Posted by odiousgambit
Feb 06, 2023

Quit Counting Outs UTH!! Saved Charts

you may need to read the starting thread https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/tables/37935-quit-counting-outs-uth/

Although the charts are pretty much in final form, some edits for clarity continue.

In the below, the charts are for the 1x decision point when all the player has is a kicker. It's important to follow the Wizard/Grosjean advice to fold in the face of, on the board, 4 to flush and 4 to open ended straight. It's a simple strategy that has exceptions. As a matter of practice, with a Q,4 or K,3 [or less] against a board 3-to-straight fush, and [adding on 3-3-23] Q,2 where Q not top kicker, I fold at 1x/river decision pt.

The charts are very wordy in order to provide clarity. You can familiarize yourself with them and then you can make strategy cards to take to the table. What would work for me as small strategy cards are the two charts at the bottom.

In the case of the second chart, exceptions are more rare and I am trying to identify them. The use of the word 'then' is to indicate you take the process in steps.
Player Kicker in Play Permissible Missing Cards Outranking Kicker
Unpaired Board One Card Can Be Missing, Bet 1x
Board has One Pair 2 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board has Trips 3 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board = Two Pair, Fifth Card Makes Dealer Outs 3 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board has Two Pair, Fifth Card Lower in Rank   4 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board has 4 OAK play 7-card or better player kicker, ditto

Player Kicker Canít Win Action Indicated
The board doesn't have a pair or better   No Pair means No Play, instant fold 
Board Has One Pair A 9-card or lower in the other 3 cards = instant fold
then a 10-card in the three folds UNLESS ALL other 4 cards higher
then a qualified 10, or Jack* or higher in the three, plays
*known exceptions 9,9,10,A,J + 9,9,10,K,J
Board has 2 pair with the Fifth
card making dealer outs.
A 10-card or lower as the fifth card means instant fold.
Play a Jack if Middle Value
Play All Higher Others
Board has two pair, AND
fifth board card lowest in rank
An 8-card or lower anywhere on the board is an instant fold.
Play all that have higher fifth cards
Board has Trips A 9-card or lower in the other 2 cards is an instant fold
Then 10-card there is a fold unless ALL other 4 cards are higher
Then a qualified 10, or Jack or higher in the two, plays
Board has 4 OAK An 8-card or lower as the 5th card is an instant fold
A 9-card as the fifth card is a fold UNLESS the 4OAK cards are higher
Play All Others


My choice for a strategy card with abbreviations and memorized parts omitted

Kicker in Play # Cards
Bd Trips/2 pair 7-O 3 Cards
Bd 2 Pair 4-O 4-O=4 cards
Bd 4 OAK play 7-card+

in the above, don't need to know what I'm looking for or what to do. 7-0 or 4-O indicates the type of 2 pair board by initial outs. 4-O=4 cards is a mnemonic

Kicker Gaffed FOLD
Bd = One Pair Pert 9-card
10-card unless all higher
Bd 2 pair 7-O Pert 10-card
Play Pert Jack if Middle Val
Play all Pert Queen+
Bd 2 pair 4-O 8-card anywhere
Play all higher Perts
Board = Trips 9-card
10-card unless ALL higher
Bd = 4 OAK Pert 8-card
9-card UNLESS all 4 higher

although in some ways easier table, I don't have it memorized as well. Leaving what to do in there for now. I know what 4 I'm talking about in the 4-OAK section. Pert means Pertinent

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 24, 2022

Dark Plunge Continues

Increased table minimums have me questioning whether Craps will mostly be a thing of the past for me. A recent visit to the Greenbrier confirmed that those folks have gone to $25 permanently, assuming it doesnít go up at times. $25 for BJ too, and itís Thursday thru Sunday only, starting well into the evening, for Craps. Considering some other things I wonít go into, Iím getting the feeling they are giving up on their casino, basically.

In any case, my current approach to these daunting requirements is two-fold. Iíll play the Donít Pass only to get less variance, while still considerable. Additionally, Iíll keep my Total Action [T.A.] to the same or less than it was at the old minimums, giving up on playing long sessions.

