The Annoying Phone Call


I usually have my secretary answer the phones – or a pleasant answering service takes over in the “off” hours; a service that usually gets about 50 percent of the messages correct and the other 50 percent so completely botched up that I have no idea what the person calling wants. Who knows?

But every once in a while, I answer the phones. This is not a trial for me, except every once in a while the person on the other end is either a nut or a talker who tells you his long life story and how it relates to casino gambling — his long, incredibly boring life story.

The other day, however, I got a real nut who also told me his long and totally boring life story and then proceeded to badger me after the interminable thing ended. After the War and Peace version of his dull life, he then said. “You see, I want to get a way to beat the casino at craps when the other shooters are rolling. I don’t roll the dice. I don’t like to roll the dice.”

“You mean the regular random shooters?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. “Do you have a system for that? So I can win when a regular shooter is rolling?”

“No,” I said, “there is no system to beat craps just by betting. You have to control the dice to have a chance to win at the game.”

“That’s not what I heard,” he said.

Then I heard the “click” which meant I had another call behind him. “I have a call behind you,” I started to say.

“There are many systems to beat the game of craps, “ he said. “You should know that. You can watch a table and discover what kind of trend is working at the table and bet that. Or you can bet against that if you think it is not going to last. What about those?”


“They don’t work. Random is random. There’s no predictability in random trends,” I said.


“Nah, nah,” he said, “I have seen trends last for quite awhile at the craps tables.”

“Okay, well, look, I have another call…”


“What about hedging your bets? You hedge your bets on the Pass Line with any craps so you reduce the impact of the seven. That’s a good system. Right?”

“No, no, it stinks,” I said. “Give me a second.” I pushed the button to see who was the other caller. He or she had hung up.

“The hedging is a good thing, all the great gambling people know that,” he said. “I am surprised you don’t understand it. I mean you’ve written a lot of books on craps. Aren’t you supposed to be an expert?”

“I understand hedging,” I said, “and I have written about it on my web site and in Casino Player magazine. Hedging doesn’t work. You lose more money by hedging your bets.”

“You don’t know what you are talking about,” he said. “You find a trend and bet with or against it by hedging your bets. That is a great way to bet.”

“Okay, fine, look, you bet any way you want to bet. It’s your money,” I said. At a certain point some conversations are just not worth pursuing and this one had gotten to that point.

“So you have no betting systems that can get me to win on the other shooters?” he asked.

“I told you that there are no betting systems that can overcome the house edge. You have to control the dice in craps. In blackjack you have to count cards. Betting systems just can’t overcome negative expectations.”

“That’s not what I heard,” he said.

“Like I said, it’s your money, bet it any way you choose,” I said.

“But you sell books on craps and gambling and you don’t know any systems to beat the house when other shooters are rolling?”

“Is this a joke?” I asked.


“Is this a joke? Are you someone who is pulling my leg?” I asked.

“I’m gambling for 40 years. I don’t joke. You should know the systems to beat the games.”

“Look, I can talk about any system you want but none of them works. I’ve written about, well, just about all of them and they don’t work. Random is random. There are trends but they are not predictive – they are random. You hedge and you’ll lose more money. You can use the 5-Count to reduce your action but against random rollers you still can’t get the edge.”

“What about the idea if you see a horn you bet a horn?” he asked.

“Stupid, it’s stupid,” I said.

“Why is it stupid?”

“Because the game is random and that horn number is no more likely to come up next than it was likely to come up the time before. The house edge is about twelve and a half percent. You’re going to lose twelve dollars and fifty cents for every hundred you bet on that.”

“I’ve been gambling for forty years,” he said, but I cut him off.

“Look, why do you need a new system?” I asked.


“Why do you need a system? If you know all these systems and have been gambling for forty years haven’t these systems won you money all those years?”


“You must be a billionaire by now. You must have seen and bet a lot of horns in forty years. You must have been on or off a lot of trends in forty years. You must be so rich with all that hedging that you could own a casino now.”

He hung up. He must have heard the sarcasm in my voice. Guys like him can make you go crazy. Then the phone rang again. I picked it up, “Look, you idiot, I told you, there are no betting systems that can beat a negative expectation game! You’re an idiot for thinking there are!”


“Go away, go away. Go away! ” I shouted.

“It’s me, Margaret,” said my mother-in-law.

“Ah,” I said. “Oh…Hi, how are you?”

And she told me, for the next hour, how she was.

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores.

Teachers Toting Guns


Mr. Morris Dickly served in the military. He was good with pistols and rifles and assault weapons. He was also highly strung but he was able to do his job.

