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The Magnificent Seven

The number seven is everywhere, from epic moments in history to the modern casino

By Frank Scoblete


7Seven is a magnificent number and one of the most profound in human history. You have Seven Heavens in Judaism and Christian theology with the Seventh Heaven being the highest heaven, often where God exists—or just below where God exists. The number seven has profound meaning in Hinduism and Islam too. You’ll even find smaller religions and philosophies honoring the seven by giving it a prime place in its hierarchy. Indeed the seven is a prime number even in mathematics.

There are Seven Deadly Sins (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony), none of which you want to commit if you know what’s good for you. Seven days of the week named after the Greek/Roman gods, goddesses or what later became known as the planets. Seven colors in the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet).

There are Seven Seas (Arctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian and Southern). And Seven Continents (North America, South America, Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa and Antarctica).

Also include the Seven Hills of Rome and the Seven Emperors of Rome and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; the Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

There are indeed more sevens in history than I can account for in this column but you get the picture. The number seven is important and it has been important for as long as mankind has been scribbling our thoughts.

In the casino the number seven also holds great importance and in craps it is the number one number of all. On the Come-out roll the seven will win for the Pass Line bettor and lose for the Don’t Pass bettor. The Come bettor will win on the seven and the seven will lose for the Don’t Come bettor. Once a Point is established the seven will lose for all right bettors (those betting with the shooter’s Point number) and win for all Don’t bettors (those betting against the shooter’s Point number).

Keep in mind that with all the numbers in those upper boxes (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10)everyone on any one or all of those numbers will lose if a dreaded seven is rolled. Just think, a craps player could have every one of those box numbers working (that’s 24 possible wins!) but the seven can wipe them all out. The opposite is also true. A player betting against those numbers will win if a seven is thrown.

True, some bets at craps are not determined by the seven. These would be the Crazy Crapper one roll bets such as the 2, 3,11 and 12. Interestingly enough, you can make a bet called the Iron Cross, which means you are betting every number in the game (that’s 30 possible wins) except for the seven and yet the seven can knock them all out just like that (snap your fingers here).

The seven is like a battle royal in wrestling. There can only be one ultimate winner and that winner is invariably the seven. It is the Incredible Hulk of the superheroes. If it’s on your side, great; if you are bucking it, not so great.

Craps players can also bet on the seven “straight up.” This is called Any Seven or Big Red—the particular color of the rainbow your bankroll will be if you make a habit of betting this proposition. The house edge is the un-seventh-heavenish 16.67 percent—an expected loss of $16.67 for every $100 wagered. That might certainly make you succumb to wrath.

Players who enjoy making the Fire Bet pray that the shooter can make every point number before sevening out. That Fire Bet is a wild proposition with a meaty house edge of between 20-25 percent. Translated: you will lose between 20 and 25 dollars for every $100 you bet on this burner.

Craps players who play the Don’t side of the board—they make up about five percent of all craps players—are often despised because the seven is thought to be the Devil. Yes, it is even called the Devil by right side players. So those Don’t players are not only despised, they are often thought of as in league with evil. Indeed, the other term for a Don’t player is Darksider; not a pleasant appellation.

Certainly, the seven has a long history of winning for slot players. Just think that one of the great slot machines is called Blazing Sevens. The machine even looked awesome; as if it were burning up in flames.


Frank Scoblete’s latest books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage Play Craps and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle and at your local book.

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