Main | Streaks, Trends and Opportunity Part II »

Streaks, Trends and Opportunity - Part I

 

A young blonde went to Las Vegas . She played in the casino for about an hour, but lost heavily, so she went up to her hotel room.  After settling in, she was thirsty and went to the soda machine in the hall.  She put $1.00 in and a Pepsi came out, she put another $1.00 in and another Pepsi came out, she put one last $1.00 in and another Pepsi came out.

A man was walking down the hall and she asked him if he had change for $20.   He said, “Sure, what are you doing?"  The blonde said: "Duh!!  Winning!!!"

In This Article

We have a look at both Streaks and Trends:

-   What they are.

-   How to find them.

-   The “Math-guys” view.

-   The Players view.

-   How to recognize them.

-   Finding trends and riding streaks.

-   Adjusting risk to suit your style.

-   Conservative  -vs-  Aggressive approaches.

-   How “smart-money” bets.

-   How I profit on trends and streaks.

Definitions

Trend:          (noun).

-   The general direction in which something tends to move.

-   A general tendency or inclination.

-   To extend, incline, or veer in a specified direction.

Streak:         (noun).

-   An inherent, often unexpected and contrasting quality.

-   A brief run or stretch, as of luck.

-   An unbroken series, as in wins or losses.

-   An unbroken series of events.

My Interpretation

As you can see, these two words are NOT interchangeable.  Just because a table is trending “warm” does not mean that you are involved in a streak.

On the other hand, an ice-cold trending table can be interrupted by a couple of players who throw flame-hot streaks of two or three-dozen Inside Place numbers without ever repeating their Pass-Line Point.  In that case, “Don’t” bettors still profit, but so do the savvy and careful Place bettors who wait to see how each new hand develops before jumping in with two fists full of chips.

It all depends which side of the streak or trend you are on, and whether you want to fight it; go with the flow, or simply stand there and do nothing.

In either case, it doesn’t guarantee that you will make a profit if you bet with the shooter or against him.

Trends tend to tell us:

-   Where we have been.

-   Where we are now.

-   Where we may be going.

Streaks tend to tell us:

-   What happened in the past.

-   What appears to be happening now.

-   What may happen in the future.

 

Math Guys & Gamblers Agree…Streaks Occur in Craps

There are two opposite schools-of-though that share the same data, but interpret it quite differently.

The “Math” View:

“Math guys” will tell you that streaks do occur, and that they fall within the realm of standard deviation.  They will also tell you that at the end of infinity, all the dice-numbers that are supposed to roll, will have “evened out” to their mathematically-perfect expected rate-of-occurrence.  Before the end of eternity (sic), they agree that there will be streaks, but you will never be able to predict:

-   When a streak will happen.

-   How long the streak will last.

-   When the streak will end.

In addition to all of that, they will opine that there is no such thing as “trends”, and instead, there will be short, medium and long streaks that are interspersed by an equal number of opposite streaks of short, medium and long length.  

For example, you may have two losses, and three wins followed by two losses.   Then you have two wins and four losses, followed by three wins, three losses, four wins, and then one more loss.  You have 12 each on the win and loss column, and neither side dominated. If “choppiness” is a trend, then that particular sequence embodies it, yet some people would suggest that there were indeed some mini-streaks in there that most astute players (both “do” and “don’t” sides) could derive profit from.

In “Part Two” of this article, we will look at several betting methods that will consistently bring you out on the positive side of the profit equation when you encounter choppy tables.  Keep in mind that you will be in the middle of a choppy series about 70% of the time you are at the tables, so it behooves you to learn a few tricks of the pro crap players trade.

 

The Players View:

Savvy players see the “math guys” standard deviation stuff from a different perspective.

They reason that streaks, both good and bad, occur all of the time. And while there is no way of knowing when one will occur, they are generally smart enough to know when they are in the middle of one.  It is like the Supreme Courts opinion on the meaning of “pornography”.  While they agree that it is hard to define, they certainly “know it” when they see it.

Most seasoned-gamblers will tell you that the most astute players pick up on a trend BEFORE it becomes a streak and THAT is where the real money is to be made.  They’ll say that the smart money sees the streak coming (by way of a trend) and the players who are most aware of the trend (and the developing streak), jump on it fairly early and profit the most.

Is it a Bird, Is it a Plane, or is it a STREAK?

When you have randomness you also have streaks, but most people only recognize when:

-   They are in the middle of a streak, or,

-   Near the end of an easily recognized trend.

Why is that?

Most people have to see a number of “similar-outcome” random results before they determine that there is indeed a “trend” developing, or that a certain set of “similar-outcome” sequences have matured into a “streak”.

If you use a sports analogy, it’s easy to see:

-   If a baseball team has won 7 of their last 10 games, then we could probably say that they are trending toward the winning side.  On a craps table, we would probably describe this as a “warm” trend.

-   If a baseball team has won 6 games in a row, then we could say that they are on a “winning streak”.  On a craps table, that would equate to “hot streak”.

