Craps: The Set Up of the Game

To a new player, craps looks like a very intimidating game. Just look at the layout; it resembles an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph that tells some elaborate sacrificial story. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Craps is a simple game, made even simpler because most of the bets are worthless to the smart player, although ploppies – the unschooled, unthinking masses of craps players – will fall all over themselves to wager on them and regularly watch their chips go to the casino.

If you have never played craps before, the next issues of Southern Gaming and Destinations are for you. I’ll explain how the game is played – in short, the who, what, when, where, why and how of it all. Even if you are a seasoned pro, a refresher course could be just what you are looking for.

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Smart Strategy: Taking it to the Casinos

Blackjack is the most popular casino table game and has been since 1965, shortly after Edward Thorp’s book Beat the Dealer became a sensation. Thorp correctly wrote that blackjack could be beaten by keeping track of the cards; in short, card counting. The general purpose of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21.

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Poker: Playing Small Pairs on the Flop

You have 4-4 in the fourth position, and the player in the second position (two seats to the left of the big blind) makes it two bets to go. You’re playing my theory—“three-bet with small pairs”—before the flop, so you make it three bets. No one else calls, and the flop is Q-10-3. The player in the second position then bets out into you and you raise him, thus “representing” a queen (or perhaps K-K or A-A) but also gaining information.

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Horseracing: Take What They Are Giving

 

American Pharoah with Victor Espinoza up wins the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown at Belmont Park Race Track, NY 6.6.2015

Maybe it’s just a sign of the times, but lately, most every horse player I converse with is dead set on procuring a life changing score. The advent, and hence marketing of, elaborate pari-mutual menus which promise acute financial solvency has no doubt led to this “shoot for the moon mentality” among punters yet while attempting to take down Santa Anita Race Course’s pick-6 is admirable, it’s also highly unlikely. On some days (maybe you can relate) I can’t select a single winner never mind six in a row and although keying multiple racers in each leg of a prolonged horizontal wager augments one’s margin for error, bankrolls become devastated when copious equine inclusion goes awry.

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Video Poker Versus Table Poker: Similar Name, Different Game

Not too long ago I was heading for my favorite bank of video poker (VP) machines when my friend asked why I didn’t play “real poker” in the card room. This, of course, wasn’t the first time a nose was subtly turned up regarding the felt game’s “superiority” to step-daughter, video poker. I honestly feel no need to get defensive about VP, but must say they are very different games and neither one is entitled to #special bragging rights.

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