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Place betting versus pass and come betting31 October 2011
There are many heated debates in the world of craps, some actually involving intelligent examinations of the game's math and patterns, others actually and totally involving idiotic notions. The idiotic arguments usually deal with such silliness as the efficacy of trend betting (there is none), the idea of hot or cold tables existing based on immediate past experience of that table (no such thing) and hot or cold shooters based on immediate past experience of such shooters.
There is a tendency on the part of almost all gamblers to want to establish some rhyme or reason or predictability to randomness, which is just what the typical craps game is all about -- random throws by countless random shooters. In such a game, all arguments are defeated by simply realizing that what happened in the immediate past has no influence on what will happen in the immediate future. Some gamblers never learn this lesson and they are doomed to the wishful thinking that somehow, in some way, they are going to overcome randomness with their trend-betting system. It isn't going to happen, but go to most craps websites and you will see flaming idiots making inflaming arguments heatedly defending their incorrect theories.
However, there is one area where debate has actual merit and that is concerning the question: Is it better to use pass line and come betting with odds or is it better to place your bets directly on the box numbers?
The arguments for directly placing your numbers go like this:
In place betting, there is no doubt that you can choose which numbers you wish to bet on. When you use the pass line and come bets, you cannot choose your own numbers. The roll of the dice decides that. Yes, in place betting you can take your bets down at any time, whereas in pass line and come betting once these bets are on a number they must stay there until they either win or lose.
But now the sticky areas must be considered. While the placing of the 6 and 8 has a low house edge of only 1.52%, and the buying of the 4 and 10 as indicated above has an even lower house edge of 1.3%, these percentages can mislead players into thinking such bets are actually almost as good as or even better than using the pass line and come bets, which have a 1.41% house edge.
But let's take a closer look at the situation. If the minimum bet at the table is $10 and I bet this on the pass line or come, my expected loss is 14 cents. The player who wishes to place the 6 or 8 must do so in multiples of $6, so he would have to bet $12 and his expected loss is 18 cents. I would rather lose 14 cents than 18 cents.
Now, those buy bets of the 4 and 10 are excellent bets with a very low house edge. But first you must buy them at $25 or $50 to get that low edge -- if you bet lower than $25 the edge is higher; if you bet higher than $50 the edge is also higher. Still, you have to be able to afford such bets and the majority of players just can't afford to bet that high. Second, if you wish to bet $25 or $50 on a combination of the pass with odds or the come with odds, you can do it in such a way that this $25 or $50 gives you a far better return for your money -- or rather a far lower loss for your money.
Let us say we are at a 5x odds game. This will make it easy for me to show the math. Bet $10 on the pass or come and back it with $15 or $40. If the odds are $15, then you are betting a total of $25. If the odds are $40, you are betting a total of $50.
And what is your expected loss using the pass and come this way? The loss is still 14 cents on both $25 and $50.
Now, what is the expected loss of buying the 4 or 10 for $25 or $50 paying the vig only on wins? It is 33 cents and 65 cents, respectively. I'd still rather lose 14 cents.
Now, you can reduce the hit of the casino by removing or calling off your place bets, but you would have to call these bets off a host of times to bring your expected loss down to 14 cents per bet over time. I have never seen or talked to or read articles by anyone who ever claimed to take down his or her bets often enough to bring the expected loss down this much.
Now, all other place bets, such as the 5 and 9 or placing but not buying the 4 and 10, are in the realm of the ridiculous. With edges of 4% for the 5 or 9 and 6.67 percent for the 4 or 10, you are asking to be degutted at the table. The expected loss for a $25 place bet on the 5 or 9 is $1; the expected loss on a normal place bet on the 4 or 10 is $1.67. I'd still rather lose 14 cents using the pass line and come bets with odds.
There is one way to significantly reduce the hit of random rollers on your total bankroll and that is to use the Captain's 5-Count which I write about in my recent book Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!
In the argument over which bets are better place or pass/come, I have to throw my vote with the pass/come advocates.
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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