Where We’ve Been
In previous portions of this series, we looked at Streaks and Trends:
- What they are, how to recognize them, and how to find them.
- The “Math-guys” view versus a Players view.
- How to adjust betting-risks to suit your style and your bankroll.
- How I personally bet and profit from trends and streaks.
Where We’re Going
Now we are going to look at:
- How to find your type of trends.
- How to find more exploitable streaks.
- How to increase profit without increasing risk.
- How to avoid jumping too early or waiting too long.
- How to ride a streak, and when to “bail out” on a trend.
Open Your Eyes, and Open Your Mind
Keeping an eye on what is happening at various craps tables around the casino gives us a “leg up” on betting opportunities. By determining where each table is within its current streak and trend cycle, we can:
- Determine if there is a profit opportunity.
- Determine if it “fits” our personal gaming style and betting-methods.
By becoming more observant in the casino, we:
- Increase our insight and intuitiveness.
- Process good and useful information, while filtering out all the chaff (the useless crap).
- The key is to determine what is useful, from what is simply ordinary or mundane.
That brings us to our next trend and streak indicator:
My Introduction to Body Language
Whether it be the flirtatious d飯lletage (low-cut outfits) and come-hither smiles of the cocktail waitress, or the rapid, passionate breathing and flushed cheeks of your bed-mate, the quick blinking and nervous swallowing of a poker opponent, or the paleness of the fingernail cuticles of a police suspect; our body language is clear, concise and it speaks LOUDLY.
I remember hearing Steve Forte’s (author of “Read The Dealer”) account of body-language “tells” in a casino-context about twelve years ago at a gaming-industry conference. Forte was, and still is, one of the foremost experts on casino-cheating, video-surveillance, and he has written the Surveillance Operations manuals for a majority of the major gaming-corporations.
I had already read Mike “The Mad Genius” Caro's Book of Poker Tells with its 170 very enlightening photos, but I didn’t realize that there were some macro-tells or easy-to-read-from-a-distance indicators that could be applied to craps (and specifically to determining if a streak or trend was underway at a particular table). Yes, there are some “tells” or physical cues that players and casino employees give off to accurately indicate what is happening at their somewhat distant table.
Remember, this article is all about how you can find more of the exploitable streaks and trends, and how to capitalize on them once you locate them.
If you are observant, you can accurately “chart” a table from a distance based on what the body-language of the players, dealers, boxman and Table Supervisors are telling you.
Accuracy + Reliability = Improved Results
If you are looking for warm trending tables, body-language can tell you that. If you are looking for cold tables, body-language can tell you that. In some cases, “tells” are MORE RELIABLE and more ACCURATE than actually asking a player or dealer how things are going at a particular table. More importantly, it lets you play at one table, while ACCURATELY monitoring up to a dozen others at the same time.
Remember, we are looking for streaks or trends that may indicate a betting-opportunity for us. If you like hot tables, this method works. If you like cold tables, this method works. All you have to do is observe, and then jump in where and when it’s appropriate.
In a moment I’m going to list a couple of things that you can look for, but honestly, I can’t do proper service to the body of work that Steve Forte has done on this subject. So if you are interested in giving it some further consideration, his book is available here.
The first thing that you will become alert to is the heightened awareness of what is happening all around you. For noticing streaks and trends, this is a very good thing, but while you are making your own Precision-Shooting roll, you will want to turn off or at least scale back your broader awareness levels so that you can focus on the dice throwing task at hand.
Players May Lie, But Body-Language Doesn’t
Body-language is a more accurate gauge of bettable streaks and trends than if you ask other players at a new table, because:
Players usually downplay or exaggerate their own losses.
- Both players and dealers tend to embellish what has just happened, or underplay what is currently happening.
- No matter what a person’s response is, it has to be tempered with the fact that THEIR perception of what is Hot, what is Cold, and what is Choppy, may vary widely from your own definition.
- Dealers will sometimes tell you the truth about it being ice-cold and to stay away, but often times they’ll overstate how dismal the situation is, simply because they want to stand at a dead table and crossfire (chat) with other dealers.