Now 12 years later he is a teacher in a wealthy suburban high school composed of snotty teenagers who have no respect for anything other than themselves. These students have seemingly mated with their phones.

The principal selected him as one of 10 teachers who would now be able to carry a concealed weapon in school to protect against possible school shooters. No students knew about this new but secret security measure. No non-weaponized teachers knew about it either.

Dickly taught history and government. Did the students like him? Not really. Most obeyed because they were too lazy to exert energy in discussion or homework and it was up to Dickly to get them through their exams so their pain-in-the-ass parents wouldn’t complain. You never want parents to complain.

Dickly had three students he hated, Charlie Crisp, Raymond Barlow and Jeremy Jones. They were insufferable and nasty.

You see Dickly had a rather large red nose with plenty of hair coming out of it. The redness wasn’t from drinking, although Dickly loved his beer and it showed in his expanding gut. Every day he would get home from school wound-up and wishing his students, especially those three, would just go away like his wife did two years ago with that guy who never served a day! A few beers soothed him. Why did he ever go into teaching? He couldn’t stand most teenagers.

Charlie Crisp enjoyed sticking pencils in his nose to imitate Mr. Dickless as the three called him. Actually most of the kids called Dickly Mr. Dickless but they did it so Dickly couldn’t hear them. Barlow went so far on occasion as to put some cotton in his nose to imitate Dickly’s nose hair. Jones for his part was the loud laugher “Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!” whenever his compatriots did their thing. Dickly figured that everyone in the school could hear Jones’ laughter coming from his room. I hate those three fucks!

Those three were responsible for writing on the chalk board “I am Mr. Dickless! I can’t stand up!” whenever they could. Dickly could occasionally hear them saying under their breath Dickless, Dickless, Dickless when he had his back turned to the class. But he couldn’t nail them doing it. None of the other jack-asses and jack-lassies would tell on their schoolmates. Fuck them too!

On the day it all happened Dickly was late for class. Charlie Crisp was dog style on Dickly’s desk with the pencils in his nose making pig noises while Barlow, cotton balls sticking out of his nose, was pretending to have anal intercourse with him. Jones was laughing his head off – “Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!” All the other kids were laughing too.

Since Dickly was late he did not get to his private locker to put his pistol away. When the class saw him, they quieted somewhat, but Jones kept “yuking” it up. “Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!”

“Yeoow!” screamed Crisp, not knowing Dickly was standing in the door. “I’m Dickless getting reamed, yeoow!” Jones roared, “Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!” Barlow bellowed, “I’m Dickless screwing myself up the…” “Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!” roared Jones.

Then the three of them knew something was different. They turned and saw a red-faced Dickly at the door – red faced with his nose even redder. They were about to make the wrong choice.

“Get off my desk Crisp,” said Dickly.

“You don’t scare me Dickless,” scoffed Charlie Crisp, suddenly feeling invulnerable as many teenagers will.

“Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!”

“Aren’t you enjoying what is happening, Dickless?” scorned Barlow.

“You like it this way!” shouted Crisp shaking his ass and at this and the whole class, even the usually quiet kids, went into paroxysms of laughter.

That man had stolen his wife. Now these three had stolen his dignity. They were sneering at him. The fucks!

The gun blasts were heard throughout the school. Teachers brought their kids into the closets and locked their doors. Students at gym hid under the bleachers.

“Bam! Bam! Bam!” One bullet caught Crisp in his ass; another tore part of Barlow’s face off, and Jones was killed right after a “yuk!” Three dead. Those fucks!

That night students talked to the television news crews who were swarming like locusts outside the school. The students, even the ones from Dickly’s class who laughed at Dickly, were all acting sorrowful,. “Mr. Dickly just snapped. No one did anything.”

Commentators on the networks talked about the need not to allow teachers to have guns. “Only administrators should have guns,” said one principal wearing the cowboy belt his wife had given him for his birthday.

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic!; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, e-books, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.

The Bookcase: Review of “Wesley the Owl” by Stacey O’Brien


Last things first—I cried. Wesley the owl died at the end of the book at the age of 19. I am not ashamed to admit I cried. Thirty years ago I would have been sneering at my tearing but in the last 22 years I have had two parrots as pets (both still alive) and I know the close relationship that a human and a bird (perhaps all pets and people) can have.

My older bird, Augustus, came close to death about five years ago. My wife, the Beautiful AP, and I were shattered. I never thought that could happen to me, my lord, I was sad because of a bird? Yes, I was. Augustus was a part of my family; he is still a part of my family.

