HOW TO START FIXING THE PROBLEM

In Part 1, I argued and showed that over the long run, the house edge is practically unavoidable. The definition of the ‘long run’ isn’t even all that far in the future. The average craps table has approximately 100 rolls an hour, so at 3600 rolls, that’s a mere 36 hours of playing. That’s two or three gambling vacations for the average tourist. For a person who lives near a casino and plays more often, 3600 rolls is a blip on the radar.

In Part 2, I showed you the math of what happens when you add tilt to your game. Tilt is a bankroll killer. Tilt isn’t limited to loser’s tilt, where the player increases his bet to chase his losses. There are many forms of tilt. If you’ve ever seen a succession of numbers roll and then started betting those numbers, then you fell victim to tilt. You didn’t want to miss out in case those numbers kept rolling. That’s a form of tilt.

If the average player went to the casino and lost 10% of his bankroll, I’m pretty certain that he or she wouldn’t have moments of contemplation where he or she was considering quitting. The losses that take the fun out of the game are the losses where the gambler comes back with an unused buffet pass and $50 left over from his bankroll.

So how should the average gambler deal with his big losses?

The answer is that we should all take an honest look at how and what we are betting. Often, the result of our play in not so much that we failed to leave the table when we were up, but rather, we exposed more of our bankroll to the house edge.

Ask yourself these questions?

  • How often do you press your bets?
  • How often do you bet and press the bets that have a high house edge, such as the hardways or prop bets?
  • When your bankroll starts dwindling, do you increase your bets?
  • When numbers roll, and you aren’t on them, are you tempted to bet those numbers?

All the above will expose more of your bankroll to the house edge.

Sit down and write out – just like I did with Joe Gambler – how you are betting. Look at the calculations that I performed on Joe. Substitute in your own bets. Even if you don’t do the math, you can get an idea of your expected performance over the long run.

You might realize that the reason you’ve been wanting to quit is because of the house edge.

Be real. Blame the house edge for your losses so that we can figure out how to win more.

Blame the house edge, and blame yourself, if you tilt.

THE ‘NOT-SO-SIMPLE’ SIMPLE WAY TO AVOID TILT

The way to avoid tilt is simple: just don’t go on tilt.

Ok, your thought might be, ‘that wasn’t too helpful’; however…

The solution to many pressing problems is quite simple. If you’re a drug addict, just don’t use drugs. If you have a weight problem, just eat less (barring the arguments from my Atkins friends). If you have an alcohol problem, just don’t drink alcohol. It’s the application and execution that is difficult.

However, by understanding and knowing the root of the problem and any associated solutions, you become self-aware. That’s been the whole point of Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. I’ve been trying to make you aware.

If you become aware, you can be on guard.

Make Your Own Mental Imagery

Avoiding tilt is exceedingly difficult. The best professional gamblers in the world have problems with tilt and are always trying to control their tilt. This is how I control my tilt.

I employ mental images to help myself avoid tilt.

As I argued in Parts 1 and 2, while there will be variance in your results at the table, over your vacations and accumulated sessions, the odds will ‘even out’ and the price you pay for playing the game of craps is quite predictable. Over the long run, the price of craps is no different than if the cost was fixed.

That’s the foundation for my mental image…

My Mental Image is the Supermarket Model

Imagine that a casino is like a supermarket. When you go into this supermarket – like all supermarkets – the prices are fixed. The Jiffy peanut butter is $2, the Wonder bread is $3, and the free-range ribeye is $10 a pound.

In another section of the supermarket is the organic peanut butter from Uber Fancy Farms for $10, The Pepperidge Farms Double Wrapped bread for $6, and the free-range massaged cow ribeye for $30 a pound.

When I am done shopping, I head to the cashier, who rings up the prices: $2 for the peanut butter, $5 for the bread, and $20 for two ribeyes. Then I pay.

The prices are fixed at supermarkets and any price difference is because one product is nicer or different. It’s my choice to buy the nicer product, and sometimes I buy the nicer product. If I decide to buy the nicer product, it’s because I’ve made an informed choice, not because of confusion or misinformation.

