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Table Games House advantage in craps

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by VegasSchemer, Nov 20, 2017.

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  1. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer VIP Whale

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    I don't play craps much at all (I'm mostly a slots and blackjack guy), so there is one part about calculating the HA in craps that I don't understand: putting odds behind your pass line bet.

    As I understand, these bets pay out their actual worth to the player and the amount you can wager there varies between 3 and 20x at most casinos.

    Isn't the house edge on the game thus diminished based on how much you put on that line? So it's 1.4% if I play the pass and then smaller based on how much I put behind it? Or am I thinking about this incorrectly?

    Also, can you just buy odds in a game when you're not shooting? And does that mean you can play without a house edge? Seems unlikely, so I'd like some clarification. If they do allow you just make those true value payout bets, I'm guessing they don't include those bets in your rating then. Are there any casinos that do factor in those bets?
     
  2. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    There is a house edge on the passline bet. There is no house edge on the odds. But you can not place odds without a passline bet. So - you are right - the combined affect of the pass and the odds bet is to dilute the house advantage of the passline bet.
    Any player can place a passline bet, whether you are the shooter or not. Anyone who places a passline bet can place odds. You can not place odds without a passline bet.
     
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  3. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    There are some common misconceptions regarding craps, and it's important to understand them since it can mean the difference of you being properly bankrolled or not.

    To start with the most basic component of craps: Yes, the odds on your Pass Line bet (and the Come Bet, which is essentially placing a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Pass Line Bet) have 0 house edge. The reason for this is because you get "true odds" which means you get paid 6:5 on your odds for a 6/8 point/come, 3:2 on your odds for a 5/9 point/come, and 2:1 on your odds for a 4/10 point/come. The reason the 5/9 and, further, the 4/10, give you better returns on your odds bet is because they have less combinations of being rolled, thus your chance of getting a 7 before those numbers land is higher. The increased payouts make it so that your odds stay the same for all 6 different points, which is, as mentioned, a zero house edge.

    However, and this is the hard part which people don't grasp: you will not lose any more or less money by taking odds. Rather, you are diluting the overall house edge on your total bets. What I'm saying by this, is that over the course of an hour, if you bet $10 on the pass line with no odds and no other bets in play, you are expected to lose about $10 per hour assuming 70 rolls per hour. If you bet $10 on the pass line with 100x odds ($1,000 in odds), you are expected to lose.... $10 per hour. What's the difference? Well, in the first case, you're going to lose a bit less than 1.5% of your total $10 bet in play for every dice roll. In the second case, you're going to lose a bit less than 0.015% of your total $1010 bet in play for every day roll.

    However, craps is a game of variance, just as blackjack is. If you were to take $10,000 to play craps, and you played a $10 pass line bet with max odds on a 100x odds table, it would not be uncommon for you to be broke less than 10 minutes with a short run of poor luck. Because of this, even though your average loss rate per hour in both situations are identical, it requires a much higher bankroll to max your odds.

    If a person was bringing a total of $200 to Vegas to gamble, and they wanted to play craps on a 10x odds table downtown, I would never advise for them to play a $5 pass line with $50 odds. While that would give them the lowest house edge on their total bets in play, they would often be decimated before they had a chance to get a drink from their cocktail waitress.

    There is no way to get a 0 house edge bet on a craps table without playing something that has a house edge. As jhpa mentioned, you can't place odds unless you place a pass line bet first. However, with proper strategy, even a low-roller can have significant action on a craps table with a 1.5% house edge or less, which makes it one of the best values in the casino. The way to do that (ignoring playing the don't pass line bets which are the best house edge bets on the table, but only by a tiny sliver, and require for you to root against the table) is to play the best 1.5% or lower house edge bets: the pass line with odds, the come bet with odds, place the 6, place the 8, buy the 4, buy the 10. The more of those you play, the more action you'll have since you'll be rooting for more #s in play, but each one, minus the odds, holds a house edge in the relative 1.5% range. Also, the Buy bet of the 4 and 10 often have a required minimum amount (on the strip it's usually $25, while off-strip it's $5 or $10).