Stacey O’Brien has written a masterful tale, Wesley the Owl, of her 19 years with a barn owl who would have died in the wild because he started his life with a broken wing. If owls can’t fly, they die. Stacey had a choice; adopt the owl or know that she had consigned him to oblivion. Stacey is a biologist specializing in wild animal behavior. She adopted the owl.

Of course, she had to figure how to feed it (loads and loads of mice) and take care of it in the confines of an indoor life. Wesley had some very strong ideas about how he wanted to live—one way was without other males coming near his “mate.” Wesley was jealous of “suitors.” In that he was much like the Greek hero Odysseus, after whose return from a 20 year adventure, killed his supposedly widowed wife’s suitors.

Despite the word barn in the owl’s name, it is an outdoor creature that might only very, very occasionally wind up in someone’s barn for some strange reason or other.

Wesley the Owl is a personal tale. Stacey suffered from migraines which became so bad that she would pass out. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, then a stroke and wound up in a wheelchair. She seriously thought of suicide. What held her hand? Let her tell you:

“Wesley had been my constant companion, my teacher, and my friend. I now made the decision to honor this little body with the huge soul, and to see him through to the end. I had promises to keep. It was the one thing I could still do. It’s the Way of the Owl. You commit for life, you finish what you start, you give your unconditional love, and that is enough. I looked into the eyes of the owl, found the word of God there, and decided to live.”

I just gave my two birds kisses. These are birds I love. Stacey loved Wesley. Read the book; I think you will enjoy it.


This book review first appeared in the South Shore Audubon Society’s newsletter The Skimmer at

Frank’s books are available at, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

I Hate These Commercials



I am not a big fan of television commercials. I don’t like seeing car companies selling speed with whooshing automobiles and sexy women salivating over the vehicle which only leads idiots to conclude that driving fast is a good thing and will get them plenty of sex too. I don’t like those drug commercials that sell you on something that has so many side effects it’s amazing anyone lives who takes these drugs. I certainly don’t like those male erection commercials that warn if you have an erection for several days after taking their powerful drug you’d better head for the emergency room. Even as a teenager I didn’t want an erection that lasted several days!

But in my business as a professional gambling busybody, the commercials that have driven me over the edge are coming not from auto manufacturers, or from the chemistry industry, or from the erector set, but from the casinos and casino venues.

Here are a few:

In Tunica, Mississippi, Fitzgeralds had a radio commercial that promoted itself as the luckiest casino in the area. How do you measure that? How can you say you are the luckiest casino? What is the precise definition of luck and how does a casino have more or less of it than some other casino? Had the casino said it pays back more on its slot machines and proved that, well, that is a statement of fact – but to say your casino contains more luck is a statement of fantasy to be nice, or falsehood to be precise.

The bizarre thing is that another Tunica casino, The (now defunct)Grand, was also billing itself in radio commercials as the luckiest casino too. It even had radio commercials where “players” claim that they have the best luck at the Grand. So which casino is the luckiest? Can there be two luckiest casinos?

The Vegas promotion of “what happens here stays here” has generated a tremendous positive buzz around the country – it’s more popular than any quote from Shakespeare. It’s also as false as a “dicer’s oath.”

These commercials are designed to make people think that they can do anything they want in Vegas and no one will ever know. Speak to former education secretary Bill Bennett and you learn his multi-million-dollar slot-play losses didn’t stay in Vegas but made front-page news all over the world when “secret” casino files were released. These “what happens here stays here” commercials are recommending that people lie and cheat on their spouses and fiancées. They recommend giving fake names to people you meet so you can have “carefree” pickups. In short, they recommend the type of behavior you were taught from childhood to avoid – the type that is ultimately not healthy for your mind, body or spirit. Germs don’t stay in Vegas.

Now the massive Foxwoods, Connecticut casino came up with a truly nauseating commercial. It was a takeoff of The Wizard of Oz and had several weird looking people cavorting on the grounds of and in the casino. “Dorothy” looked as if she was seriously strung out. The others looked worse. What is the point of the commercial? That people who look like crack addicts have fun at Foxwoods?

Foxwoods competitor, Mohegan Sun, had its own strange television commercials. One highlighted a middle aged woman using her “psychic powers” to find a hot machine – as if such mysticism actually was the way to winning slot play. It isn’t of course. But it fuels the poor deluded slot players into thinking they too can find a fabulous machine just by using their psychic powers.

Perhaps the commercial that drives me to yelling at the television was Mohegan Sun’s “Nick Felder: I Am An Idiot!” commercial. Yes, I have named it that based on its content.

