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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Should you play crapless Craps?

11 March 2007

It seems to be a law of the gambling universe. If a casino promotes a game as better than the standard game, it is always worse - for the player that is, not the casino.

For those who are not familiar with the game of craps, there are two distinct phases in the game - the "come-out cycle" and the "point cycle." In the normal game of craps, a new shooter places a bet on the pass-line. He then gets the dice and proceeds to throw them down the table. The game is now in the come-out cycle. If he rolls a natural (a 7 or 11) he wins even money on his pass line bet. If he throws a craps (a 2, 3 or 12) he loses his pass-line bet.

If he throws a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, this number becomes the "point" and the game is now in the point cycle. He now must throw the same point number before a 7 is thrown in order to win. If he throws a 7 first, he loses.

A few casinos are currently offering a variation of the game of craps called "Crapless Craps" or "Never Ever Craps." The casinos proclaim, "Never lose your pass line bet due to a craps number being thrown." I don't know about you, but I just hate it when my pass line bet is scooped up because a 2, 3, or 12 shows on a come-out roll. So these crapless craps games are a good thing, right?

Looking at the math of the standard game of craps, the player has a 2-to-1 chance of winning the bet on come-out instead of losing it. Here is the breakdown. There are six ways to throw a 7 (1-6, 6-1, 2-5, 5-2, 3-4 and 4-3) and two ways to throw an 11 (5-6 and 6-5) for a total of eight ways to win. On the other side of the ledger, there is one way to throw a 2 or 12 (1-1, 6-6) and two ways to throw a 3 (1-2, 2-1) for a total of four ways to lose. That makes it 8 ways to win and 4 ways to lose - or a 2-1 chance of winning a come-out decision rather than losing it.

Let's take a closer look at the crapless game. In this version, instead of losing your pass line bet when a craps number is thrown, that number becomes a point number. That is good - you don't immediately lose to a 2, 3, or 12, you have a chance to win on it. However the 11 - normally a pass line winner on come-out - also becomes a point number in a crapless game. In fact, the only way to win on come-out in a crapless game is by throwing a 7.

What do the added point numbers do to the house edge on a pass line bet? The house edge for a pass line bet in the standard game is 1.41 percent. The probability of making a point of 2 or 12 is 1-in-7. The probability of making a 3 or 11 is 1-in-4. Because you still only get even money for your pass line bet, the house edge for a pass line bet in a crapless game is 5.38 percent - almost four times the advantage. Now you know why casinos like to push crapless craps.

If you are like most gamblers, you expect to lose while playing craps. The occasional wins you capture give you great joy and excitement, but in the long run you expect you will lose. However, you chalk up your losses as the cost of entertainment in the pursuit of those exciting wins. If you can just play for four hours, or six or even eight hours a day and only lose what you feel is a reasonable amount, you are happy.

As stated previously the house edge for a pass line bet in crapless craps is almost four times that of the standard craps game. To put it another way, the fun you have at the tables you will last only 25 percent as long at a crapless craps table if you only bet pass line bets. Clearly this is not better for the player that the standard craps game. But there are ways to reduce your losses and extend your playing time at a crapless craps game.

Next time I will look into a better way to play crapless craps.

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