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Pressing Bets: An Important Component To Craps Strategies To Remember

What is the "Best" Progression for You?

You have read the books, you have taken the class and you have practiced your throw religiously for several weeks. You are finally to the point where you feel you can go attack the casino and make a "withdrawal" at the craps table. When you finally arrive you notice a table that has your position available and it is not very crowded. You move to the table, buy in and the dice are about to be passed to you. You focus on the dice in the center of the table; determine what you need to do to quickly set the dice. The stickman slides the dice in your direction. You quickly set them, focus on your spot and launch them. They travel beautifully together, land softly, touch the back wall and die together. Your point is established and you place the six and eight for $12 each. You continue to roll for who knows how long. You are completely in the zone, hitting number after number. You are oblivious to your surroundings. All you energy and attention is on the dice. Eventually you are pulled from your zone by the inevitable words: "Seven-out, line away." You look at your watch you have been rolling for 35 minutes. You are ecstatic. Everything has worked just the way you dreamed. Then you look at your chip rack and put the haphazardly placed collection of chips in order and count them. You find you are up 15 units. This is great, you think, but with a 35-minute roll it should have been more. Then it dawns on you you did not press your bets.

This is a very common occurrence among those who are reasonably new to careful shooting. You get into the zone and just dont think about anything but throwing the dice. What you need to do is find a way to increase your bets and do it in a nearly automatic way. There are many progression methods available, but many of them require some mental gymnastics that tend to throw you out of the zone. Keep in mind that it is always prudent to only increase your bets on profits. If you are betting the six and eight, you will need at least two wins three is better before starting any progression. If you are betting the inside numbers you need three to four wins before increasing your bets.

Two of the simplest progressions are the press-and-pull (or the pull-and-press variant) and the up-a-unit. As the name implies, the press-and-pull progression alternates between pressing the place bet when the number hits and pulling the profits when it hits. For example you place a $6 six. The first time it hits you take $6 of the $7 you win and press the six to $12. The next time a six rolls you take the $14 win (pull) and put it in your rack. Next hit on the six you use $12 of you $14 win and press the six to $24, etc. Since the dealer automatically knows the amounts you need in order to press a bet, the only thing you need to remember is whether you want to press or pull. This can be easily tracked by putting the same number of chips as you have place bets flat in the chip rack beside each other. For the press-and-pull progression have the chips pointing toward the table indicating that you want to have the money go in that direction when the number hits. Once you press a bet, flip the corresponding chip to face you indicating that you want to money to go in your direction when it hits the next time. Keep alternating as it hits.

The up-a-unit progression adds one unit to the place number each time it hits. Using the same $6 place bet on the six, the first time the six hits, you say "up a unit, please" and the dealer will put $6 of your $7 win on the six and give you $1. The next time the six hits, the dealer will take $6 from your $14 win and add it to the bet on the six and give you $8. Each time the six hits, the dealer will add $6 to the bet and return the difference to you. This is the simplest progression of which I am aware. The only thing you have to remember is "up a unit". It is also noteworthy to mention that until you have hit a number at least 7 times, you will win more money playing up-a-unit than press-and-pull. The only exception is hitting the 5, 6, 8, or 9 exactly two times using the press-and-pull method.

So there you have it - two simple progression strategies. What could be simpler than just saying "up a unit, please" each time a number hits? Also, this simpler method actually pays better most of the time. Remember two things, however, only raise your bets on winnings and practice is the key to performance and practicing progressions at home will make them a natural part of the routine. Make progressions a part of your winning strategy. For more please read more about progression betting strategies with Parts 2 and Part 3 in this series.

Also remember; accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.


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