Tough Craps

Discussion in 'General Craps Discussion' started by betwthelines, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. betwthelines, Dec 25, 2014

    betwthelines

    betwthelines Member

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    You can’t expect to win at bank craps.

    But you CAN play tough. This is simply giving the bank the lowest edge possible. In theory this means playing the dp/dc and laying maximum odds. In real play though it means laying the most amount with which you are comfortable.

    There is a rail in Michigan that FOR YEARS--possibly for a decade or longer--has and still does offer a FREE <sic> BUY on the 4 & 10. It’s true: $5 only (and sometimes as little as $3) on these numbers will get you $10 ($6) when they hit. The Tough Craps player will play ONLY the 4 & 10 on these tables. I will add here that there are, as far as I know, only two Tough Craps players in the world who play tough exclusively. And in reality only one PURE Tough Craps player: he will pass the dice to avoid the required line bet at this great lakes casino. He brooks no quarter, offers the house zero edge. The other, yours truly, cannot resist the additional action of a p/c/odds bet or 2 (occasionally 3). I shook the Other’s hand once and said to him, “you are the toughest craps player in the world”.

    A good craps player will have a goal and will try to devise a strategy to give herself the best chance to meet that goal. For many players a basic goal is to win dollars at every session. A common strategy is to limit exposure (often unwittingly: most place betters, for example, are innumerately off on the come out roll). The best strategy would be to play the dp/dc with maximum lay. With this strategy one would win at quite close to half of their sessions on average. Further 99.97% of craps players put much stock in winning PER SHOOTER, some loudly applauding a 7-out after a long run even though the house has just locked up tens, hundreds or even thousands of dollars of their money (the Tough Craps player [for whom this "roll" might indeed not even be over--see below] is sometimes [mildly & he hopes good-naturedly] annoyed by the cry out “nice roll”; there being ONLY ONE roll, only one important roll: the next one…and the last one here was not at all “nice“…those bastards at the casino make you bet BEFORE the roll…Please. Don’t make too much of this; I completely understand what is “meant“ by the cheering) On the other hand (but NOT in contrast to winning per session, which is anyway a mathematical & usually monetary meaningless concept unless one never plays again), for the Tough Craps player, the goal is to WIN HUGE. There is no win limit. This involves RELENTLESSLY pressing your luck. Thus is the Tough Craps player almost always losing per session and, alas, per shooter and <sigh> per life.

    The negative skew of the dp/dc bets are not efficient for this objective. Thus with rare exceptions on the lay side the Tough Craps player is on the next best thing: p/c with odds. Now henceforth and when the Tough Craps player talks about a “bet”, he is talking about the odds bet. It is ONLY the free odds bet that the Tough Craps player is concerned with. The line bets are simply vigorish and ignored for strategic purposes; that is to say on a natural come out they are dragged/restored always in the same dollar amount as before.

    Using $5, far and away the most common bet of the Tough Craps player, here is the TC bet progression: $5->$15or16->$15/16->.$25or26->$40->$50->$75or76->$100->$150->$200->$300->$400->$500->$750->$1000->$1500->$2000->$3000->$4000>$5000->$7500...etc…Larger amounts can be extrapolated: eg $10->$30->$30->$50->$75or80->$100 and so on as above. (the "tough craps fantasy" is to reach the table maximum, which in this case $2500 was accomplished only once, win it [it didn't] and be compelled to fly out or drive some distance to find a house that would book the TC players next bet!) There is no limit other than a house imposed one.

    As is in fact the case with ALL bets on the layout, every odds bet is completely independent from the others. P/odds and c/odds being exactly the same, a progressing come bet will simply move to the pass line on a seven out, seven being a win on this progressing come; the progression will continue. (confirmed place betters may have a poor understanding of the come bet and are generally oblivious to at best or un-leery of the fact that one out of three p/c bets are resolved on the first roll). Thus the strategy of the play is COMPLETELY shooter-neutral, shooter agnostic if you will…For the Tough Craps player the “hand” is not over until the last progressing bet has gone out and that can encompass several shooters.

