Play The “Don’t”

Posted in: General

Years ago, a few of my friends and I booked a trip to Las Vegas.  I’m not much of a gambler, but it sounded like a good time.

My friends were planning on playing “Craps.”  Knowing that I would be expected to join in, I studied up on the facts and rules of the game.

Here is what I learned:

1. If played properly, this game of chance has odds to win that come closer to house odds than any other game (example – 50.3% chance the house will win – 49.7% chance you will win).

 2. You can run up losses quickly as well as run up winnings quickly.

3.  Craps is a dice game where the Bettor can choose between two basic bets.  (There are many versions of side bets.)

 a.  The Shooter (the person throwing the dice) will match his initial throw before he will throw a “7.”  Betting for the Shooter to make this match is called a “pass bet.”


b. The Shooter will throw a “7” before he matches his initial throw.  This is called “crapping out.”  This type of bet is referred to as playing the “don’t pass.”


After watching a few Craps games, you will see that the “Don’t” Players were not very popular because the majority of the Bettors want to see the Shooter win or make their point.

When that does happen, you will sometimes hear the Bettors yell to the Stickmen, “Take the Don’ts!” and then laugh uproariously.

This is an interesting phenomenon as the odds of winning are almost identical either way you play, but I guess everybody loves a winner.

What if instead of the nearly equal odds that exist today, the dice were loaded or the table unbalanced or the Dealers/Stickmen cheated.  Do you think you would still see people making the pass line bet?  I bet you wouldn’t.

Let’s play a different game with our money.  Let’s buy stocks or bonds and bet they will go up in value.

In this new game, the odds aren’t so good.  If the stock market goes up, we can make 10-20% on our money.   If we lose, we can lose up to 50% or more of our value.

Additionally, if someone starts losing at the next table over (Europe), it can cause the value of our stock to go down.

Plus, if a couple of drunks get in a fight and cause a melee (Israel/Iran) the value of my stock can go down.

How about if the Stickman (government) decided to change the rules right in the middle causing the value of my stock to go down?

What if after all this happens, the other players quit the game and now I can’t sell my stock?  Does this game sound like fun?

I may go on a winning splurge for awhile but unless I exit the game at the right time, I am a sure loser.

If this were a Craps game, I would be playing the “Don’t.”