The commercial opens with a crowded craps table where everyone is madly cheering. A somewhat disheveled young man who has been shooting the dice turns and then walks towards the camera: “I don’t even know how to play this game,” he laughs. “But I’ve got them all fooled. It’s all in the game face, something I call ‘attack force delta.’ So tonight Nick Felder is the deadly green felt ninja. And tonight I’m faking it until I’m making it and no one is going to know the difference.” He then turns and goes back to the table where he shoots the dice and everybody cheers like maniacs even before the dice stop moving.

This commercial was not subtle in getting its points across. It explained that the casino prefers its players to be complete dolts at the tables. Certainly if an idiot such as Nick Felder, the green felt ninja, can play craps than you certainly can too. You don’t have to know anything. Just throw the dice and win! This commercial recommends stupidity as a primary criterion for playing its games, not knowledge of the odds, not knowing which are the best bets.

You have no idea of whether the craps game being shown in this commercial is a good one or a bad one or one in between. Because none of that matters. The casino isn’t selling a good game – it’s selling a mind set for the player or a mindless set to be exact. Just pretend, that’s all you have to do, and you can have “them” all fooled too.

Now to be fair, there are many good casino commercials – showing people enjoying the games, the restaurants, the shows and athletic events, the spas – none of them attempting to promote a mindset that is seriously absent the mind part.

In truth, casino games are tough enough to beat when you know what you are doing. “Faking it until you are making it,” is a sure way to economic disaster.

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic!; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, ebooks and at bookstores.


Old Pro Wrestling Was Better Than New Pro Wrestling


Call me an old fart (don’t you dare!) but I just bought some pro-wrestling DVD’s featuring the real “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers, Antonino Rocca, Killer Kowalski, Gorgeous George, Pat O’Connor, Verne Gagne and a host of others.  I watched the first tape today, some 10 matches.

They were absolutely mesmerizing.

When I was a kid I went to all the shows at Madison Square Garden — this was in the mid-1950’s to the mid-1960’s. I saw all the old greats: those mentioned above, in addition to Sammartino, Dr. Jerry Graham, Haystacks Calhoun, Ricky Starr, Bobo Brazil and many, many others.

I was a true pro-wrestling fan.

To me, even then, I considered it a form of physical opera. The wrestlers themselves were always “themselves” as often as they could be. They even, mostly, had villain and hero dressing rooms.

So to most of the fans – many of them true fanatics – the matches were real. And they were expertly done; the matches actually seemed real and those “old-time” wrestlers played their parts to perfection. Killer Kowalski scared the hell out of some of my friends.  Rocca delighted us. And Buddy Rogers (to me) was THE man (villain or not).

I lost track of wrestling after that. I got much more involved in boxing (had my head handed to me in my “farewell” fight) and then I turned to teaching, writing, marriage, children, divorce, a second marriage (to the one and only Beautiful AP) and challenging the casinos with several forms of advantage-play.

I flirted with wrestling during the Hulk Hogan era. I enjoyed it to a degree. But it was over-the-top. Yes, Macho Man was great and one of the best bouts I ever saw was his with Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat at WrestleMania III (I think it was III). I think Bret “the Hitman” Hart was also a great pro wrestler. But overall, the “new” wrestling just didn’t top the “old” wrestling.

Today? The “new” “new” group? Great athletes. Amazing physical skills. But…but…it just doesn’t have it. And I mean IT. The big IT! You know it is all a performance but it has become (I hate to say this) ridiculous. Outlandish, yes; and superb, yes; but mesmerizing? Not in the least.

If I were in control of the “sport”? I’d take it back several steps. Let’s go back to the “old” days, at least a little. Today’s jumping out of the ring on another wrestler (almost every show I have seen recently) has become trite, routine. Killer Kowalski glaring and shouting was amazing. He had more power than all the flying jumps of modern-day wrestling performers.

And Buddy Rogers? THE “nature boy” and one of a kind.

I wish I could go back in a time capsule and relive these great wrestlers live and in the arena.

(One problem with the DVD’s is this: The announcers are awful, just dreadful. Today’s announcers are far superior.)

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic!; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.

Men, Women and Slots


According to a survey by Harrah’s a while ago, about 81 percent of all women casino gamblers played the slot machines, while only 66 percent of the men did so. The table games are dominated by men with craps having about a 90 percent male majority and blackjack and roulette seeing smaller male majorities, but majorities nevertheless.

The slots are still a woman’s world as they have been since the casinos started placing them on their floors.

