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Best Bets at Craps

28 Jan 2020

By Frank Scoblete
FROM GARY: I am a long time craps player who bets the Pass Line with maximum odds and then three numbers using the Come, also taking maximum odds.

On a recent Las Vegas trip, a stickman suggested I place the numbers after they are rolled, with the same dollar amount as I would have used taking maximum odds which means on a $15 table, place $75 on 5 and 9 which is the $15 Come and four times odds.

He said my money payoff is same on 5, 6, 8 and 9 and actually higher on 4 and 10, even after vig. I know I miss winning on the 11 and do not get paid on the seven out but also do not lose come bet on 2, 3 or 12. Also, do not lose my bets on a 7 on a come-out roll.

Finally, my average play for comp calculation will be much higher as my entire bet is counted, not just the come bets.

This seems logical and a better strategy. What, if anything, am I missing?

FRANK RESPONDS: Gary, the stickman has an interesting angle on how to bet the game of craps. However, he’s off in terms of reducing the house edge against you. Not getting those eight wins on the 7 and 11 during the come-out roll, even though you will lose on four decisions on the 2, 3 and 12, hurts you more than his style of betting helps you.

Keep in mind when you are betting the come-out roll, you have the edge over the house. Those additional odds bets that you put up after the Pass Line or Come bets go up on numbers will cost you nothing over time. So if your bet is $15 then your loss is just 21 cents per Pass or Come number. If you have four of these working, your loss will be approximately four times as much, meaning 84 cents. (I am not going into detailed math here. Even not doing so, you will be able to see that the differences between the two betting methods are stark.)

Let’s take a look at Place bets now. Placing the 5 and 9 for $75 each will cost you four percent over time. That is a loss of three dollars per bet in the long run. So figure a six dollar expected loss when you place those two numbers for $75 each. Obviously we are talking extended playing time here.

Placing the 4 and 10 for $75 will cost you 6.67 percent over time. So that is a loss of five dollars per bet, or a combined loss of $10 every time you place those two numbers.

On the 6 and 8, you face a 1.52 percentage house edge which means a loss of 46 cents per $30 wagered over time or about 91 cents when you bet these two numbers at the same time. (I had to truncate that 46 instead of a full double.)

Bottom line is clear. Your $15 line bets at most will cost you about a combined 85 cents but now look at all those other costs for the Place bets.

Now why would this stickman push you to bet those Place bets? Either he doesn’t know the actual house edges of the game or, sadly, he does know those edges but wanted the casino to make more money from the players.

He is correct when he says you will get more in comps but that’s because your expected losses betting his way will be much more than the expected losses betting as you usually do. Comps should rarely be taken into consideration when it comes to craps play. Take that to heart as well.

You are so (so, so) much better using the Pass Line and Come bets than using the Place bets. So stick to your normal way of playing; it’s the best way to play. You had it right all along.

FROM DONALD: Yo! Yo! Scobe, or Scope like the mouthwash, ha! ha! Or is your last name spaghetti like? Ha! Ha! Let me tell yo something ------ you like the way I use yo for you just now? I always have ten dollars on the yo-eleven baby! Ha! Ha! ---- You letting the math interfere with how you bet is stupid really stupid my man because it ruins the fun of the game and fun is one reason why we play the games right?

I can’t see myself worrying about how I play the game because then I am thinking and I just want to play and not think. I think enough at my job and I don’t want to think in the casinos. Why would I want to do that? You math guys take the fun away from play.

So seriously, who you gonna believe a fun guy like me or a math guy like yo?

FRANK RESPONDS: A math guy named Mr. Yo every time. Once you know the math there isn’t too much thinking involved except how much to bet and when to leave the game.

I am thinking though that your letter was a joke and it was somewhat funny, but at least you got some laughs, from yourself that is. I can’t see how I am ruining your fun because playing as I do seems like a lot of fun to me.

Visit Frank’s web site at His latest books are I Am a Dice Controller; The Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter. All available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books, and at bookstores.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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