THROWING HENRY TO THE WOLVES
By Vinny DeCarlo
Vinny DeCarlo is the author of How to Beat Casino Surveillance Ė Insiderís Secrets for Card Counters. He is a retired veteran casino man with over 20 years of upper management experience. His expertise covers the pit, security, and surveillance, and he even served as a General Manager for two different casinos. Currently, Vinny travels the states as a freelance reporter and a personal consultant to many Indian casinos. According to Vinny, there are two types of casino employees - those that know him, and those that claim to know him; therefore, never believe what you hear.
Editorís Note: After Vinny read my book Craps: Take The Money and Run, he proposed an article for the BJI where he would have seven friends read the book, go to the casino, and play craps with one of the techniques I wrote about, and then Vinny would get their feedback and write the article. We agreed that no matter the outcome of their playing session nor what they said (good or bad) about the book, Iíd publish the article. Hereís Vinnyís unedited article (except for punctuation and grammar).
Disclaimer: Henry Tamburin has never given me anything nor have I given him anything financially, favors, or parts of the Berlin Wall. I owe him nothing and he owes me the same. I respect Dr. T. for his knowledge of casino gambling as do millions of others. Itís true that I have had articles published in his newsletter but these articles were for sale to the highest or the most interested bidder. Nothing else. I have never met Tamburin and have spoken to him only once on the phone. We have mostly corresponded via e mail, so it would have been my pleasure to "Throw Henry to the Wolves," and I would have, should he deserved it. However, I believe that you, dear reader, as I did, could take his simple, yet fact-filled book on craps, and learn a thing or two, even if you are a self-proclaimed craps-master. It would have been my pleasure to prove his book worthless and not worth a cent and see if Tamburin would be man enough to print it; however, I ended up being a believer and, rightfully so, a fan of his. So, believe what you want as I have stated the facts and a proven demonstration of his written word. Should you wish to prove my results wrong, man up and do what I did or, just believe and trust in my unbiased and double blind study. \Again, I have not been paid by Tamburin, or any of his associates, living or dead, male or female, black or white, human or alien, or any other form in any other way, for my opinion on his book. Itís just plain proven facts, performed and correlated by myself, if for no other reason other than to satisfy my own curiosity.
Recently, I scrolled through a concisely written book with the title "Craps, Take the Money and Run" by Henry J. Tamburin. I was so amazed by its simplicity and Tamburinís wording and detailed explanations about the game that I purchased seven copies. Why seven copies? Well, letís just say that I believed every word in the book. Now listen up: this isnít the first craps book I have ever read, nor will it be the last craps book I will ever read; however, it was, by far, the easiest craps book I have ever read. It was so well written that I decided to buy seven copies for friends that were not educated in the game of craps. I asked each person, man and woman, to read the book and to get back to me with any questions that they had.
A week had passed and then I invited my friends to my house to discuss the book. As we sat around the table, I asked different questions to each person about the information contained in the book, and other than being asked a couple of times to explain a question in a simpler manner, everyone was at the same point in their learning curve after reading the book,. In fact, all of them felt comfortable and ready to go to a real casino and play craps for real money. Keep in mind, these were seven ordinary people of ordinary intelligence that had spent only one week reading a 114-page book and studying the "Increased Odds Playing System" and the other strategies described in the book (including the basics of the game, explanation of all the bets on the layout, table etiquette, how to bet, and other fine points).
We all know that craps is an unnerving game to approach for most recreational players due to the enormous size of the table, the number of players that can play the game, the dizzying number of bets on the layout with their associated odds, as well as the sometimes-surly dealers, including the one that holds a stick.
Craps, by nature, is a fast-paced game full of superstitions that could allow a newbie to make a host of enemies in a few seconds. When I began this experiment, I asked each member of the party, one at a time, if they would be interested in reading the book and then putting the book to the test by going to a real casino and playing on a real craps table with real dealers as well as other players. In the beginning, they were hesitant; however, after explaining that the other players were no different from them and everyone playing craps was there for the same reason, namely, to have fun and win some money, they all agreed to go for it. I then asked them to gather up a $150 bankroll and assured them that at the end of the three playing sessions, I would fade any losses; however, on the same token, I would expect to receive 50% of any winnings. With nothing to risk except the fear of possible humiliation due to improper table etiquette, they all agreed to my proposal. We decided to go and play at a casino with several craps tables that were open on a Thursday evening (they didnít feel comfortable going on a busy and crowded weekend). We agreed to meet at my house next Thursday and carpool in my friend Ryanís minivan.