Obviously women like playing the machines and many of the machines are geared to this female enjoyment. Note the number of new machines each year that have movie titles, television titles, or star titles as their branding. Most of these machines are clearly aimed at women – although the Clint Eastwood and comic book machines are obviously geared to men.

Why women prefer slots to table games in such a huge majority is not truly known with certainty. Maybe the tables seem more competitive, combative and judgmental. After all, no one tells you how to play the slots but many blackjack “experts” have no hesitation telling other blackjack players how to play their hands or scolding them that they just played a hand incorrectly. Whether the blackjack “expert” actually knows how to play is irrelevant – he thinks he knows how to play and that is enough for him to lambaste anyone who plays differently.

You will not get this kind of game interference at the slot machines. Other slot players don’t care whether you play one coin, two coins, or three coins or whether you are superstitious or happy or depressed or clinically insane. Most slot players exist in a world of their own, only occasionally interrupted by the screams of some other slot player who has just won a big one and can’t keep from yelling her good fortune to the world. Slot players rejoice when other slot players win and then they quickly go back to doing what they love to do – playing those machines.

While slot play is overwhelmingly the game of choice for both women and men, savvy slot aficionados recognize an interesting peculiarity in their slot-playing brethren. Slot players lose interest in all types of machines relatively quickly. They will play a given machine for a period of time and then abandon it. One slot player said, “I love the Elvis machines but I never won on them so I quit playing them and moved on to Betty Boop.” And what happened? “I didn’t have much better luck on Betty so I dumped her too.”

Like bad marriages, slot players and slot machines divorce rather often. Slot players are the Elizabeth Taylors of casino gamers – always looking for the perfect match and never finding it. This is probably due to the fact that most slot players lose most of the time on all of the machines. By switching machines so frequently, they hope to switch their luck. Unfortunately, the machines are not programmed to increase your luck. They are programmed to increase the casino profits.

Casino executives know of the brittle relationship of slot player to slot machine and that’s why each and every year you will note how many new machines make their way onto the casino floors. All casino gaming shows such as G2E (Global Gaming Expo) are dominated by new machines. There may be no difference in payouts between Betty Boop machines and Shirley Temple machines but they look different and sound different and the slot player will jump from one to the other hoping they are actually different.

The first law of slot machines is “keep them coming” because new machines will be tried by players. You will not see this same jumping around at table games. Craps players don’t abandon their favorite game because, win or lose, they love the game. Blackjack players are loyal as well. You will not see many new table games at gaming shows and while some new table games have gotten a foothold in the casinos but compared to the number of new machines out there, the number of new table games is infinitesimal.

The paybacks on slot machines make them tough sells. Most have edges over 5 percent and many have edges over 10 percent. These are big edges and in league with the high speeds with which slot players attack the machines, they add up to frequent and often large losses. Very few people will stay in a marriage where they are abused and slot players don’t want to stay at machines that have been cuffing them around for any period of time. So onto the new machines with hope burning in their hearts. Slot players are like a country and western song, “I Keep Losing My Love but I Never Give Up!”

Of course, if slot payouts were really generous, say 99.5 percent (the casino having a half percent edge in that case – an edge similar to a blackjack basic strategy player), then the chance is fairly good that the slot player will stick with such a machine come hell, high water, or new slot inventories. Getting some kind of return on a gambling investment is the best way for casinos to keep their players playing. The second best way is to offer new machines. The casinos prefer to offer new machines.

There is really no end in sight to the slot revolution that has taken place in the casinos. In 1984, in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas, the slots made more money than the table games for the first time ever and their growth since then has been nothing short of phenomenal. While 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce, most divorced people still want to get remarried. And slot players still want to play the machines even after they have divorced numerous previous machines. It’s the way of the slot world.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank’s web site at . Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic!; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.

Five Incorrect Craps Beliefs

Craps is a wonderful game where the player has a great chance to beat the house.  Craps is simultaneously a horrible game where monstrous house edges eat away at a player’s bankroll until it exists no more.

How can the same game be both glorious and forbidding? Because craps has so many different bets, some few which are good but most which are bad, that many craps players, not understanding or appreciating the math of the game and its impact on their bankrolls, will jump into the deep end of Lady Luck’s pool without a life jacket. None of the following are advantage bets:

Stupid Craps Strategy # 1: See a Number bet that Number!

Unfortunately unwary craps players, sadly adhering to foolish schemes such as numbers predictably getting hot promulgated by craps know-nothings, will go up against edges in the double figures. Such Everest-like edges are as great as or greater than slot-machine edges!

