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Joined: Dec 3, 2009
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October 12th, 2013 at 11:27:15 PM permalink
I just got back from a 3-day trip to Reno/Tahoe. I know some of you like reading trip reports - I'll try to keep it interesting. I was in Reno for three nights, Tuesday through Thursday with a day trip to South Lake Tahoe on Wednesday. From gambling, I came out ahead by about $750 which was enough to cover other trip expenses and still be ahead for the trip. What follows are some of my observations related to gambling - nothing about food except that my eating pattern changes to two large meals a day and lots of beer and water in between.

The Black Hat

I stayed at the Silver Legacy and started my gambling there with some craps, playing the don't pass. I walked up to the table and stood at an open spot on the other side of the stick from a fellow wearing a black had. I bought in for $300 and made my $5 DP bet and then noticed Black Hat was also betting the DP, but his bet was more like $300. We both laid full odds, at least I'm pretty sure he was, but my brain stopped being able to multiply by 6 with numbers larger than 200. The table was choppy and after a few points were made he got another $5000 marker. Sometimes he would bet $500 (and maybe more) always with a big stack of odds. I used to feel uncomfortable when playing at a table with a high roller, especially when I'm betting on the opposite side - winning $30 when he's losing hundreds, so I was at least glad we were both on the don't. Unlike some big bettors I've seen, this guy acted like an average person at the table - he could have been me except his bets were about 100 times bigger. (There's one guy who plays at one of the Indian casinos here, not quite as much, who just makes an ass of himself - not at all friendly and bitching about short rolls even when it's clear there is no attempt at dice control.) Black Hat would get frustrated when he lost, but not overly loud and angry. He was friendly with the dealers and tipped well.

I left that table after getting up about $50 - it's always nice to start a trip with a win - and went to play some video poker. A little while later I walked to Circus Circus and somebody eating a meal at the electronic craps game asked me how I did. I didn't recognize him and must have looked puzzled, and he said, "At craps." He told me that after I left he had "taken Black Hat for about 7K." I didn't know what to say, probably grunted out something like, "uh-huh," and walked away wondering why anyone feels that way about people playing the don't. Unless he's a casino employee, he didn't "take" anything. He won whatever he won and the Casino was happy to take the 7K. I know there's a lot of "me vs. you" thinking between light side and dark side players, but really, why can't we all get along? It's all of us against the house!

My System

During a given session I play either pass line and come bets or don't pass with don't come bets. I always add at least 2x odds, more if I have a sufficient bankroll or am having a winning session. I might place the 6 and 8, and on the don't side I might lay the 4 and 10. During a winning session I keep repeating come bets and eventually convert them to place bets to keep all numbers covered; on the don't side I've gone to as many as 4 numbers covered. I tend not to switch sides during a session - one exception is when I'm way ahead on the don't and then a shooter picks off my numbers and I'll make one pass or come bet and keep going as long as numbers are hitting -- I've had some pretty good wins this way but plenty of times "7 out, line away" was next result after I switched. Very rarely I'll throw out a field or center bet - "two way all the hardways" is the most likely call you'll hear me make as I toss in a short stack of white chips.

I used to drive myself nuts trying to decide which side to play. I'd walk up to a table and try to get the feel of it - hot or cold - and bet accordingly. Apparently I haven't developed the skill of knowing how a table will go that some craps writers talk about. I'd lose 4 sessions in a row playing pass line and switch to the don't on the next session and lose again. I know it's all random, but I made it personal. Not good. So I developed a system to keep me sane: if I had a winning session I could choose which side to play next time, but if I lost, I had to play the same side. (Note that this could just as easily have been "play the opposite side.") My system served me well on this trip. After a losing session playing the pass line, I decided to play the next one fairly aggressively - start with a big bet, and if it didn't hit maybe another one or maybe it was time to take a break for food or a nap. I walked up to a table and stood next to the base dealer. I bought in for $500 and then noticed I was the only player on my half of the table and the other end had five guys all playing the don't. Before I created my system I might have succumbed to the mojo at that table, but this time I stood firm with a $25 pass line bet backed up with full odds. The point hit and I went to a $10 line bet, full odds, and $135 across as the don't bettors tried to fail again. I left that table with a nice $1000 cheque!!

Passing the Dice

I walked up to a table and found an open spot. The dice were in the middle and the marker was on a point. I didn't want to interrupt the flow so I didn't throw down my cash. The dice were passed to the shooter who turned out to be immediately to my right. I usually won't walk up and squeeze in right next to the shooter, but in this case there was plenty of room so I stayed. She sevened out after a few rolls and then I put down my $300. I wasn't expecting to get the dice -- some places won't pass you the dice if you hadn't made a bet previously, but the stick offered them to me. I'd already set my mind to not being the shooter so I passed. Great decision - the guy to my left had a good roll and after a few more shooters didn't really add to or subtract from my stake, I colored in for $635. (I know I keep writing about the winning sessions, but there were some losers too - they just aren't as interesting.)

