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Thursday, November 25, 2004
FAQ on Playin' Tough - A Book by Marvin Goldstein
for Winning at Craps
Thank you for your
great interest in Marvin Goldstein's book:
Playin' Tough for Winning in Craps announced last week. Marvin,
who can be reached any time by email at:
has been answering your questions and this week we'll share his answers on
this FAQ newsletter.
is your opinion of controlled throwing? Is there something to it? Hal
Roth of teachmecraps.com (he has played craps for 60 years and still plays
and is sharp at his age 83) says there is definitely something to controlled
throwing, what do you think?
A. There are presetting specialists, like Steve Holtom (from Texas),
who offers seminars around the country -- his entourage includes
heavy-hitters, also presetting specialists -- if you are capable of
controlling your dice throws, consistently, you have an edge -- if your
perception of depth and your throw is accurate, you have an edge -- I am not
capable of presetting dice and throwing with accuracy; as a matter of fact,
I rarely ever throw dice -- I am too busy tracking, and paying attention to
other table situations.
Q. What can I get out of your book that will improve my play?
A. I do not rely on systems -- although my book provides some
"mechanical" techniques, it is not about "mechanical" dice systems, but,
rather "Table Trends" (cold, choppy, hot, warm) and "dice patterns" (the
sequence of dice numbers rolled); situations informing you about switching
(from DO to Don't) (from Don't to Do) -- if you are a DO player and the
table turns and you do not like, or never played the "darkside," sit out and
do nothing until there is a situation telling you to play again -- the same
holds true for "darkside" players (in reverse).
Whatever the current
events are requires a decision: which side do you want to play – my book
“Playin’ Tough” illustrates how you make decisions …
You will never win every bet.
There are days when winning $1 or breaking even is difficult.
It is NOT imperative to have a bet on the table every time the dice are
It is NOT fun losing.
You must constantly pay attention to current table events.
You should read the book many times before it is fully understood.
do you play mostly?
A. Tunica, MS
when I travel; haven't been to Vegas in many years; Five days a week I play
at Blue Chip Casino, Michigan City, Indiana; 48 miles from home ...
I have been playing craps for over 30 years and believe I understand the
rules quite well.
To date, I have not been able to consistently beat the game.
My goal is to be able to win 20-30 units per day consistently.
My questions are:
Q1. Is that goal realistic?
A1. Anything is always possible and the casino's policy for
maximum allowable odds ("taking" or "laying" the point [or other number]) is
always factored in your objective as is the table trend ...
Q2. How large a buy in do you need per session (number of units)
using the techniques you suggest in your book?
A2. My goal is 10% of the buy-in ... I have witnessed players
winning $900 with just a $20 buy-in, $4,500 with $2,000 buy-in (it is not so
much the buy-in as it is the $$$ amount of your wager[s] along with the
table trend) ...
Q3. How many
units do you need for your bankroll to use the techniques which you
A3. My buy-in is $500 per session and when required I switch when it
is apparent to do so ...
Q. Hi Marvin,
I am looking for a way to supplement my income …
Can I make a living at Craps using your methods?
Q. How much would I need to make 1000 weekly ?
A. $1,000 a week – five days a week = $250 net profit daily
$250 profit should be 10% of your buy-in (not your sustainable bankroll) –
It requires switching from Do to Don’t and Don’t to Do when table conditions
require this action –
Three days ago I watched two players at my table “Playin’ Tough”; one bought
in for $20 and walked with $900 – the other bought in for $500 and walked
with $4,500 –
Table conditions are imperative as to which side you play and when to switch
Q. How many hours would I have to invest to make that much?
A. Four to six hours and two or more open tables if you are not
willing to remain that long at one table only …
Well, I had some
questions for Marvin as well, and here is the conversation we had, that you
may find useful from both a system usage perspective and Marvin's views, as
his table sessions are based on his definition of: "the law of diminishing
the strategy where you place a bet on both Pass and Don’t Pass Lines and if
the shooter’s point is a 4 or 10, then you lay odds on the Don’t Pass Line
-- Those odds have no ‘house vigorish’.
If you lose your bet, your next bet on Don’t Pass Line odds will triple when
the shooter’s point is 4 and 10. As you lose, you keep tripling, so as
to cover the previous loss and make 1-unit profit at a 7-out.
You can triple up to 4 or 5 times without exceeding table limits.
If you look at the Craps tester book by Erick St. Germain, this strategy
wins for the first 62 pages; only after that we see shooter’s point
repeating 6 times, crashing the progression, although it could have happened
If the shooter’s point is 4 or 10: On a $10 bet, you would lay the Don’t
Pass with $20 to win $10 on a 7-out.
