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Best of John Grochowski

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The World's Best" Craps System?

7 October 2003

One recent morning, it seemed as though my e-mail box was filled to the brim with craps systems--along with questions about admission charges, now that they've returned to Hollywood Casino in Aurora.

We looked at one system last week. This time, let's check out one that came with the intriguing subject line, "The world's best craps system? Betting wrong and placing the number."

A reader named Ed asked, "Have you ever heard of this strategy? First, you always bet wrong or bet on the 'don't pass' line. The moment a place bet number is thrown, you place the number thrown with an equal bet to your original 'don't pass' bet. From here, the worst-case scenario is you break even if the shooter rolls a seven, or the best-case scenario is he rolls his number and you win the place bet, which pays out more than 1-1, making you the extra payout money from the place bet. I read this in a strategy book that was published in the '70s and was wondering if this system still works. Will casinos allow you to play this way, and does this system really work as well as the author claimed? He said it was a sure way to always win in a casino and was one of craps' best-kept secrets. Do you have any insight you could provide me?"

This system did not work in the 1970s, and it doesn't work now. If it did, it wouldn't have been anybody's best--kept secret-the gambling world would have been abuzz. Can you figure out the basic flaw? Let's walk through a little test.

To make this all come out in whole numbers, let's imagine 1,980 comeout rolls, in which each possible combination of two dice comes up 55 times. On each comeout, we bet $30 on don't pass; if the shooter rolls a point number, we then make a $30 place bet on the point.

The outcomes:

** 165 comeout rolls are either 2 or 3. Don't pass bettor wins $30 on each, or $4,950.

** 440 comeout rolls are either 7 or 11. Don't pass bettor loses $30 on each, or $13,200.

** 55 comeout rolls are 12. Don't pass bettor pushes, and no money changes hands.

Our $30 systems player has dug an $8,250 hole before getting to the point of making any place bets.

From here on, the system makes a comeback, as the player makes place bets that pay either 9-5 on winning bets if the number is 4 or 10, 7-5 on 5 or 9, or 7-6 on 6 or 8. If the place bet loses, the player breaks even because it is offset by a winning don't pass bet. If the place bet wins, the player profits because the payoffs are higher than the don't pass loss of $30.

**165 comeout rolls are 4, and another 165 are 10. The place bet wins 55 times on 4 and 55 times on 10, and each win pays $54. After subtracting the losing don't pass bets, that leaves a profit of $24 per win, or $2,640.

**220 comeout rolls are 5, and another 220 are 10. The place bet wins 88 times on 5 and 88 times on 10, and each win pays $42. That leaves a profit of $12 per win, or $2,112.

** 275 comeout rolls are 6, and another 275 are 8. The place bet wins 125 times on 6 and 125 times on 8, and each win pays $36. That leaves a profit of $6 per win, or $1,500.

Profits on numbers where the player has both don't pass and place bets working total $6,252. When we subtract these profits from the $8,250 loss on the comeout, we're left with a deficit of $1,998. Divide that by the $96,000 in wagers made, and we get a house edge of 2.1 percent. That's higher than the house edge of 1.4 percent on don't pass, without adding on the place bets.

If you could make the don't pass and place bets in tandem without sweating the comeout roll, it would be a very profitable way to play. Unfortunately for systems players, life at the craps table doesn't work that way.

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:

> 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