I watch a lot of videos on gambling strategy. I also listen to a lot of gambling-related audio programming. It makes for good research as I’m contemplating what to write about next. If one were to do a search on YouTube or Google regarding ‘craps strategies’, you will find a million different strategies.

Many of these strategies encompass things such as progressing or regressing the bet.

If you’re aware of bet regression, it’s simply when a person takes their bet down or reduces their bet after a condition is met, with that condition usually being a certain number of wins.

However, when is the last time you saw a player at the casino reduce their bet after a win? It’s rare. At this point, I’ve published over 20 hours of actual craps game videos. That’s a lot of craps, and aside from myself, I can count on one hand the number of times a player regressed their bet after a win.

If you watch my videos, you’ll notice that I’m the rare player who reduces or completely pulls off his bets after wins. There’s a belief among players that pulling back bets during a ‘hot roll’ is a capital sin.

So despite all these gambling strategies that tell you to progress or regress your bet, hardly anyone ever follows them.

Even rarer is the betting scheme strategy, where the player is advised to make a certain pattern or combination of bets to achieve a certain result. One such betting scheme strategy is the famous ‘Iron Cross’.

Let’s talk about the ‘Iron Cross’ betting strategy. The Iron Cross is a strategy where the player bets on the pass line, after the come out roll, the player then adds a field bet and a place bet on the inside numbers (5, 6, 8, and 9). If the point is one of the inside numbers, then the player does not place that number. It’s called the Iron Cross because the bets form the picture of a cross (actually it’s more like a ‘T’ but the Iron T isn’t as catchy).

If you’re still having a problem imagining why it’s called the Iron Cross, here’s a pic that might help…

My point isn’t to analyze the effectiveness of the Iron Cross, rather it’s to muse that lots of people talk about it, but no one ever uses it. Go ahead and do a search on YouTube for ‘Craps Iron Cross’.

All this talk about the Iron Cross made me want to bet the Iron Cross, just to show you what it looks like in an actual game. I’ve actually never seen the Iron Cross used in real life. Check it out at [7:30] in my Santa Ana Craps Part 2 video.

After using it, myself, I would advise you to never use it in real life.

Trust me, the Iron Cross is not a sure winner. Don’t use it just because you saw me use it. This is an instance of do as I say, not as I do.

Opposite Betting: A Gambling Strategy That People Actually Use 

A gambling strategy that people actually use in real life, although somewhat rare, is the opposite side betting strategy. This is sometimes known as the ‘doey-don’t’ in craps.

Opposite side betting can be used in any game that pays even money and had a near 50-50 chance of winning. That means the strategy can be used in roulette, where it’s called ‘red-black’, ‘hi-lo’, or ‘even-odd’. I’m sure you get the point.

I was monitoring a forum where a wife was talking about how she found a way to milk the casino of their money. Every day, she and her husband would go into the casino. She would play red, and he would play black. The husband and wife would pretend not to know each other. They play long enough to get their free play that they would eventually cash out, get their free food comped for the day, and leave with their ‘earnings’. It was a job for them.

The wife very seriously warned her audience that if the casino found out, they would stop the comps and possibly even ban the husband and wife team. Any criticism of the system was met with anger and hostility.

In real life, I’ve seen several people deploy this system.

The problem with the opposite side betting system is that it doesn’t work. If anything, betting opposite sides will double your expected loss.

If you were to bet opposite sides, the casino should comp you twice as much, compared to betting one side, assuming you bet the same for each bet.

Every bet has a house edge. In craps, the pass line has a 1.41% house edge, and the don’t pass has a 1.36% house edge. So if you bet $10 on the pass, your expected loss is about 14 cents on that bet. If you also bet $10 on the don’t pass, your expected loss is also about 14 cents (13.6 actually).

Combined between the two bets, your expected loss is now 28 cents.

This 28 cent expected loss will manifest itself when there is a 12 on the come out roll. When that happens, the casino will take the pass line bet, but push the don’t pass bet.

In roulette, opposite side betting is even worse. Let’s assume that it’s a red-black system. When wife bets $10 on red, then her expected loss on that spin is 52.5 cents. When husband bets on black, his expected loss is 52.5 cents also.

On that spin, their excepted loss is $1.05, which manifests itself when a green number appears.

In any situation where you might be tempted to bet opposites, you’re better off just taking your chances and picking one side and betting the one side. Notice that in the above scenario, the player can only lose; the player can absolutely never win. Casinos want opposite bettors.