If you lose, you would lay the Don’t Pass with $60 to win $30 to cover the
previous $20 loss and still make $10 profit.
If you lose, you would lay the Don’t Pass with $180 odds to win $90 to cover
the previous $80 loss and still make $10 profit.
If you lose, you would lay the Don’t Pass with $540 odds to win $270 to
cover the previous $260 loss and still make $10 profit.
Of course, you would bet the same amount on the Pass Line and the Don’t Pass
Line at first to be able to place such odds on the Don’t Pass Line.
This is what I mean with tripling odds: you lay on the Don’t Pass, should
the point 4 or 10 repeat.
So the above progression covers 4 consecutive losses on repeating shooter’s
point of 4 and 10.
And it works for 62 pages, making about 93 units of $10. The loss costs 80
Do you think flat betting and laying Don’t Pass Odds for shooter points 4
and 10 is more advantageous?
odds along side your Don't Pass flat bet is dangerous if 4s and 10s are
hitting consistently -- Lay the 4 or 10 earns 1/2 of your lay bet --
Depending on the table situation, a better lay bet may be a missing 5 or 9
earns $20 for $30 lay; a missing 6 or 8 earns $20 for $24 lay There are
always winning opportunities for Don't Players ... For example: Shooter
establishes the point 10: rolls 6 or more times and makes the point -- this
shooter's 2nd point attempt is a different number and rolls 6 or more times
but never rolls another 10 and makes the 2nd point -- now this same shooter
comes back with the 10 again -- this time however, it is a logical lay bet
because the 10 never popped during the shooter's 2nd point dice rolls.
Q. I think in the long run, one would break even, since there is no
house vig. How would you treat this?
"dog-paddle" up-stream, slowly, waiting for better Don't Pass opportunities
to lay odds.
I see many outstanding opportunities for Pass Line Players, if, and only if,
they are willing to wait for their "Window of Opportunity!" color-up and
leave -- the casino will be there another day to try their luck again.
More often than not, greed "kills" all players who do not know when to
lighten up their bets, stay off the table (wait), or leave while they have
money in their pocket.
Q. Do you usually quit when you’re a few units ahead?
A. If I am down, any amount three times, and recover to my previous
highest point, I color up and leave.
Q. In your odds description, I saw the house advantage on Don’t Pass
line bets is smaller than Pass Line bets. Can we then conclude Don’t Pass
Line bets win a bit more than Pass line bets?
A. Not necessarily; sometimes the Pass Line wins more often, but
wagered $$$ laid against the point can make the "winning" difference.
Q. That also means it’s possible the Don’t Pass bets win maybe 51% of
the time and Pass line bets win about 49% according to the above total
criteria. Do you agree with this?
A. Sometimes, it is the opposite: Pass Line wins 51% and Don't Pass
Wins 49% The Pass Line is supposed to win 45% of the time because of come 7
and 11 dice rolls; the rest of the time (after a point is established) the
advantage is reported to change in favor of Don't Pass bettors (of course,
this does not always hold true)
What is occurring at my table may be different at the table next to me and I
would not know because I am concentrating on my table situation.
Supposedly, the Pass Line wins 49.3% of the time and Don’t Pass should win
Q. Why is there a difference in the house edge?
A. It is
physically impossible to sit on the Pass Line and win because Don’t Pass
wins more decisions and the reasoning is logical because the #12 is barred
and the casino does not pay Don’t Pass bets on a come-out #12 (boxcars)
Therefore, when you sit on the Don’t Pass line, the Pass Line will
ultimately win more because you don’t get paid on one of the Don’t Pass
There is only 4/100ths of a percent difference and this favors the Don’t
Mathematically, you have to play 400 decisions before seeing a difference of
1 or more Don’t Pass than Pass (this is IF mathematics of the game expressed
themselves perfectly, which they never do).
Over the long haul, it will come close, but in a limited number of trials
they are most often skewed one way or the other and other times they are
really skewed as you and I well know.
Additionally, deviations will, sometimes, last for many hours and even many
days at one table – I have had Blue Chip dealers tell me their evening
tables have been ice cold or too hot to handle for two and three days
I doubt it is ever 50-50 but the occurrence is possible. "House Edge"
is the casino's built-in "fudge-factor"
I witnessed many players “plowing” through a session with huge bets and at
some point in time at my table they get wiped out.
My comfort zone is
utilizing what I see to my advantage without risking my buy-in (not my
bankroll) watching numbers hitting back-to-back, missing numbers, dice rolls
in which the "7" is popping closer and closer together.
Thanking Marvin on his
answers and insight of his valuable book.
here to order,
$175 for a CD with the entire package:
$225 for the printed book and a CD with dice tracking:
Wishing you all the best,
Until next week,
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