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Craps And Hop Bets

Dear Mark,

Last week you mentioned different proposition bets on a crap table but didn't mention a "hop" bet. I've heard it yelled out on a crap table before but I'm not quite clear how to play it, or even where it is located on the table.
Also, what are your thoughts about the "due factor" as it relates to craps? By reading last week's column I took away the fact that you are no fan of any proposition bets, but what are your thoughts that if the 11 hasn't appeared in let's say an hour, wouldn't a little side action on it (the 11) be justified? Neal C.

A hop bet, Neil, is a wager on any combination of the dice on the next roll. For example, "Hard" 6 on the hop pays 30-1 (the actual odds, Neal, are 35-1) if matching 3's appear on the dice on the next roll only. You may also bet "Easy" combinations, such as a 4-2 or 5-1, which pays off at 15 to one, with actual odds of 17 to one.

The reason you can't ferret out a hop bet on most craps tables is that hop wagers do not have a designated space on the layout; instead, they are usually placed in front of the boxman, often with a "hop" marker placed on top of your chips.

As to the second part of your question, past die rolls do not influence the probabilities of future die rolls. The famous and costly Gambler's Fallacy, Neil, is the belief that a craps player should bet on 11 if an 11 has not appeared in the last umpteen rolls. In actuality, each roll of the dice is an independent event, with the probability of rolling an 11 not changing from one in 18, even if the 11 hasn't appeared in the last 24 hours. But ... show me one gambler who really believes that, and I'll show eighteen who don't. That's called the Casino Owners' Magic Carpet.

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