This is part one of three from our series on games where the odds are in the hustler’s favour.
I spend a lot of time explaining how to narrow
and occasionally beat the mathematical edge in certain casino games and in
turn, I read and discuss these matters with expert players who put these
methods into practice with various levels of success.
Concealed computers and complex mental
gymnastics can offer individuals or teams of players a better return for money
they play but it’s a lot of work and can require a particular mindset to commit
the effort required to beat the house.
So let’s take a different approach and put
ourselves into the house’s position of playing with an edge against anyone
curious (or stupid) enough to accept a seemingly simple proposition.
Games With An Unfair Advantage
Proposition bets often have a trick to them that
is revealed when enough money is bet against us but with clip games, there is a
concealed advantage that is only apparent to players who can calculate the true
odds against them.
Whether you read these games as curious examples
of skewed chances or as an opportunity to fleece your friends or fellow players
in the future, I guarantee there’s plenty to learn from understanding how to
play with an unfair advantage!
Carry a few dice in your pocket and you’ll find
no end of gamblers interested in playing a seemingly fair game, but you need to
make sure the rules are clear and any apparent advantage to you is hidden or
far from obvious.
So the approach – like all good con games – has
to be as subtle as possible without going unnoticed and not so strong you wake
up their suspicions!
Dice Hustle #1 – Six
And Four Before
With two dice, make the following proposition:
In any round, I bet you will roll a six AND
eight BEFORE you roll TWO sevens.
Now think about that.
A seven is the most common number rolled with
two legitimate dice so the chances of rolling a six and an eight before two
sevens seems to be weighted entirely in the favour of the player (remember: you
are the house) so you’re going to get a lot of takers if they can figure the
odds of rolling a six and an eight compared to the odds of rolling a seven.
They should figure like this:
There are five ways to roll a six, and five ways
to roll an eight.
There are six ways to roll a seven.
Therefore, it should be easier to roll two
sevens than to roll a six and an eight in any round of play.
In fact, the odds against them are almost two to
one against but the false logic that most people fall into will set them up for
a (minor) financial fall.
Be prepared to play several rounds and if you
happen to lose the first one, be prepared to play even more than if they lose
the first roll.
That first win is a powerful convincer and some
dice mechanics have been known to fix the first roll on bets like this to drive
the hook even deeper into their mark!
Dice Hustle #2 – Add Up To Seven
For this you will need four identical dice.
With three dice, there’s a devilish little
swindle that can play entirely in your favour but be warned it’s limited, as
the secret can easily be recognized.
The first couple of rounds require some careful
management (and explanation) on your part.
Stick a die inside a coffee mug with a little
blu-tack or similar product with an ace (one dot) uppermost.
Add two more dice and find a suitable cover (a
saucer, plate etc).
If you have a home poker night, this is a
perfect little set-up for a break in the main game and I encourage you to share
the secret after winning but only if the original bet stands, of course!
Here’s the proposition:
The dice will be shaken inside the cup while
covered with the plate and when stopped, if any two or all three add to seven,
you (the house) win. But if there’s no seven then the players win.
All should be encouraged to bet against you
since the odds in this round are entirely in your favour.
Play several rounds and you’ll be shocked that
no-one will notice there is always an ace amongst the three dice.
Be warned, though, that if you win too often
they will start to question what’s in the cup or notice that one die never
Tip: I stick it
off-centre, near the inner edge and I use a shallow coffee mug, so the dice are
easily seen and the mug does not need to be picked up to show them.
With this method you will win five times out of
After a couple of rounds, secure an extra die in
your hand and then tip the dice in the mug onto that hand and pass out the
three dice (one will remain stuck inside the mug) as you place the mug and
plate aside while you offer a variation on the game just played.
This time the dice will be rolled openly and
this time if any two or all three add to seven the players will win, apparently
turning the odds in their favour but in truth you still hold enough of an edge
to win more than half the time!
Dice Hustle #3 – Aces Wild
For this, you’ll need five dice and enough gall
to offer the following proposition:
With aces wild (three ones), players win with
any pair but lose with any three of a kind!
Without aces being wild, two of a kind is much
easier to roll than three but making aces wild makes three of a kind more
likely than a pair!
This is hard for people to figure but after a
few rounds they’ll soon realise that three of a kinds happen almost twice as
often as pairs, making this bet a license to print money!
I’ve played this with poker dice and somehow the
added colour and playing card dice make it less obvious but over time, anyone
is sure to wake up to getting fleeced.
Remember To Reveal The Secret
The goal here is to win a little money but the
host thing to do with this information is to expose how and why you are able to
win more often than you lose.
The doesn’t necessarily mean they get their
As the great Bob Farmer has often coached, the
secret is part of the price of losing a proposition bet and is therefore a fair
trade so long as you’re playing for reasonable stakes.
In our next “Be Your Own Casino” article we will
explore a brilliant mathematical principle that can turn the flip of a few
coins into a winning proposition for the house (you).