Posted by odiousgambit
Feb 02, 2011

## Craps Question Was Eating At Me

This will strike many of you as a profoundly idiotic question, but it has been bugging me for some time. If taking free odds in Craps, you increase the variance to the point that the significance of winning or losing at the pass line [or don't pass] becomes smaller; at something like 100x odds the pass line bets are almost immaterial for a session. I also had noticed during a session that I seemed to win a pretty normal percentage of times when the bet was resolved by rolling 7, 11, or craps on the come-out, but that my luck varied wildly on whether I would make my points, the very time that I had my big bets up with the free odds.

I couldn’t figure out if somehow wincraps kept track automatically of how often a come-out got resolved immediately, or how to keep track of that using chipracks in wincraps.

But I thought it was possible that a fairly lengthy session might involve a situation where playing free odds meant a losing session could turn into a winning one, or vice versa. The question became, does betting free odds tend to emphasize winning or losing in a session? The intuitive answer would seem to be “yes” but I decided to use wincraps and do some trials.

So what we have below are the results for 20 sessions of 300 rolls, long sessions of approximately 3 hours in real time each. The *same set* of random numbers for each trial was duplicated to see how it turned out betting differently. It pretty much confirms that major winning or losing gets boosted, not reversed, with the free odds. In other words common intuition on the matter seems correct. If, however, a session was close to break-even, then the free odds seem to have an unpredictable influence.

Some sessions, like #4, turned out quite interesting.

PS: the betting is by one unit, with a bankroll of zero to start.
PS: if I get around to the other stats, it will be a chart below this chart

Session Number Pass Line no odds 1 Pass line with 5x4x3 odds Don't Pass no odds Don't Pass lay 5x4x3 odds
#1 -13 -58 +10 +55
#2 - 20 - 93 +17 +90
#3 +8 +52 -11 -55
#4 -1 -45 -1 +43
#5 -2 0 -2 -4
#6 -8 -14 +6 +12
#7 +9 +57 -12 -60
#8 -5 -5 +2 +2
#9 -1 -18 -1 +16
#10 -6 -51 +2 +49
#11 +6 +33 -10 -37
#12 -2 +8 +2 -8
#13 -10 -70 +10 +58
#14 -14 -56 +10 +52
#15 -3 -3 +1 +1
#16 +8 +72 -10 -74
#17 -5 -45 +3 +43
#18 +1 +52 -4 +49
#19 +9 +80 -12 -83
#20 +6 +24 -7 -25

teddys Feb 02, 2011

Not an idiotic question at all. I've often wondered about it myself. Even single odds will increase your variance to the point where the pass line bet really doesn't matter. The odds tend to emphasize losing, because you will have fewer points lost than won. However, variance goes both ways, and you also have the best chance of winning when you take odds.

Ayecarumba Feb 02, 2011

In reality, I don't think you would flat bet if you won with a 7 or 11 on the comeout multiple times, or made multiple passes. A progressive betting scheme would further increase your variance, but also increase your total win. Alternately, your could bust out sooner if your betting scheme does not include a "reset to base amount" following a loss, or string of losses.

i note that of the 20 passline trials, taking odds would "save" the player only twice (#5 and #12). In other words it turned a losing session into a breakeven, or plus. This is as expected, however, I wonder what the peak bankroll and max loss were for each session?

odiousgambit Feb 03, 2011

I believe max and min bankroll are preserved figures. If I add columns it might get too big, but I'll at least post that for you in comments if you check back.

I don't see a way to vary betting and benefit myself.

RaleighCraps Feb 03, 2011

I had been struggling with the same thoughts, which is how I came up with the big bet idea. Free odds works great when numbers are being rolled (or 7s if you are dark side), but they cause large pain if you are on the wrong side of the resolution.

You can see the number of instant resolves by having your autobet file only play 1 game of 300 rolls. Just end the Hyper Roll in the auto bet file after 300 rolls, plus resolve the final action by testing for a new comeout roll. If you do that, then the Summary page will show you the number of shooters, and the number of points made. It also shows the complete number of passes. so number of passes - number of points made = number of comeout winners. That data is not persistent though, so if you reset the table, you lose that info.

odiousgambit Feb 03, 2011

Raleighc., you are right, that has it all, including bankroll high and low. When I can get to it, I'll add these other stats, I've started the column already.

dm Feb 04, 2011

Session 4 - quite interesting? To everyone? I assumed it would be totally not interesting to me. I know ways to give money away and I don't need any more. But, by all means, keep posting this craps or crap or whatever. In general, advantage players are not interested in this game.

dm Feb 04, 2011

My post was uncalled for - sorry.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 23, 2010

## Boardless Diceless Clue

Christmas week is a very slow time for us at work, yet we are expected to show up and fill the days somehow. Gambling would be frowned upon, so after our recent discussion, I decided a game of Clue could be played. So here is the idea and how it went.

