By Mike In Hawaii
What is MetaCraps™. Well "Meta" is
something bigger, more inclusive, at least as I use the term. You
could talk about MetaRoulette or MetaBlackjack etc. In each case I
would be trying to say "The entire game and all its relevant
It is clear, and constantly pointed
out, that God Math, capital M math, to infinity and beyond!, absolute
Math, as many decimal places as you like Math, can easily prove that
there is no hope for you winning at Craps. Not in the long run.
It is the basis of what I call the "Dumbo
Paradox". Absolute Mathematical proof that professional gamblers who
play banked casino games like Craps cannot exist, any more than
elephants can fly. But such professional gamblers do exist. And yet
the Math is not wrong. So what is going on? This has been a difficult
question to answer.
Only one of two things is going on.
Either there are people who are supernaturally lucky, blessed, living
outside of any believable laws of Math and physics, or the problem is
stated incorrectly. The Math (God Math) is simply solving the wrong
Enter MetaCraps™. Imagine standing at
a Craps table looking at the chips, the felt, the betting areas, the
stickman, and the dice. You are seeing the game of Craps.
Now back up a few steps. Also see the
pit boss, the floor supervisor, the casino manager, your fellow
players, yourself. That is the realm of MetaCraps™.
I am sure you have seen those Russian
wooden nesting dolls. You open up the big one and inside there is a
smaller nearly identical one. Open that one and yep, inside is a
smaller nearly identical one. Some nested eight dolls deep or more.
MetaCraps™ is like that.
The tiniest Craps "doll" is the
single die, then a pair of dice, then all the combinations those dice
can roll, then all the numbers those combinations can add up to, then
all the bets you can make on those sums and the mechanics of betting
and playing Craps. Still more layers. There are the mechanism of
making bets, working with the dealers and the stickman, shooting the
dice when it is your turn. Eventually you work your way out to what
most people consider the game of Craps. Standing at the rail holding
chips, watching dice and making bets.
At this point all is mechanics. It is
at this point that Math (Capital M) can prove you are doomed! You are
playing a negative sum game and time is on the side of your opponent.
Fortunately MetaCraps™ does not stop
there. But the next few layers are difficult. They are harder to
quantify, less mechanical and worst of all, human. Humans are just not
very good at certain things. Many Craps players are not even aware
that this "outer realm" exists. However, it is these outer layers, the
game of Craps played outside the rail, where the player has his or her
greatest chance of leaving the table a winner. Consistently.
Does the Casino play MetaCraps™? You
bet they do! Just look. They have iron rules for the behavior of all
their employees who work at a Craps table. They have extensive
protocols for every little movement and constant watchfulness to see
that these protocols are followed every second. Then they have people
watching the people who are watching the employees. Above all are
cameras watching and recording everything. Why? Because the Casino
knows that Craps is more than dice, bets, felt, odds and chips. It is
a human game played by humans. Humans stand outside the rail.
And humans suck at discipline! Humans
make poor mechanical robots. Humans intrinsically hate rules. Humans
cut corners, are lazy and not always honest, especially around money!
But the Casino needs these humans to
run their Craps game. They put lots of time, effort and resources into
training and supervising these human components of the game of
MetaCraps™. Working to regiment them into proper gears and wheels that
can be counted upon to function as reliably as a pair of high quality
razor edged dice.
What about the players? Most let
their grasp of MetaCraps™ stop at the rail. They are undisciplined,
unsupervised, not necessarily well trained, and probably knocking back
the free booze. The Casino watches them carefully to ensure they are
not cheating nor disrupting the game. But otherwise the players are on
their own. The Casino wants them focused on playing from the rail
inward. They want them to shoot Craps, not play MetaCraps™.
So most players fail to even have an
awareness of the additional layers of MetaCraps™. These very parts of
the game hold the potential to turn them into winners. They are
probably experts at the mechanics of the game of Craps. But they are
focused on Craps from the inside out. They are fixated on the dice,
the bets, the felt, and the odds, the little mechanical stuff. Sure it
is essential stuff and a full grasp of it is important. But inside the
rail the Casino is in charge.