    If I were playing with a $500 craps budget, and wanted to make my money last as long as possible while still getting action on multiple numbers, I would probably just find a $5 table and play a $5 pass line, 3x odds, and then do 2 come bets with 3x odds. That would be a total of $45 in bets in play at the maximum (the come bets take a few rolls to establish, so sometimes you won't have $45 out there) and you would probably get at least 4-6 hours of play out of it over the course of a trip with a reasonable chance of going bankrupt (probably less than 10% chance).

    Some commonly made craps bets which are awful bets regarding house edge: place the 4, 5, 9 or 10, any center bets, the field bet (particularly if it's not triple pay on 2 or 12, but even with that it's not a great bet). The most common bad bets you'll see people make, not including any center bets, is when they place money across all of the numbers that aren't the point. For example, the point is a 5, and they place $5 on the 4, $6 on the 6, $6 on the 8, $5 on the 9, and $5 on the 10. In that situation, you are placing the 4, 9, and 10 which are bad bets. Instead, you can place the 6 and the 8 and if you still want more action, you should either buy the 4 or the 10 or start playing the come bet to establish more points.
     
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  4. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Everything @jhpa said is correct.

    • Adding any amount of odds on any bet reduces the HA. The bigger the odds bet, the more the HA is lowered
    • In addition to Pass and Don't Pass, you can place odds on Come bets (once the bet is moved out of the Come box and onto a number)
    • You do have to have an underlying basic bet in order to add odds to it, you can't bet "just odds"
    • You don't have to have a Pass line bet in order to make any other bet (except obviously, placing odds on the Pass line bet)
    • Traditionally, if it's your turn to shoot, you have to make a Pass line bet in order to shoot, but if you're the only one at the table, you can bet whatever you want and shoot.
    This is my opinion on including/not including odds in your rating:

    Odds generate no theo for the casino, so you don't get any comps on it. Some casinos count odds when they quote you your average bet and some don't. Some people will make an argument that a higher quote makes you look like a bigger player. My argument would be that
    1. I don't think it gets you any better comp offers and so I don't give a shit if a place counts odds in my rating or not, as long as they rate me correctly according to their own method.
    2. What good does your inflated rating do you when you go to some other chain? You play at Caesars and they count odds and they rate you at $300, and so you call up a host at Aria and tell him you're a $300 a hand player and then you go to Aria and play exactly the same and they rate you at $75.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  5. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds Royal Flushless

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    House Advantage when you take the Odds:

    Odds / Pass Line HA
    0x / 1.41%
    1x / 0.848%
    2x / 0.606%
    3x / 0.471%
    3-4-5X / 0.374%
    5x / 0.326%
    10x / 0.184%
    20x / 0.099%
    100x / 0.021%
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  6. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    The difference in the percentage of the house edge from 5X odds to 10X odds is such that with a limited bankroll it isn't worth it to take 10X odds. Most of the time I stick to the 3X4X5X odds which are common to the Strip.
    IMHO new players should stick to double odds until they learn the ropes of the game, and they're a no brainier to calculate.
    Item #2
    Most of the time the pit is looking at your total average bet amount including the odds because when you lose you still lose it all, including your odds bets.
    And most players lose.
    Steve Wynn one stated his take was close to 40% on average of the overall amount gambled.
     
  7. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    With my br... I usually just do double odds... soemtimes single odds on 4 and 10..

    But I will do 2 to 3 come bets with same
     
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  8. topcard

    topcard Celebrating 40 Years of Vegas Trips in 2020!

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    Quick question on buying the 4, 5, 9 & 10 - is that still done in $5 increments, and is there a comission on the win, or up front?
     
  9. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    Most places won't let you buy until you're in for a bit more than $5. Buys are generally done in increments of $5, yes.

    The average LV Strip joint does not charge commission up front on a buy. Ellis Island did for some reason when I played there once (a big part of why I never played there again.)
     
  10. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    Firstly, I don't recommend buying the 5 or 9, although they're not the worst bets (they're not very good, either).

    As far as the 4 and 10, yes, you do it in $5 increments and it's paid on the win everywhere I've played, DT, Off-strip and otherwise (although I've never played craps at Ellis Island).