Boardless Diceless Clue. Some sequence of who goes first and who "is to the left" of who is modified from where people normally sit. I modified a deck of playing cards by writing names, weapons, and rooms on various and distributing them; the empty deck package held the 3 key cards determining whodunit etc.

A simple map of the board is provided to each player along with a piece of paper with the suspects, weapons, and rooms listed so that notes can be made. The map shows how you move from one room to the next, providing some manner in which you can cross the board as well as move from adjacent rooms and secret passages. There is no need to decide which suspect you are playing, each player is just himself.

Players could pick the room they would start in. To move, each player gets one move in one turn; in that move you may walk out of a room or into a secret passage. In the next move you may enter a room or continue to the next place on the map without entering. Rules about blocking a room and all that were not in effect. It was considered good if the game went pretty fast, as of course certain interruptions occur even on a slow day.

I anticipated a problem with people remembering where they were on the board, so the player "to the left" must help the current player remember. It turned out everybody started helping everybody remember. Otherwise it was standard Clue rules.

It went very well! For the second game players decided they wanted everybody to start in the same room, so I thought that was OK, if unnecessary. As is the nature of the game, sometimes it was over fast, and with moving so easy, it was really fast. But that was probably a good thing. I'm wondering now how well Boardless Diceless Clue would go as a parlor game at a party and might try it.

benbakdoff Dec 23, 2010

I think they should have thanked you for a great year and sent you home With Pay!!

Nareed Dec 26, 2010

You should pitch it to the manufacturer as "Rapid Clue" ;)

Ayecarumba Jan 03, 2011

There actually is a card based version of "Clue". It is designed for 2-4 players. You don't move around a board, just ask other players if it was "insert two rooms/weapons/suspects here". Sort of like "Go Fish". Your invention sounds more fun.

odiousgambit Feb 03, 2011

stay tuned, I think I will have to make a chart below the first chart to have room

Posted by odiousgambit
Oct 30, 2010

## The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [again]

Making this movie review a blog post [was a forum post]. Now that I hear hollywood will be making a movie, and the books are getting more popular, I thought this might be a better place for it.

Recently saw "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". This has been one of the more popular foreign movies recently, you should be able to catch it if a theater near you tends to show foreign or art movies.

I highly recommend it with some qualifications.

A Swedish movie, it is very feminist, and as a matter of fact the author of the book, Stieg Larsson, was a Communist. His villains were Capitalists; in the movie, though, the villains are not just Capitalists but Nazi sympathizers. No kidding. And we are talking murderers, serial killers, to boot. Of course all this makes having them be the bad guys palatable even for anyone who might otherwise not like the idea of portraying businessmen as the guys wearing the black hats. For balance one minor bad character is a social worker.

You might think you have no feminist sympathies, but by the time you experience how rotten these men are you are rooting for their demise, believe me.

The movie is very brutal, and this applies not just to the creeps, but to the heroine as well. I want to focus on her to keep this review from being too long. She is a new type we are seeing a little more of these days, a woman with a ton of metal on her face perhaps, plenty of tattoos, and Goth or Punk themed clothing etc. There just was not such a character in the media of yesteryear; now we see them portrayed sometimes, and this certainly suggests we find them intriguing. I wound up looking up the character Abby Sciuto in the TV series NCIS to see if this character could have been based on the movie or vice versa. Sciuto is described as been distinguished by a "gothic style of dress and her interest in death and the supernatural" in a wikipedia article. I concluded that it was possible Larrson was influential in bringing this type of character forward, but I havent read his books so can't be sure. Quite coincidentally I just saw another movie, "My First Mister," a dvd I picked up cheap that featured a Goth/Punk type teenager. This was a fair movie, with flaws, but my point is not to review it too, but to point out that these characters are multiplying. And why not, plenty of these types do exist in the real world.

