Craps Patrick System

  1. Craps Systems Pdf
  2. Craps The Patrick System
  3. The Best Craps System Ever

John Patrick explains it on Page 27-28 of his 'basic' book on craps. It's the concept of being willing to accept a very low win goal in relation to what you're willing to risk. As Patrick puts it. Using DS and 3+Capping and Zumma's Craps System Testing Book, I picked out the hottest table I. have ice water in your veins.bring $1128 to a $5 minimum crap table. With this system you profit EVERY TIME a 6 OR an 8 comes up. Put $6 on BOTH the 6 and 8 place bets. If a 7 comes up (and you lose) before EITHER a 6 or 8 comes up; increase your bet on BOTH 6 and 8 to $18.

For more weird videos plus strange film nights in London. John Patrick's guide to Learn How To Win At Craps for Beginners from 19. Two And Three Unit Bets Patrick System. 280: Using The 7 Both Ways. 282: Trends And The Patrick System. 284: Hedging The Trend Patrick System. 289: Synopsis Of The Patrick System. 291: You And Money Management. John Patrick's Craps: 'So You Wanna Be a Gambler' John Patrick.


And John Patrick's Advanced Craps introduces the Patrick system - a method of playing craps, beginning with betting both the Pass Line and Don't Pass at the same time, which gives the player the.

Craps is what a math expert would call a “negative expectation” game.

This means that the house has a mathematical edge that makes the game impossible to beat in the long run.

This hasn’t prevented gamblers from coming up with craps systems to try to beat the system. Some of these craps systems can be a fun way to play, but none of them can overcome the house edge in the long run.

This post provides a look at why you can’t win at craps in the long run regardless of what kind of betting system you’re trying to use. It also offers a few craps systems for you to try and explains the pros and cons of using each system.

Why Craps Is a Negative Expectation Game

Craps has a mathematical edge for the casino because of the difference in payout odds and the odds of winning. The game is completely random, but this doesn’t mean that it’s a break-even game. In fact, from a mathematical perspective, the game is inherently unfair.

Here’s why.

Every bet at the craps table (except for one) pays off at lower odds than the odds of winning.

If a specific craps bet has 5 to 1 odds of winning, the payout for that bet is only 4 to 1. The difference is the house edge.

Craps Systems Pdf

This doesn’t mean you can’t win in the short run. In fact, gamblers often DO win at craps in the short run. If they didn’t, no one would play the game. (This is true of all casino games.)

A craps system usually involves lowering and raising the sizes of your bets based on previous results. Sometimes it also involves hedging your bets. You can check our craps bets guide if you need help understanding the following systems.

The easiest way to think of a craps bet, though, is as a negative number. That’s essentially what you’re dealing with here — a negative number.

Doubling or tripling negative numbers doesn’t do anything to make that number positive. No matter how you manipulate those negative numbers, when you add them up, you get a negative total.

It’s impossible to get a positive total when adding a string of negative numbers together.

Some systems might make it seem like you’re bucking the odds in the short run, but they won’t work in the long run.

In the long run, the casino will always win at craps unless you’re cheating.

And I don’t recommend that.

Cheating at casino games is a felony in many states.

Why Gamblers Love Systems

Everyone wants something for nothing. Everyone wants to believe that they can outsmart the house, too. Betting systems offer the opportunity of doing that.

Craps is a game with a lot of different bets available, so it’s ripe for coming up with schemes where you combine multiple bets in an attempt to buck the odds.

And because craps is a game of random chance, every system will work some of the time just because of dumb luck. This will encourage the systems player to keep using that system.

Even when their luck changes, they’ll often remember the success they previously had with the system. They assume that it’s just a matter of time before the luck changes back in the other direction and their system starts working again.

The math behind casino games is often complicated enough that it’s hard to understand initially why a system won’t work.

A Typical Example of a Craps System

Here’s a craps system a friend of mine claims he devised.

You bet $10 on the pass line, $10 on the don’t pass, and $10 on the field at the same time. You also keep doing that on the come and don’t come bets.

The theory is that you’ll either win the field bet or lose the field on a 6, 7, or 8.

