Craps Bets – Good Versus Bad
In terms of affecting a craps decision, there’s no such thing as a skilled craps player. However, there are knowledgeable and ignorant players. Although no one (not even the shysters who claim to have mastered the scam known as “dice control” or “dice setting”) can skillfully affect a craps decision, your amount of knowledge can play a big factor in whether you lose a lot quickly or lose a little slowly, or maybe even occasionally win. Let’s not kid ourselves. Casinos are in business to make money, not gamble. The player is the gambler, not the casino. The casino has their built-in house advantage, so over time, they know they’ll rake in the money.
You must accept the fact that craps is a negative expectation game because of the built-in house advantage. “Negative expectation” means the game will result in you eventually losing all of your money. You may experience shorts periods of winning, but over time, you’re guaranteed to lose. Let’s illustrate this by using a coin-flip example.
For each flip, you have a 50/50 chance of the coin showing heads and a 50/50 chance of showing tails. A 50/50 payoff means you expect true odds of 1:1 (i.e., if you bet $1 and win, then you win $1). However, the casino doesn’t offer true odds on any craps bet except the Free Odds on the point. The casino is in business to make money so it has to have an edge to make a profit. It gets its edge by offering odds that are less than true (sometimes called “casino odds”). In the coin-flip example, suppose you flip coins with your best friend. For each $1 bet that your friend loses, he pays you $1. However, if you flip coins against the casino, for each $1 bet that the casino loses, the casino won’t pay you $1. Instead, it might pay only $0.96. So, for every bet that you lose, you have to pay $1; but for every bet that the casino loses, it only pays $0.96. It’s easy to see that you’re playing a negative expectation game and, over time, you’ll go broke. Each bet on the craps table, except the Free Odds bet, has built-in “casino odds” that allow the casino to pay less than true odds when the player wins a bet. Because the casino pays out less than it should when the player wins a bet, the casino will eventually take all your money if you play for a long enough period of time.
How long will it take you to go broke playing craps? That depends on whether you make bets with high or low house advantages. Of course, your bet amount is a big factor in how fast you’ll lose your bankroll, but let’s focus on “good” versus “bad” bets. For example, if you make only Big 6 bets that have a 9% house advantage, you can expect to lose an average of $0.90 for every $10 bet. If you make only Pass Line bets that have a 1.4% house advantage, you can expect to lose an average of about $0.14 for every $10 bet. Of the two, which do you think is the “good” bet and “bad” bet in terms of the player? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather lose an average of only 14 cents per bet than an average of 90 cents per bet. Wouldn’t you? That’s why it’s so important to play good bets and avoid bad ones. Obviously, if you consistently play bad bets (relatively high house advantages), you’ll go broke a lot faster than if you play good ones (relatively low house advantages).
If you’re going to play craps, you must know which bets are good and which are bad in terms of the player. It’s not difficult, so don’t fear the numbers.