Beyond Advantage Play
while back a good friend of mine complained that after years of practice the best
he could achieve was an SRR of 7.12. To his
way of thinking he was not playing with enough of an edge, and his results at the table
seemed to support this. He just wasnt
making a lot of money. Lets look at
what it takes to get an edge at bankers craps then consider where my pal
might be going wrong.
the long haul, in a fair craps game the seven will show up an average of once in every six
tosses. This fundamental fact is the basis
for all odds calculations in casino craps. The
six or eight, for example, will show up an average of once in every five tosses. So the true odds of a six or eight showing up
before the seven is 6-5. Hence the free
odds payoff of 6-5 behind the line.
who has ever read a basic craps book has seen the graphic that depicts this, showing six
ways to make the seven, five ways to make the six and eight, four ways to make the five
and nine, and three ways to make the four and ten. But
these are average expectations. In
no way does it mean that a seven will magically appear exactly once in every six rolls. Instead, small deviations from
average occur all the time. Sometimes
the universe gives you an abundance sevens. Sometimes
the universe gives you an abundance of box numbers.
And these random streaks may last a day, a week, or even years for
individual players, depending largely on being in the right place at the right time.
Precision craps shooters seek to influence the randomness of the game by
setting the dice to specific arrangements and executing a careful, controlled toss. How good does a precision shooter have to be to
gain an edge over casino craps? The answer is
It depends on what bet is being made. The
answer depends on the bet being made. For this example, were not going to concern
ourselves with what number is being rolled instead of the seven. Well simply look at the impact of a
reduction in the number of sevens thrown, and search for a break-even point for each of
the major bets on the table. For those of you
with WinCraps, its easy enough to do these calculations yourself. Just go to the Probability tab, click on Configure
and enter the desired number of rolls out of thirty-six.
Then click on the Advantage tab to view the expected value of the various wagers. Here are the results:
of Sevens in 36 Tosses
These numbers clearly reflect the advantage of place betting the six and eight as the
best strategy for precision shooters, right? Well,
maybe not. It does not take into
consideration the one bet the casino does not have an advantage of in a random game
the Free Odds bet. These bets have the effect
of reducing the amount of influence necessary to gain and edge and can become
positive expectation wagers. It also
doesnt take into consideration the total amount of cash you are risking at any given
Now lets return to my friends game for a moment and consider this. This particular player favors the Mini-V hard-four
set. His typical action is to play a table
minimum Pass Line bet with no odds, then to Place the four and ten for $10 each, and buy
the number out of the first hit. After
a hit on one of his buy bets he takes single odds on his line bet and presses it up a unit
on each successive hit on a buy bet. He is
playing to what he believes to be his signature numbers the four and ten and
his best bet the line bet with odds.
Now lets head to Perfect World Casino and toss a hand. Five on the line and the shooter establishes the
six as his point. No odds taken. Placing the four and ten for ten each. Second toss nine. Third toss eight. Fourth toss eleven. Fifth toss four. Buy it and get $2 change. Sixth toss eight repeats. Seventh toss ten. Buy it and get $2 change. Now were prepared to rake it in. Eighth toss seven out, line away. Net loss - $21.
So where the heck did the advantage go?
Now, to be fair, Ive seen this gent step up to the table and throw half a dozen
fours in a single hand, locking up a quick hundred or more. And some occasions he catches a streak and really
cleans up. But by far, the Perfect World
Casino results I just ran through come closer to what happens to him on a daily basis.
So how do you fix it? In my opinion you
simply have to bet it correctly. If you know
for a fact that you have a long-term SRR of 7.12, then you have to lock up a profit within
seven rolls. And that gets us back to our old
friend regression betting. Using the
same series of numbers we used at the Perfect World Casino lets risk just six
additional dollars and play a simple regression. Well
play a table minimum pass line bet for $5. No
odds taken. The point is six. Place $26 across.
Second toss is a nine. Collect
$7 and come down off the four and ten. Were
removing the highest vig bets the wagers we have the least advantage on - first. The third toss is an eight. Collect $7 and come down on the five and nine. You now have just the $5 flat bet and the $6 eight
working, and you have a guaranteed $3 win locked up.
Fourth toss is an eleven. Fifth
toss is a four. Sixth toss is a repeater on
the eight. Collect $7 and bring down the
eight. You now have a $10 guaranteed win
locked up. But the six is a good number and
taking free odds makes it even better, so you take single odds retaining a
guaranteed $5 win. On toss seven the ten
shows. Then, on toss eight you seven out.
How did we fare that time? Instead of
losing $21 our player made $5 a positive swing of $26. Of course, this is a Perfect World Casino example and it plays directly to the point
I am trying to make. If your SRR is 7.12
why would you have your bets working on toss seven eight or nine? You have to play YOUR percentages without
betting the farm.
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