Should You Place the 5 or 9?


There’s been a lot of debate in craps circles about the placing of the 5 and 9, some of it quite intense between the camps that say do so and the camps that say don’t do so.

Well I am now going to settle this thing once and for all – or at least for the next few minutes while you read this. I am dealing with controlled shooters now, not random rollers. No random roller should ever consider placing the 5 or 9 as that four percent house edge is just too darn big to have much of a chance of being ahead in the near future. It might be such a near future as to be tonight.

There is no doubt that with controlled shooter what happened in the past, meaning the shooters past performance, does tell you something about what will happen in the future. If a shooter is reducing the appearance of the 7 he is obviously increasing the appearance of other numbers, maybe not all of the other numbers but certainly some of the other numbers.

Now a controlled shooter has just hit a few 5s (or 9s) in short order. Do you place the 5 (or 9) in that case? The answer, startlingly, is yes…and no.

Let’s take the “no” first. Is the appearance of those 5s enough to warrant a place bet against that large four percent house edge on a 5 (or 9)? Here is the unexpected answer: Forget that the shooter just rolled those 5s, the question you should ask yourself is this, “Is that shooter’s past results indicative of an ability to overcome a four percent house edge in the future?”  The answer to this is usually “No, he isn’t good enough from this point on to overcome edge on the 5.”

It doesn’t matter that he just hit some 5s, you have to look towards his future prospects based on the wealth of his past performance, not based on a few rolls that just happened.

For most dice controllers that settles the issue. DO NOT place the 5 or 9. The edge is too high.

Now too many novice and intermediate dice controllers have a bloated concept of how good they are. They think, erroneously, that they can overcome the house edge on the 5 because the 5 just showed a few times. This is somewhat equivalent to the idiotic concept of “see a number, bet that number” proclaimed by the ploppies of craps, although the 5 does have a much smaller house edge than the Crazy Crapper bets.

Now let me go to the “yes” you should place the 5 (or 9) argument but first an absolutely important preface concerning bad listening: Kids selectively listen to what teachers say. Take the sex talks that now seem de rigueur in public schools. Teachers say the following, “You shouldn’t have sex but if you are going to have sex use a condom.”

What the kids hear is this: “Have sex.”  The rest of the sentence is forgotten.

Craps players also have selective memories. They look for ways to continue stupid betting practices by scrounging around for trend systems and other systems that essentially make them losers even if these players have developed a controlled throw.

So what I write now is not to be selectively remembered. Remember it all or don’t read it.

If you have an elite controlled shooter then you can place bet the 5. So unless you are at the tables with a true master of dice control who is getting into a real streak, not an imagined one, then you should not place bet the 5 or 9.

And do not selectively remember the above to think it gives you permission to follow the advice of new or intermediate dice controllers or systems advocates.

“Have sex” this ain’t!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is His books are available on, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.