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The Zero Theory in Craps Games

Staying cool in the heat of the moment in Craps Table

By Frank Scoblete


How many craps players do you know who could stand at a table watching number after number come up that doesn’t involve their bet, and not start to think: “Maybe I should bet on some of the other numbers instead, because mine isn’t hitting.”


There will always be arguments between those who believe that math controls the long-term outcome of casino games, and those who believe “other forces” dictate whether we get lucky or go home busted. These “forces” might be trends, psychic intuitions, or simply a gut feeling.

The fact is, no one has looked into the depths of gambling the way I am about to. Dear readers, you are about to take a trip into the most advanced cross-disciplined mathematical analysis of casino games–craps in particular–ever devised, and this trip combines logic and consciousness in a way never thought of before. It is the melding of the arcane, the mathematical, and the scientific. And that’s quite a combination.

craps table

Why not just say “wow!” in advance–because your jaw is going drop in awe once I explain this revelation.

Okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but now that I’ve got your attention, allow me to explain.

To begin, the key concept you must understand is nothingness. As in, “nothing that has happened up until this point is going to influence the next roll of the dice.” If you can conceptualize this “nothingness,” you will realize the true nature of craps. And it will make you a better, and more focused, player.

Let me lead you by example: Let’s say you put a Place bet of $30 on the number 6. There are five ways that the 6 can show, which will win the bet for you, and six ways that the 7 can show, which would cause you to lose. So you’re looking at 11 ways you can win/lose this bet, in this moment.

That’s it. That is the game you are playing right now. If you’re an occasional blackjack player, your recent experiences at those tables have absolutely nothing to do with what is about to happen. Neither does your lucky (or losing) streak at the slot machines, or the roulette wheel you played an hour ago. The only thing that is relevant to you right now is whether the 6 or 7 appears on those dice in front of you.

And nothing else happening at your craps table has anything to do with your game which is, I repeat, rooting for the 6 to show and rooting against the 7.

Okay, let’s get deeper into the example:

A shooter is now throwing the dice and he rolls a 4, then a 5, then an 8, then a 9. What has happened in your particular game? Nothing. Zip! Zero! Since neither the 6 nor the 7 were thrown, there has been no game played by you yet. Those numbers that have been thrown could have been thrown on the table next to yours, or the table next to that table, or in the casino down the road. Or on Jupiter, for that matter.

In short, when nothing happens that affects you, nothing has happened.

Now what does the human mind, your mind, my mind, tell you about the table that you are at? The other players don’t act as if nothing happened; some might erupt into cheers, while others act nervous, as if the 7 is closer to appearing since another number just came up. You may start to get antsy; your hands might start sweating. But all of these mental and emotional reactions are for naught in your case, because nothing has actually happened. If every possible number besides the 6 or 7 comes up for the next hundred rolls, still, nothing has happened. Your game has not been influenced or affected at all.

But how many craps players do you know who could stand at a table watching number after number come up that doesn’t involve their bet, and not start to think: “Maybe I should bet on some of the other numbers instead, because mine isn’t hitting.” If you’re a craps player, can you be so cool as to understand that all those numbers have zero to do with the game you are playing?

Put into a formula, and it goes: 0+0+0 = 0. Yet for some reason, this is the hardest mathematical formula I’ve ever tried to learn in my gambling life.

But I have learned it. Yes, it has taken me two decades to learn because it is the hardest mathematical construct in all of casino gambling.

An extension of this construct is this one. A friend of yours tells you about a great roll he was on at the casino while you were taking a nap, or splashing around in the pool. You might get a little depressed and say, “I wish I was there,” as if you missed out on a score. But you missed out on nothing. Your friend didn’t miss out on your swimming or your nap, and you didn’t miss out on the big roll he experienced.

Otherwise, you would have to feel bad every hour of every day for the rest of your life, since right now, even as you read this, some craps shooter is having the roll of a lifetime.

There is a mathematical formula for this as well. In English first: “If you aren’t actually there, it’s the equivalent of a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it–and even if you hear about it, it still makes no difference because you weren’t there. A past event can’t be experienced by you, so nothing happened.”

This is 0+0+0+0+0 = 0.

So right now, start learning the nature of zero, because it will help your bankroll, your psyche and your emotional well-being. Remember: unless it happens to you, then nothing has happened at all.


Attend Frank Scoblete’s “Advantage Play Friday” in Las Vegas on October 21. Call 1-866-SET-DICE for information. Frank Scoblete’s newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines, which featuring advantage-play slots; and Casino Craps: Shoot to Win, which comes with a DVD showing unedited controlled throws. These books and others, including Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players and Beat Blackjack Now are all available from, at your favorite bookstore, or by mail-order by calling 1-800-944-0406.

The Zero Theory in Craps Games.

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