If the 6 or 8 comes up, you wind up with a strong come number.

And a 7 would result in a break-even result, although you’d still lose the field bet.

Rather than assume you’re familiar with all these bets, I’ll explain each of them below.

The pass line bet is the most basic bet in craps. It’s a bet that the shooter will succeed by rolling a 7 or 11 on the come out roll or that he’ll succeed by setting a point and rolling that point before rolling a 7 again.

The pass line bet loses if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 on the come out roll. It also loses if the shooter rolls a 7 on a subsequent roll before rolling the point number again.

The pass line bet pays off even money if you win. Grande vegas casino slots.

The don’t pass bet is a bet against the shooter succeeding. If the pass line bet wins, the don’t pass bet loses, and vice versa.

There’s one exception, though, with the don’t pass bet. That’s if a 12 is rolled. The don’t pass bet doesn’t win in that exception, and that’s one of the reasons the house still has an edge with the don’t pass bet.

The field bet, unlike the pass and don’t pass bets, is a one-roll bet. (The other bets stay in play for multiple rolls, until one of the winning or losing conditions is met.)

The field bet wins if any of the following numbers come up: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12.

The only numbers where the field bet loses are the 5, 6, 7, or 8.

The field bet pays off at 2 to 1 if a 2 or 12 is rolled. If any of the other winning numbers result, the payout is even money.

This sounds like a good bet because there are so many potential winning numbers, but the combinations required to get those numbers aren’t as many as you’d think.

You have 36 possible outcomes on a roll of two dice. 16 combinations result in a winning field bet, but 20 of them result in a loss.

A come bet is the same thing as a pass line bet, but it treats a roll subsequent to the come out roll as a new come out roll. It’s probably obvious what a don’t come roll is, but it’s just a don’t pass bet that treats a roll subsequent to the come out roll as a new come out roll.

So the idea behind this system is that if you don’t win pass or don’t pass on the come out roll, you’ll win the field bet. This is true except for when you roll a 12, in which case pass and don’t pass BOTH lose.

The other problem with the system is that all the bets in the system are negative expectation bets, but one of the bets has a far higher house edge than the others.

The pass line bet has a house edge of 1.41%, the don’t pass bet has a house edge of 1.36%, and the field bet has a house edge of 5.56%.

Remember that the field bet is there to compensate for when you lose the pass or don’t pass bet, but the money you keep putting down on the field bet is “taxed” at 5.56% over time. That’s not going to compensate for 1.41% or 1.36% in the long run at all.

In fact, let’s look at the possible outcomes using this system.

  • You roll a 2.
  • That’s a $20 win on the field bet, a $10 win on the don’t pass bet, and a $10 loss on the pass line bet. Your total profit when rolling a 2 is $20. This will happen, on average, once out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 3.
  • That’s a $10 win on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total profit when rolling a 3 is $10. This will happen, on average, twice out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 4.
  • That’s a $10 win on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total profit when rolling a 4 is $10. This will happen, on average, three out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 5.
  • That’s a $10 loss on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total loss when rolling a 5 is $10. This will happen, on average, four out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 6.
  • That’s a $10 loss on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total loss when rolling a 6 is $10. This will happen, on average, five out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 7.
  • That’s a $10 loss on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total loss when rolling a 7 is $10. This will happen, on average, six out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll an 8.
  • That’s a $10 loss on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total loss when rolling an 8 is $10. This will happen, on average, five out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 9.
  • That’s a $10 win on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total profit when rolling a 9 is $10. This will happen, on average, four out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 10.
  • That’s a $10 win on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total profit when rolling a 10 is $10. This will happen, on average, three out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll an 11.
  • That’s a $10 win on the field bet, and the don’t pass and pass line bets cancel each other out. Your total profit when rolling a 11 is $10. This will happen, on average, twice out of every 36 rolls.

  • You roll a 12.
  • That’s a $20 win on the field bet, a $10 loss on the pass line bet, and a break-even on the don’t pass bet. Your total profit when rolling a 12 is $10. This will happen, on average, once out of every 36 rolls.

What happens when you add all that up?