The Dragon Tattoo character, Lisbeth Salander, fits this profile; I don't exactly remember how much body piercing she has, but there is the Goth/Punk look, certainly tattoos, and with an emphasis for sure on being anti-social with a brutal if not sadistic side to her. I am also reminded of the character Felicia "Snoop" Pearson from the HBO series "The Wire". I promise you, even if you find this character type off-putting, that you will be totally won over to Salander and her cause . There is a distinct feminine appeal to her in spite of her efforts to have none. Truly fascinating, go see the movie if you get a chance.

links are all easily found in imdb dot com, and wikipedia.

Posted by odiousgambit
Sep 22, 2010

## How Computer Games Cheat

This is not about Casino computers, which tower in honesty compared to general games on the home computer.

I am posting what I have posted before in other forums, new comments are in italics.

Others have made these observations, I like to consolidate them.

>>>

PROBLEMS WITH GAMES ON THE COMPUTER

# A player learns to play without a using a rulebook, and no rulebook governs the play. Generally, you have to just take the plunge and see if you have the computer savvy to operate it.

# The Black Box Problem A. Just what exactly are the rules anyway? There will be no assurance anywhere that the most basic assumptions are accurate. As far as I know, you can't buy a computer game that simulates a simple game of solitaire in cards that will assure you that you are indeed playing with a deck of 52 cards. Not in the game when it's up, not on the box, not anywhere. You may assume so after playing it a while, but I have heard of some that are either harder or easier to win than using a real deck of cards.

# The Black Box Problem B. How it is determined that one side wins or loses a battle or campaign is anybody's guess. Common sense evaluation seemed to work sometimes, but for Boardgamers this is never going to be a satisfactory state of affairs. At some point you are in danger of finding that the computer has just declared itself the winner, unless you dial back the AI; then you are in danger of being bored by winning too easily.

# The Black Box Problem C. Once you increase the AI, you might be hoping that the vast computing power of your machine kicks in and starts to out-think you; like Spock playing the computer in chess on Star Trek, you'll be hoping that you'll just find a level of AI in your mightily-powered opponent that roughly matches you in pondering strategy and problems. Lo and behold, though, what you find is that the computer has simply increased the manpower of the opposition. There may be no sense whatsoever that the AI is actually getting better in its strategy. The Risk computer games seem to do this for sure

# The Black Box Problem D. After you begin to get a handle on what seems to be some rules in the Black Box, such as hey, you can't do this, you find that the computer opponent is not held to the same restriction. Often this is a matter of the player not being able to “see” various units for various reasons, but it becomes clear that the computer is not held to these same restrictions. The Modernized Risk Game, Risk II or whatever, just for the computer [that I have] with all sorts of variants to the original game, cheats like crazy in C and D problems.

# The Black Box Problem In General. The Computer simply cheats. This is manifested at various times and in various ways, and maddeningly there will be no acknowledgment of it. A player won't be able to ascertain what aspects of the cheating he can tolerate because what exactly he is up against can't be determined.

I have been told, "do not expect to see human-like AI in your lifetime".

>>>>

CHESS COMPUTER GAMES CHEAT TOO [well, OK, in a tolerable manner perhaps]

I find for now it is telling that IBM has flatly refused to take Kasparov up on his very do-able challenge. Kasparov was finally beaten by their "Big Blue" of course, but K. claimed that they had used the well-known tactic of studying your opponent's games. He challenged them to go ahead and enter Big Blue in tournaments, then, to allow for the same counter-tactic, predicting (IIRC) it would not even be able to sustain Grandmaster ratings, much less win. Since this would be so clearly do-able, you have to figure the IBM team knew he was right, declining to do so though it has been something like 10-15 years since the challenge. For us humans, we have to cling to this to be able to claim that possibly some human somewhere is always going to be better than the machine, unless, well, something gets manipulated?

For your home game, computer chess has the black box as well, doing things you would never allow a human opponent to do. Would you let your opponent browse a huge databank of "opening book" while you are just on your own? Would you allow your opponent to re-arrange the board to his heart's content while pondering moves, while you are not even allowed to touch a single piece? IBM says " During the match with Kasparov, [Big Blue] averaged 126 million positions per second." Now that is what I call re-arranging the board!

Nonetheless Computer Chess probably shines as an example of a computer game that ultimately is tolerable in spite of how the AI goes about things.

Ibeatyouraces Dec 23, 2010

When I play minesweeper and am faced with a 50/50 shot at picking the square without the mine, it seems I hit the mine more than 75% of the time.

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 31, 2010

## Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science

Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science by Jeff Meldrum

I decided to make this a blog post. I should probably explain that there have been a couple of threads that dipped a bit into Bigfoot, and that there was this book by Jeffrey Meldrum out there. I did read this book and thought I would not so much review it as just give you my thoughts.