So why do craps players, many of whom are bright in their non-casino lives, make such foolish bets as the one-roll Horn bet (the numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12) after seeing a Horn number appear? One answer has to do with how the house edge actually works. In the short run play of the game certain streaks will happen that can blind the player. One or several Horn numbers might have just hit and the player thinks, “This is a streak that will continue!”

The player in this case is absolutely wrong. The streak might continue or it might not continue. In a random game there is no predictability, only probability. The Horn numbers have six ways of being made, which is about 17 percent of the time. In the long run that 17 percent give or take a fraction will be how often that Horn appears. And the house will take a nice fat cut when the Horn actually does appear. How much of a cut? Well, 12.5 percent. So if you bet $100 on the Horn every time a Horn number has just appeared you can expect to lose $12.50.

But players see a “winning hit or a winning streak” and have no idea that the house is grinding them down slowly but surely. The best way to think of gambling edges is to realize that every time you make that Horn bet you are losing 12.5 percent of your bet – whether you win the bet or lose the bet! The house edge works on the total amount wagered, not this or that win or loss.

So a player buying into this stupid strategy will lose. If he bets a Horn every time he sees a Horn, given a craps game with 120 decisions per hour, our bettor will see a Horn number appear 20 times and then bet on half of them. If our bettor dumps $10 on those 10 Horns his expected loss is $12.50 per hour. That’s too heavy a loss indeed.

Stupid Strategy # 2: Place Bets are Better Than Come Bets!

After the shooter has established his point and the player wishes to get up on other numbers, there are two ways to do this – he can make Come bets, where he puts his wager in the Come box and waits for the number to be established by the shooter’s subsequent throw or he can simply Place the number directly.

Many wacky gaming “authorities” believe that Place bets are better than Come bets because you can go up on whatever numbers you like, whereas the Come bet’s destination is solely in the hands of the shooter. Unfortunately the Place bets have such high house edges that selective betting does not overcome the low house edge of the Come bets.

Let’s see how this works.

A Come bet has a house edge of 1.41 percent. The Placing of the 6 or 8 has a house edge of 1.52 percent. The Come bet will lose a $10 player 14 cents each and every time he makes it. However, the player who places the 6 or 8 must place these numbers in multiples of six dollars. Thus, a $12 Place bet will lose the player 18 cents.

From there it gets worse. The placement of the 5 and 9 comes in with a four percent house edge. Our $10 Place bettor will lose 40 cents on each of these numbers. The placement of the 4 and 10 comes in with a whopping house edge of 6.67 percent so our player now loses about 67 cents for such placements.

Would you rather lose 14 cents or would you rather lose 18 cents, or 40 cents, or 67 cents?

In a random game, Place betting is far worse than Come betting; which is the end of the story.

What about the idea that you can take down your Place bets and that makes them superior? Sounds good but I have never seen a player take down his or her bets enough times to make Place betting superior to Pass and Come betting.

Stupid Strategy #3: Bet with the House and Beat the Game!

 There are some misguided players who believe that they can actually beat a random game of craps by betting the “don’t” or Darkside of the game. Here a player is betting that the shooter won’t make his point or number and will seven out – in which case the Darkside player wins.

Unfortunately, you cannot beat craps by betting the Darkside either. The very first placement of the Don’t Pass or Don’t Come brings the house edge hammering on your head because you will lose this first placement eight times and win it only three times. While the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come are actually good bets, the stupid notion is that somehow these bets are making you play on the casino’s side, guaranteeing a win.

Not so – the casino doesn’t need you as a partner, doesn’t want you as a partner, but prefers to take your Darkside money too.

Stupid Strategy #4: Increase Bets When the Table Gets Hot!

 Let me put this in flaming terms: The table never gets hot. Now in icy terms: The table also never gets cold. The table is just a table. Random shooters who have just hit 100 numbers without the appearance of a 7 have a 17 percent chance of hitting that 7 on the very next roll. They also had a 17 percent chance of hitting that 7 on the first roll, the second roll, the 40th roll, and the 73rd roll and with every other number up and down the line.

Every time you increase your bet because of what you just saw a random shooter do is simply losing you more money. If you had a Place bet of the 6 for $12 and you increased that bet to $24 because a 6 just hit a couple of times, the casino is going to extract 36 cents from that $24.

One more time: It is the total amount you bet that the house edge works on – whether you win or lose the bet is irrelevant! Therefore, increasing your bets into a random shooter will just lose you more money in the long run.

Stupid Strategy #5: In the Short Run All Bets are the Same!