Thursday came, and just as planned, my seven friends started arriving around 5 pm. By 6:30 pm, we were all ready to go and by 7:15 pm, we were in the casino, scouting the tables. I was truly impressed by how relaxed my friends were and how quickly they blended into the casino scene. I had to keep reminding myself that we were not doing anything illegal; in fact, we were the perfect casino patron, with cash in pocket and a system of play in mind.
I walked around watching my flock as they dutifully followed all the recommendations in Tamburinís book. In fact, one of them actually had a copy of the book sticking out of his back pocket. I knew what it was but I doubt if any of the casino personnel did. But sure enough, every time he leaned over to make a wager, his coat pulled up just enough to see the top of the book which readC<>R<>A<>P<>S.
At first, a few of them just watched patiently, waiting for the right time to make their play, while others jumped right in and started playing. Within 15 minutes, all were in action and playing without a care in the world. To me, they appeared like programmed robots, knowing sure and well what to do with every roll of the dice. All of them were playing with confidence and the flexibility of seasoned players. I was both amazed and somewhat proud of what I had created.
After about 35 minutes, we all met at the coffee shop. I had previously asked each of them not to share their experience until after all three playing sessions were completed. Needless to say, we had no sooner sat down when they were all charged up to go back out into the craps pit. In fact, most of them didnít want to stop playing but they all kept to the agreement and finally settled down and spoke of the fun they were having, without giving a clue if they were winning or losing.
After another 20 minutes, they slowly melted back into the crowd, found their marks, and settled into session two of their big craps playing experiment, knowing exactly which wagers to make and which ones to avoid. As I walked around snooping at their playing techniques, I was convinced that my friends had fully read and understood the book and were playing correctly. One friend was doing extremely well while anotherís stash of chips in the rack had me convinced that I was not going to incur any loses at the end of the night. This was the point where I lost all nervousness, and a cool calm came over me. I felt confident that I was not going to have to pay any out of pocket expenses.
Another 40 minutes had gone by, we gathered up again at the same corner booth of the coffee shop. This time, I had asked them as a group if anyone had struck out. None of them replied so I instructed them that at the end of the next session, we were to meet at Ryanís vehicle. Though a few in the group were feeling tired, I assured them that they would all be home by midnight and they would all have a good story to tell. Therefore, they pushed on and again got lost in the crowd of the craps pit. Even though two of the tables had been closed, there were still enough open tables so they wouldnít be crowding each other.
Another 40 minutes went by and I found myself alone in the parking garage next to the minivanÖalone. I thought to myself, Dear God, they must have all been back roomed and being beaten while the casino security guards were waited for the Nevada gaming agents to show up. Then I quickly realized that this wasnít the early 1980ís, nor was this a blackjack team ... we were exactly what the casino wanted, cash carrying systems players. Just then, two women in the group were in sight and both were laughing and smiling. A minute later, Ryan showed up, and then within 15 minutes, the entire group was in the van with Ryan at the wheel pulling out of the parking garage.
When we arrived at my house, we went inside and everyone chose a different place to do their books and pull out their base and profits. It was late and a couple of the team members wanted to put off the final chop till tomorrow, while the others argued "Letís get this on, now!" I sat in the lazy boy wondering what it was I had created, quietly laughing.
I witnessed the group falling apart. They were shaking hands full of chips at each other, trying to make a point, while others shook their chips in the face of what was once their teammate. I then called a hush amongst the group before any guns were drawn and told them to write down their scores (wins or losses) and to leave any profits or bills that I owed them and we would get together on Saturday night (in two days) and finish up. They all agreed and did as I asked.
As I looked through their paperwork, I was surprised that everyone but two of my friends chose a different method of play from the book, with six showing a profit. In fact, five of my seven friends, showed a real healthy return on investment, and Iím talking up to 350%. Only one was shy and it was a calculated loss of less than 5% of his starting bankroll.
The results of this experiment were not bad for about three hours of play, with their only guide a well-written book that only cost $11.95. Score one for Dr. T. and all of the fortunate players who have read his book.
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