You should not play Craps from the
inside out! You must play Craps from the outside inward. At least if
you want to win. More than that, you cannot play MetaCraps™, the game
which you can win, just from the rail inward. You have to take a few
steps back and see yourself and the layers which you have to
bring to the game. You have to implement your own version of the
ingredients, the aspects of MetaCraps™, which every Casino in the
world implements every time they open a Craps table.
Discipline, betting routine, money
management, supervision, watchfulness and tight control of their human
element at all levels.
There are at least three additional
human levels in the game of MetaCraps™, levels which exist outside the
rail. Levels that only the player can implement for himself or
The first is betting strategy
or your pre-established routine for a given situation or set of
conditions. You should have already worked out how you are going to
bet at a cold table, what you are going to do if a table turns choppy,
how you are going to respond to a natural, etc. before you ever get to
the table. Let's hear it for WinCraps!
The second is money management
or your disciplined control of loss limits, win limits, and all the
things that ensure you will control your losses and quit while you are
ahead. Plus all the fiddly details of handling and keeping track of
your special gambling money.
The third is situational awareness
or your constant observation of the flow, the energy of this
particular table. Sometimes this gets downright mystical.
I like to think that if a person
applies themselves to being focused on what they are doing and what is
going on around them, they can get input from parts of their mind
which cannot speak, or use language. Half of our brain is like that
and it is perfectly capable of reasoning and "telling" us what to do.
But it has to use sensations, feelings, emotions, visions, images,
colors, other non-verbal nudges to try to get through to us. It can if
we expand our definition of "listen".
If your Craps game only exists from
the rail inward, you are missing the biggest, most important aspects
of the game. You must put time, effort and resources into training and
supervising YOUR human components of the game. If you want to win.
Who's in Charge
When we talk about MetaCraps™, we are
talking about not only Craps, the game most people "play", but also
the critically important aspects of the entire experience of gambling
at Craps which exist outside the rail.
These outside the rail components are
extremely important for two reasons. First these outside the rail
aspects give you the very best chance of being a consistent winner.
Second --- You get to make the rules!
Suppose you got to make the rules
inside the rail. How about "do-overs". You crap out on your come out.
Your new rule says you can yell "DO-OVERS" and shoot again. Or you
seven out on your first roll after you set a point. "DO-OVERS!" and
you get to shoot again.
BTW, this is a hypothetical. I
certainly would not recommend trying it at a real Casino Craps table.
Inside the rail is the domain of the Casino where they make the rules
and you have to figure out how to live with them as best you can.
But outside the rail is your private
domain. Most players just throw away this opportunity to define a
winning game for themselves. Probably because they have not done the
"step back" exercise and taken in the larger picture which is
Outside the rail you have several
problems and advantages, all of them human based. Because they are
human based, they rely on your personal will and discipline to first
make sensible rules and then enforce them on yourself. You can even
make rules that are based on more than just mechanical concepts. You
can tap into your human nature and special attributes. You can make
rules, establish procedures for yourself, which are more religious
Your rules can be extremely powerful.
Just one example illustrates this incredible power. From moment to
moment you get to decide how much to bet, how to bet, or even if you
are going to bet or not.
This last one is perhaps the ultimate
subjective rule. The one that determines whether or not you will even
bet. The Casino's game of MetaCraps™ certainly includes such
subjective rules. They also have the ultimate subjective rule. For any
reason, at any time, they can ask you to leave and not play any of
Back to business. Let's start with
just one small concept from Money Management. This is one of those
outside the rail shells, one of the most important of the nested
dolls. You have to define your own rules for Money Management and you
have to enforce them yourself. Some of them are simple math rules.
Some of the rules can be rather psychological or seem almost mystical.
