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Best of Frank Scoblete

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Laying odds at craps

26 November 2010

Frank,

I am a regular craps player as I am a resident in Nevada. I tend to play it often, but never for long periods of time at once. An hour on the table is a long single session for me in craps. I play this way often because I am waiting for a poker table, or I'm at the casino to eat. This doesn't change the fact that I play craps quite often. I have been mostly a don't pass bettor over time. I have gone through phases where I lay the odds, and sometimes I don't. I have come to wonder if laying odds on the don't pass truly gives the player any advantage at all. Here is why I think this is so; you tell me what you think.

Over time when the player rolls the point, I will be in an even money situation, with the odds in my favor. Let's take my normal $20 bet, for example. Say the player rolls a 9. I have $20 to win $20 saying a 7 will roll before a 9. That is a great bet. Now let's say I lay the $60 to win $40. Now I have an $80 bet to win $60. Yes, the odds are in my favor, but I have just killed my previous edge (at 1 to 1) by placing those odds.

I understand that in the short term, once you cross that first roll, now you want to play the even odds of the dice for the most money you can. But over time, whenever I get past that first roll, I want to be in an even money situation, with the odds in my favor. I have read many craps strategies, and they all say that laying those odds on the don't is going to increase your edge over time. I guess I understand why they say what they say, but taking $20 to win $20 and turning it into $80 to win $60 sounds like giving the house that little bit of edge back.

Over time this is the kind of thing that can break a bankroll, isn't it? I understand that just playing the don't pass and waiting to see what happens like I do is really just giving the house a 1.36-1.40 advantage over me, but I play with my gut and the flow of the game, mixing up my bet sizes. Over time though, whenever I get past that first roll, it doesn't make sense to me to lay those odds and screw up what is now the best even money situation you will ever find in a casino (aside from the poker table of course).

Tell me what you think,
D.

Dear D:

Great letter. I used to think the same way you do but the math of the game is an annoying thing. It is inexorably right and our "logic" fails in comparison to it.

That initial roll is the crippler to your method. You take a beating by losing 8 times and winning only 3 times on the come-out roll. So when we talk about "after" making it through the come-out roll, we are ignoring the terrible effects of the come-out roll on our bankroll.

Laying the odds is the best thing you can go to reduce the overall house edge. But with that statement here is the wrinkle to remember. If you wish to bet, say, $25, you are better off betting the least of it on the don't pass or don't come and putting the most of it on the odds portion. Let us say that it is a double odds game and you get $5 on the don't pass. Your expected loss is about 7 cents. Now you lay $20 in odds which has no house edge so your expected loss is nothing.

However, if you put all $25 on the don't pass or don't come, your expected loss is about 35 cents - a big difference.

Bottom line is for a small bet on the don't pass or don't come and what you can afford to bet on the odds. It is always best to play into the math and not try to buck it.

I am giving you a free 30-day subscription to my private members-only website at www.goldentouchcraps.com. We have over 5,000 members on this site and I think you will enjoy it.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank

Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete