Discount Gambling

PlayCraps™ @ Viejas: A Counter’s Dream

Posted in +EV, card craps by stephenhow on September 8, 2009

I’m loving the PlayCraps™ (cards-based craps) game @ Viejas Casino. I just love watching each roll out of the CSM change the EV of the odds bet on my Don’t Pass bet. For each +4 change in the count (e.g., a (1,2) roll against a 4 point), I increase my Don’t Odds by 1 unit. Of course, I could just lay 10x odds for any positive count, but I’m really conservative. Still, I often see +16 counts, which gives me over a 1% edge on whatever Don’t Odds I decide to lay.

Since it’s obvious to absolutely everyone that I’m counting (out loud), the casino changed the dealing policy to shuffle in the muck as often as every roll. This changes nothing for me, since I’m dealing with a CSM anyways. As I’ve shown in previous posts, the only important thing to track is a trailing window of approx. 6 rolls. This morning, I started some simulations before heading off to win $80 in 4 hours laying small (1x, 2x, occasionally 3x) odds.

Player edge for laying Don't Pass Odds using a 6-roll windowed, fair-weighted count.

Player edge for laying Don't Pass Odds using a 6-roll windowed, fair-weighted count.

The graph shows the 6-roll windowed count using fair-weighted values (i.e., “good” rolls for the 4/10 points are 4x powerful than “good” rolls for the 6/8 points) is all the info you need for any point. This graph demonstrates the entire essence of advantage play for this game. It’s all you need to see to know the game is clearly beatable, and to see the inherent bias towards the Don’t Pass.

While the overall edge is small (laying 10x odds for any positive count yields 1% of the flat Don’t Pass bet per roll; i.e., $.05 per roll for a $5 Don’t Pass bet), the game is 100% fun. It’s really easy to estimate how good the count is from watching key cards for the point, and remembering back a few rolls. With practice, it’s just a matter of watching for a few key cards, and instantly pumping up, or backing off your Don’t Odds on a roll-by-roll basis. It’s much, much easier, faster, and rewarding than counting at blackjack, which requires an expertise few master. Watching for key dice combinations for a given point is child’s play comparatively.

I’m editing the main PlayCraps™ page, and I need to make some graphical example diagrams. We need more Don’t players at this game; all the pass line players are just donating to the house.

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