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Best of Jerry Stickman

Gaming Guru

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Change In Your Craps Bankroll Is Affected by More Than Just the House Edge

8 May 2011

All casino games writers that know what they are talking about preach making only low house edge bets. In a random game the math cannot be beaten in the long run.

Bet the “Fire Bet”, which is a bet that the shooter will make four or more different point numbers before sevening out, and the house will take $2.50 for every $10 bet. Bet “Big Red” (a one roll bet that the next number thrown will be a 7, which the house pays at a rate of 4-to-1 instead of true odds of 5-to-1) and the house will take $1.67 for every $10 that you bet. Place the 4 or 10 and the casino’s cut is 67 cents for every $10 bet. Place the 5 or 9 and the house “only” takes 40 cents of every $10 bet. Bet the “Field” (a one roll bet the next number thrown will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12) and the house take is 56 cents out of $10 played if they pay double for hitting the 2 or 12 and a “measly” 28 cents for every $10 if they pay double on either the 2 or 12 and triple on the other. Place the 6 or 8 and the casino “tax” is 15 cents per $10. A pass/come bet (or don’t pass/don’t come bet) has a house edge of 14 cents per $10 bet if you don’t have any odds bet with them.

All of the edges are proven by the math. They are absolute fact for a random game in the long run. No betting system can overcome them.

But what does an edge on a specific bet mean? The house edge is only taken with a decision on the bet in question. And while the edges are correct, the influence of the edges during a specific time period can be dramatically different.

Let’s consider a few of the bets above. The math shows there are about 3.5 rolls per pass line decision and about 8.5 rolls until a 7-out. You can search this site for further proof of these length-of-roll numbers.

Let’s first show the dollar amount of the above bets in cents-per-roll. In order to make the numbers relative, the table below assumes $10 bet on each bet, even though this may be more than allowed or not the right multiple. To calculate the edge per roll, multiply the amount bet times the edge and divide by the number of rolls per decision. The entries are ordered by decreasing house edge.

Bet

House Edge

Rolls / Decision

Loss / Roll

Fire Bet

25%

8.5

29 cents

Big Red

16.67%

1

$1.67

Hop (one way)

13.89%

1

$1.39

Hop (two way)

11.11%

1

$1.11

Hard 4/10

11.11%

4

28 cents

Hard 6/8

9.09%

3.3

28 cents

Place 4/10

6.67%

4

17 cents

Field

5.56%

1

56 cents

Place 5/9

4.00%

3.6

11 cents

Field (3X 2 or 12)

2.78%

1

28 cents

Place 6/8

1.52%

3.3

5 cents

Pass (no odds)

1.41%

3.5

4 cents

Buy 4/10*

1.33%

4

3 cents

*  Buy for $25 with $1 commission taken on win only

Now let’s convert the money lost to dollars per hour. I will use a conservative 120 rolls per hour for the calculations. The following table includes the loss per hour and is ordered in decreasing loss per hour.

Bet

House Edge

Rolls / Decision

Loss / Roll

Loss / Hour

Big Red

16.67%

1

$1.67

$200.04

Hop (one way)

13.89%

1

$1.39

$166.68

Hop (two way)

11.11%

1

$1.11

$133.32

Field

5.56%

1

56 cents

$66.72

Fire Bet

25%

8.5

29 cents

$35.29

Field (3X 2 or 12)

2.78%

1

28 cents

$33.36

Hard 4/10

11.11%

4

28 cents

$33.33

Hard 6/8

9.09%

3.3

28 cents

$33.05

Place 4/10

6.67%

4

17 cents

$20.01

Place 5/9

4.00%

3.6

11 cents

$13.33

Place 6/8

1.52%

3.3

5 cents

$5.53

Pass (no odds)

1.41%

3.5

4 cents

$4.83

Buy 4/10*

1.33%

4

3 cents

$3.99

*  Buy for $25 with $1 commission taken on win only

What a difference the frequency of decision makes. The absolute worst bet (Fire bet at 25%) drops to fifth place. Hmm – maybe it is worth a try ----- nah.

Hop bets, which have atrocious house edges, become even more insidious when looking at their loss per hour. Hardway bets with similar house edges lose only one-four to one-fifth as much as hop bets.

And look at what happens to the Field bet. Because this bet is resolved on each and every roll, the moderate 5.56 percent edge translates into a whopping $66.72 – twice the Fire bet! Even the somewhat decent 2.78 percent edge for a Field bet paying triple on the 2 or 12 loses more than a Fire bet! Field bet proponents have obviously never looked at their favorite bet in this light.

One thing is clear, however. The three best bets in terms of house edge are also the best bets in terms of loss per hour. Those authors preaching only betting low house edge bets really do know what they are saying.

The next time you are placing your hard-earned money on the craps layout, remember, it is not only the house edge that affects your bankroll, it is also the frequency that your bets are resolved.

All the best at the tables,
Jerry “Stickman”

Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman
Jerry Stickman

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com