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Step Right Up, Place Your Bets

5 May 2006

Let, see now: For the last few weeks, you've been walking up to a craps table, no longer intimidated by what you previously thought was a confusing and chaotic game. You have been confidently wagering pass bets and come bets and taking the maximum odds allowed by the casino you're in. Your money has been exposed to a house edge of .184 percent if you're taking 10X odds and .099 percent if 20X.

And you've stayed away from the crazy crapper bets in the middle of the table.

But with only pass and come bets, you've been getting impatient. After all, you have to wait for a point number to be established before your money moves to that number. And then you have to wait for that number to be rolled again, and on top of that, it has to be rolled before a 7. Lordy, you want more action than that.

Okay, throw your money out there. You'll pay a high price for your impatience.

One of the better "impatient" bets, though, is to make a place bet on the 6 or 8. After the come out roll, put $6 in chips in the come area of the layout and tell the dealer, "place the 6" or "place the 8." If you want to make both place bets, put $12 down and tell him you want both the 6 and 8. Of course, you can make larger bets, but they must be in increments of $6 for either a 6 or an 8.

So, let's say you want to make a place bet on the 6. The dealer will take your money and, depending on where you're standing at the table, he'll place it in a corresponding spot in the box numbered 6. Watch where he puts it and you'll always know which bet is yours.

If the shooter rolls a 6 before he rolls a 7, you'll win $7 for that $6 bet. The same is true for placing an 8: you'll win $7 for every $6 bet.

You're winning more than you bet, so why do I say you're paying a high price for your impatience? The correct odds against your rolling a 6 before a 7 are 6-to-5; the casino pays you 7-to-6. That's a built-in house edge of 1.52 percent.

And it's worse for the other place bets. If you want to place another number, do it in $5 increments. If you win on a 5 or 9, you'll be paid $7 for every $5 bet. But correct odds are 3-to-2. The house edge here is 4 percent. You're inching into forbidden territory.

But wait; placing a 4 or a 10 is even worse. You'll be paid 9-to-5, but correct odds against winning are 2-to-1. That's a whopping 6.67 percent house edge. Don't even think about it!

Let's see what happens when a really high roller comes to town and places all numbers for maximum action. He places $5 each on the 4, 5, 9 and 10. That's $20. Plus, he places $6 each on the 6 and 8. Another $12 for a total of $32 across the board.

The shooter rolls a 4, 9, 8 and 5, and the bettor wins $9, $7, $7 and $7, respectively. That's $30. Then a 7 rolls and the bettor loses $32 for a net loss of $2. The place bettor needs to win or five or six consecutive numbers to make any kind of profit.

However, you do have the option to "take down" place bets whenever you want. As each number is rolled, tell the dealer you want to do that. In the above scenario, if the gambler had taken down one bet as each number rolled, he would have won $30 and left $11 still at risk. His net win would have been $19.

If you absolutely must risk more money than your pass and come bets, then place both a 6 and an 8. If the point number is either one, then place just the other number. And take it down once it's rolled. Ignore the other numbers. Trust me; it's just that simple.

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

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