Monday, July 21, 2008

More Craps

When playing craps, the advice always given is "play what you're comfortable risking." Nobody denies craps favours the house. The lure is that when it runs hot, you can make a killing. Also, it's LOADS of fun.

So most beginners will put the minimum odds behind their pass line bet. They won't put odds on come bets. My friends refuse to put odds on 4 and 10 come bets. They also still put small odds behind their pass line bets.

But here's some basic math.

The odds of rolling a 4 before a 7 is 2:1 (6 ways to roll a 7, 3 ways to roll a 4 - 6:3 = 2:1). Odds are the only bet in the casino that pays true odds, every other bet in the house carries a casino edge (think of it as implied rake).

So, every 3 times a 4 is a point, you should statistically hit it once and lose twice.

Let's pretend there's a $1 table for ease of math.

No odds, and you only bet $1:

You will lose $2 and win $1 every 3 rolls. So you risk $3 and end up with $2. 33% lost.

Minimum odds - $1 place, $1 odds:

You will lose $4 and win $3 (odds bet pays 2:1 remember). You've risked $6 and end up with $5. 16.67% lost, or half your losses from no odds.

2x odds - $1 place, $2 odds (what Seneca offers):

You will lose $6 and win $5. You've risked $9 and end up with $8. 11.1% lost, or a third of your losses from no odds.

3x odds - $1 place, $3 odds (the standard max odds for a 4 or 10 at most casinos):

You will lose $8 and win $7. You've risked $12 and end up with $11. 8.33% lost.

100x odds - $1 place, $100 odds:

You will lose $202 and win $201. You've risked $303 and end up with $302. 0.33% lost.

That's just for 4 or 10. 5 or 9 pay 3:2 and work similarly.

No odds - lose 20% every 5 rolls. 1x odds - 10%, 2x odds - 6.67%, 4x odds - 4%, 100x odds - 0.2%

6 or 8 pays 6:5.

No odds - 9% lost on 11 rolls. 1x odds - 4.5%, 2x - 3%, 5x - 1.5%, 100x - 0.09%


Something to bear in mind here of course - the house is still always statistically winning. It's just a question of how much. By the way, those percentages all equal one place bet, so there's no change in absolute value of your statisical loss, just what the house edge is.

Does this means craps is a losing venture? Of course it does... statistically speaking. You play because it's gambling. You play because you want the hot streak. You play because you get to cheer on your friends and the rest of the table and toss dice in the air hoping that they land with the right pips facing up. You play because it's fun.

Because sometimes, you win 2/3 times instead of losing 2/3 times. And in that case, those max odds pay off huge. That 4? One more win in those 3 rolls instead of a loss means you make 83% profit instead of losing 8.33%. Win all 3 rolls? 175%. No odds? You make 33% profit on 2 wins, and 100% profit on 3. On a $5 table, that's a $90 difference between no odds vs full odds. No wonder we keep coming back.


Adam said...

Good post. Thank you!

-Champ aka Pureprophet

Instant Tragedy said...

Case in point...

Casino Royale with Alcanthang place a $100 odds bet on my 6.

I hit the six and he gets paid!

Odds are +EV

Schaubs said...

Where the F were you when I needed this info. on Friday night at Harrahs?

I spewed $120 in 20 minutes.

stupid table games, I hate them, yet I can't seem to stay away.