Here are the total wins or losses over 36 statistically perfect rolls for each total:

  • 2 – 1 x $20
  • 3 – 2 x $10, or $20
  • 4 – 3 x $10, or $30
  • 5 – 4 x -$10, or- $40
  • 6 – 5 x -$10, or -$50
  • 7 – 6 x -$10, or -$60
  • 8 – 5 x -$10, or -$50
  • 9 – 4 x -$10, or -$40
  • 10 – 3 x $10, or $30
  • 11 – 2 x $10, or $20
  • 12 – 1 x $10, or $10

For clarity’s sake, I made the losses red to indicate that they’re negative.

That’s a total loss of $110 over 36 rolls of the dice, or an average loss per roll of $3.05.

That’s not a winning system.

It’s not a terrible system. You’ll see a loss of $10 most of the time, but you’ll see wins of $10 and $20 a lot of the time.
You’re just not doing anything that will help you beat the house edge.

The Iron Cross System for Crap

Another craps system that takes advantage of the field bet is the iron cross system. Like the system I just outlined in the last section, the iron cross is not a progressive system. You don’t need to raise or lower your bets. You just place specific combinations of bets.

I’ve also seen the iron cross system called the “no seven system.” You cover all the numbers on the table except for the 7. Since most players like to root for the shooter to get a 7 on the come out roll, most iron cross players wait until someone sets a point.

Once that happens, the iron cross player bets on the field and also makes place bets on 5, 6, and 8.

This covers every number on the table except for the 7.

You already know what a field bet is because I explained it in the last section. A place bet is a bet on a specific number, so you’re placing four bets with this system:

  1. The Field Bet
  2. Place 5
  3. Place 6
  4. Place 8

If you’re a $10 bettor, you’ll bet $10 on the field, $10 on the 5, $12 on the 6, and $12 on the 8. You have $44 in action by doing this.

On the next roll of the dice, you’ll win unless the shooter rolls a 7.

Since you have 36 possible combinations, this means you’ll see a win 30 out of 36 times, or 83.33% of the time.

The house still has an edge, though, even though you’ll win something on more than four out of five rolls of the dice.

When one of the field number comes up, you get paid off, and your place bets stay up. (The place bets are multi-roll wagers.)

If one of the place numbers hit, you’ll win $14, but you’ll also lose $10 on the field bet, for a profit of $4.

If you’ve ever played craps, you know that the dice sometimes get hot. When that happens, you profit quite a bit.

In the long run, though, when a 7 hits, the house edge will take over and wipe out those wins. You’ll wind up with losses that are what you’d expect based on the house edge.

But you’ll have a lot of fun getting to that point.

When the shooter gets the point, wait until a new point is set before placing another field bet.

If you like a lot of action, this is a fun way to bet because you’ll see a resolution on every roll of the dice one way or the other.

Some players make the iron cross system more interesting by “pressing” their bets.

Here’s how that works.

You wait until you win a field bet three times in a row. At that point, you leave your place bets working until someone rolls a 7. At that point, you just call it a night

Another way to press your bets with the iron cross system is to raise the size of your place bet after a win.

You have $44 in action, and the shooter rolls an 8. You take some of your winnings and increase the size of your place wager on 8, and you take the rest of your winnings and increase the size of your wager on the field bet.

You do this three times in a row, regardless of which bet wins. You raise the size of your bets three times in a row, then you wait until your place bets are resolved one way or the other.

This takes advantage of your occasional hot streak, which will happen more often than you’d think. After all, you’ll win something more than 80% of the time. Reinvesting those winnings is a good idea.

The iron cross, by the way, is my favorite craps system, just because I like a lot of action.

I don’t claim that it’s a winning system. I just think it’s a lot of fun.

Craps The Patrick System

Being a recreational gambler, that’s good enough for me.


Craps is some of the most fun you can have in the casino. Any number of craps systems can make the game even more fun, but you MUST understand before playing that no craps system will overcome the house edge in the long run.

In the short term, you might see slightly better results than you’d expect, but eventually, the house edge will always catch up with you.

