On this trip to Black Hawk, my posse Sal couldn’t meet up with me because he was repacking the bearings of Sal Junior’s car. If you got to do it, you got to do it, right? So this turned into a solo trip for ‘ol Poorman. I needed to get up to the Isle Casino anyway because they emailed me a coupon I could redeem for $20 cash, and the coupon was set to expire the next day. This is one example of the benefits of enrolling in a casino’s player’s club. You’ll receive deals like this via email or snail-mail, although I’m a little bit miffed because Sal has received more deals than I have, like free nights at the casinos and $10 chip coupons. I don’t know why Sal is such a favorite of the casinos over yours truly. Maybe they know Sal tends to lose more money than Poorman. Who knows?
I don’t know if it was out of superstition or comfort level, but I found myself at the same craps table at the Lady Luck Casino where I had won $300 during a previous trip. I bought in for $100. (Drat! I realized too late that I forgot to give them my Player’s Card.)
Since my trip to Las Vegas 3 weeks prior, I have been busy reading. As I mentioned earlier, I just finished reading Beat the Craps out of the Casinos by Frank Scoblete. An excellent book that will certainly be added to my permanent library. Of the several techniques I read about and that I would like to incorporate into my play, on this trip I decided to test out the ‘5-count’.
The idea behind the ‘5-count’ is that most rollers will seven-out in a fairly short amount of time, so we practice patience (and discipline) and wait for the shooter to make five successful rolls of the dice before risking our first bet. This reduces our overall risk because we aren't betting on every shooter.
The count begins when the shooter hits a point on the come out roll. If he hits a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12, the count does not begin. After a point has been made, any number except a seven will count toward the second, third, and fourth roll. On the fifth roll, the shooter must make a point number 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 to qualify as the fifth count. This makes the shooter “qualified,” and your betting can begin.
I took notes as to what numbers were rolled and I observed some interesting results. By waiting for shooters to become qualified using the ‘5-count’, I avoided a loss of $90 (6 shooters, $5 pass line bet plus $10 odds). While I didn’t win money on every qualified shooter, I did capitalize on shooters who had hot rolls. In this session, I can definitely say the ‘5-count’ saved me money, and I plan to incorporate this technique into my future betting strategy.
Some other observations. A theory I have is that shooters tend to have good luck across multiple dice possessions. On Saturday, on her very first possession, a female shooter controlled the dice for 36 rolls. By far the best of the session. She’s a hot shooter, right? The next time she held the dice, she rolled 7, 7, 11, (all winners), made a point, then immediately sevened-out. While this evidence seems to negate my theory, I believe this to be the exception rather than the rule. In the limited number of gambling sessions that I have been involved with, hot shooters tend to continue their hot streak across multiple possessions. But certainly this is a phenomenon that I can easily track with better record keeping. If I find this theory to be a fallacy, I can easily avoid losing money by applying the ‘5-count’ rule on previously hot shooters.
Another observation. There was a lady by the name of Stephanie who was playing next to me. She was slightly inebriated, playing proposition bets, and placing all the numbers. By her own confession, she didn’t even understand some of the prop bets she was making. A recipe for disaster, right? All the books I’ve read state that prop bets are stupid. Well Stephanie had nearly a row of $25 green chips in front of her, and I figure she was up at least $1,000. Stupid luck? Probably. But that isn’t any reason to change your betting style. Decide how you’re going to bet, then stick with your plan. While I’m an advocate of being flexible and changing your bets as dictated by the trending dice, to totally change your betting style because someone was having stupendous luck will only spell disaster.
Counting the $20 in free cash I received with my Player’s Club coupon, I left Black Hawk $51 richer. Modest winnings for sure, but a victory none the less since my objective is to leave a casino with more money than when I arrived.