    In addition to the bets the bankroll too is itself progressed as well as regressed when, as is most often the case, behind. The TC player is looking for the lowest minimum table he can find and no more than $5 (back in the day he was looking for a quarter craps--i mean a 25 CENTS table, but x-odds is a relevant factor also). Notwithstanding this minimum, the TC player, pressing his luck, will start out at $10 and whenever the win/loss amount is $zero or better (reminder: we are talking about the odds bet; the line bet, subject to vigorish, is ALWAYS <sic> the minimum amount required to get that bet). At this hefty $10 bet and a w/l amount of $0 to +$99 he will not exceed 3 numbers (1 p/odds, 2 c/odds). If the win amount attains +$100 to +$199, he will try for 4 numbers, $200-$299, 5 numbers. As for the regression, at -$1 to -$100 he will play the $5 on up to 5 numbers, four numbers at -$101 to -$400 and 3 to as few as one number at -$401 to -$500. The bankroll is $500.

    At +$300 to +$499 the TC player aggressively doubles to $20-$60-$60-$100...etc and comes out on up to 3 numbers; at +$500 to +$699, 4 numbers, five numbers at +$700 to +$899.

    Also at +$300 the TC player will begin to “drag”, the Tough Craps equivalent of putting money in your pocket or “quitting while you are ahead”. Of course the TC player doesn’t really quit, quit since with progressive betting one could never come out ahead if one just kept at it and never put any money in his pocket. Mathematically and in real dollars, though, it is all one Big Session and then you die.

    As you can surmise the bankroll is reckoned in $100 increments. After a hand-ending loss if the win amount falls below $300, even, for example, to $299, one hundred dollars is dragged. One hundred dollars is dragged for each one hundred dollars lost. This can be several hundred dollars as the bankroll progresses as you may see below. In this example, then, even though actually at +$299 with $100 in his pocket the TC player “pretends” the win amount is only $199 and plays accordingly, that is back to $10 and up to 4 numbers. Lose again to a win range of $0 to +$99 and another $100 is dragged. Note that this puts the utilized bankroll now to less than $500 so the bet is $5-$15or$16...etc...Thus the TC player retreats while at the same time locking up some wins (which in reality is just used for the next bankroll after he has lost this one!)

    At +$900 to +$1199 the TC gambler goes to an extremely aggressive $30-$100-$100-$150-$200...etc and goes out on up to 3 numbers; +$1200 to +$1499, four numbers; +$1500 to +$1799, five numbers. And so on: the bet is $50-$150-$150-$200 etc, 3 numbers at +$1800 to +$2299...etc…The TC player carries in his wallet a chart with a won amount that goes up to +$40,800 (the bet is $1000-$3000-$3000-$5000 etc).

    There is no win limit. Of course the chances of starting at our $5 or $10 and getting to a win of $40,800 are I would imagine not much different than winning a national lottery. But permit me some fun and use it to illustrate how wins are “dragged”.
    Ok so we are winning $40,800. Obviously we could “quit”, which might mean not really quit quitting but, for example, pocketing it all and starting over with a fresh $500 bankroll. But if we kept going the bet would be $1000-$3000-$3000-$5000 etc., five numbers. Now, say, at the end of the hand we lose $5000 -- very possible here -- and are now down to +$35,800. We would pocket $5000 and play as if we were really only $30,800 ahead. The bet is now $500-$1500-$1500-etc, 4 numbers. Lose $3000, pocket $3000...And so on. This strategy allows you to retreat while locking up still significant gains but especially keeps you in the big money should yet another monster or near-monster materialize. There is no win limit.

    So why would anyone play a strategy where one is “almost always losing?” Good question. The thrill of the occasional (nah. rare) monster win keeps the Tough Craps player going and ever optimistic. It is so damn much fun he almost cant stand it. He hopes to exceed his $13,800 record win session every time he bumps up to the rail.

    If anyone has read this far, why? If anyone understands any of this logorrhea and is further the slightest bit interested in more info, please reply…The TC player does have some really quite accurate and illustrative stats that go back to the 1970s...
    tom p

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  2. KokomoJoe4, Dec 25, 2014

    KokomoJoe4

    KokomoJoe4 Member

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    Betwthelines,

    Kudos to the two of you, TC player 1 and yourself, TC P2.

