I have been following your advice and making casino
bets that have less than a two percent house advantage.
I now consider myself a reformed player. My blockhead
brother on the other hand makes bets with no rhyme
or reason. Since we both play craps, show me why my
pass line bet versus his favorite bet, hardway sixes
and eights, will always do better? Susan M.
by using a simple mathematical formula, I will prove
that by playing smart, your play will generally outperform
Lets first analyze your action, Susan. A pass
line bet, with no odds, has a house advantage of 1.4%.
With a $5 wager and 50 playing decisions per hour, your
theoretical loss (all bets lose over time) is$5 X 50
X 0.014, or $3.50 per hour. Relatively cheap entertainment.
In comparison, your brothers bet,
the hard six or eight,
has a house advantage of 9.1%. The damage to his
bankroll would be $5 X 50 X 0.091, or $22.75 in
the same amount of time. Multiply that by 15 hours
of play and youve got a sniveling, unhappy
camper with a long car ride home.
Sibling rivalry aside, glad to see youre reforming
your play. Now lets convert the blockhead.
If, like you say, the house has only a 1.4% advantage
on a pass line bet, how can the casino make any
money by offering that wager? Jordan P.
It doesnt matter
who wins this one bet but who ends up with all the
money. The casino realizes few players are sophisticated
enough to restrict their craps betting to just smart
But lets look at the bet in question, Jordan:
a pass line wager. If you were to play 100 bets
on the pass line, you can expect to win about 49
times and lose the other 51. The casino will gladly
take this itty-bitty 49/51 ratio and multiply it
by thousands of decisions daily, weekly and yearly,
and guarantee themselves a generous long-term profit.