Casino gamblers know that the house has the edge on them; lottery players are also aware that the state-sponsored games also have a house edge, although most of these gamblers do not know what those edges are, how they are obtained, or what they mean in terms of the players’ losing expectation.

Most gamblers are in a Random Harvest mode of mind. This brilliant 1941 movie based on the book by James Hilton starred Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. It dealt with a man who was shell-shocked in World War I, having lost his memory because of the various bombings and battles in which he engaged. Such bombings and attacks were accorded the name “random harvest” in that they killed and maimed without deciding who would get hit and who would survive. The random harvest of those bombs selected Colman’s character and dictated the events of his future life.

I think many casino gamblers have a kind of random harvest where past negative experiences are often erased, as Colman’s memory was erased, and such gamblers head for their future casino and lottery conquests thinking their futures will be different.

Most casino gamblers usually have one, some or a few betting systems they play in the hopes they can seduce Lady Luck into granting her favors. Most lottery players either have cards with their special numbers on them (birthdays, anniversaries, dates of significant moments in their lives and so forth) or use random selections of numbers made by the computer that runs the games. Scratch-off lottery players basically use a wing and a prayer in selecting what tickets they will play. 

[Please note: All casino and lottery games are based on randomness and the probabilities inherent in the math of the contest or in the casino and lottery holding back some part of the winning wagers for itself; meaning they “tax” your wins.] 

In the double-zero American roulette game, a payout on a number is 35 to one when the true-odds payout should be 37 to one since there are 38 numbers in total. The casino taxes the player two units on a win by paying 35 to one. 

In craps, the Pass Line and Come bets will win 251 times for the casino and 244 times for the player, while the casino will tax the Place bets just as it taxes the above roulette payouts by returning less than what the winning wager is actually worth.

Now for this article, I will focus my attention on the players who use the random selection principle in playing the lotteries and adapt that playing strategy for both roulette and craps.

An acquaintance of mine, let’s name him Godfrey, has a unique system that is based on random picks that he uses to select other random picks. It is modeled after the computer selected lottery tickets – in short, it is using randomness to pick another randomness. It can go from roulette to craps and from craps to roulette.


If you take a look at the double-zero American roulette wheel you will notice 36 numbers from one to 36 along with two usually green or blue zeros. You have the option to bet on these numbers directly or by using some combination of them.

Here is the procedure: You go to the roulette table and record a minimum of 10 individual hits in your notebook or on your phone (if the casino will allow the use of a phone, or if you are playing at an online casino from your PC/Mac). Let us say that the following numbers hit: 23, 35, 26, 5, 12, 8, 7, 19, 0 and 14.

Godfrey tells us to take those numbers and translate them into craps numbers and then go to the craps table and bet these numbers. The craps numbers can be made as single numbers such as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 but when the roulette number does not translate exactly we take the roulette number apart. That means a 26 becomes a 2 and a 6. You can bet one or both of these numbers. 

We place no bets when the roulette numbers are 0, 00 and 1 as these do not translate into craps numbers and we do not bet the 7 as the house edge is a massive 16.67 percent, an expected loss of $16.67 per $100 wagered. We are still trying to keep the house edge somewhat reasonable.

You will note that for the following numbers: 2, 3, 11 and 12, I recommend the field bet as the house edge is far lower on the field (5.56 percent) than betting these numbers straight up. The 2 and 12 have a house edge of 13.89 percent (an expected loss of $13.89 per $100 wagered) and the 3 and 11 have a house edge of 11.11 percent (an expected loss of $11.11 per $100 wagered). I am trying to keep the house edge on any bet under seven percent.

[Please note: Although there are 36 possible ways the dice can form numbers, craps numbers only go from 2 through 12 because of these different combinations. For example, with two craps dice the 8 is made with a 6:2, 2:6; 4:4, 5:3 and 3:5.]

So let us translate the roulette numbers into craps numbers.

Roulette Numbers Craps Wager Roulette Numbers Craps Wager
1 No Bet 20 2 or field*
2 2 or field* 21 2 or field*
3 3 or field* 22 2 or field*
4 4 23 2, or field*
5 5 24 2 or field*, 4
6 6 25 2 or field*, 5
7 No Bet 26 2 or field*, 6
8 8 27 2 or field*
9 9 28 2 or field*, 8
10 10 29 2 or field*, 9
11 11 or field* 30 3 or field*
12 12 or field* 31 3 or field*
13 3 or field* 32 2, 3 or field*
14 4 33 3 or field*
15 5 34 3 or field*, 4
16 6 35 3 or field*, 5
17 No Bet 36 3 or field*, 6
18 8 0 No Bet
19 9 00 No Bet

*Field is the preferred bet.