 No, they aren’t. The following bets will give you a much lower chance of winning on any given session: the Any 7 (16.67 percent house edge), the 2 or 12 (13.89 percent), the Horn (12.5 percent), the 3 or 11 (11.11 percent house edge), Hard 10 or Hard 4 (11.11 percent), Any Craps (11.11 percent), Hard 6 and Hard 8 (9.09 percent) and on down the line it goes.

If you want to be a smart craps player then limit yourself to the good house edge bets like the Pass and Come or Don’t Pass and Don’t Come. Take the maximum in odds behind these bets and you will be giving the house a tough game – and giving yourself a decent chance of coming home a winner.

Even in the short run, bad is bad and good is good. Keep that in mind the next time you think of making a stupid craps bet.

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores.





The World Outside My Windows


My office is in the back of my house. It faces my neighbor next door (to my left) and the neighbor behind me. I live in a corner property so I do not have a neighbor to my right.

My office is three fourths windows so I have a great view of these two houses’ backyards, as well as my own, and also of my deck and side yard and yards in the distance. I have to say that working here is delightful as I can look up from my computer and see massive trees, innumerable bushes, and various fences.

Still, the highlight of my day is when I see the various birds and animals that frequent our properties.

I have three totally squirrel-proof bird feeders (called Sky Cafés) in my backyard. In all seasons these feeders attract hundreds of birds and dozens of different types too. I have my binoculars next to me!

Here are just some birds I’ve seen (when she can my wife, the Beautiful AP watches the birds with me – I charge a small fee for that):

Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, Mourning Doves, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Tufted Tit Mice, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, House Finches, House Sparrows, Starlings, Goldfinches, Wrens, Song Sparrows (other Sparrows too), Robins, Grackles, Crows, Purple Finches, Mockingbirds, the occasional Gull and New York’s ubiquitous Pigeons. We still haven’t seen a Hummingbird.

Years ago we saw an owl way up in a towering tree about three hundred feet in the distance. It was there for several weeks and then disappeared. It is conceivable that it was a Great Horned Owl, the number one aerial predator. At the time we saw it, I had no idea of the various owls. I have since learned that there are lots and lots of owls. This guy (gal) was pretty big.

Right now at the snow-capped feeders (it has snowed three times this week with a fourth slated for tomorrow night – I’ve fallen out of love with snow) are a brilliant red , his plainer Mrs. Cardinal, a bunch of Mourning Doves, a slew of various types of Sparrows, a Blue Jay sitting on a fence looking at the feeder and, I imagine, figuring out which one he wants. When he lands on a feeder most of the other birds head for the air. Blue Jays are fierce birds.

And there are animals too. Yes, the squirrels are everywhere, up and down the trees, racing along the fences, burying nuts (and whatever else they bury) and even mating (really fast coitus). The squirrels come in different sizes, from young ones to big, fat older ones.

The food from the feeder will fall to the ground and the squirrels and birds will chow down on that. We have grey squirrels, black squirrels (these are beautiful!), and rust-colored squirrels (these are somewhat rare) and, one sighting only, of a white squirrel. I wonder if the white one was an albino.

We have lizards (little ones that live under the deck) and chipmunks.

We have possums (they come out at night); a family of raccoons (these mostly come out at night to devour the acorns – I did see one during the day climbing way up a tree); mice (annoying little things that occasionally show up in my house in the fall), and cats – both domestic and feral.

Now those cats can be a problem. They are truly hunters. The feral ones are sleek, fast and sneaky; the domestic ones are fatter, attempt to be sneaky, and sit out in the sun in full view of all the birds. I never see the sleek feral ones lounging in the sun. They may do that – I am guessing they do – but in private areas where no one can see them.

The only bird I saw killed by one of the feral cats was a Blue Jay that was on the ground munching away at the fallen seeds. He let his guard down. The feral cat was behind a bush coldly eyeing his prey, still as a statue, and then zoom! The cat leapt on the bird and tore it apart, feathers flying in the air and onto the ground. All the birds at the feeder, and the birds and squirrels under the feeders, flew or fled fast. None wanted to mess with the cat.

A word to the concerned: Feral and domestic cats kill over a billion birds a year. If you have a cat, keep it indoors. The feral cats have to be neutered (those females!) so their numbers decrease. And do not under any circumstances leave food out for the mob of cats that will descend on it. If you do, you are a willing participant in the slaughter of birds.

Over the years cats have replaced cats. The same ones will come around for a while and then new ones take their place. This holds for both domestic cats and the feral ones. Do they die? Go to other hunting grounds? Maybe both. Occasionally I will see a dead cat smeared on the road.