An interesting part of the chat with the husband and wife roulette team was that she insisted that if the casino found out that they were a team, they would cut back on their comps. This would make the ‘system’ not profitable. You might be surprised to learn that she may have a good point in this regard.

I’m not saying that her system is profitable. It’s likely not, and a 5.25% house edge is just too tough to crack unless you’re Dr. Richard Jarecki and know how to track defective wheels: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/obituaries/richard-jarecki-doctor-who-conquered-roulette-dies-at-86.html

Rather, she may be correct in that the floor person or boxperson who is tracking her comps may be turned off by the team’s opposite betting and reduce their comp rating. There are some casino staff who do not understand the math behind opposite betting and think that it wastes the casino’s time.

However, sometimes the floor or box has a legitimate reason for hating opposite bettors: they tend to be poor tippers.

Most box or floorpersons want their dealer crew to make money, and a ‘team’ that is focused on eking out their bankroll for comps are unlikely to be tippers, at all, much less good tippers. To deter that tip adverse team, the floor or box will not be so generous with the ‘team’, so he or she may reduce their comps. Or if the floor or box was giving a generously higher comp rate, they may not be so generous once the complicity is discovered.

In other words, everyone hates opposite bettors. Eventually, when enough 12 craps or green numbers hit, if you’re an opposite bettor, you’ll hate it too.

Just ignore anyone who teaches or advises you to use any form of opposite betting.

Your wallet will thank you.

Posted in: Casino, Craps, Gambling, Roulette

0 thoughts on “The Rarity of the Iron Cross in Real Life and The Myth of Opposite Side Betting

  • RG what do you think about making a comebet and dont come bet.Then play max odds.you can make more than you if you want. Then with the eception of 12 on the come roll you are only playing odds.

    thank joe

    • Odds bets have no house edge, but as stated in article, both come and don’t come have 1.41 & 1.36 edge respectively. Eventually, the twelve will give the house it’s edge. And again as article stated, better to choose one or other, then max odds. I think that’s the math RG is teaching us. Unlike most, I prefer Don’t because I want to lower edge as much as I can. Good luck!

  • RG, I saw this in action this past weekend at Dover. A young man, well young to me, was betting pass line and don’t pass repeatedly. He spoke, a lot, about how this was a unique system that he profited from all the time. When I commented that I’d seen this or similar system he became adamant, so I shifted away from him and tried to ignore his constant jabbering. Anyway, when the point was established, he would place/lay odds accordingly, leaving his opposite flat bet. He played for a while, maybe an hour, then got cranky with the pit boss, who ignored him. He claimed he never ‘colored up’ and I can see why, there were no chips left. LOL. Strange little fellow that certainly left without chips/cash that I could see, and he did not tip. It takes all kinds…

    • RoadGambler says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Sherri. What you described is exactly why floors sometimes hate opposite bettors: they just don’t tip at all. Players will sometimes mistake this this adversity to opposite bettors as evidence that opposite betting works in milking comps from the casino.

  • Enjoyed your article until near the end when you said, ignore ‘Anybody’ who encourages opposite side betting. That’s not true! Just because the “Masses” don’t know something doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. I write and formulate pseudo codes and algorithms for craps and it’s a “Fact” that if you knew the mathematical equation of the universe, you can easily apply it to craps! I figured it out and have been coding it for 9 months now. I can show you “Major” mistakes you’re making on your videos with your betting. I’m in the process of notarizing my codes now before I publicize them online and i’m writing a book on my sciences I’ve discovered on craps. It’s best to say, “You” don’t know of any system or method. The thing is those of us coders who do know wouldn’t dare put it online for anybody to gain, capitalize or take credit for it. YOU JUST NEED TO TALK WITH THE RIGHT PERSON:)

    • RoadGambler says:

      I appreciate your critique. It’s ok to disagree.

      However, as they say, ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’.

      I will read your books and publications when you are ready to publish.

      • Tim Fitzsimmons says:

        Your response to Shake was classic RG….respectful yet I really liked the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” I’m not a coder nor math expert, but know one thing – those beautiful casinos are constructed on the backs of gamblers – all sorts of gamblers and even the one’s who “claim to have some special insight that the casino has never thought or.” I cannot imagine the number of coders, math and other experts work daily to insure that the HA remains solid. I don’t think the “House” is too worried about people like Shake and would respond on this sight….”bring it on Shake!” Keep the videos and comments coming – really enjoy them all.