    Mathematically speaking, it is clear that the four base bets in the game, with maximum odds laid or placed, are the tied for the third and fifth best bets on the layout. Trouble is that the two best bets, each offered with zero house edge, are available only on a limited number of tables.

    You have already identified what might be considered the second best bet - the outside buys that are free of vigorish. I would consider them second to the offering of a 3x payout on both snakeyes and boxcars in the field, which also yield a flat bet that is free of house edge.

    Why is such a field bet potentially better? If you believe in the possibility of biased dice, there is more of an ability to produce bias against six outcomes than sixteen.

    Concerning your play when at a location not offering the free 4 and 10, there can be no doubt that DP or DC with maximum odds rate best, very slightly better than similar Pass or Come bets with maximum odds. Then there are maximum odds. Are they 100x, 20x, 10x, or less? Does the player have enough cash and enough testicular fortitude to utilize them, or does he start off with 2x or 3x and grow from there?

    With either max odds method, all that is necessary is a string of successive winners, with aggressive progression as you win. For quite a few years now, this has been my own approach, but always on a single Do bet. Multiple bets are OK and possibly even advisable with your method, but not with mine.

    For safety sake, the progression does not begin until there are enough winnings in the rail to cover the cost of the first bet. From there, the sky is the limit, until the eventual loser shows.

    It might take ten successive winners to get out a table limit flat bet. Never gotten that far myself, but have been close on a couple of occasions.

    Nearly all of what are considered "good" players make their killings on the place bets. These players seem to have a bit more action at the table than a single-bet player, but they're playing with a bit more risk.
     
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  3. betwthelines, Dec 27, 2014

    betwthelines

    betwthelines Member

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    Thank you for your interesting reply, Kokomo.


    While your rationalization --- the possibility of biased dice and the concomitant ability to reduce bias against fewer outcomes --- may not be unsound, I have in 40+ years at the rail never witnessed biased dice, never saw a controlled shooter (& I have indeed witnessed many adamant ones!) deliver anything but random rolls. For this discussion i want to set aside the DI argument and assume random rolls.


    While well aware that there are, depending upon one's goals, other considerations than house advantage in determining how to bet, it is only in terms of that vigorish that the Tough Craps gambler is concerned. In THOSE terms of course there is no difference between a free buy and a field with triple 2s &12s, neither being "better" than the other. But In OTHER terms and nothing to do with biased dice I do think this field bet is “better“! It is simply more action! Indeed were the Tough Craps player ever to encounter such a field --- he never has; where can he find one!?! --- guaranteed that is the ONLY bet he would make. Action on every roll: what fun!


    Obviously you want to find the best x-odds deal that you can. Since it is exposed to vig, the p/c amount is plain and simple ALWAYS the lowest possible needed to get your odds bet. Be aware that the bet is a PREDETERMINED amount. You know what it is going to be before the roll. See the progression strings in my initial screed. In point of fact the bet is most commonly mere single odds since most play is $5 minimum and since the TC player is almost always behind, his bet starts at $5. Winning, his next 2 bets would be triple odds, the next 5x and so on. I should say here that the TC player does positively LOATHE 3x-4x-5x odds. At best he gets 3x odds (for example in order to cover the 4/10 for a $25 bet the p/c needs to be $9. That computes to 2.78x odds. For the other 75% of the time when the 4/10 are not the point, you end up with a p/c way more than it would have needed to be). But <sigh> sometimes he has no choice but to endure 3x-4x-5x (while in Reno, for example).


    You are correct. It is true that it is mostly good place betters that make a killing. Were I to play 2 or 3 times a year, my goals would be different. I would probably place bets, press 'em, throw in a hardway or high/low or two and try to catch a wave. But the Tough Craps player, now in retirement, plays almost every day. He has 7,186 hours in at the local rail since it opened in November 2003 not to mention additional weeks at further distant tables. He cannot afford the RELENTLESS vig that would drag him down even more than he already is...tom p
     
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  4. KokomoJoe4, Dec 27, 2014

    KokomoJoe4

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    While it is conceded that your style and thoughts on the matter of minimizing HA are right on the money, some would argue, as Sam Grafstein does, that one's progressions can and should include increases with the flat bet.