Expecting to face a $25 minimum, I planned to put pauses in my betting to stretch out the time at the table. These pauses would be for nonsensical reasons, indulging superstitions, which is more fun for me. 4x odds, limiting that to 14 such bets, thus $1400 in that portion of the action and Total Action certainly less than $2000 Ö less T.A. than I used to do in a session at old minimums, which could easily be $5000 or more.

If I was going to be unable to stretch out time at the table due to being the only shooter, then, having my fun cut, I was going to set up 5 stacks of $150 [6x darkside max] odds bets, not concerning myself with the come-out wins and losses. 2 losses on odds bets without a win, and I color up and leave; 3 losses I leave no matter what. If Iím winning nearly all, set up another 5 such bets, but then quit no matter. Again, low T.A.

The problem with these low T.A. strategies is they are designed to allow the variance to work, they are going to allow you to win by not grinding your bankroll against the HE, but they are also going to allow you to lose all your money quickly if that is the way itís going to go. The Darkside is no guarantee against long losing streaks session after session.

In the event, when I was finally able to play, sure enough I am the only shooter. I set up my stacks and go for it. Lady Luck smiled and Iím winning, so I set up 4 more stacks instead of 5 for reasons unknown. I play those out and in the end only lost two bets overall [not counting come-out resolutions]. That sounds good but playing the Donít you want to win 6 out of 9 bets to stay roughly even. But, coloring up, Iím $300 to the good.

That was my only session. Why? it all sounds good, right?

It's just that $25 is out of my comfort zone, and Iíve explored every way to try to handle it. 2x, 4x, no matter, and 0x is the worst. Iím really considering not playing any more.

On the other hand,


smoothgrh Dec 28, 2022

$10 live craps sounds like the norm now. In Vegas, I saw $5 Roll to Win craps at Circus Circus, which I don't mind playing but I prefer a full dealer crew and "real" craps lingo.

odiousgambit Dec 30, 2022

On the various types of Bubble Craps, the minimum is lower but I've always found something about them I don't like in addition to your point about preferring a real table with lingo etc.

When I was going to Maryland Live [geez, pretty good time ago now!] the damn machines kept turning off my free odds bets anytime they could ... if they were come bet odds still up and there was a come-out roll they turned them off ... OK ... but then they wouldn't turn them back on. Even the darkside odds got turned off all the time. So, just stuff like that. Screaming at you to roll the dice, that was another intolerable one somewhere else. What idiot thought that was a good idea?

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 26, 2022

Heart of Darkness

I'm never to see the light again. 

Or I should say, never to see the Rightside again. Any future meetups at the Craps table, be forewarned. Friends, I'll simply not bet when you are shooting, or bet the DC only, if you are OK with it. 

I have been focused in this blog lately about the increase in table minimums at Craps we've been seeing. To summarize, $15 has become the best a player can hope for, while $25 will be seen occasionally. Considering that the former has been barely tolerable while the latter just hasn't been at all, perhaps it would make more sense trying to find what casinos are sticking to the lower minimums and go to them, but this has an impractical aspect. The way I manage my bankroll, if I travel to a spot just to gamble, the trip expense gets factored*, while if I am traveling with the wife, or to meet up with friends, making the gambling only part of the activity, it does not. The next opportunity to saunter up to a Craps table looks like it'll be at The Greenbrier in WV. I fully expect $15-25 there, and may even find $15 to be a thing of the past; hopefully 3x4x5x odds will be unchanged though that may be at risk too. 

I'd been reacting to a $15 table by declining full odds to keep the total bet to about $50, which had been my well established comfort zone.... though not strictly making sure it was 2x, that's about where it put me, so the HE of each bet with odds went up to -0.606% from the pretty constant no-more-than -0.374% I had been dealing with. Approaching double. It was dawning on me that this was having an effect! 

