FROM MARK: My first bet is $220 inside. After three hits I make a $15 come and go down with full 75 odds. I play at a casino where I can go 5x odds. Am I better off just pressing to $75 or continue to make the come bets? I have read from some writers that the Pass Line and Come bets are not really that good; that the casino is tricking people to make those bets. I’d also like to know about systems that call for betting those bets that come in with high house edges in order to balance out expectations based on probability. What say you?
FRANK RESPONDS: Dump the placing of $220 inside. You are putting $50 on the 5 and $50 on the 9 and bucking a four percent edge. That’s a major edge and means your expectation is to lose two dollars for each number. That’s four bucks for those two bets. That’s way too much money. And the more you play and the more you bet that 5 and 9 the more you will start to see your money going downhill.
Placing the 6 and 8 is okay but you are still far better off going with Pass and Come (after the 5-Count). By betting $15 at a 5X odds game you can put $75 in odds on the 4 and 10; $100 in odds on the 5 and 9; and $125 in odds on the 6 and 8.
The Place bets are only superficially interesting because you can Place the numbers you want directly, call off the numbers when you feel like it and take down the numbers at any time. This is how the bets are sold by many gambling writers because at first these options seem to be quite good.
Well, they are and they aren’t. Here’s why:
Let’s take a look at the best of the Place bets, the 6 and the 8. The house edge is 1.52 percent – pretty good right? You have to make these bets in increments of six dollars and based on the size of your betting you are placing these numbers for $60 each. With a 1.52 percent house edge your expectation is to lose 91 cents per bet for a total of $1.82.
Not too bad.
Now take a look at a Pass Line or Come bet with 5X odds so a Come Bet of $15 bucking a house edge of 1.41 percent will lose the player 21 cents; meaning 42 cents for two numbers. Keep in mind that when the Come bet goes up on a number you can put the odds on the bet that I stated above – your potential losses are small and your potential for wins is far greater than using Place bets.
You can see just how much better the Pass Line and Come is compared to Placing the 6 and 8. And the 6 and 8 are the best Place bets if you feel compelled to make Place bets. Often even good bets have even better bets if you look into the situation closely.
The other Place bets are simply awful. Let me repeat: Awful.
The 5 and 9 come in with four percent edges (as stated a loss of $2 per $50 wagered) and the 4 and 10 come in with a hefty 6.67 percent edge which means a loss of $3.34 on each number if you are betting $50. These bets will shred your bankroll in short order.
Even “buying” the 4 and 10 in Atlantic City is not a great deal. If you buy them for $35, paying a $1 commission on both winning and losing bets, the house edge is 2.8 percent. In Tunica you can buy them for $25 dollars with a one dollar commission or $50 with a two-dollar commission bringing the house edge down to 1.3 percent. This is far better but still nowhere near as good as the Pass or the Come.
So stick with the Pass Line and Come bets with odds. Math is the key to the game of craps; the casinos know that and the players should know that. Those who tell you otherwise are wrong.
The casinos are not tricking anyone with the Pass Line or Come bets. You rarely hear the Stickman hawking those bets but they really hawk the worst bets on the table such as the Hardways, the Horn, the Whirl (World), the C&E and so forth. The very bets the house hawks are generally the bets to avoid.
Many players will give you systems that they think are logical but are really just silly and, more important, bad betting choices. The game of craps is random and you will not be able to figure a betting system that can actually allow you to predict what numbers are coming up next. As they say, it’s a crapshoot.
You must go with the best edges to have any chance at a win today, tonight or for this week or month. It is doubtful that “crazy crappers” have much of an expectation except losses time and time again, with an occasional win here and there.
Frank Scoblete’s new book is I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps! Available from Amazon.com, Kindle or at your favorite bookstore. Join Frank on his web site at www.frankscoblete.com.
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