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# It's real money

16 April 2012

Gambling gurus -- of which I am one -- could also be labeled gambling "goo-rues" since we tend to delight in using mathematical terms and figures to prove we are right about everything we are trying to prove we are right about. Such proofs tend to stick the average casino gambler into a sticky morass of mind-numbing goo that tends to make them skip whole sections of what we are writing about in our articles and books.

We gambling gurus should rue the day we do such awful things to our fellow casino players, as we often put them to sleep just at the most important moment of our explanation of what is and what is not the best way to bet at this or that game and why. Unfortunately, gambling writers are often the Sominex of the literary world.

Instead of constantly using the house edge percentages that often fly over players' heads, we should always make a point of discussing these percentages as actual money -- money that most people earn by the sweat of their brows and the churning of their brains. Everyone understands money; almost everyone doesn't understand or care for percentages.

So let me take a monetary view of some of the favorite bets my fellow casino players make. Let's start at craps, the casino's most exciting game.

There is a cornucopia of bets at this game, most of which come in with house edges that cost the player quite a lot of money if such bets are made on a consistent basis.

The best bets at the game are the pass line and don't pass, along with the come and don't come bets. The house edge is about 1.4 percent on each of these bets. So in terms of money, moolah, mammon, what does a 1.4 percent house edge mean? The player's expectation is to lose 14 cents for every \$10 he bets over time. The player's expectation is to lose \$1.40 for every \$100 he bets.

Let's take a look at some of the other bets at craps. Check out this chart and weep -- at least you should weep when you see how much the casinos siphon out of your bankroll when you make some of the crazy crapper bets at craps.

 Bet House Edge Loss per \$10 Loss per \$100 Place 6 or 8 1.52 percent 15 cents \$1.52 Place 5 or 9 4 percent 40 cents \$4.00 The Field 5.55 percent 56 cents \$5.56 Place 4 or 10 6.67 percent 67 cents \$6.67 Hard 6 or 8 9.09 percent 91 cents \$9.09 Any Craps 11.11 percent \$1.11 \$11.11 Hard 4 or 10 11.11 percent \$1.11 \$11.11 3 or 11 11.11 percent \$1.11 \$11.11 2 or 12 13.89 percent \$1.39 \$13.89 Any Seven 16.67 percent \$1.67 \$16.67

There is another bet that occasionally shows up on the craps table that I should warn you about. It is called the Fire Bet. The house edge is 20-25 percent (depending on payouts) which means a loss of \$2 to \$2.50 per \$10 and \$20 to \$25 per \$100 wagered. Yuck!

Now let's take a look at some other games and how their house edges translate into money lost for the players. In roulette, you can figure that the single-zero wheels come in with edges that are about one-half that of the more prevalent double-zero wheels.

 Game Strategy House Edge Loss per \$10 Loss per \$100 Blackjack Basic Strategy About one-half percent 5 cents 50 cents Blackjack Typical Strategy About 1 percent 10 cents \$1.00 Blackjack Eccentric Strategy About 2 percent to 5 percent 20 cents to 50 cents \$2.00 to \$5.00 Roulette Single Numbers 5.26 percent 53 cents \$5.26 Roulette Multiple Numbers 5.26 percent 53 cents \$5.26 Roulette Outside Propositions 5.26 percent 53 cents \$5.26 Baccarat Banker 1.06 percent 11 cents \$1.06 Baccarat Player 1.24 percent 12 cents \$1.24 Baccarat Tie 14.36 percent \$1.44 \$14.36

Of course there are now a multitude of other games in the casinos, but making the transition from percentages to money, as shown above, is not hard to do once you get the hang of it.

Finally, we have the ubiquitous slots, the most popular of all types of games the casinos offer. Slot percentages are usually given as a "percent of return" or as a "payback percentage" and thus you will see advertisements stating such things as "Our slots are loose! They return 98 percent!" So what does that mean? It means you will lose 2 percent, or \$2 for every \$100 you place in the machine over time.

Sadly, when it comes to slots, it is rare that you will see 98 percent returns for an expected loss of \$2. Instead you will probably see ranges from 83 percent to 95 percent. So an 83 percent return means you lose \$17 for every \$100 wagered, while a 95 percent return means a loss of \$5 for every \$100 wagered.

We must keep in mind that the actual pattern of paybacks for both table games and slot machines is volatile; simply stated, the paybacks are not smooth. You go up and down, down and up during your sessions, but over time, the house edge and the money lost will come quite close to the theoretical percentages.

So now when you look at the house edges the gambling gurus give you, just change all of them to money and that will give you exactly what you are risking when you play those particular games.

Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

#### Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

#### Books by Frank Scoblete:

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

#### Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

#### Books by Frank Scoblete:

Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!