    If the casino doesn't have $.50 chips though, a $5 Buy bet vs. Place bet on the 4 and 10 are equal, as you get paid $9 on both. You really don't see its benefit unless you bet $10+.
     
  11. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe plenty of places won't let you buy until you're betting $20+.
     
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  12. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    The strip casinos almost all require $25 for the Buy, but off-strip and downtown it's usually $10. Some places automatically make anything on the 4 or 10 a Buy and don't have a minimum requirement, but as I mentioned before, if it's a $5 bet then the payout is the same for the casino anyway.
     
  13. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    The commission on buying the 4 or 10 (don't bother buying the 5,6,8, or 9...it's not worth it until you're up to betting hundreds of dollars on the numbers) is 5%. That comes out to $1 on a $20 bet. Casinos will let you slide on the next $5 increment and still only charge you $1 commission on a $25 (green chip) bet. If you go to $30 some casinos will up your commission to $2. So, after $25 buy, your next good bet would be a $40 ($2 commission) bet.
    When you play at many Las Vegas casinos, especially off-Strip, they will automatically place a buy on any bet you make on the 4 and 10. This works to your advantage in this way: The normal payout is $5 pays $9 on bets on the 4 and 10. So a low level $15 bet would pay $27. By playing at a casino that automatically places a buy on the low level bet, you will always only lose $1; a $15 bet will pay $29. That's tips for 2 more drinks...thank you, casino.
     
  14. Calder

    Calder High-Roller

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    Main Street Station allowed (last there in February) $5 buys on 4/10. They had gray 25¢ cheques just for that purpose. A $5 buy paid $9.75.

    The Fremont also used pink 25¢ cheques on their $3 table, I suspect they may allow it as well.

    In Wisconsin, the vig on a buy is always collected up front, win or lose.
     
  15. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    Yes, they usually round down unless it's under the lowest chip denomination of the table. There are definitely some better buy bet amounts than others.
     
  16. topcard

    topcard Celebrating 40 Years of Vegas Trips in 2020!

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    Thanks,everyone, for the replies!
    I can't recall ever betting less than $10 on the 4 or 10, as I never place them until I'm already on the other numbers for $10/$12 or more.
    All of my craps play is downtown... Plaza, El-Co, MSS, Cal, Fremont...I may have played at 4-Queens a couple of times over the years...
    So, when I take the 4 and/or 10, do I need to say, "buy the 10", or will they just know to do that?
    (What I normally say is, "$10 ten", and put my chips on the felt.)

    ...or, do I need to be betting $15+ to realize any advantage?
     
  17. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    I believe the downtown casinos, as well as the local ones like Orleans/Gold Coast, all automatically buy the 4/10 when you bet on it. BUT it's easy just to ask your dealer when you place it for the first time if it's an "automatic buy". It never hurts to ask.
     
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  18. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    I believe all of the Downtown casinos, as well as the local ones like Orleans/Gold Coast, all provide an automatic buy when you bet on the 4/10. It's always good to ask when you make your first bet on them. I've been playing craps for over 20 years in LV and I still ask upon making my first 4/10 bet. It never hurts to ask.
     
  19. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    Yes, always tell them Buy the 4 or Buy the 10, and if they tell you it's automatically a buy, you won't have to say it anymore on future bets.

    I've seen at least twice on the strip where a player said $135 across, to cover the numbers besides the point with $25/$30 bets, and the dealer did not automatically make their 4/10 a buy. I pointed it out to the player and after a brief explanation they understood that they'd make more money and they asked the dealer to change it. I'm not sure which strip properties make it a rule for their dealers to automatically make it a buy when the amount is over the minimum. It could just be that these dealers were lazy and/or not paying attention.

    On that note, you should develop the habit of calculating the proper payouts. Dealers make mistakes. I've had to correct dealers on numerous occasions when they pay 9:5 instead of 2:1 minus commission on my 4/10 Buy bets, and I've had it happen on other bets, too (like Come bets).
     
  20. Hogman

    Hogman VIP Whale

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    I play in Tunica often and most places auto buy 4/10 after $10. They also auto buy the 5/9 after $20.
     
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