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Best of Jerry Stickman

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The Best Bets In Craps: Pass/Come and Don't Pass/Don't Come

6 June 2008

The game of craps can be very exciting. It can also be very frustrating. One of the great draws to this game is the variety of bets available. One can bet with the shooter -- betting that he will make the point number before the 7 shows, or one can bet that the 7 will rear its ugly head before the shooter repeats the point number.

Of course, there are dozens of other bets also available: place bets, hardway bets, field bets, horn bets, whirl bets, hop bets, big 6, big 8 and big red. Each bet comes with its own probability of hitting, payback amount and related house edge.

Two of the very best bets on the table are the pass line/come bets (with the shooter), and the don't pass/don't come bets (against the shooter). Both of these bets have about a 1.4 percent house edge, but obviously pay at different times.

A pass line bet on come-out (before a point is set) wins if a 7 or 11 is tossed and loses if a 2, 3, or 12 appears. If any other number is thrown, that number becomes the point and the come-out cycle is over for the pass line bet. The point numbers (sometimes called box numbers because they are the numbers in the "boxes" by the dealers) are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.

The come bet works just like the pass line bet, but it is placed when a point is already established for the pass line. The player places the bet in the Come area. If a 7 or 11 appears, the bet wins. If a 2, 3, or 12 appears, the come bet loses. If any other number is rolled, the come bet is moved inside the square by the dealer that contains that number. The point is now established and the come-out cycle is over for that come bet.

If a 7 is rolled when there is a come bet in the Come area, the come bet wins but the pass line and any come bets that have already been moved to a point number lose.

The power of pass/come bets is realized during the come-out phase. It wins on a 7 or 11 and loses on a 2, 3, or 12. There are six ways to make a 7 (1-6, 6-1, 2-5, 5-2, 3-4, 4-3) and two ways to make an 11 (5-6, 6-5) for a total of eight ways to win. There is one way to make a 2 (1-1), two ways to make a 3 (1-2, 2-1) and one way to make a 12 (6-6) for a total of four ways to lose. That is a 2-to-1 advantage. Once a point is established, however, the advatage swings solidly toward to house.

The don't pass/don't come works similar to the pass/come bet, however, you are betting the opposite way. On come-out, a don't pass/don't come loses if a 7 or 11 is thrown and wins if a 2 or 3 is rolled. If this bet were truly the opposite of the pass/come bet, the player would have an edge, so in order to tip the scales toward the house, the 12 appearing on come-out is a push -- no one wins or loses. This one minor change is enough to swing the edge toward the house.

The edge is solidly with the house on the come-out with don't pass/don't come bets. There are eight ways to lose and only three ways to win, however , once you make it past the come-out, the edge favors the player.

Once a point is established, the pass/come, don't pass/don't come player can add odds behind the initial (flat) bet. This is called placing odds for the pass/come bet and laying odds for the don't pass/don't come bet. On a win, the flat portion of the bet is paid even money and the odds are paid at true odds. For example, the odds of throwing a 4 before a 7 is 2-to-1. For a point of 4 the odds behind a pass or come bet are paid at 2 units for every unit bet. For don't pass/don't come, the odds are 1-to-2 that the 7 will appear before the 4, so the odds are paid at 1 unit for each 2 units laid.

The flat portion of pass/come bets are considered "contract" bets after the point is established. This means that the flat portion cannot be removed or reduced once the point is established. It can be increased however. The odds can be increased, decreased or removed at anytime.

Don't pass / don't come bets can be removed at any time since the player has the edge on these bets.

As stated previously, the house edge for pass/come, don't pass/don't come bets is about 1.4 percent. Because the odds bets are paid at true odds, there is no house edge on the odds portion. By adding single odds (equal to the flat bet), the edge drops to .83 percent. At double odds it drops to .61% and at 5 times odds it drops to paltry 1/3 of one percent. This is why the pass/come and don't pass/don't come bets are the best bets in the game of craps.

Stick with betting these bets and your winning sessions will increase and the amount you lose will decrease. It is in the math.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.

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