If you ARE going to try a system to bet on craps, I recommend the iron cross, or no seven, system. With it, you’ll see a winning result more than 80% of the time. This doesn’t put the odds in your favor, but it will sure seem that way until you lose some money.

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I’ve already had the pleasure of reviewing six gambling authors who should be added to your library (link), so the time has come to run through five more who aren’t so deserving.

Diverging wildly from many other endeavors, success in the world of casino gambling can often be quite subjective. Within the skill game sector, strategy and style can vary wildly between winning players. And of course, games of chance are beholden to luck alone over the short term, so anybody with a few fruitful sessions under their belt can claim to hold the secrets to success.

For these reasons, unscrupulous authors can easily pass off erroneous information as expertise. Whether they’re intentionally deceiving readers, or simply don’t know any better, these writers specialize in dressing up myths, misconceptions, and mistakes as can’t-miss advice on gambling.

The problem for readers is easy to see.

Everybody who enters a casino wants to walk away a winner, but the cold calculus of probability and randomization ensures most of us will lose over the long run. Recreational players who are desperate to turn their luck around will invariably turn to more experienced, proficient pros for guidance.

Many gambling writers, including the six I reviewed earlier, do their very best to analyze casino games using an honest and straightforward approach. But inevitably, a few bad apples out there decide to prey on unsuspecting readers by promising “surefire” systems and strategies that are “guaranteed” to produce profits. These gambling authors aren’t interested in ethics or morality, they’re just trying to squeeze suckers out of a few bucks.

Below you’ll find five gambling writers I’ve identified as schemers and scammers, or at the very least, uninformed purveyors of useless advice. Along with a brief biography of the author, and a rundown of reasons to remove their work from your bookshelf, I’ll also include a quote that exemplifies their flawed approach to gambling strategy.

1. Frank Scoblete

For a man who pretends to be a gambling expert, it’s only fitting that Frank Scoblete got his start as a stage actor.

In fact, his interest in casino games began back in 1985, when Scoblete sojourned to Atlantic City in preparation for a role in the gambling-themed play “The Only Game in Town.” As Scoblete tells the tale, he immediately became smitten with the table game pit, leaving his acting career behind and plunging headlong into the life of a professional advantage play gambler.

Working alongside his wife Alene Paone, herself a fellow gambler, Scoblete spent the next five years or so trying to overcome the house edge and eke out a living. But by 1991, with that edge proving to be insurmountable for a player of Scoblete’s skill level, the pair decided to launch a mail order publishing house known as Paone Press.

In 1991, the first book published through Paone Press Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos was released, giving rise to the signature Scoblete style. In the book, and most of his other work, Scoblete creates fictional characters such as “The Captain” through which to present his own advice on craps strategy. According to the author, this Captain fellow is a legendary gambler who just happened to take Scoblete under his wing, showing him the fabled “Super System” approach to beating craps.

Never mind that the Super System is a phrase pioneered by poker icon Doyle Brunson in his 1978 book of the same name. And don’t bother asking why Scoblete spends his days shilling $20 books through a mail order service, when he has easy access to the greatest craps player to ever live.

In over two decades since, Scoblete has gone on to pen dozens of books on gambling strategy covering every game on the floor, but they all have one thing in common: misinformation.

Scoblete has devoted thousands and thousands of pages to “teaching” readers about nonsense strategies and systems.

He advises craps players to use the Five Count Method as a way of spotting “hot shooters,” knowing full well that short-term streaks have no bearing on the game’s inherent odds and probabilities.

Scoblete also advises blackjack fans to stand back and watch the game while counting, before entering the game when the odds are in their favor. Of course, this technique known as “Wonging” was originated back in the 1970s by legitimate blackjack expert Stanford Wong. And it proved to be so successful that casinos eventually instituted the “no mid shoe entry” rule that is prevalent throughout casinos worldwide today.

While I suspect Scoblete knows full well that Wonging doesn’t work in the modern age, and that trends, patterns, and streaks are not the basis of any sound strategy, I’ll admit he does have a knack for promotional hype. By framing his device through a series of character archetypes, while maintaining a casual conversational tone, Scoblete has a way of appealing to readers who just don’t know any better.

