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Beginner's Dice: Ten Easy Steps to Learning the Game, Part Two22 November 2007
Step Three: The Odds Bet
Playing the Pass Line and Don't Pass are good bets but the player can reduce the house edge even further by taking advantage of a bet called "the Odds." Here's how the Odds option works:
The 7 can be made six different ways with two dice. The 5 can be made four different ways with two dice. Thus, the odds of a 7 appearing in relation to a 5 are six ways to four ways or three to two. Once the shooter has established his point number, a win only garners even money on a bet that the casino is heavily favored on. To give the players a fighting chance, the casinos allow the player the option of placing an amount equal to (single odds), twice as much (double or 2X odds), three times as much (triple or 3X odds), five times as much (5X Odds), ten times as much (10X Odds), 20 times as much (20X Odds), or 100 times (100X Odds) or more, as his Pass Line bet in "odds" immediately behind it on the layout. The casino determines how much "odds" it will allow. Let's analyze the bet based on double odds.
The point is 5 and you have $10 on the Pass Line. You can now place $20 in odds behind it. If the shooter rolls a 5, you will be paid even money for your $10 Pass Line bet and the true odds for the Odds bet -- thus, you would win $30 for your $20 Odds bet. The casino has no edge whatsoever on this bet in the long run. On the Don't Pass, you have to "lay" the odds, which means taking the long end of the best. So, on the 5, you would lay $30 in Odds to win $20 should the 7 roll.
The Odds bet reduces the casino edge on the Pass Line as follows (the Don't Pass is fractionally less):
The true odds for the point numbers are as follows:
Step Four: Come and Don't Come Bets
Two other low-percentage bets are the Come and Don't Come bets. These function in exactly the same way and have exactly the same house edges as the Pass and Don't Pass bets. The only difference is that they are made after the point is established. Once the shooter has established a point, you can place a bet in the large Come area on the layout or on the smaller Don't Come area in the upper left and right hand corners of the layout. A 7 or 11 wins the Come bet at even money, loses the Don't Come bet. A 2, 3 or 12, loses the Come bet; while the 2 or 3 wins the Don't Come bet. Again the 12 is a push on the Don't Come just as it is on the Don't Pass.
However, should one of the point numbers be rolled (i.e., 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), that number now must be rolled before the 7 for the Come bet to win. Should the 7 appear before the number, the Don't Come bet wins. The Come-Don't Come is merely a game within a game. As with the Pass and Don't Pass, the Come and Don't Come players are also offered the option of Odds. You do this by placing the amount you want in Odds on the table and saying to the dealer: "Odds." He'll know to put that money on top of your Come or Don't Come bet when it is up on the number.
Step Five: Place Bets
The last of the low-percentage bets is the "placing" of the 6 and/or 8, which can be done at any time. Here you simply place a wager in multiples of six dollars. You do this by putting the bet down on the layout in front of you and saying, "Place the 6 and 8 for six dollars each," or "Place the 6 [or 8] for six dollars." The dealer will take your chips and place them directly on the number. The casino will pay off a winning bet at "casino odds" of seven for every six dollars wagered. The casino edge on this bet is 1.52 percent because the real payoff should be $7.20 for six dollars, not seven dollars. You can place a number at any time and you can also call the bet off or take it down at any time, something you are not allowed to do with the Pass or Come bets. [You are allowed to take down your odds and to take down Don't Pass and Don't Come bets.]
You can also Place the 4 and 10, 5 and 9, but these bets come in with very high house edges. The Place Bet of the 4 or 10 has a 6.67 percent house edge. The Place Bet of the 5 or 9 has a four percent house edge.
Step Six: Buying the Numbers
Most casinos will allow players to "buy" the 4 or 10 by paying a commission of five percent. So, if you want to bet $20 on the 4 or 10, you put the bet down plus a one dollar commission. In the event of a win, you will be paid $40 for your $20 bet. Had you simply placed the 4 or 10, you would only be paid $36. In fact, thanks to the Captain of Craps (see my book Forever Craps), players can now buy the 4 or 10 for $35 still paying that one dollar commission. This reduces the edge to 2.78 percent from that high of 6.67 percent. The Captain was the first player to "push the house" into giving us a better deal on the Buy bets.
In some casino venues, you can buy the 4 or 10 and only pay the commission if the bet wins! That reduces the house edge on a typical $25 buy to around 1.3 percent. Buy bets are just like Place bets and can be working or removed at any time during the game.
Step Seven: Bets to Avoid
Just about all the other bets on the craps layout are not worth making, as they come in with house edges of between five percent and 16.67 percent. Many of them also come with exotic names. Here's a rule of thumb about bets at craps. If they have fancy names, they have crummy edges.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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