I'm not going to repeat what's in my previous posts on the matter, other than to say I've been working on going back to higher free odds while keeping my total action to something close to what I previously experienced, $2000 being perhaps somewhat more in T.A. than was typical for a session when $5 table minimums were available. And I'll actually be lowering the HE. 

I am committed to eliminating previous mistakes going darkside. Knowing that the odds swing in the player's favor when there is a point to resolve, I would try to pile up points, all 6 maybe. Now, playing rightside I fully realized that is putting too much in action, but for some reason it didn't occur to me the same thing was in play on the dark side. Though I could have gotten lucky and cleaned up, the opposite tended to happen. I wised up; what was really happening was intolerance of the variance that way of playing generated. I was going to experience being way down no more often than way up, but the way-down moments were chasing me from the table. 

Another mistake was thinking I needed to go max odds when playing the Don't in order to get the benefit of lower odds than rightside. The complement to 3x4x5x is 6x, and on a table set as the former, the latter odds are allowed darkside. The HE rightside is -0.347% for max odds, while darkside it is -0.195% at 6x [formula below]. However, 6x odds is a big bet, especially if encountering a $25 table. I was thinking if you dropped down to 4x odds, you'd be back near the 0.347 figure, but that is not correct! According to the Wizardry, 4x darkside will put you at -0.273% . Note that as far as your average bet, and your total action, it should be pretty much now the same as rightside, but at lower HE. I have just now realized this. 

A final point: somebody here once claimed that the variance is lower on the darkside, since this tends to be true when you lay a bet. This can be seen with bets that have a high payoff, those lend themselves to high variance, so this does suggest laying a bet has the opposite effect. Yet I have seen others say the variance is about the same. Maybe this is true at max 6x odds? I do seem to be experiencing lower variance with many trials using a free game. I'm getting convinced, and it's important. This business I already switched to, making fewer but larger bets while keeping Total Action the same, this increases variance. If something lowers variance, like going darkside, I could use the help.

At the Greenbrier, I don't expect other players to care who is going darkside, that helps, and this is going to be it for me ... I'm plunging into the Heart of Darkness forever more. Which side will walk away muttering "the horrors, the horrors"? We shall see. 

* btw tips given at the table also deduct from my bankroll and affect amount won or lost at a session. I now wish I had kept track differently, but still feel it has to be that way. 

Wizard's formulas:

Combined Pass and Buying Odds
The general formula if you can take x times odds on the 6 and 8, y times on the 5 and 9, and z times on the 4 and 10 is (-7 / 495) / [ 1 + ((5x + 4y + 3z) / 18) ]

Combined Don't Pass and Laying Odds
The general formula if you can buy x times odds then the house edge on the combined don't pass and laying odds is (3/220)/(1+x).



GenoDRPh Sep 08, 2022

If you are ever at a table with me, I invite you to bet however you wish, without any comment or disapproval from me or any of my companions. We are not betting against each other, but betting on a roll of the dice. If you are winning more than me, I might even start copying your strategy. As for other players getting ticked off, I am beyond their timid lying morality, and so I am beyond caring. For I too, play the Dark Side.

odiousgambit Sep 10, 2022

"I invite you to bet however you wish " thank you, Geno

my current view on the matter is that players should be happy to see someone playing the darkside. That keeps the casino honest, to know someone might just do that. I've seen more than once 7s rolled that should have been judged to be "no roll" due to not having been thrown far enough. That's about all they dare do though I think LOL

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 15, 2022

Pondering Craps

some thoughts:

*although I recently calculated that I may have put as much as $500K in total action paying Craps since 2004, the portion of that against the house edge was a smaller part. Often the combined house edge was as low as 0.184% and seldom higher than 3x4x5x allows, 0.374%. I really think the average could not be much higher, although the recent problem of high table minimums has meant sometimes I just wasn't going to do max odds. As a guess, if I averaged 0.4%, that would be an EV of -$2000 .

*Then again, I calculated many times that by being over-comped, I was playing at break even or better so, so many times. And I mean in free play resulting in cash, not counting any other type of comp. Except, the tipping would often make it -EV.

