Debunking a Craps System

August 24, 2006
Updated November 2013: The gentleman gambler who introduced me to this system was named Wendel. Wendel swore up and down that it made him a fortune and he never wavered in his confidence. He was responsible for the challenge and the enjoyment I got from writing this article and learning the allure of the system. Wendel recently passed away having lived a long life and making lots of people smile. I never saw Wendel without his pool cue, and never saw him use it. He’ll be missed.

The No Risk Don’t Come system has been known for years under a variety of different names. It claims that the player can establish a Don’t Come point with little or no risk, thereby having a bet that is always to their advantage. Unfortunately, this system, like all craps systems, does not deliver its promise and leaves the player at the mercy of the standard house advantages. Nevertheless this particular system has many avid followers. It has an interesting premise and appeals to seasoned players and their understanding of the game. Reviewing and ultimately debunking this system is a rewarding exercise in probabilities and is also an intriguing demonstration of what makes systems compelling to gamblers. Here I give you for free a system that unscrupulous or ignorant people have sold to millions, and I also give you the explanation of why my price is the right one!

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Mentos Diet Coke Rocket

August 20, 2006

Everyone is familiar with the fun that can be had by mixing Mentos with Diet Coke. The usual result is a nice fountain. Bolder adventurers can make a rocket of sorts from an exploding bottle. But I found that the unpredictability and danger from most rocket designs was unacceptable. Here’s one that is much more controllable and predictable, and with proper precautions (and adult supervision) is safer and more fun.

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Word Dojo Megatouch Touchscreen Game

August 20, 2006

worddojo.jpgWord Dojo is a video game found on Megatouch touchscreen terminals in most bars. You score by forming words by chaining together neighboring letters that drop into the screen. The first round ends when time expires or you have used 75 letters or more to form words. The second round ends when time expires or you have used 99 letters or more to form words. And the third round is a bonus round with unlimited letters. In the bonus round there is also an ever-changing bonus letter that multiplies scores of words you form that include the letter. Read the rest of this entry »

Wordster Megatouch Touchscreen Game

August 20, 2006

wordster.jpgWordster is a game found on Megatouch touchscreen terminals in most bars. It’s based on the same idea as Scrabble. You get points for making the eight largest possible words from eight letters before time expires. Proper names and plurals ending in S are not allowed. However you can use words ending in ED, ING, and other suffixes in addition to the root form of a word.

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Chilean Sea Bass Endangered by a Name Change

August 19, 2006

ugly_csb.jpgBack in the 1980s some marketing genius started calling the then little-appreciated Patagonian Toothfish by a new name Chilean Sea Bass. It’s actually a cod with no relation to true sea bass. Nevertheless, the name change was remarkably successful. Since it got the new name, it has become so popular that it is now on the brink of extinction!

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November 4, 2005

What is the likelihood that you survive falling overboard on a cruise ship?

overboard.jpgA number of my friends recently returned from cruises. During one, a woman jumped overboard from the balcony outside her stateroom following an argument with her husband and was never found. She was presumed dead of a suicide. Jumping or falling overboard on a cruise ship turns out to be surprisingly common. It happens at a rate of about a dozen each year. We began to wonder what these people might be thinking. Do they all intend to kill themselves, or do they think they will survive? What are the actual chances of survival? Would the fall kill you before you hit the water? Would the water impact necessarily kill you? And if not, what are the odds of being rescued before you drown or die of other causes?

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Billiards Cut Shot Less Than 90 Degrees

August 23, 2003

Physicists will tell you that a cut shot in billiards cannot be made in which the cut angle is less than 90 degrees. The reason is simple. In order to cut the ball at less than a 90 degree angle, some component of force would have to be applied in the direction opposite the direction that the cue ball is travelling on impact. Another way to look at this is that the cue ball would have to contact the object ball at a point on the back of the ball – this cannot occur because other parts of the ball are in the way.


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