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Table Games Craps and the Maximum Free Odds

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by Ben Jammin, Mar 12, 2013.

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  1. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    The continuing journey "Where's the Holy Grail?"

    Once again I see a new Craps video on an alternate American web site suggesting you should always take the maximum free odds available behind the line on a pass line or don't pass line bet after the point has been established, That is if a 7, 2,3, or 12 isn't rolled.

    Any other number of course is your point and you're betting the point will roll again before a 7.

    That author suggests you take the maximum free odds available, up to 100X odds.

    That might be fine if you're Donald Trump but for most of the rest of us that's a pretty piece of change. $500 bucks? That's 100X odds on a $5 dollar table if it's offered.

    Then, for the chosen few that bet the dark side (don't pass don't come) we're talkin $1000 to lay a 4 or 10. Ouch!

    Since 95% of players bet the Pass line I'll skip the don't pass stats but for those who dare you can Google it on any one of a hundred web sites.

    The Bottom Line is, " A bad run will wipe you out quick!"

    Depending on your bankroll, a few losing rolls in a row can have a devastating effect. So, should you always take the maximum allowable amount on the free odds bet behind the line?

    The answer is unequivocally NO! You should bet within your means and bankroll, and session amount provided you have set one, and you should have done that at the onset of play.

    Since the pass line house edge is about 1.44%, then with single odds added behind the line, (an amount equal to your line bet), roughly .86%, and double odds about .68% or so.

    Now by taking 10X odds, that's 10 times the amount of your line bet the house edge drops to .18%, however .18% percent of $50 is .90 cents, whereas .68% of $10 (double odds) is .68 cents. That's actually .22 cents lower, and your investment is then more manageable.

    But lose three rolls in a row, with one pass line and two come bets up with 10x Odds,well, just do the math.

    It's no fun to get wiped out after playing for only a few minutes. In fact, it stinks! When you get on a hot roll you can increase your bet size by upping the free odds, or even adding a place the 6 or 8, even a hard way bet if you really want to get cavalier, but reserve some for later, you might need it.

    .
     
  2. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Personally I think both your logic (under certain conditions) and the logic of the article you rebut are flawed.

    The article is flawed because you aren't actually gaining any expectation by playing max odds. They aren't in your favour, they are dead even. So they can be fun to play, and for a gambler its fun to have a "fair" wager against the house.

    But even though betting 10x odds behind your pass line will create a lower "house edge" on your bet than if you bet 5x odds, it also increases your average bet, exactly offsetting it. A person betting $5 pass line with 5x odds has an expected outcome of losing about 7 cents. A person betting $5 pass line with 100x odds has an expected outcome of losing about 7 cents. So unless the casino is rating you on odds, nothing is gained rather than excitement and variance.

    The only thing particularly sound in the advice is that by playing the most odds, you seek to play the smallest pass bet so you can afford to max the odds on it. In other words, if you're going to have x dollars on the table, you want as much of that as possible to be the odds bet.

    However, the problem with your logic is in short term thinking. Yes, betting more of what you have increases your risk of ruin for the session. But being ruined for the session does nothing to change your long run expectation.

    So whether you should take on that additional risk is purely a matter of your goals for the session. Want to play for a few hours, down some free drinks, and have a roaring good time? Then yeah, you probably don't want to expose yourself to that type of variance. Want to catch lightning in a bottle and cash that quick win, and feel that you are giving up as little a % as possbile of the amount you wagered to the house? Then max odds are super.
     
  3. tommycanuck

    tommycanuck Newbie

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    IMO the amount wagered on any individual shooter including "free" odds should be dictated by your total buy-in which is the amount you're prepared to lose on any one session. You should keep the amount at risk on any shooter to approx 10% of your buy-in which will cover 10 shooters and give you a chance for the table to turn in your favour. Also, you should maximize the amount bet on odds before wagering anything on come bets.

    For example, if you're comfortable buying in for $500 and you're at a $5 table with 10x odds then you would have no problem taking full odds, but nothing else until you're winning and then can take a come bet or two and/or bump your line bet to $7 or $10.

    If it was a $10 table your wager would be $40 odds even though you could go to $100.
     
  4. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Again, that depends on what you're looking to get out of the session.
     
  5. KBT2012

    KBT2012 High-Roller

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    Most tables I play are 3-4-5 odds so it's never that bad to do max odds.
     