*I can believe I have easily left Craps tips of more than $2000 over 18 years! And the tipping counts against the win/loss record, the way I do it. I wish I had kept it separate, oh well.

*The $500k is a guess, I kept good records on some things but not that. I have gambled at some other table games, which helps muddy the picture. 

*coming up with a standard deviation would be a little nuts, but I would certainly have to think a common deviation in results would also be at least $2000. This leads me to believe I have not been particularly hit by the unlucky side of variance. I can't be sure as I don't know what portion of the losses incurred were due to other games, I just didn't keep track. But note certainly overall I have lost money as expected. It could be something close to exactly as expected. 

*Currently I am quite aggravated by a losing streak. My conclusion is that I am able to afford the expected loss of my gambling at Craps, but have a bigger problem affording the tipping and emotionally enduring the variance. On my current approach, the variance is going to get worse... I explained in the previous post.



100xOdds Aug 15, 2022

So with comps, can you estimate how much you are up or down since 2004 in craps?

odiousgambit Aug 15, 2022

"So with comps, can you estimate how much you are up or down since 2004 in craps?"

I think I know what you are asking, but I didn't keep those kinds of records. I was up instead of down from about 2013 to 2017 and it was a period when I was often over-comped, so the credit for that I'd give to the comping.

I know exactly how much I won or lost each time I have done casino gambling, but I don't care to post it. I suppose that is a little silly, certainly I don't mind admitting I am down... in the 4 figures range, which is no big deal. I'd figure out how much my wife's golf has cost since she took that up again in 2013, but I'm afraid I'd have a heart attack

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 12, 2022

Change in Signature Line [Bristol Casino]

Casinos are beginning to operate in Virginia and although I haven't vowed to check out each one, it's probably going to happen . Certainly when Doc suggested we check out the first to open, a not-yet-labeled Hard Rock calling itself the Bristol Casino, in Bristol VA. 

I already mentioned my impression in the 'casino chip of the day' thread; to summarize, I was surprised to find out the temporary operation was pretty nice ... https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/general/8928-casino-chip-of-the-day/875/#post857755 . I finished that post by suggesting the bubble Craps version could be designed to cheat since each player has his own set of dice. Of course, though I joked about it, there's no way they've been set up to cheat. But is it a mistake for the designer since the thought occurs? 

I wasn't kidding when I said the superstition over such a thing helped chased me away from the bubble Craps set-up, I can't seem to totally avoid responding to such even when intellectually I have contempt for it. This annoying residue of fallacy keeps getting refreshed by the cruel nature of random results so often encountered ... something I've pondered a lot lately. I've decided to change my signature line to "The Dice, the cards, they not only have no sense of justice but are actually endowed with a sense of cruel irony. This devolves from the 'nature of random'. Ironically so, don't you see. "

The current irony is that I am on a quest to gamble smarter at Craps, succeeding to some degree, and being rewarded by suffering an extended losing streak. This has come about in response to the persistence of higher table minimums that I have been experiencing, something that has seemed to have had something to do with that losing streak. This can be mathematically shown to be possible, since it was forcing me to to increase the portion of my betting that is exposed to the house edge. Simply put, there was a limit to how much I am willing to wager on each bet, if I was to keep my pattern of making about 50 bets per hour and stand there and play for a couple of hours. I wasn't going to continue to do @4x, 5x odds when the minimum bet is $15/$25 each bet, 50 bets per hour is just too high for comfort if I did. 

So I have been blogging about what my response should be, and actually it could be a good thing as I might as well go towards the extreme if I do it at all. The trend may be to compensate for higher minimums by featuring higher free odds multiples. This seemed to be what Caesar's Southern Indiana casino decided to do, advertising "The action youíll find at Caesars Southern Indiana is the real deal, with the 20x odds that serious gamblers seek." These kinds of odds do allow a player to keep the proportion of his betting that is up against the house edge to a minimum. However, what easily happens is the gambler's Total Action also goes up and this can pretty much, well, not be desirable. And now I'm realizing the effect of increased variance also is going to be a factor. 

