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Why You Should Trim the Hedges from Your Craps Game - Part 231 December 2001
Other Hedges and Their Edges
Don't Pass bettors can also get tangled up in the hedges in numerous ways. Here's one that is advocated by several gaming writers. Place a Don't-Pass bet of $20 and when the point is 6 or 8, you Place bet the same number for $18. The thinking here is that if the 7 appears, you will win $20 on the Don't Pass and lose $18 on the Place bet, giving you a $2 guaranteed profit. However, if the either the 6 or 8 hits, you will win $21 and lose $20, giving you a guaranteed $1 profit. Overall, you'll win $17 betting this way.
The problem with this betting scheme is obvious. When a Don't Pass bet has made it past the come-out roll, it is the odds-on favorite to win as a 7 will appear more often than any single number. Even though the 6 or 8 will appear five times for every six appearances of the 7, the Don't bettor is still favored to win one betting unit -- in this case $20 (he'll win six times on the 7 for $120 but lose five times on the 6 or 8 for $100). How much will you win on the guaranteed hedge? A total of $17. That's $3 less than had you played it straight! It is also a reduction of 15 percent in winnings. Not good.
This same hedge is also advocated for the other numbers as well, with the same dire consequences.
Again you bet $20 on the Don't Pass and, if the 5 or 9 is the Point, you also Place bet that number for $15. If the 7 hits, you win $20 on the Don't Pass bet, but lose $15 on the Place bet -- for a guaranteed win of $5. When the Point rolls you win $21 on the Place bet, but lose $20 on the Don't Pass bet for a guaranteed win of $1.
So what does this all add up to? Had you simply stuck with your Don't Pass bet on the 5 or 9, you would have won $120 when the 7 rolled and lost $80 when the 5 or 9 rolled as the 7 is a six-to-four, or three-to-two, favorite over the 5 or 9. That's a net win of $40. By hedging, you won $30 when the 7 rolled and $4 when the 5 or 9 rolled for a net win of $34. That's $6 less! Your winnings have again been reduced by 15 percent because of hedging. Bad news.
The same scenario holds for the hedging of the 4 or 10. Again, you bet $20 on the Don't Pass and if the point is 4 or 10, you Place bet that number for $15. If a 7 hits, you will win $20 on the Don't but lose $15 on the Place bet, for a profit of $5. However, if the point is rolled you win $27 on your Place bet, lose $20 on your Don't Pass bet, and wind up ahead $7 overall.
This sounds good until you take a look at what you actually would have won had you just stuck with your Don't Pass bet of 4 or 10. You would have won $60 because the 7 is a six-to-three, or two-to-one, favorite over the 4 or 10. You would win six times ($120), lose three (-$60) and been up $60. How much did you win with the guaranteed hedge? You won $30 when the 7 rolled and $21 when the 4 or 10 rolled, for a win of $51. That's $9 less! Again a reduction of 15 percent in your overall win! Just awful.
By hedging on the Don't Pass after you have successfully maneuvered through the toughest part of Don't betting, the come-out roll where you lose eight times for every three times that you win, you have increased your overall losses dramatically!
Now, a clever craps connoisseur might just say to him or herself: "Well, if that come-out roll is so dangerous to me because I lose on the 7 and 11, why don't I just hedge my come-outs and let my numbers stand when they are up against the Point?"
First, let's establish how dangerous a come-out roll is for a $20 Don't Pass bettor. It is very dangerous as he stands to lose $160 when the 7 and 11 roll and win a mere $60 when the 2 or 3 rolls. That's a net loss of $100, on average, for every 36 come-out rolls. Not very uplifting.
So our clever craps connoisseur hedges his $20 Don't Pass bet by wagering $5 on the Any Seven bet, which pays off at four to one. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, our Don't Pass bettor wins $20 but loses his $5 Any Seven for a gain of $15. How often will he win that $15? Three times for a net gain of $45.
Now, the formerly dreaded 7 rolls and what happens? A washout on the six times that would have previously been losers as the Any Seven wins $20 and the Don't Pass loses $20 on each and every 7. We are still losing on the 11, a loss of $40 but overall, at this stage, we are ahead $5. But then the hedge falls apart as we still have to get past those 24 Point numbers and the "bar 12," the totality of which costs us $125 for the Any Seven bet, for a net loss on the Don't Pass come-out hedging of $120 -- instead of the $100 had we not hedged at all! That's a 20 percent increase in our losses! Depressing.
So here's a simple saying to memorize: Don't "Don't" hedge!Next time: Hedges in the Field
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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