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Hedging bets at craps17 December 2013
FRANK RESPONDS: When you start splitting the game into pieces as you have done, it seems as if there are ways to “protect” your bet. Unfortunately, the house edge doesn’t work that way. Every bet you make, even the ones you think are “protecting you” come with a price.
Protecting bets is not the way to go. These have another name too – they are called hedge bets and they are brutal hits on your bankroll.
Would you place “Any Seven” bets to protect your come bets? Think about it. At first you think that if the seven appears that Any Seven bet is going to protect your losses on the come bets. Nope. That Any Seven comes in with a house edge of 16.67 percent. That’s a loss of $16.67 for such protection. You are actually costing yourself money when you think you are saving money.
Those come bets are the best bets on the table. Don’t try to “protect” them. They are strong enough, over time, to protect themselves.
Let me show you another classic hedge bet – one advocated by some writers. I wrote this information before but it bears repeating.
You place a $5 Pass Line bet and then ask the dealers to give you a one-dollar "Any Craps" -- 2, 3, 12 -- in order to offset the possible loss of that Pass Line bet when any of the craps numbers appear. Thus, there is no way to lose on the Pass Line by utilizing such a scheme. You’ll win $40 on the 7 and 11, which will show up eight times (on average) in 36 rolls, but you’ll lose $8 on the Any Craps, for a net gain of $32. However, when any of the craps numbers appear-- and they’ll appear four times for every 36 rolls on average -- you will lose $20 on the Pass Line but win $28 on the Any Craps (which pays off at 7 to 1). So the hedger is ahead of the Pass Line game at this point to the tune of $40.
However, when a point number -- 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 -- is rolled, the Pass Line bet does not win or lose. The shooter now has to make that point before he rolls the dreaded 7. And what of all those Any Craps bets you’ve been making for a buck? What happens to them? The 24 times on average that a point number rolls is a loser for the Any Craps bet. So the Pass Line win is now reduced by $24. Still, by the end of the betting sequence, and in the long run, the hedger is guaranteed a win on the Pass Line come-out rolls of $16. Has our hedger successfully protected his Pass Line bet from being diminished by the craps numbers? No.
At first, advocates of hedging will be delighted to look at the above figures and see just how "protected" their Pass Line bet is by the Any Craps hedge. But can hedging advocates answer the following question in the affirmative: "Will I win more or lose less by betting this way?" Sorry, you’ll lose more.
If you merely played the Pass Line sans hedging, you would have won $40 on the eight times the 7 and 11 appeared, lost $20 when the 2, 3 and 12 appeared; yet, you would have been ahead $20 for the full sequence in the long run. Contrast that with our hedger who wins only $16. The cost for hedging is a 20 percent reduction in our overall Pass Line come-out win in the long run. In this case, hedging is a bad investment.
So, my advice is to take a pass on the Pass Line hedges.
Frank Scoblete's new books are "Confessions of a Wayward Catholic" and "Slots Conquest." All of Frank's books are available on Amazon.com, at your local bookstore or by mail order by calling 1-800-944-0406. Visit Frank's website at www.frankscoblete.com.
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