- If you aren’t known as a good tipper, or you ARE KNOWN as a high-maintenance player (lots of Hop and Prop bets, turning bets on, off and down with multiple regressions, progressions, parlays, etc.) then they may try to dissuade you from joining their table. What better way than to tell you that the table is cold as ice?
- Even prospective table-mates may discourage you from joining their table, simply because they want to shoot the dice more often, so they’ll tell you that the table is cool or fairly choppy in the hope that you’ll seek greener felt pastures.
A Small Example
A professional Precision-Shooting friend of mine specifically seeks out empty tables and looks to start up new tables at a dealer shift-change when casinos generally open more games. He’ll be the solo-shooter and will actually tip the dealers to keep the “Win Calls” at a low volume. A Win Call is when the player throws a PL-winner and the stickman loudly calls out the win. My friend tips LARGE to have them keep their win-calls to barely a whisper. Similarly, if players from adjoining tables look over in curiosity as the chip-count in his rails keep growing; he’ll shake his head in mock irritation, exasperation and frustration ALL IN HIS EFFORTS TO KEEP THEM AWAY! Now how honest do you think he’s going to be if you ask him how the table has been trending?
Okay, I’ll admit that he is a bit of an eccentric and extreme example, but he is one exceptionally talented shooter, and he knows how to make a ton of money at this game, so I can’t really fault his selfish logic. He’s got a good thing going, and he’s not all that keen to share it or dilute it with the interruptions of other players.
How Does This Relate to Streaks and Trends?
The idea behind this whole series is to better equip you with ways to find and exploit more streaks and trends more often.
First, we agree that it is important to recognize as many streaks and trends as quickly and accurately as possible.
Second, you can only be in one place at one time. If you are playing at one table, you may be missing out on the perfect streak at another table, and not even know it is happening. Oh, you’ll hear about it when it is over, but you should be over there betting on it NOW!
Third, you can cruise around until you find an exploitable trend, but once that is played out, you have to recommence your hunt.
Fourth, when you see a trend or streak that you may want to get in on, you may not be able to, simply because several other players have clued in as well, and there aren’t any open spaces for you to squeeze into.
Body-language “tells” from other players at other tables will help you find those opportunities more quickly and more often.
By carefully monitoring body-language of the players, dealers and pit staff at other tables, we are better able to recognize an actionable-trend BEFORE it turns into a streak that ANYONE can decipher. In addition, we can jump into an exploitable streak before everyone else in the casino realizes that a particular table is turning in the “roll of the week”.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few body-language “indicators”.
The Body-Language of Trends
Like I stated a few moments ago, I can’t do justice to the body of work that has been done on this subject, so let me list just a couple of possible tell-tale signs that may indicate one trend or another.
- Players are hunkered down leaning on the rail. Many of them have their hands clasped as though they are praying.
- Most players and dealers are standing with very poor posture.
- Dispirited, pale, blank expressions and vacant stares are on several players faces.
- Players stepping a foot or two away from their rail position.
- Several players looking up from their game and towards other games in hopeful search of better opportunities.
- Rubbing of faces or other body parts.
- Nervous excitement and rapid hand/arm movements.
- Slow rocking back and forth in place.
- Standing up straight with arms crossed.
- Open-mouthed sighing.
- Shaking of heads in disbelief.
- Looking skyward for divine intervention.
For a full explanation of each of these elements, and what they mean to you when observed from afar, I would recommend further study on your part.
Where It Fits In
So far in this series we’ve looked a dozen or so ways for you to find and exploit more trends and more streaks, more often. Body-language is another tool that you can use in those efforts. While it isn’t the be-all and end-all of determining what is happening at other tables, you should consider adding it to your tool-set.
Your Personal Gaming Style
Once you determine that there is a streak or trend in progress, you then have to determine whether you want to take advantage of it or not. Just because you SEE an opportunity, doesn’t mean that you can or will take advantage of it.
