Dicing With the Paranormal

 (Published in “Experiences” of the Paranormal Review in October 1998)

 Nevada, a thriving desert metropolis of glittering cities, is a vast network of vice and dice in an incomparable setting.  It offers both wealth and ruin via a variety of gambles, of which “craps” is the favorite of those individuals who like the faster games of chance. The lure is overpowering, compelling those who indulge to make money simply via the possibilities engraved on two dice. Tables carpeted in green felt, offer beguiling respite to all those wanting to substitute worldly cares for an exciting venture in a fantasy wonderland.  But is there more to the game than simply chance?  I think so!

Years ago my spouse and I were in Reno, when we decided to try an experiment while at Comstock’s Casino.  I was to play with the aim of winning by the intuitive anticipation of dice throws that would be losers.  The result was that I didn’t lose once.  Those behind casino doors would unanimously say that this isn’t possible, but it did happen and could happen again, as the following bears out. 

I made “place bets” of 32 dollars across the board on the only allowable numbers of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.  I bet five dollars apiece on 4, 5, 9 and 10 and six dollars apiece on 6 and 8.  Place bets become active only after one of these numbers is rolled in a new game, thereby establishing a point.  Termed ‘come-out rolls’, these can be one or many before a point is established, but once this happens the casino pays 9, 7, 7, 7, 7, 9 dollars respectively on any of the six bets, repeated or otherwise. Players can choose to be ON or OFF for these bets during any dice throw.  If ON, and the next roll is a 7, all players lose.  If OFF, players can neither win nor lose, with these ‘transparent’ rolls playing no part in their scoring or statistics.

The dice were rolled 120 times by eight different people without our losing, purely because I went OFF and ON at appropriate times. I became the eighth person in rotation and quit after 15 rolls, throwing a seven (as it happens) immediately after that (players are obliged to finish games they start).

Twice after going OFF, a 7 was rolled at the next throw of the dice, which of course meant that all ON bets were lost. I always returned to ON status immediately after a 7 was cast. One time after going OFF, a 7 showed on the third roll, and on three occasions a 7 showed in six rolls or fewer. In total, there were 20 place-bet rolls and 20 come-out rolls which were transparent through being OFF.  Probability was based on the difference; that is, 80 non-transparent rolls (120 minus 40).

In view of this success, why not aim for the lottery instead, and a big win? The problem is that there are six unique events needed to win a lottery, namely, designating the correct six numbers out of 51 choices each time, whereas with place bets in the game of craps the player needs only one event to win, pass or lose. If the thought entered my mind that a 7 was going to roll (for losing), I immediately went OFF and never lost. That’s what made the experiment work, believing in advance that a losing 7 was about to roll.

Consider the mathematics.  The probability of not losing on a single throw of the dice is 5 in 6, or 0.8333.  The probability with two throws reduces that figure to its second power, or 0.694, and so on downwards until the 80th power, which is equivalent to less than one in two million.

It is clear that I could have chosen to call place bets OFF at any time, and for any length of time, provided I did not lose at all while ON, and this was in fact what happened.  Moreover, we quit the operation. We could have continued longer, but for how much longer without the spell being broken will remain unknown. The same statistics show a finite probability for rolling the dice 120 or more times without losing. However, as I view it, this was not an exercise in statistics but an experiment in tapping the world of paranormal happenings.

It is difficult to describe what was going on in my mind before and into those early minutes of the experiment. It was something far too subtle to ascribe to feelings, where at some point I took the ‘magic’ for granted. Initially, I believe it was a strange blend of curiosity and timidity, the combination of which overcame my lack of confidence. I could not lose once things got started, but I had to keep focused. 

A sizeable proportion of the winnings was bet for the croupiers in our venture, and I always backed their bets with full odds, which prompted the necessary quick responses with OFF calls. The total winnings were thus considerably more than our take-away 600 dollars, while in the end we walked away with only 165, as it was too inviting to try other things – without success.  A gambler’s lament, no doubt, but not necessarily a paranormal woe.  We are meant to learn.

Other attempts in the years to follow were not the same. Although winnings were greater, success was not apparent in the same improbable way

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