You can make copies of the above scorecard and use it when you are playing roulette. Just check the number that has been recorded for the previous spin of the wheel and you will know exactly what to do when you get to the craps tables. The above chart is the basic strategy of the Random Harvest method of betting the roulette numbers at craps. After a while, you will probably have the whole thing memorized as many blackjack players have their basic strategy memorized.


The overwhelming majority of casinos today have scoreboards that usually show the last 20 numbers that have hit. If you wish you can record all those numbers and play them. You do not have to play all of them and you can juggle their order if you so wish. 

My opinion is to just use the first 10 numbers and when finished with your craps bets, you go back to roulette and get another 10 numbers. Godfrey claims these numbers are “fresh.” You and I know that there is no such thing as a “fresh” number as these games are stagnant. Numbers are not like fruit on a tree; they may come and go but they don’t grow. The numbers are just the numbers. I guess you could say that the latest numbers are, well, the latest numbers.

[Please note: A player going back and forth between the roulette tables and the craps tables is a smart strategy because it limits your betting and that is a good thing. By recording numbers, you are still playing but nothing can happen to your bankroll when doing so. You want to reduce the shot the casino has against you whenever you can but still feel you are in the game. The Random Harvest strategy allows you to do that.]


As with all wagering systems, a player must know when he or she has had enough. It can be a good enough session or a not good enough session or a loss. The thing a player doesn’t want, and that must be avoided if possible, is suffering a big loss. Going home with your money burnt in the awful fires of bad luck is a sad and sometimes devastating experience. 

Do not wait to establish a session bankroll as you start playing. Always know beforehand what you wish to bet over the course of a session. You must ask yourself these questions:

  • How long will your session be?
  • How much money is the maximum you will spend on any wager?
  • What is the maximum you can afford to lose in a given session without suffering angst?

Often the length of a session is determined by time and money. If you lose “X” amount you will quit but sometimes “X” comes early and then you must have the discipline to quit at that point. Do not throw any more money into the game; take a walk, a swim, get something to eat or take a nap.

Once those above questions are answered then you have the good question to handle. How do you deal with a win? Do you keep playing until the cows come home? (Where were those cows anyway?)

The best way to handle a win is to put it aside but continue to play against your original bankroll. Let us say that you start with $300 and you bet $10 a decision. You are now up to $100. You still only play with that $300, meaning the most you can lose in that session is $200 because you have $100 locked up. 

Let us say that you have won $200; you now put that aside and again play with the original $300. You now can only lose $100 as the $200 is locked away. A $300 win means you can’t lose. Any win over $300 means the session is a success.

[Please note: Nothing is stopping you from taking any win and quitting right there. You are up $100 and you want to enjoy that win, then call it a session. How you handle your money is ultimately a decision you must make. You actually determine how much you lose but fate determines how much you win.]

Craps dice smashing into pieces


It is fun to talk about gambling systems, which seems to be an ingredient in our natures, wanting to figure out how we can beat this, that or the other thing. How we can control our environments and our fates. Often our ideas are right; I mean mankind can fly and we actually sent men to the moon and a spacecraft to interstellar space.

Still just about all gambling systems are losers and so too is the Random Harvest method of play. You didn’t think otherwise, did you? Godfrey doggedly maintains it is a great way to beat the casinos and he is happy playing it. More power to him but you should be warned; the house will still have its advantage over every number you bet at craps (or at roulette).

Playing as I recommend will limit the house edge to bets under seven percent and that is somewhat manageable. Giving yourself a maximum loss level also allows you to play without fear of going home economically hammered. You must stick to your game plan made before you went to the casino. Self-control is always important when gambling in a casino or elsewhere.

Playing betting systems is indeed fun and I want you to have fun with Random Harvest; it is, after all, a unique way to play; using the randomness of roulette to try to beat the randomness of craps. It is the same as using the lottery computer to pick the numbers when you play the lottery. 

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He spent the ‘60s getting an education; the ‘70s in editing, writing and publishing; the ‘80s in theatre, and the ‘90s and the 2000s in casino gambling.

Along the way he taught English for 33 years. He has authored 35 books; his most recent publisher is Triumph Books, a division of Random House. He lives in Long Island. Frank wrote the Ultimate Roulette Strategy Guide and he's a well known casino specialist.