    Since on the come out you are the favorite for one roll, it can be argued that this wager should be increased after a winner, and parlayed if hit. I had been doing this long before first reading Sam's thoughts on the matter, having come to the same conclusion as he. With the parlay, half of the money at risk had not even been mine. With a successful parlay, either by way of a second natural or by hitting the established point left sitting without odds, one has a 4 for 1 winner. Now, the progression with maximum odds can be continued.

    It seems to me that this sort of allowance enables one an opportunity to take advantage of the one roll on the Do where he has an edge on the bank.

    Keep in mind that with our progressive betting, no matter how well things have been going, that we are only one wrongly timed seven from losing our largest bet of the day. This, on top of the fact that we are always a 6:5, 6:4, or 6:3 underdog on every established point, has me trying to take advantage of every come out winner that is seen.

    Hey, if I ever bumped into you up in the mitten state, I'd also be playing a lot of quarters on the four and ten!
     
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  5. KokomoJoe4, Dec 29, 2014

    KokomoJoe4

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    This info is so good I want to post it for all to see. Although it might not impress everyone, the tough craps player will be in his element.

    At the Santa Ana Star casino near Albuquerque, there are BOTH free buys of the 4 and 10 (up to $100) AND triple paying 2 and 12 in the field.

    Imagine that, multiple free bets on one table! I'm guessing that TCP2 will be visiting this place.
    Wonder how he'll be betting? What, no hard six? lol
     
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  6. jose21_us, Dec 29, 2014

    jose21_us

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    are there any of these in vegas?
     
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  7. betwthelines, Dec 31, 2014

    betwthelines

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    Kokomo is right on the money. The Tough Craps player will indeed be playing at the Santa Ana Star probably next month and/or February and March (snowbirdlike he was headed roughly in that direction anyway...what a great addition to the trip!).

    There is no doubt the T C player will gamble ONLY in the free field and on the free 4 & 10, what with action on every roll no need to "lapse" in to vig-exposed p/c bets!

    The TC player's Field progression will be pretty much cut and dried and the same as his odds progressions, viz, using $5 as the table minimum: $5-->$15-->$15-->$25-->$40-->$50 and so on. See the original post on this thread for the complete progression, which has no limit other than a house imposed one. The main thing is the bet --AND the bankroll--is progressed RELENTLESSLY, without exception, EVERY frickin' time! (indeed, with the exception of bet #3, it is pressed every time).


    But for the TC player the question does arise again as to exactly how to handle strategically the 4 & 10. You can stop reading about this strategy now if you wish because it is all arbitrary, needing only to be congruent with your own personal goals. If your main concern is to win at every session, you give yourself a 50-50 chance at this table by keeping your field and 4/10 bets (only) the same or pressing them conservatively or when you (fallaciously) consider that you have enough of the "house's money" (as many, mostly unsuccessfully, have tried to tell you, it is your money; but, hey, we all know what you mean). You ARE playing "tough" IF you bet >>ONLY<< on the free field and/or free 4&10.

    But the TC player's goal is not necessarily to win at every session but rather to WIN HUGE...no, no, no, no I mean HUGE...there is no win limit...He is fully aware---in fact he KNOWS <sic>---that he will be losing most of the time.

    Ok, back to the 4&10. When he first astonishly encountered this free bet, he initially applied his typical progression to both numbers independently. Keeping always in mind that this is arbitrary and always <sic> with results that depend upon what the mathheads call variance and I call luck. But this way when both numbers hit only once each, ie two wins, you are a loser. The TC player does not like this. He likes to be ahead or at worst even after 2 wins. It is in fact why his typical progression is 1-->3-->3-->5 etc rather than perhaps the more common 1-2-3 or even 1-1-2 (very common with place betters) and some others. So the bet evolved in to pressing both bets with a win on either, like so, using again $5 as the base bet: hit either, go to $10 on both--->a second hit go to $15 on both...you are now even with a loss...but win go on both to $20-->$30-->$40-->$50-->$75 and so on, very similar to the typical progression albeit slightly more conservative in the beginning due to the fact the 4/10 pay a healthy double...

