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Make Pass Line a better bet17 February 2015
In craps, the traditional advice is to bet as little as possible on the Pass Line and then take the “Odds” bet as high as possible once the Point is established.
I have wondered if the logic I use below should be given some consideration by gambling writers such as you. It might be a new way to look at the Pass Line bet.
Traditional logic says to place $5.00 on the Pass Line and $25.00 as an Odds bet in a 5x Odds game.
But now how about this nontraditional logic? Place the whole $30 on the Pass Line to take advantage on the very favorable odds of the Come-Out roll being the 7 or 11 — you have a two-to-one edge on that Come-Out roll because you make the 7 and 11 eight times but only lose on the 2, 3 and 12 four times.
Thus, you have an immediate $30 win versus a mere $5 win, and you avoid the easy-to-roll losing 7 as you try to make that Point.
What is your analysis?
FRANK RESPONDS: Your idea sounds good. Your idea sounds logical. Your idea will cost you six times more money than playing the traditional way.
Keep in mind that the Pass Line bet comes in with a 1.41 percent house edge, which means for every $100 you bet on the Pass Line, you will lose $1.41. As you know, that’s one of the best bets in the casino. Keep in mind that edge covers both the Come-Out roll and the Point aspect of the game.
On a $5 Pass Line bet, your expectation is to lose a mere seven cents. Pretty good if you ask me.
Now watch what happens when you put $30 up on the Pass Line. You can expect to win those eight bets when the 7 and 11 show and you will lose those four bets on the 2, 3 and 12 -- just as you stated. But (and this is the BIG BUT) when that $30 makes its way to a number, which it will 24 times, the house edge becomes immense. It basically obliterates that two-to-one edge on the Come-Out roll.
Now, your $30 will lose that 1.41 percent and your expected loss will be 42 cents, which is much more than the loss from the $5 Pass Line bet.
Yes, the Pass Line bet is a good bet but it can be made a far better bet if you follow the traditional model.
Players who enjoy Place bets, even if the bets they place are the best Place bets of the 6 and the 8, also have their logic seemingly right yet such logic still costs them much more money. If you use the $5 Pass Line bet, the house edge as stated is 1.41 percent, a loss of 7 cents.
The Place bet of the 6 or 8 comes in with a house edge of 1.52 percent, which is pretty close to the 1.41 percent of the Pass Line bet. But in fact the Place bet is much worse because you must Place the 6 or 8 for $6. The expected loss now becomes 9 cents.
So even though the placing of the 6 and 8 are considered good bets — and they are — they are nowhere near as good as the Pass Line bet. (Also remember that Come bets have the same edge as the Pass Line bet.)
Obviously the other Place bets are skunks. On the 5 and 9 your expected loss on $5 is 20 cents. On the 4 and 10 it is a bloodletting. You lose 33 cents on $5. You can see by this comparison how awful placing those outside numbers can be. Yet craps players make these bets all the time.
Although the Place bets can be shown to be weak in comparison to the Pass Line and Come bets, the other bets in the middle of the table really stink worse than the stink emanating from those Place bets. My mentor, the late Captain of Craps, calls those bets Crazy Crapper bets — and with good reason. His assertion: “You have to be crazy to make them.”
There is a solid reason why savvy gambling writers strongly recommend Pass Line and Come bets. Your expectation is to lose much less money and that means at any given session, your chances of coming out ahead are markedly improved.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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