But if a team wins approximately half of their games without any seeming rhyme or reason to when they win or how they lose, then we call them the Chicago White Sox (81 wins, 81 losses, .500 pct).

 

Why It’s Easier to Recognize a Streak Than a Trend

When a player has thrown eight consecutive Pass-Line winners, it doesn’t take a genius to know that you are seeing a “hot” streak.  Likewise, if the dice circle the table three times without anyone making a Pass-Line winner, or anyone throwing more than three or four rolls apiece; then it doesn’t take a genius to know that your are seeing a “cold” streak.

Unfortunately, trends are subtler than streaks.  So how do we see them better, and what do we do when we see them?

Some of the answers to that question are found in my Raising Your Consciousness and Fattening Your Wallet series of articles.   At the craps table, there are usually substantial profit opportunities lurking nearby, you just have to make disciplined, unemotional betting decisions and controlled, intelligent strategy choices to obtain that profit.  We’ll cover those tactics and strategy thoroughly in “Part Two” of this article.

 

Finding TRENDS, and Riding STREAKS

Knowledgeable players believe that the secret to profitable gambling is in anticipating and exploiting those streaks, and avoiding all but the luckiest (or most skillful) of shooters.  They also advise that you should keep playing a streak until lady luck stops blowing kisses up your leg.

On the contrary, math guys will say that even if you increase your bets when you hit a streak, you can expect to lose as much as guys who risk the same total, but never vary their bets at all.  Of course, my substantial bankroll begs to differ with them.  Then again, most of the math-guys will never realize that, because they are over at the BJ-21 tables getting their dicks handed back to them on the casinos un-comped standard-deviation platter.

Some people like to bet AGAINST a streak or a trend.  Dark-siders will always rely on the old saw, “Everyone 7’s-Out eventually”.  While the bright-eyed right-sider will always try to find hope and salvation in the, “It’s got to turn around sometime” prayer. 

In both cases, their statements are correct, but their bankrolls usually show the nasty scars of too many lost battles.  Mostly, the “trend-spotters” will tell you that they jumped too early on what “looked like” a trend, only to see it peter-out or reverse too quickly.  Or they will admit that they loaded too much money on what turned out to be a short-lived and unprofitable streak.  Often times, a dark-siders max-Odds “everyone-always-7’s-Out” smugness fades away when some unlikely “he-looks-like-a-born-lose” type of character unleashes an unexpected bunch of DP-destroying Pass-Line winners.

In both cases, ignoring the trend or bucking a streak can be murder for your money.

 

Tracking Trends and How People Bet Them

Some seasoned players each use their own trend-tracking methods to determine:

-   When to begin betting.

-   When to increase their bets.

-   When to reduce their bets.

-   When to call their bets “off”.

-   When to call their bets back “on”.

-   When to take down all removable bets.

-   When to change the “side” they are betting on.

-   When to abandon the game completely.

It is this type of trend-tracking that some players rely upon to decide virtually all of their betting-moves at the craps table. Following that same logic, the gambling-guys also reason that the most astute amongst them can predict with just when a streak should, or likely will, come to an end.  Again, in “Part Two” we will take a closer look at those methods, and the indicators which “trigger” bet-changes.

 

Adjusting Risk to Suit your Style.

Probably the most difficult task is determining WHEN a trend is actually developing into a streak that can be capitalized on.  For example, an unbroken string of one-win IS NOT a streak.  On the other hand, it may be the beginning of a “warming” trend, but is it too soon to switch sides, start betting or to press your current bets higher? 

While each random throw is unrelated to one another, it doesn’t mean that a string of unrelated throws can’t or won’t end up forming a discernable trend or streak.  Of course, it also doesn’t mean that it will.

Some people will start pressing-up their bets after a shooter has thrown two Pass-Line winners, while others will wait for a couple more wins.  Like I said earlier, trends confirm what has happened in the past; what is happening now, and possibly (and hopefully) what will continue to happen in the future.  Of course there is no way of knowing whether we are in the beginning, middle or just about at the end of a trend or streak.

Some people make a ton of money when the tables are hot.  They press-up their bets like there is no tomorrow.  Risk-oriented players will seek ever-higher profits without locking-up much in the way of actual profit.  In the hope and pursuit of higher-profit, they hope against hope that this is THE hand that will reach mythical proportions in both its length and profit.  Unfortunately that is rarely the case. 

Astute players will bank profit in their rail with virtually every hit.  They know that having more money exposed on the layout means the LESS locked-in profit they will have when the inevitable 7-Out shows up. 

While the astute player presses their bets, they do so in a more reserved and methodical way.  This is a fairly conservative way to make more and more money, while still taking ever-increasing advantage of a hot streak. 

It takes a mature and disciplined adult to make carefully balanced on-going decisions as a roll progresses.  Early greed leads to an early bankroll grave.  If you bet too aggressively, too early, your money generally erodes before you catch a REAL streak that you can pummel and squeeze into the sweet-nectar of substantial profit.