  6. Old Salty

    Old Salty Tourist

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    A few years back, Casino Royale offered $3 minimum with 100X odds. They also allowed the put bet. I use to play $3 flat with $30 odds and stay up after 3 wins. Then gradually press the odds when a long hand developed. Had some nice wins there and saw some big money hit the tables late at night. Fun place to play with all the street drunks who had no idea what they were doing!
     
  7. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    Understanding the post

    Nevyn, I believe, has missed the point.

    What could possibly be flawed about managing your bank roll, and not taking some self proclaimed guru's advice on how you should spend your money?

    Maybe I should write a book. Then I could proclaim myself an expert and advise all of you how to lose even more money!

    But alas, I'm a player, not a teacher. I can however give some of the newbies a bit of sound advice once in a while. I've put my hand in the fire so I can advise you not to do that. The rest is up to you!

    How many times have I heard " Always take maximum odds" when that equates to $500 bucks on a $5 dollar table. If we wanted to risk that kind of money we wouldn't be on a $5 dollar table. We'd be over a Caesars on the $25 dollar tables, staying in the high rollers suite, with our bed next to the window with a view!

    After all, gambling is supposed to be fun. We don't do it for a living, and if we did we'd be broke. The house always wins, but you can minimize their gain and maximize your fun, and if you learn to work them like they try to work you you can get pretty close to dead even with a few good comps.

    With over 150 trips to Las Vegas, and wagering hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years, I can say I might have some little bit of a clue what I'm talking about.

    But then again, six more days and I'll be doing this a whole week.

    .
     
  8. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    You've missed the point.

    Its not that your advice is bad, its just that it assumes everyone has fun the same way from gambling with the same bankroll. Because your advice doesn't change anyone's chances versus the house, it simply increases the chances that they can play at the table for a long time on their current session

    That's fine for what its worth.

    But I think its worth pointing out when you are using sentences like "the answer is unequivocally no" in making your point. The answer is not unequivocally no. The answer depends on what you want out of your play, and on what your goals are.
     
  9. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Nevyn's 100% right. To suggest that there's one 'correct' answer is pure hubris.
     
  10. JDinTN

    JDinTN MIA

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    Ben Jammin is right the answer is unequivocally no. He asked if you should ALWAYS bet max odds. The answer to that is no because it depends on how much you are willing to risk.
     
  11. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    Your math and percentages are wrong here (and you need to multiply times the total bet handle, not just the odds amount), and it's easy to demonstrate that the expected loss NEVER changes regardless of what odds multiple you play.

    No odds, house edge is 1.41% so on a $5 bet your expected loss is 7 cents.
    Single odds, edge 0.85%, so on a TOTAL bet of $10, expected loss is 7 cents.
    Double odds, edge 0.61%, total bet $15, expected loss is 7 cents.
    10X odds, edge 0.185%, total bet $55, expected loss is 7 cents.
    (The reason the edge times the total bet doesn't come out exactly 7 cents is you have to compensate for the instances where you win or lose the comeout and don't place the odds.)

    The much simpler way to look at it is the expected loss is ALL on the pass line bet, (which doesn't change), there is no expected loss on the odds bet. So adding odds does not increase the expected loss in dollar terms.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  12. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    More on The House Edge

    Math is not my forte, but Craps is!

    As far as he expected loss, the COMBINED bets including the pass line and odds reduces the overall house percentage. At least that's what the Wizard's web site sez. 100X odds is .018%, so on a one dollar table $100 earns the casino a whopping 18 cents, or by your math, 14.1%.

    Did you know that the Wizard was an Math Actuary before he started his gambling endeavours?

    I've often wondered why bettors don't make a bigger pass line bet given that the 7 is the most likely number to come up. Say $10 on the pass with $10 or even $5 single odds. Then you could increase your odds two fold on a $5 dollar table. $20 behind the line when double odds are the table maximum.

    Many of the dives I play in allow only double odds but have better paybacks on the field and some hard ways.

    .
     
  13. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    When I check the Wizard site, i get .021% for 100x odds and pass combined. Where on the site did you get .018%?

