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# You Can't Take Them Down

20 May 2021

QUESTION: Please explain something to my friend who was playing slots while I was playing craps. We hadn't set up any time to leave, but it had been a couple of hours, my friend lost a little money and came to the craps table to say, "Let's go."

I said OK, I just had to wait for my last bets to be settled. I had a pass line bet out with a point 5 and a come bet with a point 10. Friend asked if I could just take the bets and leave, and I said no, I wasn't allowed to do that.

Of course, the shooter got on a streak where he was rolling other numbers. It was four rolls before my 5 won, and then another three before a 7 made my come bet lose.

Friend couldn't believe it took that long to finish, and wanted to know what would have happened if I just told the dealers I had to leave.

I've told her, but would you explain, please? Friend likes your slot columns and might listen to you.

ANSWER: If you'd told the crew you had to leave, someone probably would have alerted you that bets were still on the table and leaving would forfeit them.

Whether they told you or not, the house would have kept your bets if you were gone. You can't pick up pass and come bets after points have been established.

The reason is that bettors are the favorites on the initial roll, the comeout. The edge swings to the house if the player doesn't win on the comeout and a point is established. Allowing players to pick up their bets and leave later than that first roll would mean players could always have an edge. Smart players would make sure the house would lose money, and the house would have to move to close the loophole.

Non-craps players can't be expected to know this, but bets that take several rolls to decide are a fact of life. And on pass and come bets, once there's a point, leaving means forfeiting your wagers.

QUESTION: You've warned about the five-number basket bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 at double-zero roulette as having a higher house edge than other bets.

Two questions: Is the same true at single-zero roulette on bets on 0, 1, 2 and 3? Is that something to away from? Also, if I'm at double-zero and really want to bet 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3, is there a lower edge alternative?

ANSWER: Nearly all wagers at a double-zero wheel have the same 5.26 percent house edge. The five-number basket, which pays 6-1, has a 7.89-percent house edge.

At single-zero roulette, a combination of 0, 1, 2 and 3 pays 8-1. With four numbers, the payoff and odds are the same as on any other four-number combination. The house edge is the same 2.7 percent as any other common wager. At tables that use special rules such as en prison or half back, the edge on even money bets such as red or black drops to 1.4 percent, but 0-1-2-3 still carries the same edge as any bet that pays more than 1-1.

At a double-zero wheel, you can bet on 0-00-1-2-3 and keep the house edge to 5.26 percent by betting
each number individually or by betting a split on 0-00 and a three-number street on 1-2-3, among other possible combinations.

It's only when you try to cover all five numbers in one wager that the house edge rises to 7.89 percent.
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Best of 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.