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Beating Craps

1 January 2023

QUESTION: How does playing craps online affect the odds? With no live shooter, it seems like something should be different.

ANSWER: The odds are exactly the same, assuming random results. There are still 36 possible combinations of two dice. One combination totals 12, two total 11, three total 10, four total 9, five total 8, six total 7, five total 6, four total 5, three total 4, two total 3 and 1 totals 2.

Combinations will appear in those proportions regardless of whether you use a live shooter and physical dice or a random number generator and virtual dice. House edges on each bet are the same online as in live casinos.

The games differ in that there is no opportunity for a controlled shooter to alter the odds online. If a shooter can decrease the frequency of 7s and increase the frequency of point numbers, there is potential to swing edge to favor players. Avid craps players try to do this by taking spin off the dice and limiting bounces before they come to rest.

It's a rare skill, though Frank Scoblete, Stanford Wong and other experts have touted its profit potential. It takes tons of practice, and fatigue, inability to find a rhythm on a given day and different physical characteristics at different tables can get in the way.

There are sufficient randomizing features in craps to make any sort of control very, very difficult. The sharpness of the edges of casino dice, the padding and bounciness of the table surface, bumps built into the table both on the surface and on the walls are designed to keep rolls random.

Much more often than not, you'll be playing a random game. And in a random game, craps odds and edges are the same online as in a brick-and-mortar casino.

QUESTION: I have a back-to-back wins story for you. My wife and I went to the casino together, and at first we played slots side by side. After a while, I moved to video poker. That's my pattern, couples slots for a while, then I move while she explores more slots.

On the quarter video poker machines, there was 8-5 Double Double Bonus Poker with a three-way progressive jackpot on royal flushes, four Aces with a kicker and four 2-4s with a kicker. I figured the progressives were worth the lower pay table -- there were 9-5, no progressive games on quarters and 9-6 on dollars.

The royal stood at $1,253 when I was dealt Ace-Jack of clubs, and Queen-9-3 of diamonds. I held the Ace-Jack and hoped for the best.

To my shock, the King-Queen-10 came up on the draw. Yay! Before the attendant with the tax form got to me, I texted a picture to my wife, who came right over to look.

The attendant took my info and unlocked the game just as my wife got there. She told me, "Let's see you do it again." I hit deal and got King-Jack-10 of hearts. On the draw, I got the Queen first, then the Ace.

My wife couldn't believe it. "This is the first time you've ever obeyed orders," she said. This one was worth "only" $1,000, but made it a day to remember, for sure.

ANSWER: Congratulations on your twin royals! Over the years, I've collected dozens of back-to-back jackpot stories, but this is the first royal on demand from a third party.

Drawing three cards to complete royal No. 1 was a 1 in 16,215 shot. The two-card draw for the second was 1 chance in 1,081. Very cool that both paid off.
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski