The thing about craps tournaments is that you have a very limited time in which to prevail over your opponents.
Therefore it is important that you not only choose your betting-method weapons wisely, but that you wield your weaponry in a compelling, convincing and ultimately triumphant manner.
Ø Your objective is to overpower the other contestants in a way that pillages their tournament-chips and fills your chip-rail with the spoils of battle. Therefore, tentative betting or apprehensive decisions rarely yield victory, but almost always spells defeat…the same as in life.
Ø If you take the appropriate betting-approach cudgel into hand and you wield it like a true warrior; you’ll more often than not don the mantle of victory; or as Conan the Barbarian would say, “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women! "
That means you have to select a powerful enough betting-method that will bring you victory instead of defeat.
Picking a Bet-Strategy
The betting strategy that I choose to start a particular tournament session with is determined by a couple of things:
Ø What is the likelihood that I will be one of the dice-shooters during this round?
Ø If I am confident that I will be one of the shooters, based on the pre-determined table-positions that many tournaments assign (sometimes by draw, but often by first-come, first-serve sign-ups); then I have to decide how well I can shoot on this particular table from that particular position.
For a handful of huge-money invitational tournaments back in the '90's, I actually stayed up half the night playing on tables that were adjacent to the closed ones that were to be used for the tourney, and I shot from the specific table-position I knew I was being assigned to.
In two of those invitationals, I lost badly and was eliminated early; but in the remaining ones, all of that preparation was definitely worth the extra little effort. By ‘practicing’ on a table that was similar to the tournament table that was to be used the following day, and by concentrating on shooting from my pre-assigned position at that table; I was able to set the stage for subsequent prize-money dividends.
Ø When I know how well I can influence the dice on a given tournament-table from a given shooting-position; then I can shape and craft my betting-strategy with fairly great precision. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t foolproof, but it sure increases your chances of getting into the prize-money.
Ø If my shooting is not up to par then I also structure my bets to reflect not only the apparent randomness that I’m throwing with, but I’ll likely opt for negative influence and go to the Darkside although if I am the first shooter, but I’ll likely start off with a modest PL-wager so I don’t unnerve the townfolk, and then once I establish the PL-Point, I switch over to make large-to-the-limit Lay-bets against some of the box-numbers with the intent to quickly 7-Out.
Ø One of my other considerations as far as picking a bet-strategy for the tournament, is whether there are going to be other savvy and skilled D-I players or tournament pro’s playing in the same tourney and whether they’ll be at my table during the preliminary round…and if so, what will their likely strategies will be.
Ø Certain skilled players and tournament pro’s make sure they get into as many big-money tournaments as they can (especially the large prize-pool/no-entry fee VIP Invitationals)...and they almost always stick to the same betting-strategy time and time again. So depending on whether or not they will be at my table during any given session, will determine to some extent which betting-method I use against them and everyone else at my table.
Ø The same holds true for any bet-strategy intel that you glean at the night-before Cocktail Party or in the pre-tourney continental breakfast greet-and-eat area that some casinos set up. If you know who or what you are up against in terms of betting-strategies; the better prepared you'll be to either attack, counter-attack, or cooperatively ride along with them together in parallel lock-step to the next round.
If it's an early round where several players from each table will advance to the next session; then the idea is to get into the lead-pack and keep up with them...but it's not necessary be the absolute chip-leader (although it is nice, especially if the tourney uses the combined chip-scores from each round to determine the final table). So you could pre-discuss what you might do if the two or three of you are far ahead of everyone else during the latter part of the session. That way, you won’t unwittingly eliminate yourself and each other.
Depending on where the lead-pack chip-count stands in comparison to the stalking-pack and how much time is left in a particular round; it's often wise to adopt a slightly more conservative match-the-lead-pack strategy instead of going for a needlessly risky all-out session-win during an early round.
Additionally, you don't have to stick with one strategy during any given session. You always have to consider your bets in context with what everyone else is doing and how each betting-series outcome will likely affect your chip-count standings compared to the chip-leader or the lead-pack.
Remember, it’s not you against the dice; it’s you against the other players.
Let's say I'm in the final round using my "Every-chip-on-every-roll" strategy, but I am still pretty far behind the chip-leader. Depending on how many rolls are left in the session, I would probably switch over to one of my more aggressive proportional betting-methods like the Proportional-Horn play before the chip-leader is out of touch.
Since this is the final round, I want to finish as high in the standings as possible. Sometimes though you'll realize that the chip-leader is so far ahead that he is unlikely to be catchable (because he is generally matching most of the stalking-pack contenders bet-for-bet). In that situation, you have to re-evaluate your go-after-the-leader strategy, and instead perhaps wisely consider opting to compete exclusively for the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place money while player after player goes exclusively for the lead but quickly falls by the wayside with their efforts. At that point, 2nd or 3rd place money is not that unattractive.
In Part Six I'll tell you about two of the best hate-to-win-this-way betting-methods.
Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor
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