I was expecting this, and found it again to be the case: when you read a book taking a controversial position on something, you tend to forget the author has placed himself in the position of advocacy without counter-argument. You have signed on to allowing this to happen by reading the book, yet it is easy to forget you sort have set yourself up this way. Unless the book is really bad, the next thing you know, you start to wonder if some of the claims don't have something to them. One needs to be on guard against becoming a convert, forgetting you have only heard one side of the argument. I've seen a similar phenomenon with UFO folks... "believers" they call themselves usually. And actually there is a competent physicist on their side these days, and an astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, that can get to you. But I digress.

It may seem unlikely, but Meldrum IMO is capable of swaying skeptics, at least to the point of acknowledging some aspects of the evidence can't be so easily dismissed as thought. Anyone with an open mind, that is, which is what he says he has, is all. There were indeed moments reading his book where his evident sincerity, if nothing else, made you want to acknowledge there must be something to it all. Clearly the guy is reasonably competent; he makes the case that you have to take certain evidence seriously, particularly the footprints in many cases. Ironically, the footprint evidence for me has always been almost unbearably ridiculous looking. Yet it is amongst his specialties to examine such evidence, so who am I to say that it is not worthy? He is quite good at relating how hard it would be to fake the better evidence. I can no longer assume, as I did before, that it is just a matter of putting on fake feet and walking around. He is quite experienced
with debunking such clumsy attempts, and relates those times he directly investigated fresh evidence, and how hard it would be to fake it at all, much less fool someone like himself.

Unfortunately, he was unable to get me to think of the famous film footage [the Patterson-Gimlin film] as possibly worthy evidence. In this matter, and in showing some other rare photos, he tends to cite other investigators rather than give his own conclusions, but he lets it be known he considers this evidence to likely be "for real" as we might put it. Other evidence investigated by others is also considered in the book. And it should be said he acknowledges quite a bit of the evidence put out there is hoaxed in some cases, or may be explainable as mis-identification in others.

Am I now a Bigfoot believer, or at least someone swayed into accepting that some of the evidence for such a creature is worthy? No, not on reflection. The best I can say is I wouldn't be able to explain how the evidence was faked or otherwise explained away in some cases. I still put the chance that it was left by an unknown creature as an extremely remote possibility. But I will also admit I found the book hard to put down.

Attach "in my humble opinion" to all the below.

I think what we have here could be called "Piltdown Syndrome" in part. That hoax, a human-like skull with ape-like jawbone, stood for 40 years amongst scientists till finally, seemingly now obviously, the artifacts were shown to be faked composition, actually human combined with orangutan. There just seems to be a certain gullibility amongst various scientists that is really pretty amazing.

In part the problem is also the well-known problem of what could be called the "Credible Witness/Deplorable Claim Syndrome". Some people just relish the attention, such as can be found in the old footage of the 1950's UFO craze where some try to get away with claiming they had been taken to other planets, coming up with wild names for them, etc. [I was unable to find any of this but I'm sure you've seen it] But in some cases, I feel this does not explain it. In the book we have a couple of instances where a credible person relates something along with a detail that really makes you wonder. Usually such a person claims to have been a skeptic, and often is presented as a person of character that does not fit with being a hoaxer. This has never been fully explainable, a phenomenon that also plagues Court systems the world over. Possibly witnesses themselves were hoaxed and didn't know it, and even are unaware of how retelling and retelling starts to alter their own versions. It has been proven that after a period of time a person can no longer correctly remember details of an event and starts to rely on what he has said before, losing track of alterations. Scientists should be more aware of this.

In part the problem is just that the scientists just do not realize they need to call in people who are more expert in debunking; often times the person to successfully do this is a magician.

I guess those of us who remain skeptics just will have to eat crow if any of the creatures are ever found. You can skip buying this book, unless you want to experience the advocacy. I admit I have a certain curiosity about such things, and such a book can really involve me. I seem to wind up enjoying this later reflection that wards off the wrong conclusions.

And, ha! My wife never caught me reading that book [in case you remember me mentioning that].

FleaStiff Aug 31, 2010

The film is indeed great evidence. Particularly when the blown-up frame of the back reveals a metal buckle. Of course the true believers merely counter this with some mumbo jumbo about evolution selecting for metal buckle traits or some such nonsense.

Those who want to believe will believe. Let them be. Its like that tee shirt about never trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.