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Best of John Grochowski

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The Casino Answer Man

2 February 2000

Craps players who insist on betting one-roll propositions usually have two choices: tables that pay odds-TO-1 and tables that pay odds-FOR-1.

Either way, the propositions are bad bets. They're not quite as bad if the casino pays odds-TO-1. On the one-roll wager on 12, for example, a casino might pay 30-to-1, meaning that if you win, you keep your original wager and get 30 units in winnings for a total of 31 units. Or it might pay 30-for-1, meaning that you receive 29 units in winnings plus your original wager, giving you a total of 30 units.

Winning bets paid at odds-for-1 leave you a unit short compared with odds-to-1. Either way, the one-roll proposition on 12 is a bet you should skip. True odds are 35-to-1, leaving a house edge of 13.9 percent if paid at 30-to-1 or 16.67 percent at 30-for-1.

When the September issue of the monthly Las Vegas Advisor newsletter reported that the new Resort at Summerlin had a better way, I just had to check it out. The Resort, just north of Las Vegas in Summerlin, Nev., has trimmed the house edge on center-table propositions by half or more, leaving wagers that are not quite as horrendous as usual.

Wagers on 2 or 12 pay 33-to-1 at the Resort, leaving a house edge of 5.6 percent. There's also a house edge of 5.6 percent on the Resort's 16-to-1 payoff on 3 or 11, a big improvement on the 11.1 percent edge at 15-to-1 or 16.7 percent at 15-for-1.

Other one-roll wagers with increased payoffs and reduced house edges are any 7, which pays 4.5-to-1 for an edge of 8.3 percent, and any craps, with pays 7.5-to-1 for a house edge of 5.6 percent.

The hardways, which are not one-roll bets but which have high house edges, also have been improved. Hard 4 or 10 pay 7.5-to-1, for a house edge of 5.6 percent, and hard 6 or 8 pay 9.5-1, for a house edge of 4.5 percent.

These wagers still aren't in the ballpark with pass or come (1.41 percent house edge), don't pass or don't come (1.4 percent) or place bets on 6 or 8 (1.52 percent). Still, if you're going to play the center propositions, you'll get a better run for your money with the odds offered by the Resort.

Henry Tamburin, author of Craps: Take the Money and Run and many more books on gambling, reported to the Las Vegas Advisor that the Resort at Summerlin doesn't offer the usual 5 percent commission lay bets.

Instead of laying the numbers at true odds and paying the house a 5 percent commission, don't bettors must place the numbers to lose at odds of 11-5 on 4 or 10, 8-5 on 5 or 9 or 5-4 on 6 or 8.

The good news for don't bettors is that placing the 6 or 8 to lose at those odds reduces the house edge to 2 percent from the 4 percent house edge when you pay the commission. The house edge remains 3.2 percent on 5 or 9.

The one instance where bettors lose out is when they place the 4 or 10 to lose. That carries a 4.8 percent house edge, double the 2.4 percent edge when you pay the house a 5 percent commission to lay the 4 or 10.

COMP FEAST: At the other end of the Las Vegas spectrum, to the south in Henderson, Nev., I was able to take advantage of one of the best meal comp specials I've ever seen.

With a $1 coin in any slot or video poker machine bringing one point, The Reserve was offering a buffet comp to anyone who earned 250 points in one day, dinner at its Italian restaurant to anyone who earned 500 points and a $20 comp to its Tusk steak house to anyone earning 750 points.

I easily earned the 750 points my first night - it takes about an hour of quarter video poker. Tusk's tangerine duck roasted in a woodburning oven and yams with mango sauce were fabulous.

The Reserve has the Las Vegas locals formula down pat - great video poker, single-deck blackjack, good restaurants and easy meal comps. For anyone who doesn't care whether they're miles from the Strip, The Reserve ranks high on my recommended list.

THE LOCAL SCENE: Majestic Star and Trump casinos in Gary have become the first in the Chicago area to add Spanish 21 to their rosters of table games. The variety of playing options combined with a house edge of 0.8 percent against a basic strategy player make this a fun game to play. However, all the 10-spots are removed from the deck, meaning players must make some adjustments from basic strategy for regular blackjack.

Spanish 21 strategy is available in Frank Scoblete's book The Armada Strategies for Spanish 21.


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:

The Craps Answer Book

> 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