    Well, now, this is somewhat inconsistent with the stated goal of winning huge. Yes. But it is assuaged by the psychological succor & thus far unstated secondary or tertiary goal of not losing so often, ie not losing EVERY gd time!! (this objective too is why most often--not always--the TC player will not work odds on the come out even tho this ultimately makes no difference, not to mention innumerate to come off a bet where the house has no advantage). Anyway nothing is chiseled in stone and the TC player is still ruminating about the 4/10 strategy. It is ever always goatcabin's balloon...

    You cannot expect to win. But you CAN play tough...tom p
     
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  8. betwthelines, Dec 31, 2014

    betwthelines

    betwthelines Member

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    Stupidly, I did not actually check with the Santa Ana Star before posting my last.

    Turns out they do NOT offer a free field bet but rather the relatively common double 2 and triple 12. I have heard of a free field bet --triple 2 and triple 12-- but have yet to actually find one. Does anyone know if such an animal really exists?

    Bummer. I was pretty excited there for a while...

    They DO offer free buys on the 4 and 10, a situation that is much more common--at least in NM--than I would have previiously thought, having encountered only one such layout in 40+ years of bank craps. There is however a limit of $100 at Santa Ana on these free bets. Given that limit and winning that $100 max bet ( $200. dream on, right? just getting to $100 starting at the minimum $5 requires 8 hits on the 4 and 10 ), the TC player would come down off the 4/10 and get his next bet of $150 via the come...since this is a nice 20x odds table, this would be, as always, the minimum needed, $15...should a 7 then show--another nice, little win--the $15 would-again-simply move to the pass line and the $150 odds progress from there (dream on, right?).

    The phone call was disappointing but useful...tom p


     
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  9. KokomoJoe4, Dec 31, 2014

    KokomoJoe4

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    Their website I looked at no more than two days ago stated explicitly they offered 3x on both numbers. Sorry for the bum information...
     
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  10. betwthelines, Dec 31, 2014

    betwthelines

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    No apologies needed, Kokomo. i am quite accustomed to these frequent changes--often hourly changes--in the terms. Not uncommon at all are minimums that vary from table to table at places...Sometimes you just need to walk through the door to really know.

    Currently their website says this:

    "Enjoy blah, blah blah...Santa Ana Star also offers free buy bets on the 4 and 10 up to $100, competitive prop bets and 5X odds!...blah, blah, blah..."

    I called them again...The pit lady confirmed the free 4/10 with a $100 limit but said they had " 10x " odds. Much to my surprise she called back minutes later and corrected herself, confirming the 5x odds shown on their website. I asked her if they EVER had the free field bet and she said, "yes". Used to be 10x odds too...when I asked what the minimum bet was, she said " $3 " but was careful to add "right now it is"....I cut her off there and said I am aware that is always changing as hourly, daily market conditions change...

    Many places, including one of my favorites, Main Street Station, downtown LV--which has been 20x odds for probably at least a decade--will "grandfather" you in at the lower minimum you started with as long as you keep playing even if the table minimum increases. I was there once in at $3 (which IIANM you can STILL get on, for example, a slow Tuesday morning) when the minimum moved to $5 then later to $10. I was on my third crew shift by then and the new one came in and asked "what's up with this?"...a voice from the pit was heard, "he's been here awhile"... >>as long as you keep playing<< so be ready for the joke, "don't go to the bathroom"...I grant them it's funny...

    I am not holding my breath the free 4/10 will be there when I pass through albuquerque, either, but I know of at least one other place in the area that-at least as of 2 minutes ago-offered the free 4/10 with a $500 maximum and 20x odds. Given the number of casinos and the obvious competition, the hot-air balloon city looks to be worth meandering to...