Prior to Bristol, I had a single session at Caesar's Southern Indiana, which I blogged about. It was my first sortie with my new strategy to combat higher table minimums. To summarize, while at 4x Darkside odds, I played the Don't Come to limit my Total Action; doing that makes you pause while waiting for a point to be established. This worked somewhat but I concluded I posted something like $3000 in Total Action while trying to limit it to about $2000. I needed to spend less time at the table, approximately 90 minutes and no more, instead of 2 hours. Or make a smaller average bet, but that would be giving up the plan. 

At the Bristol Casino I was playing with Doc, didn't want to arbitrarily stop playing if he wanted to continue, and didn't want to go Darkside even though we encountered the $15 minimum. It was 3x4x5x for odds, so on average I'd be something close to the same 4x level. To limit my action better, I was making up silly reasons to hold off on a second bet ... if the next point set was 6 or 8, the most likely points to get set, I 'had to' wait until another point was set. This really limited my betting, and even though we stuck with that session for over 2 hrs, I have to think I came close to limiting action to that $2000. 

So I got it accomplished: something close to the Total Action and overall HE as in the past while experiencing higher table minimums. What could go wrong? Well I know now, after pondering it, this way of dealing with it increases variance. Something like a $75 average bet now, instead of the $40 to $50 it was before. And then there is the nature of the dice, the nature of random. This means no sense of justice in reward to smarter gambling, no. But a chance to apply irony? can't miss that one, not if you're the dice.* At the end of play, I'm down several hundred in this session. It's the double edged sword of greater variance: one is still likely a victim, even though the chances of a winning session increase assuming that it is true that you are better off not grinding away against the house edge. 

We did want to have a second session, but since it was later in the day, I guess, now we were facing a $25 minimum. Frankly, my ability to deal with such a minimum is not really there. But, it was still possible to keep the Total Action the same, and still take full odds, it just means you can only make a few bets. So I determined I was only going to bet on my own and Doc's rolls. No Come bets, too, which had burned me last session and which I will make another blog post about. Doc's rolling was good and this paid off. He soon wanted to cash in before he gave it all back. I stuck around though, knowing I was still short of wagering $2000. This meant I had to wait until the dice came back to me before I bet again. Then some time wasting thing kept happening with the inexperienced dealer, I don't even remember what. The ol' itch to get some action got to me and I made a Come bet; it traveled and sevened-out with remarkable speed. Doc was gone already and that was it for me. At least I cashed out ahead, though quite a bit short of getting my previous loss covered. 

It's just pretty hard to have fun at a $25 table, short of having fabulous luck. One funny thing was noted though, see below. 

* yeah I know I'm attributing human qualities here that do not exist, I can't seem to resist


[below posted in "casino chip of the day" thread https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/general/8928-casino-chip-of-the-day/875/#post857780

this was interesting, have to mention it

the dealers were largely undergoing on the job training, as Doc mentioned. The Box-man was always as good as you'd find anywhere, though, and it seemed the Stick was likely to be well experienced. The other dealers were likely to be needing a lot of help. Stick and Box would help them, and in at least one case I had a dealer that had another guy standing right behind him helping him constantly. This was when the minimum went up to $25, and I was betting max on the odds. The 6 or 8 was the point the first time this had to be paid off when I had placed $125 on the odds. The rookie dealer had to ask what he was supposed to pay. Interestingly, the guy behind him was flummoxed for a bit too ... after a short period it was determined to be $150

Of course this meant only one thing: nobody else had been betting max odds. It was 3x4x5x!  That's designed to make it easy for the dealers! No matter if the point was 6/8, 5/9, or 4/10, the payoff for max odds made on the table minimum was going to be $150. Training a newbie, of course you'd expect them to remind them of that first thing, 'payoffs will be $150'. But even the more experienced dealer behind the rookie hadn't prepared himself for that. The thinking likely was, nobody is going to be betting max odds. 

What this tells me is one reason the house is going to the higher minimums now, they are realizing this kills max betting on the free odds.