My office gives me a front-row seat for suburban nature. It can be beautiful and ugly just as is nature in the raw.

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic!, I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores.

GUPGATE: Uncovering Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


I have a confession to make; a confession about an awful activity I watched that, although done without malice and intent on my part, makes me a part of the sexual harassment and abuse epidemic being revealed at all levels of our society. I am sorry; from my heart I am so truly sorry.

I did not engage in these activities knowingly but innocently. That I swear. I never wanted any of the females hurt. But I did watch it all. That I did, willingly. I did not try to stop the males; I just watched…with fascination.

It happened in my home office where 15 females were subjected to unspeakable sexual crimes against them—I never raised a finger to help. I kept the lid closed on this situation.

You see, I have three male guppies that for some time now have not had a female in their 20-gallon tank; three lonely males, two magnificent colorful fancy males and one plain one without much in the way of colors or fins. He was the low-life in the crowd.

I was concerned that this arrangement of the males was unnatural. I asked Weh Yah, a Middle Eastern acquaintance of mine and fish expert, what I should do. He said, “It is not good for a male to be alone.”

He told me that in order to make them happy each needed about five females. In this way they would not torture any one or two weak ones. His advice was for me to buy 15 females in total so each male had his full fill. He said guppies exist within a strict polyguppoly social structure.

So I bought 15 females and after acclimatizing their water with my tank’s water I released them from their plastic bags. It was a horror show.

The three males went berserk trying to copulate with the females, especially the plain male, who seemed out of his mind with lust. They would rub against the females and chase the shy ones throughout the tank. Most of the females sped in and out of the various decorative structures to avoid the brutal attention of the males. A few of them were shaking in terror, especially when the low-life was after them.

The males showed that they were the bosses of the tank and the females just had to take what the males were doing to them. The females had no one to turn to. It was, I admit, so, so very unfair.

It is now three weeks later. All 15 females are pregnant. Does the female’s condition stop the males? Absolutely not. The males, especially the low-life, are still going after them maniacally.

I am not an advocate of such disgusting behavior. Polyguppoly should be outlawed. I have now stopped believing in Weh Yah’s advice. It is fishism at its worst.

Read Frank’s book Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Available on, kindle, e-books, Barnes and Noble and at other bookstores.

Attacked by Satan! The Roy Moore Story

Attacked by Satan: THE ROY MOORE STORY


Starring Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven and Ben Affleck

Produced by Harvey Weinstein

Executive Producer: Andrew Kreisberg

Directed by Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner

Screenplay by Roman Polanski and Woody Allen

Music conducted by James Levine

Photography by Terry Richardson and Anthony Weiner

Action Sequences by Steven Seagal

Rave Reviews!

You should lock yourself in your office and watch this movie with great care. — Matt Lauer, TV anchor

There is no spin in this movie except with the little girls that is. — Bill O’Reilly, TV anchor and author

This movie speaks to me. — Garrison Keillor, author and radio host

Roy Moore could teach us all a lesson in success! — Charlie Rose, TV anchor

They tried to destroy Roy Moore, just like they tried to destroy me. I can rise to the occasion even at eighty-eight years of age. — John Conyers, Congressman

I think this movie speaks to all of us who have been unglued by hits from women who want to chain us up and treat us like dogs, especially if we pay them to do that!” – Eliot Spitzer, former Governor of New York

This movie is no joke. Why the hell did I resign? — Al Franken, comedian and Senator

Make sure you have plenty of tissues…and those aren’t for crying! — Louis C.K., comedian

This is a literary masterpiece of a man misunderstood. —Leon Wieseltier, former editor of The Atlantic and New Republic

Really wish I had directed this film. It is a credit to everyone involved! — James Toback, director and writer

The Story of Roy Moore gives all of us food for thought. — John Besh, celebrity chef

This movie is not a joke. It is a masterpiece! — Bill Cosby, comedian

An astonishing job! — Michael Oreskes, vice-president Associated Press

A worthy addition to your movie library. — Mark Halperin, MSNBC contributor and author

David Cop-a-feel! Ha! Ha! I am jumping out of a plane next week. What are we talking about? — George H.W. Bush, former President of the United States

I did not have sex with all those women and I did not rape anyone or do anything wrong. I am just a warm person like Roy Moore! — Bill Clinton, former President of the United States

Roy Moore took my advice and grabbed them by the pussy. How can you not support a great guy like that? See the movie before the fake media destroys it. — Donald J. Trump, President of the United States


Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.