Which Side to Bet

Every casino table game, except blackjack, offers some bets than can be expected to win about half the time. These near-even-money propositions include banker or player in baccarat; red or black, odd or even, and high or low in roulette; and pass or don't pass, and come or don't come in craps. While some players, especially in craps, never vary their choice, other players, especially in baccarat, experiment with systems that would exploit a streak of wins for either choice. The simplest way to get on a streak is to bet on what won last, but if you were playing this way in baccarat, for instance, and banker then player won alternately, called chopping, you would soon be wiped out.

Avant Dernier:

To overcome this problem, the Avant Dernier (French for before last) system was developed. This means you bet not on the last winning position, but on the one before that. This way you will capitalize on a win streak for either side, as well as a streak of alternate wins. Of course, if a series of two consecutive banker wins, then two player wins, develops (known as double chopping), you will have problems.

Maturity of Chances:

Although this system for deciding on what to bet is applied, to some extent, by baccarat enthusiasts and optimistic craps shooters, especially hard-way bettors, Maturity of Chances systems are used primarily by roulette buffs. At a single-zero game, we know that in the long run an even-money bet will win 18 out of 37 times, a 2-to-1 bet will win 12 out of 37 times, a single number will win 1 out of 37 times, and so forth, for all the ten roulette wagers. Now, if you care to extend long-run probabilities to the short run, try making small waiting bets on any even-money proposition, while keeping track of the results of every spin, and watching for patterns to develop, such as a single number not appearing for 70 spins, or even red not appearing for 4 spins. Identifying the propositions that have occurred less frequently than expected, sometimes called sleepers, and then making larger than normal wagers on them, can be a fascinating way to play roulette. Casino personnel never object to this type of play, and in fact, some casinos provide paper and pencils. An easier way to record the results of several hundred spins is to record them on a preprinted sheet given in some casinos.

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