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# Pass and don't pass simultaneously

20 October 2019

Craps players have tried betting combinations as long as the game has been around. The grand hope is that by using a multiple bets to cover weaknesses of others, players will hit on the magic winning formula.

One combo that’s come to my attention recently via a reader e-mail involves pass, don’t pass, and laying the odds.

Here’s how it goes: Bet pass and don’t pass at the same time. When the shooter establishes a point, lay the odds on don’t pass, but skip the odds on pass.

The theory is that pass and don’t pass offset each other. That leaves decision time on the lay odds. Whenever the shooter establishes a point, the don’t side is favored to win. So the lay odds come into effect only when you’re favored to win, whereas on the pass side, you can take odds only when the house is favored to win.

That all sounds like a neat, tidy, winning package, but it’s not.

Naturally, there are a couple of problems.

• For starters, pass and don’t pass are not exact opposites and do not cancel each other out.

The key is the comeout roll, where pass bettors win on the six ways to roll 7 and two ways to roll 11, and lose on the one way to roll 2, two ways to roll 3 and one way to roll 12.

That’s eight ways to win and four ways to lose.

Don’t pass bettors lose on the eight 7s and 11s and win on the one 2 and two 3s, but they don’t win on the 12. They push.

So if you bet pass and don’t pass at the same time, the comeout brings 11 wins (eight on pass, three on don’t pass), but 12 losses (four on pass, eight on don’t pass).

If the roll is anything other than 7, 11, 2, 3 or 12, that number becomes the point, and point numbers do offset between pass and don’t pass. Once there’s a point, every pass win is a don’t pass loss, and vice versa.

But the difference in comeout wins/losses assures the house of an edge against anyone who tries to bet both sides.

• The second problem is that while lay odds win more often than they lose, they don’t give you an edge. Lay odds are break-even bets.

When you lay odds, you spot the house true odds. If the point is 6, for example, you have six ways to win and five ways to lose. You must lay odds in those proportions, betting \$6 for every \$5 you hope to win.

In an average 11 decisions with 6 as the point, a don’t bettor could expect to win six times and lose 5. If you bet \$6 on each, you’d win \$5 on each of the six wins for a total of \$30. You’d lose \$5 on each of the six losses, also a total of \$30.

It’s the same with any point number. Your lay odds win more often than they lose, but they lose as much money as they win.

• Bottom line: In this system, pass bets and don’t pass bets offset once a point is established. Lay odds wins offset lay odds losses. But before a point is established, you lose money on the comeout rolls because 12 is a loser on pass but just a push on don’t pass.

The system can be fun to play and there will be some winning times, but overall, with average results, it will lose money because of the comeout situation.

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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.