Craps: 3 Little Mistakes That Cost Big Money

FROM STEVEN:

I have three things to say about the game of craps and how to wager because I think so-called authorities on gambling have it all wrong. I am being logical here and I think my logic is correct.

 

 

1. I think the people who advocate that you use the Come betting with odds [at craps] are making a big mistake. You have to hit the number twice to get paid when you Come bet, where if you Place the number you only have to hit it once and you are ahead on that number. So why do gambling authors such as you keep saying Come betting is superior? I just don’t get it.

 

2. You can take Place bets down but you can’t do that with Come bets. This gives the player a lot of freedom of choice.

 

3. With Place bets you can get up on the hot numbers right away, you don’t have to wait or wind up having a Come bet going to a number that hasn’t been hitting until that one time.

 

FRANK’S RESPONSE:

At first, what you are saying sounds logical but it is a mistaken notion that many players sadly fall into. An important fact is that the very first placement of the Come bet can see you win eight times (the 7 and 11), and lose four times (the 2, 3 and 12). That gives you a two-to-one edge over the house the moment the bet is made. However, when you Place a number the house has an immediate edge over you. So the very first placement heavily favors the Come bettor but the house is heavily favored on the first bet for a Place bettor – and keeps this house-favorable edge throughout the rolls.

 

Now once the Come bet is up, the odds do shift to the house. But the Come bet’s overall house edge is 1.41%, which means you will lose on average $1.41 per $100 wagered over time. The house edges on the Place bets go from okay – 1.52% on the 6 or 8, to poor – 4% on the 5 or 9, to awful – 6.67% on the 4 or 10. Speaking monetarily, your expected loss is $1.52 for $100 on the 6 and 8, $4 for $100 on the 5 or 9, and $6.67 per $100 on the 4 or 10.

 

The numbers don’t lie. But the numbers are misleading. Watch this. When you place the 6 or 8, you must do so in multiples of $6. Let’s say you Place the 6 for $12, your expected loss is then $0.18. You do not have to use $12 for a Come bet; you can bet $10 and therefore your expected loss will be $0.14. I see that as a big difference.

 

The next big difference has to do with the ability to take odds. If you like to Place the 6 or 8 for $30 at a 5X odds game, you are far, far better off just going with a $5 Come bet with $25 in odds. Your expected loss with the Come bet is a mere $.07; your expected loss on the Place bet is $0.46. Now that is some big, big difference.

 

Keep in mind when we are talking about the 6 or 8 Place bets we are talking about the good Place bets. The other Place bets – for lack of a better word – stink. You do not want to try to overcome 4% edges on the 5 or 9, or 6.67% edges on the 4 or 10. Your likelihood of winning over any extended period of time making such poor bets is miniscule.

 

Yes, you do have the ability to take down your Place bets and on occasion some craps players will do so, but most craps players don’t. They prefer to keep their bets up until a decision pro or con is reached. To make Place betting equal Come betting you would have to take down your bets about 80% of the time, and I have never seen a craps player do that.

 

Your final point is believed by most players. Here is a radical statement. In a random game there are no hot numbers. There were hot numbers but the past is no indication of what will happen in the future. So throwing out Place bets here and there trying to catch a hot number is essentially wasting your bankroll.

 

My advice is to therefore go with a Come bet, put as much as you can afford in odds and leave it at that. In a random game you can’t outthink the dice, you can’t predict the dice; you can only make the mathematically best bet and leave it at that. To try to impose a logic that is essentially fallacious when the math tells us the truth is a major mistake.

 

In my book Casino Craps: Shoot to Win I go over every type of betting and actually give you methods of play that reduce the house edge even on traditional Place bets. But when all is said and done, the Come bets work out the best for the players.

 

BY FRANK SCOBLETE



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