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25 July 2015
By Jerry Stickman
Is the house edge on 44 inside at craps calculated as follows?
18 ways to win $14 - 6 ways to lose $44 divided by 24 (number of possible decisions) x $44? I got (252-264)/1056 = 1.14 percent. Most writers claim this is a bad bet to make but it is better than betting just the 6 or 8, so would you mind showing me my error.
You pose an interesting question.
Let’s just look at it from a high level first.
Think about what is going on. The house edge on placing the 5 or 9 is 4 percent. The house edge on placing the 6 or 8 is 1.52 percent. So logically, the house edge on the combined bets must be between 1.52 and 4 percent.
Unfortunately, Bill, you made the same mistake a lot of players make: You combined all the bets immediately. Each bet must be calculated separately as each bet is a separate game against the house.
The correct way to get the sum is to calculate the total amount of money you will lose on each bet (what you lose on the 5 plus what you lose on the 6, plus what you lose on the 8, plus what you lose on the 9) and total those amounts. Once you have that total then divide by the $44 that comprise the total bet.
The formulas look like this for placing the 5, 6, 8 and 9 respectively:
((4*$14-6*$10)/10) + ((5*$14-6*$12)/11) + ((5*$14-6*$12)/11) + ((4*$14-6*$10)/10) = $0.40 + $0.18 + $0.18 + $0.40 = $1.16.
You will lose $1.16 of the total $44 bet. $1.16/$44 = 0.026 = 2.6 percent. This is between 1.52 and 4.00 percent, just as logically makes sense.
It is better than just betting on the 5 or 9, but still, not a great combined bet.
May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.
Gambling expert Jerry “Stickman” authored the video poker section of "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!" You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at email@example.com
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