You may even have a few Scoblete books tucked away on your bookshelf, and if that’s the case, I can’t blame you one bit; his act has worked wonders. Scoblete has seen his work published as a syndicated newspaper column, and even presented on the Travel Channel.

But prominence and prolific output aside, Scoblete is the standard bearer for self-proclaimed gambling experts who don’t bother dealing with facts.

Key Quote:

This version is also called ‘Rocco’s Roulette’ in honor of my Uncle Rocco, who has done quite nicely with it on his monthly bus trips to Atlantic City.

This system can only be played in casinos that have scoreboards. You are still going to look for five straight hits of either red or black before betting the opposite.

However, instead of staying at one table, you are going to move around and look at the scoreboards. In some casinos, you will have many more betting opportunities because there are many more scoreboards.”


  • Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos (1991)
  • Break the One Armed Bandits (1994)
  • Spin Roulette Gold (1997)
  • Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution! (2005)
  • I Am a Dice Controller (2015)

2. Mike Caro

When old “Texas Dolly” published his Super / System: A Course in Power Poker back in 1978, Brunson was actually listed as the co-author alongside his friend Mike Caro.

In the book, Brunson dubs Caro as “Crazy Mike,” due to the latter’s unpredictable and aggressive approach to poker. That nickname eventually morphed into the “Mad Genius of Poker,” a moniker Caro carries to this day.

While he’s certainly a bit mad, Caro is no genius, and truth be told, he doesn’t even play poker anymore. According to the Hendon Mob database, Caro recorded his last live tournament cash in 2009.

I’ll admit that “Caro’s Book of Poker Tells” had its place in 1984. At that time, tournaments and cash games alike were niche segments within the gambling world. Most casinos of the era didn’t even offer dedicated poker rooms, and the biggest games were “underground” affairs frequented by legendary Texas Road Gamblers like Brunson, “Sailor” Roberts, “Puggy” Pearson, and “Amarillo” Slim.

In the 80s, an up and coming poker player surely stood to benefit from Caro’s work, which combined mathematical analysis with the study of physical “tells.” For Caro, learning poker basics like hand rankings and pot odds formed the foundation of a solid strategy, but spotting an opponent’s tells separated the best from the rest.

Perhaps the player facing your big bet involuntarily swallows or takes a gulp. Maybe their breathing becomes irregularly heavy, or seems to stop altogether. And as a general rule, Caro sticks to the age-old advice that “strong means weak, and weak means strong.”

Blinking, handling chips, and rechecking hole cards are all common tells in Caro’s book, and like I said before, reading those tells was an important poker skill – emphasis on was.

Unfortunately for Caro, he has coasted on his tell based strategy for the last 30 years and counting. Rather than make an honest attempt to stay abreast with modern poker theory, Caro has worked tirelessly towards another pursuit monetizing his “Mad Genius” schtick.

Using a rhetorical style taken straight from “Free Money” author Matthew Lesko, the guy on TV wearing a question mark suit, Caro embarked on a series of projects only tangentially related to poker strategy. There was: his Poker Probe program for analyzing poker hands on your PC, the Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming and Life Strategy, and even “ORAC,” an early attempt at poker playing artificial intelligence.

Caro’s ability to market himself has never been in doubt, but with 2018 approaching, his advice has been reduced to an irrelevant relic.

The Best Craps System Ever

The days of poker players tipping their hand through physical tells is long gone. Modern players shield their faces with hoodies and scarves, or adopt robotic routines designed to mask their emotional state. And while reading tells definitely has its place even today – the timing or sizing of a bet being the most reliable, the field has evolved by leaps and bounds from Caro’s heyday.

Antiquated ideas are part and parcel of gambling strategy, and a few authors who have seen time pass them by still deserve to be studied, but Caro isn’t one of them. Aside from his outdated approach to poker strategy, Caro’s work comes from a different time and place, one where casual racism and misogyny was par for the course.

As you can tell by reading the quote below, Caro is nothing more than poker’s caveman at this point, frozen solid and fixed in his ways.

Key Quote:

“You should notice things about each player’s appearance that might provide clues to future poker behavior.