But all have one thing in common. A
literal "Bottom Line". You create all of these outside the rail rules
and personal routines for the same reason you study intensely the
inside the rail aspects of Craps, to enhance your chances of winning
consistently. Here is a simple money management concept to start
Before there can be money management,
there has to be money. What kind of money? Gambling Money. How do you
create this special kind of money? You set it aside for this one exact
How many people gamble with just any
old money? How many players do not have two distinctly different kinds
of money with them in the Casino? How many people just reach into
their everyday wallet and pull out some of the money in there, hoping
they remember to leave enough for the buffet in a few hours?
I guarantee the Casino expects its
employees, its human components of the game of MetaCraps™ to have two
kinds of money. Their personal money which is in their wallets, with
which the employee buys lunch, takes the bus, pays his rent and phone
And the Casino's gambling money,
which the Casino regards as something extremely different. To prove
this an employee need only pocket a single chip of the Casino's
gambling money improperly. The only exception is a toke given by a
player and there are strict rules about how the employee handles that
to make it crystal clear this bit of Casino money is a tip and being
handled as a tip for all the world, the cameras and the supervisors to
You need think about money the same
way. You need to have Gambling Money which is different than all your
other everyday money, both in the accounting sense and the
I have a special metal lock box at
home that I use as
a piggy bank for my gambling money.
As I get a bit of
extra cash I can convert, I put that
cash in the special metal box, just like foreign
exchange, like I was converting it to Yen or Pesos. Money
becomes different when it goes into that box.
Just like a good accountant, I never
commit the sin of "co-mingling funds". When the gambling money goes to
the Casino it goes in a special second wallet. A really nice super
thin front pocket wallet bought just for this one purpose. It could be
a simple as a rubber band, or a large paperclip. As long as it is just
for keeping your gambling money separate and away from the everyday
money in your everyday wallet.
I always have a small notebook to
record every buy in for every game I gamble at. How much I bought in
for, and how much I cashed out. This may sound fiddly, but it is quite
If you do not keep your gambling
money separate and accounted for, you have no way of knowing how
much you are really winning or losing. Humans have wonderful
selective memory. Without some simple bookkeeping you will
remember your wins and forget your losses. It is just human
nature. You should always know how much of your gambling money you took
on any given trip to a casino, and how much you came back
Even more important, if you do not do
some simple record keeping, you have no way of being sure that none of
your non-gambling money is ending up on the table where it does not
What else is special about gambling
money? Here I shudder in horror. A legion of writers will tell you it
is money "You can afford to Lose". Saints preserve us!! No one can
afford to lose money. What a horrible karma, what a lousy vib, what a
Never let your mind set pre-defeat
you. Psychological concept #1 has to be:
Never Go to a
Casino to Lose Money
Gambling Money is "Money you can
afford to Risk". The very fact you can separate it out into a
special place like my metal gambling money box and leave it in there,
helps prove that it is money you do not need for essential day to day
Thus it is not "Scared Money". You do
not cringe when you drop it on a craps table and ask for chips. You do
not start out with your mind preoccupied with the specter of defeat as
you would if you played with everyday money you could not actually
afford to lose. Non-gambling money you should never be risking in the
first place. Your everyday money literally has no business being out
and about in a Casino's gaming area.
When you put gambling money on the
table to convert to chips, your mind is able to focus on the coming
contest. This is why that particular money exists. This is its defined
purpose in life. Your gambling money has been waiting for this moment
to take its chances, sally forth and bring back some of the Casino's
gambling money as prisoners.
"I once proved I could move a loaded railroad
boxcar by myself. I released the
brakes and started to push. It was like pushing a
brick wall. I pushed on it
as hard as I could for about a minute. Then I
became aware that there was
a give. And then a clear motion that built. And
be in low hold, It was rolling.
Very very slowly. But it went several feet before
it stopped. It was about
40,000 pounds. Maintain an even strain."
Mike In Hawaii
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