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Best of Jerry Stickman
Placing the 4 and 10 at Craps6 July 2013
I really enjoy playing craps. However, because I am a low roller my funds are limited and I am not able to “buy” the 4 or 10 so I place them. At my betting level, I cannot afford a $20 or $25 or more for a buy bet. I feel this is still a great bet because I get paid 9 dollars for a 5 dollar bet. This is more than any other place bet – the 6 or 8 pays 7 dollars for a 6 dollar bet and the 5 or 9 pays 7 dollars for a 5 dollar bet.
Why should I not make this bet?
I am looking forward to your reply,
You are absolutely correct that the payoff for hitting a 4 or 10 is $9 for every $5 you bet. And, yes, this is a better return in dollar terms than any other place bet. The problem with this type of reasoning is it doesn’t factor in the odds of winning the bet you place.
Let’s look at all the different place bets you can make.
As you stated, the 6 or 8 pays $7 for every $6 you bet. The actual odds against throwing a 6 or 8 before throwing a 7 (and losing your bet) are 6 to 5 – there are 6 ways of throwing a 7 and 5 ways of throwing a 6 or 8. The difference between the true odds of winning this bet and the odds the casino pays the bet gives the casino a 1.52 percent edge. This means for every $10 you bet you will lose 15.2 cents over the long run.
When it comes to the 5 and 9, when you win the bet, the casino pays you $7 for every $5 you bet. The true odds against winning the bet are 3 to 2 – there are 6 ways of throwing a 7 and there are 5 ways of throwing a 5 or 9. The difference between what the casino pays you (7 to 5) and the true odds (3-2) gives the casino a 4 percent house edge. That means for every $10 you bet you will lose 40 cents (two and a half times more that when placing the 6 or 8).
Now let’s look at placing the 4 or 10. Yes, the casino pays a winner $9 for every $5 bet, but let’s look at the true odds.
There are six ways of throwing a 7. There are three ways of throwing either a 4 or 10. The true odds against winning this bet are 2 to 1. The casino only pays 9 to 5. By shorting the craps player in the payoff, the house has a 6.67 percent edge – 67 cents for every $10 you bet. Contrast this to buting the 4 or 10. If you buy the 4 or 10 for $25 and only pay $1 when you win the bet, the house has only a 1.33 percent edge – you “only” lose 13 cents for every $10 you bet. This is better than any place bet.
I certainly don’t want anyone to bet above what they can afford so my advice to you is this: If you cannot afford to buy the 4 or 10, place the 6 or 8. These bets may not pay as much per dollar bet, but the wins happen more frequently, meaning you will be able to play longer. Now isn’t that what you really want?
May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny,
Jerry Stickman's new book is "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker." In addition, Jerry “Stickman” gives private lessons in dice control with his partner Frank Scoblete. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Best of Jerry Stickman