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Is it wise to base your betting decisions on “qualifying events?”


Are such events truly an indicator that the player has the edge over the house at that moment? Generally, no—they have zero impact on the house edge. It doesn’t matter how you arrived at the decision, because luck will determine the outcome, and math determines the house edge.


Casino players are forever trying to figure out the most advantageous time to place their wagers.

Should I wait for two blacks to appear before I bet red, since red would then be due? Or should I wait for two blacks to appear in row, and then try to ride that hot streak? If numbers appear in one column on the roulette layout, should I bet that column or jump to a different column?

These scenarios which prompt players to change up their bets are known as “qualifying events.” As there are many different types of players and styles of play, there are countless qualifying events that are used to determine the appropriate time to risk money on Lady Luck’s largesse. But let’s not kid ourselves—this manner of betting is mostly based on hoping to get lucky.

Are such events truly an indicator that the player has the edge over the house at that moment? Generally, no—they have zero impact on the house edge. It doesn’t matter how you arrived at the decision, because luck will determine the outcome, and math determines the house edge.

Casino Players

Still, there is one thing these qualifying events tend to have in common: they slow down the total number of wagers the players make, and thus using such events will slow down their rate of loss—even though the house edge remains the same.

Now let’s take a look at some methods players use for qualifying when and how to bet. With many games, players use a trend-betting system. If two, three or more of the same event occurs, they will bet on that same event continuing, or against it. You see this in the roulette examples I gave above, but variations of this happen all the time at the blackjack tables, and with other card games as well.

In a blackjack game, if the dealer busts once or twice or three times in a row, you might jump into the game figuring he will bust again. This is called following a positive trend. Conversely, if you’ve just watched him beat all the players three hands in a row, you might place a large bet with the assumption that he’s “due to bust.” You might also decide to raise or lower your bets as you play, based on such trends as high cards coming out together, low cards coming out together, a the dealer getting two blackjacks in a row, the dealer getting two hands of 20 in a row…and so on.

In baccarat, Pai Gow poker, Caribbean Stud, Let It Ride, Three-Card poker and many of the other “carnival games,” you can sit out hands and use a trend-betting system to determine when to jump into the fray. There is no rule that says you have to play each and every hand. During a game, you can also raise your bet if you have won several hands in a row, or lower your bet if you’ve lost several hands in a row.

Of course, you can also lower your bet in response to winning several hands in a row if you figure your little hot streak is due to end—or raise your bet after a few consecutive losses, figuring the tide has to turn.

At craps, there are a wide variety of qualifying events that you can use to decide which numbers or propositions to wager. If several Crazy Crapper bets such as the 2, 3, 11, or 12 have been rolled, you can jump on this trend if you feel those numbers are getting hot. You can decide to bet multi-bet Crazy Crapper bets such as the Whirl, the Horn, or the C&E, if such groups of numbers seem to be showing a lot.

Many players like the shooter to make a point before they bet. Some take the bull by the horns and ask the dealers before cashing in, “Is this table hot or cold?” If the dealer says, “Hot,” the player jumps in figuring the table will stay hot—or he can choose not to jump in, figuring the table won’t stay hot much longer.

To me, the best qualifying event in the game of craps is called the Captain’s 5-Count, a method used to determine which shooters to bet on and which shooters not to bet on. It’s a strictly mechanical method that doesn’t require any thought. When a shooter gets past the 5-Count, you bet. You don’t have to fret over whether the table is currently hot, or cold, or due for a change. Interestingly enough, the 5-Count will reduce the number of random rolls a player bets on by a whopping 57 percent—a nice money saver.

Card counters at blackjack use a simple formula to determine when to raise and lower their bets. If the game favors them at a given moment, depending on which cards have been played, the card counter bets more. If the game favors the house at that moment, they bet less. This is the only qualifying system that actually works to give the player the edge.

Otherwise, there’s really no science behind qualifying events. They won’t change the odds of the game, or influence the next roll of the dice or turn of the cards. But trying to spot patterns and capitalize on them can inject some extra excitement, and winning is even more fun when one of your predictions pans out.

Frank Scoblete’s newest book is Casino Craps: Shoot To Win!, which can take you from novice to dice controller. It comes with a DVD showing unedited controlled throws. Meanwhile, Scoblete’s Beat Blackjack Now! takes you from novice to advantage player with the easiest advantage-play method ever created.  They’re available at; your favorite bookstore; or by mail-order by calling 1-800-944-0406. Want a free brochure, too? Just call the above number.

Trend Spotting in Casino.

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