
To Bet or Not to BetWith or Against the Trend, That Is
by Frank Scoblete
I assume you are reading this article because you have some interest in craps casino and gambling. So, let’s do a little gambling, shall we? I am now going to test your wagering acumen and temperament. Then I’ll let you know if you are a gambling genius or Lady Luck’s fool – this is, after all, a brutal test and we’re not going to spare your feelings. Oh, and you have to bet $100 on each of two propositions and you are paid evenmoney if you win. We’ll be dealing with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. You have the chance to win $200 if you get both right; you’ll break even if you get one right and one wrong; and you’ll lose $200 if you get both wrong.
You are going to bet on two propositions:
Proposition Number One: I am going to create a sequence of numbers for you to bet on, and at my whim and fancy, you are going to ask yourself which is the next number you would bet on. Here’s the sequence 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8 (?). So, what’s the next number?
Proposition Number Two: I am going to pick the nine numbers out of a hat. No number can repeat. Okay, here goes: 2, 8, 7, 4, 3, 9, 5, 1, (?). What’s the next number?
Now, I will give you the answers. Let’s start with Proposition Number Two. The next number is 6. It can’t be anything else because we used up the other eight numbers. If you picked 6, you now have $800 in your bank. (If you didn’t pick 6, perhaps you should take up another avocation instead of gambling, like, maybe, cross stitching or gardening, or watching paint dry.)
Okay, let’s take a look at Proposition Number One. How many of you said the next number was going to be 8? Did any of you pick another number, say, 9 or 1 or 2 or whatever? Well, here’s the answer... Take a look at the question. It’s a tricky one indeed. I said I was going to create a "sequence of numbers" based on "whim and fancy." Does that mean I am creating a pattern, just for the heck of it, that’ll continue logically, making the next number 8? Or does that mean, I am creating something that looks like a pattern but is really just trying to get you to pick 8 because I know I’m going to pick anything but 8? Or, maybe, I’m just going to pick from the nine numbers in a hat to come up with an answer. So what is the next number? Hmmm?
You are faced in Proposition Number One with a classic gambling dilemma. Do you go with a perceived trend or do you go against it. Do you pick 8 or not 8? There’s no way to really tell with accuracy as you could with Proposition Two what the next number is because the information I gave you is insufficient to hazard an accurate guess. So what do you do? Personally, I’d go with the number 8 if, for example, this were an SAT exam where discovering patterns is a part of the test. And, you know something, I’d probably go with 8, if I knew you were making up the "sequence" because I don’t think you’re as devious as I am. A lot of people think the word "sequence" means pattern, but it doesn’t. There are "sequences" of random numbers, for example. Sequence is just a fancy word for the order in which things appear. When dealing with randomness, the "order" of numbers may seem to make sense at times; or it may seem insane.
However, in craps casino gambling there are ways to take your best shot at betting with the trend (pick 8, pick 8!) or against it (pick anything but 8) by having a little more information at your disposal.
The complete text of Frank's article is available exclusively in the Articles section of The Craps Club.
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