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Best of Jerry Stickman

Gaming Guru

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Advice on Playing Craps

17 April 2021

Hi Jerry,

I just read your craps systems article.

I totally agree with your ideas. There is one thing you do not address and that is odds.

We all know that odds bets carry no house advantage, therefore lowering the aggregate house edge. Yet, that would be contradictory to the "bet small" theory you tout.

My take is that I find the lowest minimum table, bet that amount, and don't take odds. Even though my percentage of risk is higher, the theoretical dollar loss is the same. By taking odds I will, on an average session, lose the same amount of money, but if I took odds (especially multiple odds) a bad session would come out worse, and more importantly, I might run out of the amount I allotted for the session sooner, and more often.

Do you agree that a small player like me is still playing a good game if he does not add odds bets?

Thanks,

Ray
Streamwood, IL

Hi Ray,

Thank you for your email. Not everyone agrees with my ideas, but the math of the game supports them.

There is a lot of discussion on craps boards about making odds bets while playing craps.

Interestingly, there also seems to be a lot of confusion as to the effects of making odds bets.

You are correct in your assessment of how odds bets work. While placing money on odds will lower the aggregate house advantage for the total amount bet, it will not change your overall results in dollars won or lost. In the long run you will lose (or possibly win if you are a controlled shooter) the same amount of money regardless of how much you bet on the odds.

What betting on the odds does, however, is (as you indicated) increase your variance at the table. When you are winning, you will win more and when you are losing you will lose more by betting odds even though the overall result will be the same amount of money.

Here is my advice taking the odds bet into consideration. Just place one pass line bet. Keep your pass line bet low – table minimum. If (and only if) you can afford to bet more money, put it on odds rather than adding a come or place bet. This way you keep your risk low while adding a bit more excitement to the game.

If you can afford more than the minimum pass line bet with full odds, you can either increase the pass line bet (and then the odds), or add a come bet and keep adding odds to this bet until at table max. This strategy will keep the house advantage at the lowest possible level.

If you are interested in playing for comps (not a good idea in my opinion), keep in mind that the odds portion of a bet is usually not counted towards comps as the house has no edge on it.

If you are totally happy just betting one minimum pass line bet with no odds, by all means continue to do that. Adding odds makes no difference to your long-term results, and increasing your bet amount or adding a come bet only increases the house edge (in dollars) for the random craps shooter.

But, however you bet, just make sure you can afford whatever you are betting.

Winning is the most fun, but if you do lose, losing the least is best.

May all your wins be swift and large, and your losses be slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com
Jerry Stickman

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com