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Best of John Grochowski

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The bank in baccarat and Never Ever Craps

26 April 2015

QUESTION: The banker hand in baccarat wins more often than the player hand, right? So if there was no commission on winning banker bets, the player would have an edge. I remember being in a casino once that advertised 4 percent baccarat. What does that do to the house edge? It would make the banker bet really good, wouldn’t it?

Also, I’ve heard of a game with no commission. How do they do that, and give the house an edge on banker?

ANSWER: Banker does win more often than player, and if no commission were charged, players would have a 1.24 percent edge if they bet on banker – exactly offsetting the 1.24 percent edge the house has on player.

However, the house charges a 5 percent commission on winning bets on banker, and that’s enough to give the house a 1.06 percent edge. That’s still one of the best bets in the house. Craps players can do better if they back their pass and come bets with free odds, and blackjack players can do better if they know their basic strategy, but otherwise house edges include 1.41 percent on pass and come with no odds, about 2 percent against an average blackjack player, 2.01 percent of total action in the ante-bet portion of Three Card Poker, 2.6 percent of total action in Caribbean Stud and 5.26 percent on most bets in double-zero roulette.

If the commission is reduced to 4 percent, the house edge drops to 0.6 percent on winning banker bets – about the same as pass or come with double odds or basic strategy blackjack in a six-deck game.

At wizardofodds.com, Michael Shackleford tells of spotting a game online with a 2.75 percent commission. That drops the house edge all the way to 0.026 percent.

I’ve never seen anything lower than 4 percent, and nearly all casinos charge the 5 percent commission.

As for no-commission games, all tweak the rules to give the house an edge. One I’ve seen in recent years is called EZ Baccarat that has one small rules change. Banker hands with a three-card total of 7 do not win even if they outrank the player hand. Instead, the hand pushes – you get your bet back, but no winnings. That one change gives the house a 1.02 percent edge on banker, just slightly below the 1.06 percent on the standard game.


QUESTION: Have you ever heard of a game called Never Ever Craps? I saw a table and it looked interesting, so I played a little. The craps numbers (2, 3 and 12) don’t lose on the comeout, so you never lose on the first roll. You either win or there’s a point number.

ANSWER: Never Ever Craps has been around a long time, starting under its original name, Crapless Craps. You are correct that pass bets never lose on the comeout. Instead of comeout losers, 2, 3 and 12 are point numbers – roll one of those on the comeout, and it becomes your point.

That’s not the only change. Instead of a comeout winner, 11 also is a point number. That means pass bets win on the comeout only if the shooter rolls a 7.

As point numbers, 2, 3, 11 and 12 are really weak. The shooter will make his point and convert a 2 or 12 into a winner only one time in seven, and make a point 3 or 11 only one time in four. The bottom line is that the “Never Ever” house edge on the pass line rises to 5.38 percent from the 1.41 percent in regular craps.
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