I’ve used “hot” streaks in my examples, but the savvy player can also take equal advantage of a cold-streak.  He realizes that sometimes the dice will 7-Out with frightening regularity.  In that event, a player can choose to buck the trend, or bet with it or stay on the sidelines.  The professional player will make either of the last two choices.  He’ll either bet with the trend, or he’ll keep his money safely in his rack until the table turns to a friendlier trend that he feels is worthy of betting on.

 

Why Conservative-Betting Beats Aggressive/Impatient-Betting

If winning money consistently (without huge wins and huger losses) is too conservative for you, then you may want to quietly do some soul-searching to determine just why you are gambling in a casino.

If the pleasure you get out of PLAYING outweighs the importance of WINNING; then go ahead and bet on anyone who picks up the dice.  However, please understand that I take the opposite view of that.  

I am in a casino to make a profit, and when I win (19-out-of-20 sessions) I find it both pleasurable and entertaining.  For me, losing doesn’t carry any pleasure.  If it does for you, then perhaps the catharsis (the washing and cleansing effect) that losing has on you is exactly the type of punishment and unworthiness that your soul, psyche and conscience craves.  If you use casino-gaming as an expensive, yet entertaining hobby, then go ahead and enjoy the “cost” of your hobby.  I play to win, and I play for the profit that my winning brings in.  Now THAT is fun!

If I lose, then I am certainly not pleased, and I certainly don’t find it entertaining.  On the other hand, if you enjoy losing, then enjoy yourself because the casino is a perfect place for that.  However, that would lead me to ask you exactly why you are reading a website like this.

Just because you CAN bet on every player who picks up the dice, there is no rule that says you HAVE TO.

I’ll have a much more detailed look at the psychology of winning and the mind-set of losing in my upcoming “Eager To Play…Eager To Lose” article.

 

How the Smart Money Bets

I don’t know about you, but if I only bet on hot streaks (and hot shooters) and I lay off all of the other random-rollers, I invariably end up with MORE money, not less! 

Even though I bet less dollars, I end up with much more profit. 

That isn’t a coincidence, and it certainly isn’t because I’m on a twelve-year lucky streak.  It’s part of my well-formulated method that helps keep more of my bankroll as MINE, and helps convert some of the casinos bankroll into MY profit.

The excitement for me is in the winning, not in the chase.

Some people complain that my betting methods are too conservative for their liking.  I can understand that; but I HATE losing my money.  It does not mean that I am afraid to bet; it’s just that I am very selective on WHO I bet on, WHEN I bet on them and HOW I bet on them. 

Being selective on how you use your money is just plain smart.  

Betting on every player is exactly what the casino wants you to do.  That is precisely how they grind almost everyone into casino dust.  Professional craps players know how to avoid that pitfall.

Pros seek out the “hot” hands, and are able to stay in the game without losing much, if any, money on the choppy-trends of random-rollers.   They recognize a trend that is showing some promising “warmth”, and they are savvy enough to jump on it as it turns into a bona-fide hot streak.  It is that type of conservative play that can uniquely position you to make a very decent living from this game. 

While I might miss out on some short-lived trends, I mostly avoid the constant and costly choppiness of most tables.

Remember:

-   Astute players pick up on a trend before it becomes a streak.

-   Savvy players usually, but not always, see a streak coming by way of the prevailing trend.

-   Players who bet intelligently on VALID trends and streaks tend to profit most consistently.

Part of my longevity in being able to play this game full-time, has come from catching some truly spectacular “hot-streak” hands.  I seek out and exploit hot streaks as much as possible.  I actually find them, and bet on them with a regularity that would surprise most casual observers.   Again, we’ll take a very close at that in “Part Two”.

It is important to remember:

-   The less I chase formative, but undeveloped trends, the more money I end up with at the end of a session.  That simply means that you don’t bet too early or too much on what looks like a developing trend or streak.

-   The less I bet on wildly gyrating choppy tables, the more money I end up with at the end of a session.  A lot of times, the best bet is keeping your money securely parked in your rail. 

-   If you insist on wagering on choppy tables, then your bets should be at their rock-bottom minimum until something tangible develops (by way of a strong trend or a firm streak).  Of course, you can blithely ignore my advice, and continue your losing ways…after all, it is your money…for now.

 

When the Music is Over

What a player does when the hot streak is over is just as important as what they did while it was happening.  Do you stick around hoping that the hot trend continues with the next shooter, or do you color-in and get the hell outta’ Dodge?

It doesn’t really matter if you consider yourself a right-side-bettor or a darksider.  For any player who stays in the game and continually bucks a streak or a trend, the results are usually the same.  Bankroll-devastation is an equal opportunity destroyer.

What to DO, When…

In “Part Two” of this article, we’ll look at:

-   How to increase your chances of finding your type of trends.

-   How to increase your chances of finding your type of streaks.

-   How to increase your profit without increasing betting risk.

-   How to avoid jumping too early or waiting too long.

-   How to ride a streak.

-   When to “bail out” on a trend.

 

Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

The Mad Professor

Copyright © 2007-2008

 

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 20, 2006 10:56 PM.

The next post in this blog is Streaks, Trends and Opportunity Part II.

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