If you are a died-in-the-wool Darksider, you may see a hot roll in progress, but may choose not to bet into it. Similarly, how many “rightsiders” will continue to dump money onto the table during a cold-streak? As each new bet gets hit by an iceberg of Titanic proportions, many Pass-Line and Place-bet players will continue to see their money swallowed up by the seemingly bottomless ocean tide of frigid casino waters. Do they change their tactics and go with the flow? Sadly, very few do.
Likewise, if a rash of Horn Numbers (2, 3, 11, & 12) show up during the middle of a roll, how many are too conservative to take a “flyer” on it? No, that DOES NOT mean that every time you see a Horn number that you have to start haphazardly throwing money at it. To the contrary, that is a terrible bet. However, if you are seeing a disproportionate number of them all within a very short time frame (especially one right after the other); then it may be as good a time as any to make one or two low cost wagers. For another view on the true costs of the “See a Horn, Bet a Horn” philosophy you’ll want to look at D'ya Wanna Win, or D'ya Wanna Gamble? Part II.
Increased Awareness = Increased Profit-Potential
Just because you SEE a streak or trend, does not mean that you WILL take advantage of it. If it doesn’t fit into your current gaming style, that is fine. If your current tracking and trending methods are falling short on the profit scale; then it could be because you are SEEING the streaks and trends but you aren’t taking proper advantage of them.
As these new methods are slowly integrated, you will notice that you will become increasingly aware of what is happening at each table, more quickly. In addition, you’ll be able to assess whether what you are seeing in the current dice-cycle is to your liking, or whether you should move on to other layouts where the dice may be in a more favorable trend.
This awareness does not come easily.
Although the learning curve varies from person to person, one fact remains constant. The more aware you are of what is happening at each table, the better “enabled” you are to jump in on a streak or trend which fits into your betting plans.
Increased awareness equates to increased profit potential. From that point on, it is up to you whether or not you take advantage of it.
A Hidden Gem
You know how video-game makers bury “Easter egg” bonus features into their software. Well if you’ve read this far in this series, I’ll give you an Easter egg that isn’t even buried, it’s just placed here to reward you for hanging in so far.
A little earlier in this article, I mentioned Steve Forte and his role as a surveillance advisor to most of the major gaming corporations. What I didn’t tell you is that Steve Forte is probably in the Top 10 BEST Precision-Shooters IN THE UNIVERSE!
Let me qualify that.
Forte demonstrates dice-cheating in his training videos, and as part of his casino-security seminars. It isn’t unusual for him to throw half-a-dozen 12-Midnights IN A ROW when he is demonstrating his “illegal” tosses.
That’s what he shows IN his closed-to-the-public seminars (which are only open to authorized casino-personnel).
What he shows OUTSIDE of the seminars to close friends and associates is his ability to make very predictable and consistently LEGAL throws. Forte accomplishes results that, while not nearly as good as his illegal throws, shows a constancy and reliability that is almost as good as mine.
Forte is a close associate to my friend Mel whom I have written about extensively in my Vegas Ghost and Mini Table Tour series. Over the past decade or so, I’ve seen Steve in action close to a couple dozen times on closed tables, or seminar layouts or friends basements; and I can tell you that if he chose to venture onto the players side of the table, HE COULD MAKE A FORTUNE.
Of course, Forte cannot gamble at any of the casinos where he advises, and he CHOOSES not to gamble ANYWHERE at all. However, if he did, I can tell you that he would definitely be in MY Top 10 for “ohmyGAWD” consistency.
I tell you all of this because it is something to keep in mind next time you read someone’s arbitrary and self-serving list of who they think the best shooters in the world are, or rather who they are PROMOTING as the best shooters in the world.
We still have a lot of territory to cover in our journey of discovering more profitable ways to utilize streaks and trends. Up next, we’ll look at:
- How to find the Warmest-Trending Casinos and the HOTTEST tables.
- The natural life-expectancy of a trend or streak.
- Exactly HOW Trend-Spotters take advantage of the streaks and trends when they come along.
- A layman’s look at Probability Flux and Consecutive Occurrences.
Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor
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