When I go into a casino, I imagine that the prices are fixed like they are at a supermarket.

That ‘yo’ bet that pays 15-1, and I bet $10 on it? The cashier rings up $1.11.

The pass line bet? That’s fixed, too. The fixed cost is that for every $5 chip you lay down, the cashier rings up 14 cents.

The hard ways 6 and 8 that I bet $5 on each? That’s 91 cents, sir.

The $10 Big Red bet? Very expensive, that’ll be $1.66.

Those are the long term costs of the bet.

For your groceries and for your casino games, please write a check for the amount of [insert amount].

As sure as the prices are fixed at the supermarket, when you’re at the craps table, in the long run the prices are really fixed in nearly the same way. In the long run, the price you pay to play craps will be as if you sat down, calculated the price of all the bets, and wrote the casino a check.

While some might perceive this concept as a negative, I perceive it as a positive because in the end, your grocery and casino gambling bill is really all up to you. You have control over how much to pay, both at the grocery store and at the casino.

This mental imagery helps me when numbers are rolling and I’m not on the numbers. Indeed, that is the source of much tilt. When players see numbers that are rolling, and they’re not on that number, they tend to start betting and pressing those bets. When the player does start doing that, the cashier/dealer, is just going to ring up a higher price.

Every time I put down a chip, I imagine the dealer acting as a cashier, ringing up a price, and adding it to my total bill. In reality, that’s kind of what the dealer is doing.

Also, when I’m about to put down a larger bet because I’m on tilt, I just imagine the cashier saying, ‘that’ll be $20 for the peanut butter’, to which mentally I reply ‘$20 for peanut butter?’ and pull my bet back.

Did you watch my Palazzo video and see how many numbers rolled and missed my points? Yes, I was tempted.

I can’t tell you how to avoid tilt. The best poker players and blackjack card counters in the world are always working on controlling their tilt. It’s not easy. You have to find out what works best for you. The above is how I control my tilt.

THE APPLICATION OF THIS KNOWLEDGE

I’ve spent a significant amount of words laying a foundation. I’ve been telling you what to not do.

Let’s now talk about what to do.

I propose the RoadGambler Way of playing craps. You have seen the RoadGambler Way in the vast majority of my videos. That’s how I play craps. It works because it has the lowest house edge of all the systems. It works because in the end, when you reach the very reachable long term, you will have paid the least amount of money for your gambling. You will then enjoy your gambling because you won’t come home with empty pockets.

THE ROADGAMBLER WAY

The RoadGambler Way is a way of playing craps that relies on the lowest house edge possible, combined with the best bet on the table, which is the free odds bet.

If you are an action player, the RoadGambler Way can have plenty of action.

First, the tenets of the RoadGambler Way:

  1. You can have fun and be smart at the same time.
  2. Do not let past rolls affect your mental well-being at the table. If they do, then stop playing immediately.
  3. Do not let losing, anger, or frustration dictate your bets.
  4. Accept that you are not special and that the math applies to you, too, just like it does for all of humanity.

The steps and the bets of the RoadGambler Way

The Win-Loss Goal

When you first go up to the table, identify a win goal or a loss goal. Stick to the win-loss goal, unless you have a good reason for deviating from the win-loss goal. Try to be honest with yourself as to why you are deviating from the win-loss goal. Sometimes, it helps to have a mental conversation with yourself.  Sometimes I mentally have a conversation with myself, ‘Hey, RoadGambler, I’ve reached my win goal, but I want to play some more, why do I want to play some more?’

If the answer is, ‘I’m stuck’, then I leave. If the answer is, ‘it’s raining outside, and I don’t feel like walking in the rain, and the dealers here are friendly and cool’, then I’ll stay.

Be honest with yourself.