The same scenario happened again and I was all set to pass the dice when the attractive young woman to my left asked me if I was going to get lucky. I don't remember her exact words, but I know I wasn't sure if she was talking about dice. I told her I was planning to pass them to her, but she said she rolls lots of sevens and insisted that I shoot. Well I'll always do what a pretty lady tells me to do ... unless it's something Mrs. Dice would object to. I had an OK roll, but this wasn't another one of those "double-up" sessions. She took the dice and, true to her word, she did not hit her point, but I stayed close to even thanks to a couple of come bet hits. I eventually cashed out with a small win.

Bad Advice

People who don't really know how to play the game are funny enough when they play. The comments from the dealer to them go like this. "Even up the odds behind the 5 ... (puzzled look) ... add a white or red chip." "No, you don't need the white chip behind the 8." "No, you can't make a don't pass bet after the point is set." I don't mind if they slow down the game while they provide entertainment and (hopefully) learn how it works - heck, the world needs more craps players so we can keep those tables around, right? What's even funnier is when they try to explain the game to someone who knows even less. One dealer was telling a story about a player who was was betting the hardways and chastising his friend for making field bets (where 12 pays triple) because it's a sucker bet!! Several times I heard things like, "When he craps out with 7 or 11 then everyone loses." Then they notice me playing the don't, and it's, "Except that guy. He's playing with the house." (I wish!) Or after a point is established, "You should just do what I do," and they proceed to put $10 on the pass line with $10 odds behind.

This leads to a related advice topic - sometimes dealers will correct these wayward players, telling them it's better to put all the chips on the line and make it a place bet. Most of the time on this trip the dealers wouldn't give advice unless people asked for it. One time I thought I'd be helpful to a guy who at least knew to place his $10 on the line after the point of 8 was set. "You should put two more dollars on that, make it a $12 bet and it pays better if it hits." He was so confused, and I repeated myself several times. After a while he put two more red chips there. The next roll was a 7. I won because I was on the don't again, and I was waiting to hear an angry, "You made me lose ten bucks," but fortunately that did not happen. I think I've read elsewhere on this forum, "Don't offer unsolicited advice." I think that's good advice.


So there was this waitress at El Dorado whose boobs were pushed up and spilling over her top and she asked me about my heine.
Joined: Feb 5, 2011
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October 13th, 2013 at 5:44:16 PM permalink
Nice trip report. Heavy on the gambling, and light on everything else.
Joined: Jan 5, 2012
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November 18th, 2013 at 4:56:44 PM permalink
Quote: seattledice


So there was this waitress at El Dorado whose boobs were pushed up and spilling over her top and she asked me about my heine.

Well come on man, you can't tease something and then never come back!

Dealer's advice can be funny, indeed. One time I was the shooter and was playing the pass and come only, for $10 and full 3-4-5 odds. I set a point of 4, I believe, and then proceeded to set up the 5 and 9 with come bets. With my next come bet still up there, I then proceeded to roll several 5s and 9s, each one netting me a $70 off-and-on win! This was great, and after the 2nd or 3rd win, one of the dealers said "folks I recommend you put your money where he's putting his!" As if I have some kind of control over the dice...

Although it's not terrible advice, it is a little sad that some people probably tried to take that advice and placed the 5 and 9, which are the worst numbers to place/buy.

Often times, when I'm having a good session, I will drag several other players along with me on the come bet strategy. When I show up everyone is doing place/buy/middle/horn bets, and then after my rack is filling up, they decide to get on the come bet train. I feel like I've done some small amount of good in that case, even if they don't win on that session. Nothing sweeter than a repeater!
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
Joined: Jul 12, 2013
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November 18th, 2013 at 6:43:28 PM permalink
I think advice is like an a***le, every person has one. In your particular situation though, if I was betting the Don't and he was placing a bet or taking odds or whatever he was doing on the line, I would not have given him any advice. If I were betting on his side I may have, difficult one really.

Nice trip report....what happened to the waitress with the big boobs? More interested in that :)

Oh btw, no offence but pretty girls hanging around craps tables asking boys who buy in for a couple bucks if they think they are going to get lucky??? I would keep my chips in my hands and not in the rail, make sure her hands don't wonder and I would absolutely not go back to her room. It has "trick roll" written all over it :)

But then again, I may just be pessimistic.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill

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