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Best of John Grochowski
A shuffle through the gaming mailbag5 April 2012
A. The random number generator doesn't know where the credits on the machine came from. Free play, cash, tickets -- it makes no difference to the RNG.
Devices or programs that would change outcomes or payback percentages when free play is being used are illegal. You're getting the same game with free play as with fresh money.
If you tracked results over a very long time, you'd find your payback percentages with free play would be roughly the same as when you use fresh money or when you use tickets brought over from other games. In the short term, anything can happen, and a bad streak or two or three with free play can lead us to conclude there's something other than random chance at work.
A. You are. Your choices do make a difference. The random number generator on the machine just sets the possibilities. If it puts 160 credits behind the sword, and you pick the sword, then you're going to get 160 credits. If you pick something else, you're going to get a different outcome.
There's no way to exploit that. The RNG doesn't set the possible outcomes in any predictable sort of way. But your final result is not pre-determined.
A. When I first read Frank's Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos, way back in the 1990s, my thoughts weren't a million miles from yours. What and when you wager can't change the numbers that come up on the dice. Given a random game, the house edge is there, unchanging.
My feeling at the time was that the positives of playing the Five-Count lay in reducing exposure to the house edge. By not putting money at risk until the Five-Count was reached, the player was extending his session, staying in the action in the hopes of eventually catching a hot roll. The player would still lose 1.41% of his money on pass and come bets, but would have less money per hour at risk than a player who didn't Five Count.
I floated that past a fellow gambling writer, whose response was, "Maybe, but then why play at all? You could reduce your exposure to the house edge to zero by steering clear of craps."
But my view has shifted over the years, with a turning point coming when I started to see dice control in action and Frank shifted terminology in his books and articles from "rhythmic rollers" to "controlled shooters." What if, unbeknownst to you, you find yourself at a table with a controlled shooter? Will the Five-Count keep up off a disproportionate share of rolls by random rollers, and put on one a disproportionate share of rolls by the controlled roller?
To go a step further, there aren't all that many trained controlled rollers. But what if a player who is a random roller most of the time just has a stretch where he's doing everything right, gets in a rhythm that gives him a controlled roll that depresses the frequency of 7s? Will the Five-Count get you onto that controlled roll while keeping you off random rolls?
That, I think gives the Five-Count value beyond just reducing exposure to the house edge. It's not going to pick up a controlled shooter in every session, because there's not going to be a controlled shooter in every session. But as one who has seen some strong dice controllers in action, I want to be in on their rolls, while limiting wagers on the majority.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of John Grochowski