    So not only no apology needed but rather a "thanks" for steering me to the right neighborhood...tom p
     
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  11. mycoalsmith, Jan 2, 2015

    mycoalsmith

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    Triple 12? Huh. I've heard of it, but don't think I've ever SEEN it. Within driving distance of where I live - a 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hour drive, I can be at one out of 4 casinos. (As Kokomojoe4 can verify, none of his local casinos offer the triple - and the other 2 within driving distance don't offer it either.)

    Would certainly be nice to hit a Triple 2 or 12 - if I was playing the field at the time.
     
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  12. $nakeEye$, Jan 6, 2015

    $nakeEye$

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    Triple on the 2 OR the 12 is most common in Nevada - Las Vegas - especially -

    ALSO, ALL TR houses in LV allow a $10 Fire-Bet MAX wager !

    $...eE..$
     
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  13. TDVegas, Jan 7, 2015

    TDVegas

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    I haven't seen triple on the 2 & 12 in Vegas. Then again, I don't go to the saw dust joints. Where is triple paid on the 2 & 12?
     
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  14. betwthelines, Jan 14, 2015

    betwthelines

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  15. KokomoJoe4, Jan 14, 2015

    KokomoJoe4

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    when they ain't showing, losses on the outside can add up to pretty big money. I know when I'm counting up to 4 or 5 sevens without an outside number showing up, I'm thinking 1 in 3, it's due. This is the problem with small sample sizes not behaving like the statistical norm, and with gambling in general.

    How'd you do in Vegas Tom? Where did you play and what minimums/odds available?
     
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  16. betwthelines, Jan 14, 2015

    betwthelines

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    I play downtown, which in terms of the "good gamble" seems to be getting worse and worse as the months and years go by, the bean counters ever more dominant and as innumeracy in the population becomes ever more prevalent...The loathsome 3-4-5 odds creeps in at more and more places and mere double odds in some famous places...

    ...Yet you can still find a $5 table 24/7 downtown and often $3.. 10x odds is still fairly common...Main Street Station with its 20x odds is mostly where I played but I did walk around & played at some others: The D with its touted $10k max, The Grand, Club 1906 at Golden Gate, El Dorado. Benny would not approve of the 5x at his old place but as usual I played at Binions too just for old times sake.

    The dice in both vegas and albuquerque were vicious. Just terrible. In over 40 years at the rail I, frankly, don't recall it worse for the Tough Craps progression. And, brother, that is saying something...The entire 5 days in vegas I got up on 5 ALL PRESSED numbers perhaps 15 -20 times and hit 2 ---TWO! --- numbers TOTAL the entire 5 days...Now Imagine a place bettor going across for 20 shooters and hitting 2 numbers total! It was almost as bad when up on 4 points, a much more common situation...Worse--or at least more frustrating--was you were left in prolonged misery while the number(s) you DIDNT have showed several times, throw in a few C&Es before the 7...this happened almost every time! The 7 then just made it seem like precision clockwork... (by this time these are relatively "hot" rolls for the place bettors, the "nice roll"s & applause even making it ever more grating) but, hey, like you say, small samples...it happens... tom p
     
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  17. TDVegas, Jan 14, 2015

    TDVegas

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    Do they still have the $3 tables at the El Cortez? I know they have the .25 cent roulette. I haven't been there in about a year.
     
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  18. betwthelines, Jan 14, 2015

    betwthelines

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    Yes. My apologies. I wrote "El Dorado" but meant "the El Cortez" I played a $3 table there last week...tom p
     
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  19. KokomoJoe4, Jan 14, 2015

    KokomoJoe4

    KokomoJoe4 Member

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    Man, I'd like to play $3 pass and come with 10, 20 or 100x odds.

    That could be some serious fun and would even allow multiple bets, otherwise nearly unheard of for me. Maybe wouldn't be so bold with $303 at risk. Keep that level to one at a time.
     
    #19
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  20. goatcabin, Jan 16, 2015

    goatcabin

    goatcabin Member

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    Is that Tom "Home Runs Are Boring"???? Wow! Still playing tough craps. Good for you.
    Cheers,
    Alan Shank
     
    #20
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