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Streaks, Trends and Opportunity
Part II


History Skews Our Vision

“The winning–side gets to write the history books.”

Whether it be on the geo-political stage, or at a craps table…it all depends on which side we choose which will determine how we view events that unfold. 

Simply put; depending on which side we are on determines how we saw what happened. 

Some people will wander away from a craps table, muttering to themselves that “this casino has the coldest tables in the world”, while a few others will be counting their full “loaves of bread” (full racks of chips), as they smile and agree that indeed, “this casino has the coldest tables in the world”.  Both sets of individuals encountered the same events, yet they fared quite differently.  They definitely saw EXACTLY the same things, but from a totally differently perspective.

What Will it Take to Convince You?

I guess that you could say that some people clue into a trend much later in the “realization curve” than others.   Some players realize what is happening, but refuse to do anything about it, or worse yet, they continue to bet against it.  No matter how IMPROBABLE something might be, it does not mean that it’s IMPOSSIBLE.  Unlikely streaks and trends happen all of the time, so it all depends what you do about them which will determine how well you fare.

The Pope and the President Just Called…They Gave You Permission to Bet

If you stand at the craps table long enough, you get to see some amazing trend-swings that range from the mildly sublime to the truly ridiculous.

If you see a trend that is moving strongly in a certain direction, do you:

       Stand there shaking your head in disbelief.

       Refuse to bet into it because it goes against your betting philosophy.

       Refuse to bet into it because it appears to be too good to be true.

       Refuse to bet into it because other players might dislike your actions.

       Walk away muttering to yourself.

       Bet into it with an amount of money that is commensurate with the risk associated with the bet itself as weighed against the strength of the streak or trend.

For a savvy player, trends and streaks determine WHAT to do, and WHEN to do it:

       You can stand there shaking your head in disbelief all you want, but it is the very nature of this game that makes it susceptible to streaks and trends. 

       Some players don’t like to wager certain ways because it goes against their betting-philosophy or their don’t-rock-the-boat conscience.  If you only bet with the player, and never against the player; then you are only availing yourself to half of the game.  Likewise, if you are a confirmed dyed-in-the-wool Darksider, you are just as likely to be whip-sawed by the volatility of the game as much as any Rightsider.

       Some people feel self-conscious when they bet against a player.   In actual fact, you are betting against the house.  While tradition or peer pressure may hold you back, just ask yourself if those who would dissuade you from betting against a player are willing to cover your losses if you follow their narrow-view instead of your own wisdom.

       Instead of maintaining a one-dimensional approach, you might want to open up your horizons a little more.  By welcoming a greater width, depth and breadth of betting-possibilities, you unlock a greater number of profit-probabilities.

       You don’t have to like the fact that there will be streaks and trends that go against the way you prefer to bet, you just have to accept that it is part of the game. As your insight and intuitiveness increase, it exponentially advances your profit and your struggle to win lessens dramatically.

       If a streak or trend appears too good to be true, it doesn’t mean that you can’t bet with it.  By doing so, you aren’t going to jinx it or cause its quick demise.  While you truly never know when it is going to end, you might as well take full advantage of it while it is happening.  Just because something seems highly improbable, does not mean that it is completely impossible.  That is the very nature of streaks and trends.

You don’t need permission from the Pope or the President to make a wager…when the streak or trend dictates it…MAKE THE BET.

Reality of Odds…Actuality of Streaks

If a random-roller is popping 4’s like Robert Downey Jr. pops pills, or throwing 10’s like Jennifer Lopez throws tantrums; then the trend says, “Bet on the 4 or 10”.  In reality the odds of one or both of those outside numbers rolling again are exactly the same as they were before the shooter started rolling, and they’ll still be exactly the same at the end of his roll, so why should you be inclined to bet on it?

Ah, that brings up the quintessential question about trends and streaks:

How to Ride a Streak

A blisteringly-hot or polar-cold streak might come to an immediate and screeching halt on the very next decision, but betting into it while it is happening is as good a time as any to make a wager with the streak or trend.  If there is such a thing as a good time to bet or a bad time to bet, then betting on something when there is a lot of them occurring is as good a time as any.  Instead of bucking a trend, you go with it.  In the worst case scenario, it may not help, but it certainly can’t hurt.

How many times have you stood on the sidelines and said, “This can’t possibly continue”, only to see it continue.  After another five or ten long minutes, you disbelievingly shake your head and say the same thing again and again, only to see it carry on.  Those “do nothing, thumb-up-your-ass” methods may save you money because they keep your cash out of the fray and in your rail, but it certainly won’t help you to make any money.

If you never want to lose money when you go to the casino, then never make another bet.  On the other hand, if you are seeing the same rash of outcomes again and again and again, I’ve got to tell you folks, it’s prime time to bet.  Yes, it is still somewhat risky, after all we are talking about gambling here, however the predominance of outcomes are trending in our favor, so it’s a ripe time to harvest.