The betting

Bets in the RoadGambler Way are predicated on one simple and undeniable truth: the odds have no house edge. If you don’t understand that the odds is the best bet because of the zero house edge, read this: https://roadgambler.com/gambling-guides/craps-simple-beginners-guide-free-odds-bet/

The basic RoadGambler bets are the Pass and Come bets. If you believe that the Come bet is a terrible bet because it ‘must hit twice’, then read my article on the Come bet, titled, ‘The Craps Myth That Will Not Die’: https://roadgambler.com/craps/craps-myth-will-not-die-come-bet-must-hit-twice/

The RoadGambler betting strategy is quite simple:

Make pass line bets and then maximize odds. Do not make another bet until you have reached max odds.

Really. That’s it.

If you’re an action type player, then try the RoadGambler betting system with higher odds. Your heart will race when you have 10x or 20x on the table, and you have two or three points with max odds. Or make more Come bets; just don’t make more Come bets until your odds bets have maxed.

Add in some comps, an airfare reimbursement, or some food comps, and the vacation is practically free. https://roadgambler.com/casino/casinos-count-odds-towards-comps/

Even if your betting level doesn’t qualify for airfare or large comps, ask your host for comps. After a while, if you religiously use the RoadGambler Way of playing, you will notice a reduction in comps. That’s fine. With the money you save, you can pay for everything yourself, if you’re too shy or too nice to aggressively ask for a discretionary comp.

Even if you doubt my system, just think of how many times you’ve heard players say that the house doesn’t comp odds. Why do you think the house doesn’t comp odds? The answer is because the register rings up a big fat zero as the price tag.

Big. Fat. Zero.

The Math Behind the RoadGambler Way

Let’s apply the math behind the RoadGambler Way. We’ve already seen the math behind playing on tilt. This time, I’m going to compare the same RoadGambler way of playing to playing with the infamous system of martingale.

RoadGambler will use the same bankroll as Joe Gambler in Part 2 and will have the same amount of money at risk as Joe, which was approximately $40 on the table when Joe wasn’t playing on tilt.

RoadGambler Way without tilt:

  • $10 pass line + max odds of $40 on average at 3x, 4x, 5x game
    • House edge of 1.41% on pass line, 0% house edge on odds
    • Average number of rolls in a pass line bet is 3.38 until resolution (each roll has a house edge of .42%)
    • At 100 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $4.20 based on average number of pass line bets made.
  • $10 come bet + max odds of $40 average at 3x, 4x, 5x game
    • House edge of 1.41% on come bet, 0% house edge on odds, same factors as pass line above.
    • At 100 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $4.20 based on average number of come bets made per hour.

Over the same 20 hours of play, the expected loss is $168 over the vacation.

The host will surely cut your comps off if you keep playing this way, but you can pay for everything yourself with the money you save.

The RoadGambler Way Inherently Protects Against Tilt

One aspect of the RoadGambler Way is that it protects the gambler against tilt if the player sticks to the prescribed system of betting…

RoadGambler Way WITH Tilt

Same 3x,4x,5x game…

  • $10 pass line + max odds of $40 on average at 3x, 4x, 5x game.
    • House edge of 1.41% on pass line, 0% house edge on odds.
    • At 50 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $2.10.
  • $25 pass line + max odds of $100 on average at 3x, 4x, 5x.
    • halfway through the game, RoadGambler goes on tilt and increases his pass line bet and odds.
    • House edge of 1.41% on pass line, 0% house edge on odds.
    • At 50 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $5.25.
  • $10 come bet + max odds of $40 on average at 3x, 4x, 5x game.
    • House edge of 1.41% on come bet, 0% house edge on odds.
    • At 50 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $2.10 per hour.
  • $25 come bet + max odds of $100 on average at 3x, 4x, 5x.
    • halfway through the game, RoadGambler goes on tilt and increases his pass line bet and odds.
    • House edge of 1.41% on come bet, 0% house edge on odds.
    • At 50 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $5.25.

Over the same 20 hours of play, with RoadGambler is on tilt half the time, the expected loss is $294.

That’s still a cheap vacation.

Let’s now add on some expansion to the play and make four come bets, rather than the one pass line and one come bet that you see RoadGambler make.