Specifically, well dressed people tend to play conservatively. However, a man wearing a rumpled business suit with a loosened tie is probably in a gambling mood.

As a general rule, women are harder to bluff than men. Orientals are either very skillful or very luck oriented.”


  • Caro’s Book of Poker Tells (1984)
  • Caro on Gambling (1984)
  • Poker for Women: A Course in Destroying Male Opponents at Poker and Beyond (1986)
  • Caro’s Secrets of Winning Poker (1996)
  • The Body Language of Poker (2000)
  • Professional Hold’em Play by Play (2005)

3. John Patrick

Another in the long line of failed gamblers turned gambling writers, John Patrick began his career on the riverboat casinos of the old South.

After trying, and failing, to earn a living at the tables, Patrick resorted to washing dishes by day, while serving as a “prop” player to keep short games going by night. Upon realizing that he didn’t have what it takes to win consistently, Patrick did what so many unsuccessful gamblers have done over the years – packaged his dubious knowledge into a strategy book.

Through his “So You Wanna Be a Gambler?” series, Patrick wrote prolifically about blackjack (1983), slots and roulette (1983), and baccarat (1985) to launch his authorial ambitions.

Along with the usual boilerplate explaining basic odds and probabilities, Patrick’s books were connected by one common thread… bankroll management. According to Patrick, succeeding at any casino game is eminently possible, provided players are willing to adjust their idea of “success.”

Patrick advocates an extremely conservative style of bankroll management, one based on establishing “win limits” ahead of time. Essentially, his advice boils down to leaving the casino once you’ve hit your win limit. That way, you’ll guarantee a few winning sessions along the way to help offset the losing days.

For Patrick, his personal win limit was 20 percent of whatever he walked into the casino with. If that was $1,000, he’d play various games attempting to squeeze out small winners until he held $1,200. At that point, with his win limit satisfied, Patrick would simply walk away from the table and chalk up a victory.

In his words, Patrick considered himself as a winning player because he counted more of these small winning sessions than down days at the end of the year.

Obviously, this approach to casino gambling is nothing more than confirmation bias in action. By basing his success rate on wins, and not the sum of his wins and losses, Patrick simply gamed the system.

Anybody can place a few bets on blackjack and leave the game up when luck strikes. And using this style of play, anybody can declare that they won more often than they lost while playing blackjack.

But if he accounted for all of the blackjack bets he placed, viewing the year as just one continuous session, Patrick surely found himself in the red. Think about it… if you booked 20 winning sessions, at $100 profit per, and only five losing sessions (at $1,000 per), what’s the final tally?

Sure, you experienced 15 more winning sessions when compared to losing sessions. But those 20 winners generated $2,000 profit, while the five losers accounted for a $5,000 downswing. Overall, even a “winning” player like Patrick is a net loser when adopting the win limit style.

And even if conservative play is your thing, Patrick has a knack for advising players to take some of the worst bets in the house. As the quote below shows, he’s a big fan of using the longshot “Any Craps” bet when throwing dice, despite its massive house edge of 11.1 percent. He might have his reasons, but any gambling author who leads readers to believe 11.1 percent longshots are a sensible play isn’t worth your time.

Key Quote:

“The house pays 7:1 on the Any Craps bet, holding an 11.1 percent edge over the player. That’s pretty heavy. Craps players make this bet for different reasons.

If I put $15 on the Pass Line, I will make an Any Craps bet for $2, not because I think it will show, but because I want to reduce my chances of losing that Pass Line wager.

This theory is disagreed with in many other books on craps. But you lose four or five Pass Line wagers of $15, $20, or $25, and you’ll welcome the chance to hedge your bet.”


  • So You Wanna Be a Gambler: Slots (1983)
  • John Patrick’s Advanced Craps (1994)
  • Craps for the Clueless (2001)
  • John Patrick’s Internet Gambling (2002)
  • John Patrick’s Blackjack for the 21st Century (2004)

4. Peter Svoboda

With only one book to his credit, clearing Peter Svoboda from your gambling bookshelf should be a breeze.

But because that book was released rather recently, 2009’s “Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game” just might’ve made its way into your library over the last few years.