What we want to do is to pick the most opportune times to make our wagers.  Again, we are not talking about Precision-Shooting here.  We are talking about random-rollers who are tossing the dice while the gods of luck and fortune are smiling or frowning upon them.  We merely structure our bets to take advantage of the situation as the various trends and streaks unfold.

To paraphrase Nick “the Greek” Dandalos, “The best horse doesn’t always win, but that is always the best way to bet”.


To maximize your ability to jump on trends and streaks, you have to open up your eyes, ears and MIND to what is going on around you at all of the other tables, as well as the one you are actually on.  You have to increase your awareness of the ebb and flow of the dice and the moods, facial expressions and other trend-indicators at each of the other open tables.

In “Part III” of this series, we’ll take a close look at these factors in much finer detail, but for now, let’s continue:

Surfing from Trend to Trend

Can you look for a trend…ANY trend, and bet on it, then look for other trends that may emerge at your table or other nearby tables, and continuously surf from trend to trend to capitalize on them?

Quite simply…yes you can.

The point of all this is to recognize a trend, and then to capitalize on it before it slips away.  One of John Patrick's chief strategies involves moving from tables where he is losing to new tables where fresh circumstances await.  He recommends taking advantage of current differences in standard-deviation, not long-term averages.

By taking his method one step further, you are able to pick and choose WHERE you will make your next wagering attack to take full advantage of what is actually occurring NOW.  It allows you to ignore what will happen at every table over the long run, and allows you to take advantage of what is happening NOW!  Let’s take a look:

Cruising for HOT Tables

In my upcoming “Cheap Craps Guide – Part VI”, I talk about how some players cruise the downtown area just waiting for a hot hand to develop before jumping in with both feet and a full bankroll.  A number of them have an informal cellphone network set up so that if one guy sees a good hand developing, he’ll get on the phone and alert a couple of his buddies.  They in turn, each call a few others on their list.  Soon thereafter a horde of their buddies come a runnin’ with a handful of ready-to-bet cash.

There are indeed a number of full-time gamblers who make it their business to cruise from casino to casino looking solely for hot tables.  They have the patience, the money and the stamina to walk, wait and then pounce when they sense an opportunity.

They know that the game is so streaky that if you can catch the good streaks and ignore all of the others, then a savvy player can make huge amounts of money nearly every single day of the year. 

Another favored technique of patient players is to stake a place near the craps pit to watch all of the action at the tables.  They’ll wait until they see one of the tables start trending in a discernable direction that will “trigger” their betting action.  For more details of methods like this, you might want to check out my Walking with a Vegas Ghost - Part V  Or you can develop your own customized version of my:

Fremont Hot-Table Method

In my article of the same name, we talked about using the electronic roll-counter and the angled mirrors along the inner-wall on the stick-man’s side of the table to watch and track numerous games. 

It allows you keep an eye on other “proven” players, and track how a particular shooter is doing during his or her hand.  I’ll tell you right now, that tracking other Precision-Shooters can be much more profitable than any other table-tracking or table-trending method, bar none!

If part of your money-making arsenal includes watching other shooters and determining if they are “bet-worthy”; then this method let’s you keep track of several shooters at the same time.  Depending on your memory and the quality of each shooter, this method of “shooter-tracking” offers potent earning potential.

Opening Your Eyes, Ears, and Mind

You have to make the decision whether you are open-minded enough to take advantage of whatever trend you are seeing, or if you are happy and content to continue playing with your “half a chance on half a game” approach.

Skillful trend-trackers can determine if a hot-roll is developing at another table BEFORE most other people realize it has even begun.  People usually only notice when the roar of the crowd announces another Pass-Line winner at a nearby table.  

The savvy player that was standing beside you just moments before, is already deeply into the action on the hot table across the way.  In the blink of an eye, he is ready to pounce on an opportunity whenever and wherever it happens to be.   By watching other tables for signs of opportunity, he is usually able to get in on a hot table BEFORE it is jammed. Keeping your eyes and ears open to what is happening at the other tables, gives you a leg-up on getting in on long or hot-rolls. 

Astute players know that hot hands don’t come along very often.  Anything that will put them in the middle of the hot action MORE OFTEN (or cold action, if that is what they are looking for) is worth pursuing. 

I know that you don’t need to be reminded that once you get to the “hot” table, you have to bet unobtrusively and not disturb the pace or rhythm of the shooter, or let your anxiousness to bet be a distraction or interruption. 

As I just alluded to, it is just as easy to track and exploit cold-table trends as well as hot ones.  As always, you have to tailor your betting-methods and bet-amounts to properly suit your bankroll-size and risk-tolerance.

When the CHOP Settles In

The perennial question of what to do when there isn’t a discernable streak or trend in either direction always seems to come up.  As you know, the tables are choppy AT LEAST 40% of the time. 

If you hate playing the waiting game, just standing there doing and nothing as you wait for something to develop, then I would direct you to my Dodging Bullets As A Darksider article, so that you can see how I CONSISTENTLY profit from choppy or cool-trending tables. 

In the meantime, exploit those trends and streaks that come along, regardless of which side of the betting-equation they are on.

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.


The Mad Professor

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