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Best of John Grochowski

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House Has Every Point Covered at Craps Table

2 March 2000

A craps player approached.

"Let's say you make bets both on pass and don't pass," he began. "After the comeout roll, you can take the don't pass bet down if you want to, but they won't let you take down the pass bet. Why is that?"

Players have the option of taking down many multi-roll craps bets. You can take down place bets on any of the point numbers. You can take down the free odds with which you back pass, don't pass, come or don't come bets. You can take down a don't pass bet after a point is established.

But once a pass line bet is made, it stays until you win or lose.

Why?

The casino's investors like it that way. The house doesn't want to go broke.

For a pass-line bettor, the best part of the wager is the comeout roll that starts the betting sequence. When the shooter is coming out, a pass bettor has eight ways to win and only four ways to lose. Of the 36 possible combinations on two dice, six total 7 and two total 11. On any of those eight combinations, pass bets win, while they lose on the one combination that totals 12, the one way to make 2 and the two ways to make 3.

So on the comeout roll, the pass bettor is the favorite, with eight wins for every four losses.

If any other number is rolled, it becomes the point. For the pass bet to win, the point number must roll again before the next 7. Seven is the most frequently rolled number, with six of the 36 two-dice combinations. Since that loser 7 rolls more often than any point number, the bettor becomes an underdog once a point is established.

The house that allowed you to take down pass bets after a point is established would be allowing you to have money on the table when you're the favorite, then take it back when you become the underdog. Given those conditions, I wouldn't have time to write this column anymore. I'd be too busy getting rich.

Let's say I wager $25 on the pass line. In an average 36 comeout rolls, I'd win eight times, making $200, and lose four, giving back $100, for a net profit of $100. If I can take down my bet the 24 times a point is established, those player profits are never balanced out by the underdog situation that follows. I just keep betting comeouts and keep growing my bankroll until the casino goes under.

Casinos do sometimes offer games with small edges to the player, but this is no small edge. It's a license to print money.

How big is it? At $25 per comeout, I risk $300 per 12 decisions, and on the average I make a profit of $100. That's a 33.3 percent edge to the player. It wouldn't take long before the casino was forced to close the game.

That doesn't happen, because the player has to leave his money on the table when a point is established. Overall the house winds up with a 1.41 percent edge on pass wagers. That's a small edge by casino standards, but there's no need to fear the house will go out of business.

What about don't pass bettors? Why are they allowed to take their bets down once there's a point number?

It's because they're no threat to the casino bankroll. In fact, if don't pass bettors take their wagers down, the only bankrolls they harm are their own.

Don't pass bettors are decided underdogs on the comeout. The eight ways pass bettors have to win all are losers on don't pass. Not only that. The 12 that's a loser on the pass line doesn't become a winner on don't pass, it just pushes. That leaves only three ways for a don't pass bettor to win on the comeout - the one way to make 2 and the two ways to make 3.

If I bet $25 on don't pass, in an average 36 comeouts I'll lose eight times for $200 in losses, win three times for $75 in winnings and just have my bet returned on the 12. That's a net loss of $125, and a big turnaround from my expected results on the pass line.

Take down my bet when a point is established, and I'm accepting a big loss. But after the comeout, once there's a point, is when the don't pass bet gets good. Now that 7 that rolls more frequently than any other number is on my side. Once a point number is established, the don't pass bettor becomes the favorite. I make up most of my losses.

Why would a don't pass bettor want to take down his bet? Maybe if the bus is about to leave, but that's about it. As a financial decision, the bettor hurts only himself by taking down the bet.

That, of course, is why don't pass bettors are allowed to take their wagers down. A don't pass bettor who sticks around only for the comeout roll will do some serious damage to his own bankroll. A pass line bettor who was permitted to stay only for the comeout would do the serious damage to the casino's bankroll.

Guess whose bankroll the house will permit you to damage.


For more information about craps, we recommend:

Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! by Frank Scoblete
The Captain's Craps Revolution! by Frank Scoblete
Sharpshooter Craps Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Craps! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski