Chained to Your Game?
BY: Michael Vernon
Are you chained to a way of playing that does not serve your gaming goal? Are you stuck in a rut, chasing high vig bets while you watch your chips trickle over to the dealer's stacks? A P4K reader wrote, "The math for playing craps sucks! Why does anyone play it once they see how bad the math is?"
The reader's comment caused me to chuckle. This reader's profound wisdom is eye opening. The house edge is basically ignored by most players. A craps game is like a restaurant with a menu of at least 39 ways to bet and each bet has its own price, the house advantage.
When it come to any casino game, winning is a condition of several factors. One factor that you can control is your style of play.
The game of craps presents many "personalities" within the odds of probability. Rigid players disregard this rather obvious fact that the game has a built in advantage for the casino. Perhaps it is just pretending that the house advantage is no big deal, but who's kidding whom. No single strategy can stand alone against every craps game's "personality". Still many players play as though they are chained to their dogmatic, flawed strategy, which makes no cents (sic) at all. Maybe this provides the best explanation for the harrumphing over losses and accusations of dishonest games. Could it be that the sour grapes have more to do with players enslaved to weak strategies, who deny the house odds, while pretending the games are mathematically fair? Could this explain why they are so disappointed when the result of their loose play costs them money? First of all, losing is a part of the game. Losing is what is supposed to happen when someone has a mathematical advantage over another. The reader's comment is valid, the math sucks. However, no player should fall on his own sword.
Have you ever been in a game when you were doing okay and the player next to you was angry and spouting negative comments? That player was chained to their losing way of betting and refused to notice that others were doing something different. Chained to a losing way is to be stuck in the ego's paradigm of rigid play. "I have to win and I have to win my way."
Let's make it simple. If the shooters at the table are rolling short hands, point and out, then playing the pass line and place betting are going to be losing propositions. Obviously, the conditions are ripe for the don't player or the lay bettor. However, because of being "married" to a betting dogma, the stubborn player, would rather go down with the ship, chained to their oars, than walk away to find a better game.
For twenty-two years I have observed disgruntled players, in denial, who complained after each losing shooter. They stubbornly stood fast to their losing style of play, as though there were no other options.
No one has the power to force a desired outcome in a game of chance. To be successful, you either have to bet in flow with the game, or be disciplined enough to walk away. It is your responsibility to find a game that fits your betting style. The casino is not cheating you when you cannot win. The game is unfair enough with the true odds. Once you factor in the house advantage, well, it is like the reader said, "The math for playing craps sucks' Never forget it."
Being chained to a one-way street of play is rigid play and a limiting paradigm for winning. Learn to play freely and follow the ebb and flow of the game. There is more to the game than laying your money down and hoping that you're lucky. If the way you are playing now is working for you, good. However, if something resonates here, perhaps you are ready to break the chain that binds.
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