Craps, Roulette, and Blackjack

When talking about the casino, it’s important to make one distinction: there is no such thing as a “good” bet. From craps to roulette to blackjack to slots, every game or machine is designed with one ultimate purpose, and that is for the house to win.

In the same vein, there is also no such thing as a betting strategy that works. When the odds of each individual roll of the dice, or spinning of the wheel, or card hand, or pull on a slot machine, are against you, there can be no system to effectively combat this. (We can talk about counting cards or dice-setting in another article.)

For the purposes of this, I will simply debunk some of the garbage that exists on some of YouTube’s more popular betting strategy videos:

1. “Killer Craps Betting Strategy”

Views: 190,156; Likes: 419 (78.2%); Dislikes: 117 (21.8%)

The first thing that should make you question the legitimacy of this strategy is the makeshift craps layout. No reputable gambler — who has an ebook that offers “How To Rob Casinos Blind” — would skimp out on the main attraction of his presentation. I mean, if you know the secret to beating the house, shouldn’t you have enough money to get yourself a craps table? A modern camera? These are just questions.

As for his so-called strategy: the claim is if you place a bet in the Don’t Come (DC) and hedge it with a bet of equal value on whatever number comes in, that at worst you will get your money back.

So for instance, if the number “10” rolls, the DC bet travels behind the “10,” and you simply place the “10” for the same amount. Therefore, if “10” rolls again, you lost the DC bet, but win the place bet, netting you a profit (depending on the size of your bet). If “7” rolls, you lose the place bet and get paid behind the “10” for the original DC bet. In other words: money back.

It seems simple enough, and if the worst case is money back, how can you lose, right?

The problem with the video is that this guy doesn’t roll the dice. He simply places the money behind the number for argument’s sake. Because if he did actually roll the dice, the audience would find a glaring hole in this seemingly flawless strategy. And that’s that the Don’t Come loses on “7” and “11,” which make up 8 of a possible 36 combinations (22.2%) on the dice, and only wins on “2” and “3,” which make up 3 of a possible 36 combinations (8.3%) on the dice.

Basically, the DC is going to lose on “7” and “11” enough times to outweigh the marginal profit you make when the number comes in twice, or when “2” or “3” roll.

Now, you can do what he does and place your money behind a number, in hopes that “7” comes in. But to do so the casino charges you a vigorish, or juice. So if you Lay $50, let’s say, behind the “10,” you will pay an additional 5% on what you would theoretically win, which would be $25 in this case. So a $50 “no ’10′” actually ends up costing you $51, which is how the house takes the advantage.

Your best bet: The absolute best you can do to cut down on the house edge is to put your money in the Don’t Come, let it travel in behind a number, and take the maximum Lay on your bet. Which will always be six times the amount of the bet. (So if you bet $10 in the DC, Lay $60 on it once it travels in behind. The payout depends on which number you are on.)

2. “Best Roulette Strategy Ever !!! 100% sure win !!”

Views: 573,870; Likes: 1,950 (84.2%); Dislikes: 366 (15.8%)

Roulette is a terrible game. According to The Wizard of Odds the house edge is 1/19, or 5.26%, and that’s high. This video presupposes an expensive bankroll, which doesn’t make it realistic for the regular gambler, especially given the $10 minimum on most roulette tables. As you will see, this strategy gets very expensive.

So for argument’s sake, $10 is how much we will start with.

According to the strategy, you place your first $10 bet on any corner, which covers 4 of a possible 38 numbers (10.5%). If the number hits, it pays 8-to-1, or $80 in this case.

If one of your numbers doesn’t hit, however, you place a new $10 bet in the quadrant of the number that does hit, as well as the quadrant of your original bet. That doubles both your investment ($20 in this case) and your odds of winning (8 of a possible 38 numbers, or 21%). By the second spin your total investment is $30, that being the $10 that lost on the first spin and the $20 invested in the second.

If one of your numbers again doesn’t hit, however, you place a new bet in the quadrant of the number that does hit, as well as the quadrant of the first number that hit, as well as the quadrant of your original bet. But instead of betting only $10 per corner, the strategy suggests you bet double, so $20 per corner. That triples your original odds of winning (12 of a possible 38 numbers, or 31.6%), but by now you have $60 on the table with a less than 1-in-3 chance of hitting a number, and you are already $30 in the hole.

If one of your numbers again doesn’t hit, you place a new bet in the quadrant of the number that does hit, as well as in the quadrant of the second number that hit, as well as in the quadrant of the first number that hit, as well as your original bet. Again, the strategy doubles. So you’ve got $40 on four corners, $160 total along with the $90 you are already in the hole. Still, you have only 16 of a possible 38 numbers covered (42.1%), and the odds are more likely than not that the next number doesn’t hit.

It does the same thing again when the number doesn’t hit, and the bets again double. By now you have $80 on five different corners, which is $400 on the table, along with the $250 you’ve already lost. Only at this point are the odds in your favor to hit a number, and only barely, at that. With 20 of 38 numbers covered, there remains almost as good of a chance that one of your numbers doesn’t hit, and if it doesn’t there’s a problem. Because already you are down $650 and there’s a good chance you will have exceeded the table limit (if you haven’t already), because I don’t know of any non-high-limit roulette games that allow you to play $160 on a corner while the table minimum is only $10.

If the money doesn’t matter, have at this strategy. But if my brief explanation is any indication, the odds are very much against you.

Your best bet: Only fuckboys and basic bitches play roulette. Have some goddamn self respect and head over to the craps table.

3. Blackjack Tips

Views: 236,902; Likes: 794 (91.1%); Dislikes: 78 (8.9%)

I was hoping to find a video that showed some really shitty blackjack advice. But apparently it’s mainstream enough that most people have moved beyond that sort of riff-raff. I watched this entire 26-minute video trying to find even one thing to disagree with, and I couldn’t. My man is ultra-clean in every respect, and as an aside I’m fairly certain he used to be a craps dealer.

The reason I assume he is a dealer is for two reasons: (1) the way he uses his hands to cut the checks and (2) that it takes just one minute and thirty seconds before he tells the audience to make sure they “take care of the dealer.” I would guess about three-quarters of my income is from these blackjack bets for the dealer, and I’m happily surprised he explained that before even getting into the nuts and bolts of the game.

Listen, with blackjack it’s best to keep emotion out of the game. Since each individual hand is different, the only thing you can do is play it to the best mathematical percentage you can. This can be accomplished by using any Basic Strategy card that the casino offers for free.

Later on he gets into how to bet, which is anyone’s choice. But he, like I do, uses a progressive system, where you keep increasing your bet to take advantage of the natural streaks within any given six-deck shoe. Obviously it’s not guaranteed to win you money, and in fact you still have a better chance than not to lose, but it’s at least a way to capitalize when the shoe is good.

Blackjack was my first love in the casino, and without it I wouldn’t be a dealer today. Since I went to the other side of the table, blackjack happens to be my least favorite game to deal, mostly because I’ve dealt it more than anything else and I find the players to be much more sensitive than they are on craps, for instance.

I would recommend craps over any game, not only because I think it’s most fun but since it offers the player the best odds. It’s hard to replicate the rush you get on the blackjack table, however.

Your best bet: Play according to Basic Strategy.

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