        • Hi Tim.

          I always have an open mind. I’m willing to believe anything. I just want to see evidence.

          Welcome, and from now on, your posts will appear immediately. We filter first comments for spam. You are good to go!

  • I just really enjoy your videos I’m new to betting craps the right well at least better understanding of it. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your videos I believe I’ve watched them all waiting on more.

    • RoadGambler says:

      You’re welcome, James. Glad you enjoy the site.

      From now on, your comments will appear immediately when you post.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Seems like the only system that has even been close to beating the casino is on blackjack. The MIT students and teacher who came up with something to do that. Watched a documentary about them on history channel or discovery years ago. It was funny cause a year later the movie 21 came out. As far as craps goes I’ve tried the iron cross and have had wins and losses with it. I do like how you do your come betting and I’m going to start doing that more. Thank RG for all your knowledge!

    • RoadGambler says:

      Hi James. The repeater bet is a bet where the player must throw that number a specific number of times before the 7.

      Each number is an individual bet.

      I’ll write up a quick article on this bet, as several people have asked about it, and I notice that it’s becoming more common.

  • So you tell about the Iron Cross, then say not to play it, but give NO REASON why. I actually have GOOD results from playing the iron cross. And I play it all the time. Your one experience playing it is only anecdotal.
    The Iron Cross is a good bet. While you may lose the field on 5, 6 and 8, you still win your money back plus a small profit. Hit those numbers a couple times, and you’ve almost made back your place bets.
    Why people think the Field bet is a sucker bet is beyond me. I win on it all the time while others just stand there and wonder why they aren’t making money.

  • RG, I noticed that most of the time in your videos you place a Pass line bet with max odds then a come bet with max odds. Then keep your bets at just those bets at your maximum even with a hot shooter. Is that just your way of showing discipline or is this a special method of yours that I’m not quite understanding yet??

    • RoadGambler says:

      Hi Lance.

      Yes, that’s my way of playing with discipline. I’m of the belief that there is no such thing as a ‘hot’ shooter.

      The human mind likes to look for patterns where patterns don’t really exist.

      What constitutes a hot shooter, anyways? If he’s shot the dice ten times? 20 times? 100 times? The problem is that whatever he’s done is now in the past.

      The probabilities don’t change because he’s rolled the dice one time or 80 times. For all the times a roller looked like he was on a hot streak, and you pressed your bet up, there is a corresponding number of 7 outs where you will wish you didn’t press your bet.

      The best way to play is to respect the math and keep the house edge low because when the house edge is low, there are arguably ways to beat the game through various means. I’m not talking about making a living off of the game. I’m talking about abusing comps, making deals, etc. You can practically vacation for free.

      Feel free to disagree.

      FYI, from now on, when you post, your comments will appear immediately. You are good to go!

  • As far as the doey-don’t system is concerned, if hedging is your huckleberry, it can be effective – allowing you to chose your hedge. I never like to bet against 6/8. So I want to hedge with a no-4 or no-10 to get a couple of inside winners. Then remove the lays. Once I have a couple of bets won, the lays come off and I’m even and only betting right-side and hopefully netting a profit.

    It’s also cheaper than buying no-4 or no-10 as a hedging mechanism. Because you are going to lay free odds instead of paying 5% for the equivalent of 3-4-5, 10, etc. times the flat bet (depending on table odds). And odds are going to be taken anyway on the inside bets that come out. When the first 4 or 10 comes, lay a hedge or 2. Place (if you prefer, or wait for them as come bets) a couple of inside numbers, then take down the lay after a hedged winner appears and go right side only.

    Unless you feel lucky with the dont 4/10. Then go ahead and leave them up. Once you have a couple of satisfactory winners take down the inside numbers and cross your fingers – catch a dont winner as gravy.

    As a system to run non-stop, yeah, it costs twice as much as a one-sided 1.41%/1.36% flat/odds system. So don’t do it non-stop. Maybe just the come-out. If the point is 4 or 10, lay/place and catch a win or two. It’s still less than 1/5th the cost of a hardway bet (which I never make) and even the field is more expensive than a do/dont (5% versus 2.8%).

    • RoadGambler says:

      Hey Duffer.

      Nice comment. I appreciate your input.

      From ow on, when you comment, your post will appear immediately. We filter first comments for spam.

      You are good to go!

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