At the average table, you can expect around 100 rolls or so per hour. To keep things simple, let’s assume that RoadGambler will make a new come bet on every possible roll.  The actual theoretical loss will be less than shown below because it will not be possible to make a come bet on every roll.

RoadGambler Action style

  • $10 pass line + max odds of $40 on average at 3x, 4x, 5x game
    • House edge of 1.41% on pass line, 0% house edge on odds
    • Average number of rolls in a pass line bet is 3.38 until resolution (each roll has a house edge of .42%)
    • At 100 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $4.20 based on average number of pass line bets made.
  • $10 come bet 1 + max odds of $40 average at 3x, 4x, 5x game
    • House edge of 1.41% on come bet, 0% house edge on odds, same factors as pass line above.
    • At 100 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $4.20 based on average number of come bets made per hour.
  • $10 come bet 2  + max odds of $40 on average at 3x, 4x, 5x game
    • House edge of 1.41% on come bet, 0% house edge on odds
    • At 100 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $4.20 based on average number of pass line bets made.
  • $10 come bet 3 + max odds of $40 average at 3x, 4x, 5x game
    • House edge of 1.41% on come bet, 0% house edge on odds
    • At 100 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $4.20 based on average number of come bets made per hour.
  • $10 come bet 3 + max odds of $40 average at 3x, 4x, 5x game
    • House edge of 1.41% on come bet, 0% house edge on odds.
    • At 100 rolls an hour, expected loss per hour is $4.20 based on average number of come bets made per hour.

Over the same 20 hours of play, the expected loss is $336. 

That’s still a cheap vacation by any stretch of the imagination.

That’s the RoadGambler Way to play craps. To guard against the real enemy, which is the house edge, and to minimize the impact of his accomplice, tilt.

The RoadGambler Way is Based on Reality, Not Just Theory

The RoadGambler Way of playing is not just based on theory. It’s based on real-world applications and consequences.

Have ever seen the rare Big 6 or Big 8 bettor bet $6 on each number?

Think about why their play is horrible. If they had moved their money to the Place 6 or 8, the casino would have paid an extra dollar for the exact same win-loss conditions. The casino made a profit on the Big 6 or 8 by keeping the extra dollar. That dollar, which should have been in the bettor’s pocket, if he had been more knowledgeable, is now in the casino’s pockets.

That’s not just ‘theory’, that’s a real $1 that’s not in the bettor’s pocket. If the bettor makes wins 100 Big 6 or big 8 bets, that’s a real $100 missing from the bettor’s pocket.

On other bets, there might not be as clear of an instance of the house keeping a portion of the player’s winnings, but that’s what happens every time the player wins a bet.

Think about how the house edge applied. On a $25 place bet of 5 or 9, a payout will be $35. If you have the same $25 on odds, you will have received $37.50. Deduct the 14 cents expected loss from the $10 flat bet if you’re playing 2.5x odds (you can’t say that you are at a 3-2 disadvantage and base the math off of the 3-2 because on the come out roll, the pass/come had a 2-1 advantage, hence, the 1.41% house edge). You still have an extra $2.36 if you had foregone the 5 or 9 place bet and stuck with the RoadGambler way.

That $2.36 will add up over the vacation. That’s just one bet.

The casino pocketed the $2.36 on the 5 or 9 place bet. That’s how they make a profit. That’s why on almost all the bets, the casino doesn’t pay true odds. The casino, to exist and stay viable, must pocket some of your winnings, and they do it by not paying true odds on all the bets that are not the free odds bet.

So do this mental exercise…

Every time you win a place bet, imagine how much was taken out of your winnings. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s just round the numbers.

For every $10 on hard ways, the casino kept $1 when you won.

For every $10 place bet on the 6 and 8, the casino kept 15 cents.

For every $10 place bet on the 5 and 9, the casino kept 40 cents.

For every $10 prop bet, the casino kept $1.

Next time you have a losing session, just imagine all of that money in your pocket. Real money…in your pocket. That money could have offset your losses to the point where maybe you don’t have a loss anymore. If you got lucky, well, then you would have gotten even luckier and had a bigger win.

