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Craps and Superfun 21

8 January 2023

QUESTION: My dad's an old craps player, knows the game inside and out and always sticks to the best bets. He's kind of a dark side player. Doesn't mind if he's the only one on the don't and takes some razzing.

We passed halftime watching football on Thanksgiving by talking about bad bets, especially the one-roll bet on 12. It pays 30-1 when the real odds against winning are 35-1. Per 36 rolls, for you to make any money, you have to get at least two 12s. With one 12 or no 12s, you lose.

That's simple enough. But we were wondering how many winners above average you needed to win over extended play, hundreds or thousands of rolls. We were too turkey bloated to do the arithmetic ourselves. It was a fun halftime conversation, but we didn't want it to make work!

ANSWER: Let's use a multiple of 36 to make this all come out even since there are 36 possible two-dice rolls, with one of the being 12.

Imagine you bet $1 on 12 for each of 360 rolls in which every possible combination comes up 10 times. You'd risk $360. On each of your 10 winner 12s, you'd keep your $1 bet and get $30 in winnings.

At the end of the trial, you'd have $310, meaning an average result is a $50 loss.

If you won 11 times, you'd have $341 and a $19 loss. You start to turn a profit at 12 wins, which would give you $372, or $12 to the good.

Two extra winners per 360 rolls might not sound like much, but it's a 20 percent increase on the average 10 winners. Win 20 percent more often on any casino game and you'd like your chances.

With more rolls, we can come closer to a breakeven point. At 3,600 rolls, you'd risk $3,600. Average results of 100 wins would leave you with $3,100, a $500 loss. At 116 wins, you'd bet at $3,596, just $4 shy of breaking even. The 117th win would hit profit territory at $3,627.

Even more rolls would take you closer and closer to a breakeven point of just over a 16 percent increase in wins and a profit point of a bit under 17 percent.


QUESTION: Looking for new, fun games online, I came across Super Fun 21. It's blackjack, but it lets you do all kinds of things like resplitting or doubling down on split Aces.

I figured there must be a catch.

ANSWER: The catch is that blackjacks pay only even money unless both cards are diamonds, in which case there's a 2-1 payoff.

Super Fun 21 has been around for a couple of decades. It pops up in large casinos with big table pits, and it's been adapted online.

The short pay on blackjacks is enough to enable a host of positive rules:

  • You can double down on any number of cards, including after splitting pairs.

  • You can hit, double down or resplit after splitting Aces

  • After the dealer has checked for blackjack, player may surrender, even after hitting, splitting or doubling down.

  • Any hand totaling 20 or less with six cards pays even money instantly, unless the player has doubled down.

    • Any hand totaling 21 with five or more cards pays 2-1 instantly, unless the player has doubled down.

    • Player blackjacks always win, even if the dealer also has a blackjack.

    The house edge in a six-deck game in which the dealer hits soft 17 is about 1.4 percent with an adapted strategy. Check out the Wizard of Odds strategy at https://wizardofodds.com/games/super-fun-21/
    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

    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