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# Gaming Guru

### Stay Away from Proposition Bets

24 March 2006

When we first started talking about craps, I told you that the game is not as complicated as it looks if you break it down into its parts and learn one part at a time. I warned you, though, that if you start to get impatient and want to jump ahead of our lessons, whatever you do, stay away from the bets in the middle of the layout.

Remember, I told you those were sucker bets and that I would explain why later? Well, it's now later, and it's time to discuss those bets. To make a long story short, the bets in the middle of the table are awful bets and are called "Crazy Crapper" bets because you have to be crazy to make them.

In gentler society, those bets located in the center section are called proposition bets and are under the direct control of the stickman. With the exception of the "hardways," they are one-time bets. If you win, the payouts seem high, but they are long shots and are not paid off at true odds.

Proposition bets can be made for as little as \$1. To make one, simply toss your chips to the middle of the table and call out your bet. The stickman will collect your wagers and place them in the right betting area.

A hardway bet is only one of several proposition bets, but let's start with that one. "Hardway" refers to rolling an even number, a 4, 6, 8 or 10, as a double either before a 7 is rolled or before the number is rolled the "easy" way.

For example, if you bet on the hard 8, there is only one way for the hard 8 to be rolled: 4-4. But there are four ways for an easy 8 to appear: 6-2, 2-6, 5-3, 3-5. Plus, there are six ways for a 7 to be rolled. So that means a total of ten ways to lose and one way to win. Correct odds are 10-to-1, but the payoff is only 9-to-1. That translates to a house edge of 9.09 percent.

The same goes for a hard 6: four ways to make an easy 6, six ways to make a 7, thus ten ways to lose. Only one way to win it, by rolling a 3-3. Correct odds are 10-to-1, payoff is 9-to-1. House edge is 9.09 percent.

The hard 4 and hard 10 are even worse. There are only two ways to roll an easy 4 or easy 10 and still six ways to roll a 7. So the correct odds are 8-to-1 against rolling a hard 4 or 10 before rolling a 7 or an easy 4 or 10. And, you guessed it, payoff is 7-to-1, increasing the casino's take to 11.1 percent!

Every time you walk up to a craps table, keep these percentages in mind because you'll need them when temptation raises its ugly head.

What's going to happen is that you'll be at a "hot" table where a lot of numbers are rolling between the 7s, and most of those numbers will be hardways. Chips are being tossed back and forth, with more chips flying toward the players than toward the dealers. The crazy crapper bettors will be hootin' and hollerin' and high-fivin' each other. You'll be standing over at the edge of the table, making your nice conservative bets and wishing you were in on this lucrative hot streak.

Well, quit your wishing because streaks are streaks only in history. You weren't standing at this same table last week when the crazy crappers were losing and whining about never getting ahead at craps.

Trust me, it happens. In the long run, hardway bets lose more money than they win. However, there is a time and place for them; that time is just not yet.

Until next week, may the dice be kind to you.

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Linda Mabry

Low Roller Linda Mabry lives and gambles on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She writes a weekly, general gambling advice column for the Biloxi Sun Herald, and may be contacted through her e-mail address, lnmabry@cableone.net or her web site www.thelowroller.com
Linda Mabry
Low Roller Linda Mabry lives and gambles on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She writes a weekly, general gambling advice column for the Biloxi Sun Herald, and may be contacted through her e-mail address, lnmabry@cableone.net or her web site www.thelowroller.com