The Dark Knight
Joining the darkside of craps
By Frank Scoblete
Ninety-five percent (or more) of craps players are Rightside bettors, also known as Do players. That means they are betting that the shooter makes his Point before a seven shows and/or they are betting numbers they want to hit before the seven shows. At almost any craps table, you will find an overwhelming presence of Rightsiders. Indeed, this type of bettor may be the only ones betting on a craps game.
But there is another side to the game, the Don’t player, also known as the Darksider. This player is betting that the seven will show; that the shooter’s Point won’t be made and/or he is betting against certain numbers. The Darksider is generally despised by Right-side craps players because they think the Darksiders want the Right-siders to fail.
It is rare that we gambling writers give much time to Darkside players since they really are a mere fraction of the craps playing public. However, Darkside betting can be interesting as long as the Dark-sider is not easily cowed by his fellow craps aficionados often glaring at him during a session.
I think there is a great way to play the Dark-side which gives the player a decent shot at winning and also a guaranteed shot at saving his gambling bankroll over time. My Darkside strategy is short and sweet. The only bet you are going to make is one Don’t Come bet, and lay odds on it if you like.
You do not want to make a Don’t Pass bet because if the shooter knocks you off on the Come-Out roll (he rolls a seven or 11), your tendency will be to go up on that shooter right away. I don’t want you to do that.
With the initial placement of the Don’t Come, if the shooter rolls a seven, you will lose but the shooter will have sevened out. You won’t be able to bet on him again because the dice are being passed to the next shooter. The only draw-back here is the fact that if the shooter rolls an 11 you will lose but unfortunately the same shooter will have the dice. Here you must exercise true discipline and not bet another bet on this shooter.
The idea is one bet on one shooter. You are not to make multiple bets on the same shooter. Once you are on a number the game turns heavily in a Darksider’s favor since the seven has an edge over every number during the Point cycle of the game.
Keep in mind the Darksider is in great danger only at the beginning of his wagering sequence since he loses on the 7 and 11(eight ways to lose) but he only wins on the 2 and 3, with the 12 being a push. So he has a mere three ways to win. Eight ways to lose; three ways to win – that is a tough situation.
However, it all turns around when the Darksider is on a number. Now he has six ways to win on the seven against three ways to lose on the 4 and 10 (a 2-to-one edge); six ways to win on the seven against four ways to lose on the 5 and 9 (a 3-to-2 edge) and six ways to win on the seven against five ways to lose on the 6 and 8 (a 6-to-5 edge).
As to placing odds on the Don’t Come, I go around and around on this issue. The odds bet has no house edge. If you are betting a $10 Don’t Come then you take the long end of the odds on the number—that means you have to bet more money to win less. So you must put 2-to-1 in odds if the number is a 4 or 10; and 3-to-2 in odds if the number is a 5 or 9; and 6-to-5 in odds if the number is a 6 or 8.
So should you take odds? Your choice. The math says yes but that is contingent on how much you want to have at risk at any given time in the game. Even without a house edge the volatility of craps can do severe damage to an inadequate bankroll.
Another benefit with my short and sweet strategy concerns how you lose your money. No shooter who goes on an epic roll can severely damage your bankroll. He can only beat you once.
Yes, you can have shooter after shooter knock you off but that will take a long, long time. One bet is bankroll protection. I think it is a wise way to play.
So for those of you who wish to be Darkside Knights, give my strategy a try. You might enjoy playing this way. Oh, and do ignore those looks from the Rightside players.
Frank Scoblete’s latest book is I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps. Available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and at your local bookstore. Frank would love to give you a free copy of his book The Virgin Kiss to celebrate his quarter century as a casino player. Just email him your address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he will get the book out ASAP.