns the amount of discipline necessary to employ the 5-Count, the fact that the 5-Count can be boring to play as it keeps you out of the action for prolonged periods of time when shooters are going down in flames one after the other, and that it is disheartening when you finally get money up on a shooter only to have him seven out just after the 5-Count. Players, who point to criticism #1 as the reason for why they stopped using the 5-Count or why they never attempted it in the first place, tend to see gambling as a form of entertainment and they crave the action. It?s heard for them to stay out of the action for any period of time without getting antsy to bet their money. So they look for other shooter qualification criteria that get them in the action sooner.
Criticism # 2 is far more serious as it simply puts the 5-Count in the spotlight with a single question: ?Where?s the proof?? Those who adhere to this criticism of the 5-Count send out the challenge that if it does what the Captain says it does; prove it. Where?s the math? Where are the computer simulations? What makes the Captain?s 5-Count method any better than any other method for selecting shooters to bet on, like waiting for them to make a point before betting or hitting a couple of this or that number? All these shooter qualification methods are all just a matter of opinion, period ? unless you have the proof to the contrary.
Over the years I?ve used logic and the experiences of players who have used the 5-Count successfully in relatively long-run play (10 years to 25 years) to counter the claims of those who adhere to criticism # 2. My personal experience shows the 5-Count to work just as the Captain says it works. There are probably a hundred other people I can point to who will verify that it does work as intended: It selects the best possible shooters to bet on and, if there?s a controlled shooter in their midst, you?ll be on them and in the positive monetary zone.
Still, how much proof is that in the scheme of things? For critics, not much. In blackjack, for example, computer simulations of 200 million hands are de riguer for determining the efficacy of this or that move with a given hand vs. this or that dealer?s upcard.
But now, I can safely say that the proof of the Captain?s 5-Count?s efficacy is in and it is incontrovertible. Recent research and computer simulations done by Dr. Don Catlin, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The University of Massachusetts, has shown that the 5-Count does everything the Captain said it would, perhaps even more!
But first, for those of you not familiar with Dr. Catlin?s credentials, let me introduce him to you. In addition to being a professor of mathematics, Dr. Catlin, through his company Technigame, analyzes new games that the casinos are looking to put onto their floors. Many of the ?new? games that have become popular with the playing public were first analyzed by Dr. Catlin. If you have a question about casino math, Catlin?s is the first number a casino calls. Dr. Catlin is also a columnist for www.scoblete.com (an archive of his articles can be found at www.casinocity.com). His new book, The Lottery Book: The Truth Behind the Numbers! is the definitive book on state lotteries and must reading for anyone who plays those games.
So much for his credentials. Next issue, you?ll learn about his research.
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