Dice Tournaments: Basic Moves
by Kenneth R Smith
Tournament expert Ken Smith has appeared on all four seasons of GSN's World Series of Blackjack, and had several appearances on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour on CBS. He is the author of the e-book.How to Win More Blackjack Tournaments: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Supercharge Your Game. Ken hosts the popular website www.BlackjackInfo.com as well as the online tournament community at www.BlackjackTournaments.com. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter at http://www.blackjackinfo.com/news/. Ken also recently released his new pocket blackjack strategy cards, which are available in our BJI store.
After last month's article about a freaky dice tournament finish, I received a few responses expressing surprise that I was also a tournament craps player. In truth, I'll play virtually any type of tournament. Recent events that I've played include dice, three-card poker, mini-baccarat, video poker, and of course blackjack tournaments. I even play slot tournaments, though I must admit that I feel a lot like a lab rat while participating in slot events! There is, of course, no skill whatsoever in a slot tournament, but hey, an overlay is an overlay, right?
In my tournament career, I've played only a dozen or so craps events, maybe double that number if my memory is faulty regarding some smaller tournaments years ago. My record is excellent though, including a $25,000 first place finish and a few other final table appearances. That's not unusual, especially in the venues where I've mostly competed. Tournament players have a much larger advantage in dice than in blackjack. How many times in a blackjack tournament have you made a perfect bet only to be beaten because several of your opponents get much better cards than you. That's pretty common in blackjack, but that can't happen at craps. Everyone is betting on the exact same rolls of the dice. Yes, you can be unlucky by being on the wrong side of the dice at the end, or more commonly lose while trying to build your bank earlier in the round. But generally, a solid tournament strategy will be extremely powerful at the dice table.
Most craps tournament participants are just regular craps players, and they'll play the tournament the same way they usually bet. While they will likely bet more aggressively than usual, most players use the same ideas in their play whether playing the live game or in a tournament. That makes them more predictable as opponents. Often, they also don't really understand all of the many bets available at the table. That creates a situation ripe for the picking for a tournament expert.
I'll assume that you are already familiar with the basics of playing craps, but if not you can always find an explanation of the game at various websites (e.g, the How to Play page on smartgaming.com). Let's take a look at some key concepts and basic moves.
If you are coming from a background of playing blackjack tournaments, this is a difference that you're going to absolutely love! Very much unlike a blackjack final hand, if you have the lead in a craps tournament...
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