Just imagine the money missing from your pocket, and you’ll realize that theory is reality.

The RoadGambler Way Makes it Easier to Win at the Craps Table

Notice the loss calculations in Part 1 and 2. Those are huge losses. If you insist on playing high high edge bets, you will incur predictably huge losses in the long run. Those huge losses make it much more difficult, if not nearly impossible, to climb out of the hole.

By playing the RoadGambler Way, you will have a better chance of winning simply because when the table starts rolling your way (or the shoe starts dealing cards your way), you will have a better chance of winning because you are not deep in the negative.

CONCLUSION

If you play the RoadGambler Way, when you will lose, you will lose less, and when you win, you will win more. As the sessions go by, you will notice other people losing and leaving, while you are left standing, or you will color up a winner, while others do not. Make a mental note of how many people at the craps table leave with more than their buy-in, and compare it to your style of play and how often you leave with more than your buy-in.

The RoadGambler Way does not purport to turn a negative expectation game into a positive expectation game. Craps, by itself, if played straight up and without other factors, is unarguably a negative expectation game. That doesn’t mean that you can’t beat craps. It’s beatable under certain circumstances and people have done it, but those circumstances are due to a miscalculation by the casino and their marketing departments or due to some other temporary glitch on the casino’s part. I’m talking about playing the game straight up.

Seriously, if you think that you can beat the game of craps straight up, you shouldn’t be reading any thing that I’ve written. You should instead be making millions at the craps table or selling your system to someone.

The RoadGambler Way is the best way to play because of all the systems, it comes in at a a lower overall house edge and a cheaper rate of play. The less of an edge you give the casino, the less you will lose and the greater your chances of winning.

I will not comment on the feasibility of dice control or dice influence, but when it comes to that topic, even if dice control or influence is possible, a small house edge is much easier to beat than a large house edge.

In the end, it’s all about the house edge.

Next time you come back from your vacation with a hole in your wallet, blame the house edge and start fixing your game.

 

Posted in: Blackjack, Casino, Craps, Gambling

16 thoughts on “The RoadGambler Way: How The House Edge and Tilt Combine to Kill a Bankroll, Part 3 of 3”

  • I really appreciate this series. Thanks for explaining your style. My father-in-law and I usually play on the don’t side because of even lower house edge. Not using max odds though, usually three numbers laying double odds. You’ve given good thoughts that may bring me back to “right” side. Many don’t like our style, but we like getting money back on seven out.

    • RoadGambler says:

      The advice I’ve given herein also apply to the dark side.

      The house edges – or lack thereof on the odds bet – on both the dark side and light/right are similar.

      So if you prefer the dark side, stick with the dark side.

  • RG – excellent 3 part series. Straightforward stuff and written so that it is easy to understand.

    I am looking forward to hitting the tables in the Bahamas in a couple of weeks.

    Cheers, RG!

  • Road Gambler….

    If a casino was offering free buy bets on the 4 and 10, would you just load up on these bets, given their is no house edge?

    I heard Downtown Grand offered this deal awhile ago to get craps players in the door….

    What is your take if they resume such an offer in the future?

    • Yes. The same concept applies. I currently do not know of any casinos that offer free buy 4 and 10. In addition to the Downtown Grand, the casinos in Albuquerque, NM used to offer free buy 4 and 10, but have since ended that promotion.

      Interestingly, several years ago, before the Linq became the Linq, it was a casino known as the Aladdin. One summer at the Aladdin, they had a true odds hardways. The only time I have ever seen such a thing. Same concept applies.

      Occasionally, these promos pop up. By themselves, these promos are not worth flying out to play, unless you discover some sort of flaw with the promo that gives the player an advantage. However, they’re fun to play, if you’re coincidentally around.

      If you ever find such an offer, while a true odds payout would lower the house edge, remember that if you overbet your bankroll, your odds of busting your bankroll also go way up. A true odds does not guarantee a win. It only means that you are paid more on the same win condition (which is a good thing, obviously).