Svoboda isn’t a professional gambler by trade, holding dual degrees in mechanical and civil engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. But despite his obvious “book smarts,” Svoboda isn’t a source of reliable information about gambling strategy.

In his book, Svoboda does manage to write clear and concise introductions to the basics of several games. And if he would’ve left things there, those gameplay primers are rather useful.

But when he delves into actual advice on playing the games properly, Svoboda exposes himself as an unsophisticated rube at best – and a charlatan at worst. Take his guidance on roulette, for example (or better yet, don’t take it).

Somehow, some way, Svoboda manages to mess up one of the easiest games in the room. Every bet on the roulette table, from single numbers to colors and everything in between, offers a standardized house edge (2.70 percent on single zero wheels; 5.26 percent on double zero wheels), except for one bet that is.

When you wager on the “top line” bet on a double zero wheel, which covers the 1, 2, and 3 spaces plus the 0 and 00, the house edge jumps from 5.26 percent to 7.89 percent. That’s the worst bet in roulette as a result, but what do you suppose Svoboda recommends? Yup, the top line bet.

He does the same deal with craps, as shown in the quote below, telling players to follow his own method (2 percent house edge) rather than the basic strategy of betting on the Pass Line plus the Odds (1.41 percent).

Any gambling writer who can’t get the easy stuff right is clearly the wrong source for strategic knowledge.

Key Quote:

“Betting the Pass or Don’t Pass line gives the casino an advantage of only about 1.4 percent, and only about 0.8 percent when taking the odds. With double odds, this percentage is reduced even further – to about 0.6 percent.

Sounds great, but is it really?

For my Strategic Craps Method, I came up with a casino advantage of 2 percent.”


  • Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game (2009)

5. Chris “Sharpshooter” Pawlicki

At one point, the name “Sharpshooter” was a living legend in the craps world. He formed the first craps team, akin to the MIT blackjack team, attempting to use advantage play to clean the casinos out.

Over time, Sharpshooter was revealed to be professional gambler Chris Pawlicki, who helped to pioneer the technique known as “dice control.” Pawlicki’s advice centered around the idea that, with enough practice, players could toss the dice perfectly to ensure certain numbers were landed.

I’ve seen enough sleight of hand artists in my day to know that dice control just might be legitimate – but only for folks who spend hours and hours, day in and day out, perfecting the craft. And while I don’t doubt that Pawlicki and his peers can land numbers more often than probability would allow, I have serious reservations about how that advice applies to recreational readers.

Leaving the idea of dice control aside, it’s Pawlicki’s attempt to capitalize on another game of chance that really drew my ire. With his 2001 book “Get the Edge at Roulette: How to Predict Where the Ball Will Land!,” Pawlicki appeals to the most craven and deluded aspects of the gambling industry.

By promising readers a way to “read” the roulette wheel, or more accurately, the dealer spinning the wheel, Pawlicki resorts to pure snake oil salesmanship. His theory is based on the concept of muscle memory and repetition, with the idea being that certain dealers have a “signature” to their spins. The ball won’t always land in the same space, but it should land in a certain “zone” with a given dealer working the wheel.

I shouldn’t have to tell you this by now, but that whole notion is nothing more than nonsense. Defective wheels may have existed in the old days, but today they’re designed using sophisticated computer programs, lasers, and assembly lines.

Simply put, nobody can predict where the ball will land, despite Pawlicki’s desperate attempt to convince you otherwise.

Key Quote:

“The dealer’s signature refers to a certain tendency that a dealer will exhibit when spinning the rotor and then snapping the ball into play.

It is believed that well practiced dealers, spinning hour after hour for shift after shift, develop an automatic and repetitive delivery.

This signature delivery tends to foster results that are more predictable.”


  • Get the Edge at Roulette: How to Predict Where the Ball Will Land! (2001)
  • Get the Edge at Craps: How to Control the Dice! (2002)


You can find many gambling books that can help you learn strategy and tactics that help you win more or lose less. But some books should be avoided. This list of 5 gambling authors who don’t deserve a spot on your bookshelf helps you avoid reading books that might hurt more than they help.