Is It Best to Play Craps at a Table That’s Been Hot?

 Is It Best to Play Craps at a Table That’s Been Hot?

A craps table with a hot shooter on a roll is one of the most exciting places in the casino. When the shooter is rolling number after number without sevening out, players are winning together, celebrating and cheering the shooter. Big wins bring tips, so the dealers are happy, too.
The atmosphere alone would lead you to want to play where all that winning has been going on. But is it also more likely that you’ll win at a hot table?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. The most we can say about a hot table is that it has been hot. Past results say nothing about future outcomes, and future outcomes remain random according to the odds of the game.

I put that to the test a number of years ago. For nearly a year, every time I was in a casino, I stopped by a craps table, waited until I saw two consecutive passes, then tracked the result of the next. I kept it up until I had 1,000 trials.

The result: Pass bettors won 489 wagers and lost 511 on the next sequence after two consecutive wins. There was no tendency for the dice to stay hot.

I also watched 1,000 trials that started with two don’t passes, then charted the next decision. The dice passed 496 times in those 1,000 trials a mere three more passes than the expected average. There was no tendency for cold dice to stay cold, either.

Now, a thousand trials each way isn’t enough to satisfy a statistician, but if hot tables stay hot and cold tables stay cold, well, you can’t prove it by me.

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