      Just watch your bet sizing, if you’re adverse to a high chance of busting. Some might argue that a high chance of busting isn’t a bad thing, because if the house edge is slim or nonexistent, a high chance of busting also corresponds to a greater probability of a big jackpot type of win.

  • Hey RG, thk you and your team in providing these videos. I would like think, watching your videos help me get in the right rhythm. WHEN I got to Vegas, I had one of the best weekends in a long time. I hit ATS twice while rolling at two different Casinos on the Strip. Keep up the good work, plan to go in 3 months.

    Aloha and Mahalo!
    Hoops Maui

    • You’re welcomed, Hoops Maui.

      We are glad you enjoy these videos.

      When you post, your comments will now appear immediately. We filter first comments for spam.

      You are good to go.

      Enjoy!

  • Great series and information. I’ve always found the Come bets are better in the long run even when dealers tell me they don;t like them because you have to hit the number twice. I don’t even bother trying to explain the math to them. I just smile when I take my winnings on the 4 or 10 without having to pay a commission.

    • Stu, I very much agree. Sometimes, it’s hard to break people out of the habit. Many players just don’t believe in the math of the game, as I’m sure you’ve already discovered.

      You’re comments will not appear immediately when you post.

      You are good to go!

      • RG……in your betting strategy paragraph above you state “make a pass line bet with maximum odds”. Then do not make another bet until you have reached max odds. Please explain, I’m a little confused. Further in the paragraph it states the same when betting come bets .What am I missing?,

        • RoadGambler says:

          Hi Mike,

          Let’s say the pass line is $5 minimum and the game is 10x max odds (or whatever odds). You bet $5 and then put down $10 odds. This game is 10x, so max odds would be $50. You then decide that you want more action, and in your mind you’re thinking that you will bet $12 each on a place bet of 6 and 8. Instead of making the place bet of $12 each on the 6 and 8, take the entire $24 and bet it on the odds.

          Only after you have reached max odds, which in this case is $5 + $50, should you then start making your place bets or whatever other bet you would like to make.

          The upside is that it keeps the house edge very low. The downside – which is why you do not see it played by too many players – is that this style concentrates your bets. In the short term, it can mess with your mind because if you see lots of numbers rolling, and you are not on them, it can put you on tilt.

          Imagine if you are playing on a 100x game, had a point of 10, and kept piling money on the 10. Because the odds are so high, you may never reach the max odds, so you only have action on the 10. Now imagine the shooter goes on a 30/40/50 roll without hitting a 10 or 7. You’ll probably go on tilt.

          If the day comes where such a thing does happen, just steady yourself by paying attention to how many times you saved bets by not immediately spreading your bets and having those bets wiped by the 7 out. Also pay attention to how many times you were paid true odds on a bet where you concentrated your money. Craps players tend to have selective memory. Don’t fall victim to selective memory.

          • RG…….Thank u for your learned response and advice. I am a newbie to your website ,and i very much look forward to your excellent videos and craps strategy . Again thank you.

  • I have to quit thinking about comps. I have played my way and your way. I got more comps my way but made less money. I played the RG way and made more money but less in comps. Just me not being right in the head. Thank you for this site and the time you put into it.

    • RoadGambler says:

      You’re welcome, JR.

      You have taken the first step to winning more and losing less. In the end, you’ll have more than enough money to pay for your own ‘comps’, which aren’t really comps anyways.

      Also, if you haven’t looked yet, start learning about discretionary comps. Track down a host and tell him or her to write you a comp, regardless of how many points you have.

  • RG, I have an old gambling book called Beat the Casino, and one of the strategies in it is called Free odds. How it’s played; bet on the pass line and don’t pass line in equal amounts until a point is established, then place your odds on the pass line bet only. it would seem the house edge is completely eliminated as the line bets cancel each other and only the “free odds” bet is in play. thoughts?

    • RoadGambler says:

      This strategy is known as opposite betting, aka the Doey-Don’t aka Red-Black/Odd-Even.

      One of the articles that I am currently working on addresses this very issue.

      I am currently on track to probably publish that article on Friday or Monday.

      Stay tuned.

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