    And regardless, Ben, you applied that percentage wrong to your example. First, it would apply to the full bet amount, which is $101, not 100. Second, you moved around your decimals wrong, so its 1.818 cents, not 18 cents. And even that isnt right because tge bet size varies on whether a point is set or not. Third, Im not sure where you then get 14.1% "by his math".
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  14. POPO2012

    POPO2012 Low-Roller

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    :beer:I'm still trying to figure out what the hell "hubris" means :drunk:
     
  15. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    I've never seen a field bet on any table that's better than double the 2 and triple the 12. Does something better exist?

    If you've wondered why craps players don't make a bigger bet on the pass because 7 is the most likely number, then you really don't have any business writing about craps odds.
     
  16. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    From a mathematical perspective, there is no question that - in the long run - the more odds you can take, the better the expected outcome will be. This is a mathematical, statistical fact.

    However...

    First of all, we do not play "in the long run". We play in a series of short runs. And in the short run, anything can happen. we have all seen a "point, seven out". Often too often. Someone who buys in at a $5 minimum, 100 times odds table with $505 could head out the door before the cocktail waitress takes the first order. So a piece of advice that says one should always take max odds is pretty naive.

    I have another reason not to take max odds. It is based on the way that I play. We have also all been at a table where the point is set and then the shooter will roll for a long time - 5, 10, 20 or more rolls - without rolling the seven OR the point. I am at a table for the action and I hate seeing others at the table making money while I am standing with only one number in play. So if I am going to invest $40 or $5 in a shooter, I would rather play 10 pass with single odds and then place two or three other numbers versus betting $10 pass with $30 odds. What I lose "in the long run" on the higher house advantage, I make up in the enjoyment of have more posssible winners in play .
     
  17. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I think you are confusing house advantage and risk of ruin. Yes, you only are expected to lose 7 cents regardless of odds played, but the more odds you play, the more you win. That means lower house edge.

    But I try to explain it to my friends by using a coin flip as an analogy. A coin flip is a straight 50-50 bet. Just about what a pass line bet is with 10 to 100 times odds is. What level bet are you comfortable with flipping a coin with me? How about if you are my house and I say that as long as we are flipping I will pay for the beer you drink? How much money in your pocket.

    Casino Royale use to have a $2 table. Find a low minimum table with high odds allowed. Play at a level you are comfortable with.
     
  18. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    No, im not confusing them at all. Hence my statement that betting more odds does create a lower house edge in the paragraph you quoted.

    But again, that lower house edge DOES NOT matter if you are trying to decide how much to put behind your (fixed size) pass line bet, because you already made the pass line bet. It only matters if you are trying to decide whether to do, say $10 pass with $10 odds, or $5 pass with $15 odds. In other words, what matters is that no matter what the maximum you are willing to bet it, as much of that as possible is on the odds instead of the pass.

    Right. But hopefully when you explain it to your friends, you explain that assuming a fair coin, if they sit around betting on it all day, they are expected to break even no matter how much they bet on each flip. And that the only difference in their choice of bet size is variance and the excitement factor. Which is again what I said in the text you quoted.

    But you are giving me the beer whether I bet $0 or $1000 per coin flip, because you are making that money back off the other bet we are playing, where I am betting a fixed low amount and you have a 1.4% edge. So the beer isn't really relevant to the odds discussion.

    Plus, I keep having to tip your wife $1 per beer, and that is just making this whole arrangement awkward.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  19. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    fixed

    A series of short runs is in fact one long run that we are arbitrarily breaking up.

    I get your point, and its already been discussed. Betting more of your total buy in per roll increases the chances you bust early. So if you want your "short run" to last at least X minutes long, its probably not a good idea. But if you don't care how long you're at the table but like the action, it doesn't matter.

    Example
    Two players like to buy in to a 100x craps table with $505 once each week for 15 years , and play each session until they make $3000 or have played for 2 hours, or they get felted. One bets full odds, the other bets 2x.

    At the end of their lives, the player betting full odds has probably lost a lot less money. He has had way more sessions where he lost it all, but also way more sessions where he hit the win goal.

    The player betting 2x has played a lot more craps, and didn't have to experience being felted as often. But in the end, he lost more money.
     
  20. Bossplayer21

    Bossplayer21 Low-Roller

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    Provided they bet the same on each flip...aka flat betting. They are expected to break even with the number of wins and losses. But if they happened to bet $100 everytime the lost and bet $1 everytime they won, they definetly didn't break even in the money department even though the won 50 times and lost 50 times.
     
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