Heavy’s “Back in Balance” Play

Back about ten years ago I developed a betting strategy based on the observation that the craps table is always trying to stay “in balance” with the probability universe. In other words – Do decisions and Don’t decisions always work to balance out over the long run. You could use the same concept at Roulette, betting Black or Red, Even or Odd, etc. Or at Baccarat betting Player or Bank. The objective of this strategy is fairly straight forward. At craps, you start out looking at the last THREE Pass/Don’t Pass decisions and use that info to drive your decision as to which way to bet next. In other words, if there have been two Pass decisions and one Don’t Pass decision, you’d need to see another Don’t Pass decision to bring the craps “probability universe” back into balance. That’s the side of the line you’d bet next. Once you have tracked a total of FIVE decisions then we’ll base our next wager on. From that point on we’ll base our betting direction on the LAST FIVE decisions.

Using this strategy, you only make one wager per hand – an even money bet on the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass line. Assuming there are around sixty rolls per hour and each hand averages about eight tosses, you’ll only be making seven or eight wagers per hour in most cases. That means for a two hour session on a $10 game you probably won’t need more than about a $200 session bankroll.

When you first step up to the table you can either back-track roll results – that is, write down results without actually buying into the game – or you can go ahead and buy in but not bet until you’ve tracked the required three decisions. Let’s suppose that the last three decisions were D (for Don’t Pass), D, and P (for Pass). That’s TWO Don’t decisions and ONE Pass decision. Based on that information your first bet would be $10 on the Pass Line. If the shooter tosses a come out seven or eleven then you lock up the win and leave the wager up on the Pass Line – essentially following the trend. If the shooter tosses a two, three, or twelve your Pass Line bet loses. You record a “D” for Don’t Pass. Your last three decisions are now D – P – D. That means you are still looking for a Pass Line win to bring the craps universe back into balance, so once again you bet the Pass Line.

Let’s assume the shooter sets his point then sevens out. Now your chart look like this: D – P – D – D. You stayed on the Pass Line and the shooter set the six and his point and brought it right back. Since you were on the Pass Line you won $10. You mark down a “P” on your chart.

Now you have a five decision spread to help you determine which way to bet next. D – P – D – D – P. You have three Don’t decisions and two Pass Decisions. The “craps universe” still needs one more Pass Decision to bring the table into balance, so once again you bet the Pass Line. And, for the sake of this discussion, let’s say the shooter tosses a Come Out seven and you win that bet.

Now you have six decisions on your chart. They are: D – P – D – D – P – P. Since we’re playing in Heavy’s Perfect World Casino, the decisions worked our perfectly with three Don’t decisions and three Pass decisions. So which way do you bet next? With this play you only consider the LAST FIVE decisions. In this case, you have three Pass decisions and two Don’t Pass decisions. To keep the table in balance – at least for the most recent decisions – the “universe” needs to give us another Don’t Pass decision – and that is how we bet. Pick up your $10 win and your $10 Pass Line bet – then bet $10 on the Don’t Pass.

If you can keep track of the last five decisions you can play this strategy perfectly from this point on. If you have the bankroll for it you can always add a negative progression element to the strategy. For example, you could run a Fibonacci progression for a maximum of five steps. Your bets would be $10, $10, $20, $30, and $50. On any win you’d make the same sized bet on the next hand. The objective would be to hit two wins in a row. Then you would regress back to a $10 base bet and run the progression over. There are any number of second level progressions you could run if you hit the $50 max bet, but that’s between you and your bankroll. I’m not a fan of negative progressions, but a lot of players swear by them – especially when betting on controlled shooters.

Is the “Back in Balance” craps strategy a scientific or mathematically correct way to play? No, but it is a low cost entry into the game. With decent win goals and loss limits you may even find yourself winning a few bucks. You’re not going to break the casino’s bank – but odds are you’re not going to break your own either.