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Twenty Questions

The Casino Game: Bank Craps

Bank Craps not only has replaced Faroas the great American banking game in this country, but it also has outdistanced all the other casino games in popularity. One reason is that it offers the players a greater chance of participation. In Roulette and Chuck-A-Luck, the croupier spins the wheel or the cage; in Chemin-de-Fer and Blackjack, the dealer turn up the cards. But in Craps the player has the opportunity of trying to change his luck by throwing the dice himself. The thrill he gets when he matches his luck against that of the others is of a more personal kind than the one he gets when he simply waits and hopes that the ball will drop into his number or that the card he want will turn up.

The basis of Bank Craps, from the shooter’s point of view, is the same as the private game. That is, the shooter makes a bet that he’ll pass or win. The shooter wins immediately if on the come out he rolls a 7 or 11; he loses immediately if on the come-out he doesn’t roll a natural or a crap, and instead rolls either 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 – whichever of these he rolls now becomes his “point” and he continues rolling until he either wins by rolling his point once again, or loses by rolling a 7. Remember that the shooter retains the dice as long as he continues to roll naturals and craps and make points. When he rolls a 7 while trying for a point, he rolls a 7 while trying for a point, he loses the dice, and the shooter to his left becomes the next shooter. This person may decline to shoot the dice; then the person to his left becomes the next shooter, and so on. But, before you can consider yourself a Bank Craps player, you must know the different wagers and payoff odds that may be made at the dice table. And so let’s take a look at the dice table itself.

The table is about the size of a standard pool or billiard table, with a ten-inch upright wooden rail running around the table’s outside edges, forming a rectangular enclosure. The rail serves as a backboard, and also helps to prevent the rolling dice from falling off the table. The rail opposite to the boxmen’s seating position is fitted with a nine-inch by six-foot mirror. This is a protection device to help spot miss potted dice that a cheating card games may have introduced into the game. The mirror permits the boxmen to see five sides of each die while it is resting on the table layout.

Modern dice tables have grooves running around the top edges of the rail. The grooves are for the players to place their chips so that they do not clutter up the table’s playing surface. The inside of the four-sided rail is lined with sponge rubber, embossed in various patterns to ensure that the dice rebound in a random manner. Gambling-house operators, well aware that there are nimble-fingered players who have spent years mastering the art of making honest dice roll in a predetermined manner, insist that everyone-including any shooter suspected of trying to control by sliding one or both dice across the center of the table-must throw the cubes so that they strike the rubber-covered backboard and bounce at random before coming to a stop.

The five men required to run a dice table include three dealers and two boxmen. The boxmen, the men who sit in-between the two dealers at the table’s center, are the bosses. Their duty is to keep their eyes on everything-dice, money, chips, players, dealers, and so on. Two of the dealers stand on each side of them. After each dice decision, the dealers take in the losses and payoff the poker winning . The third dealer, who stands opposite the boxmen, has charge of the dice. He calls out the dice numbers as they are made and helps with the proposition bets when placed. He is often referred to as the “stick- man” because he retrieves the dice after each roll with a curved stick and holds them until such time as all previous bets have been settled and new bets are made. Whereupon, with the stick, he pushes the dice toward the shooter.

The table’s surface is covered with a tight- fitting green baize cloth on which are printed two exact large-sized designs separated at the table’s center by another large design allocated for various side bets. The purpose of the duplicate designs is to accommodate more players and to permit them to make their bets without leaning forward too far or leaving their places at the table. Because of these duplicate layout designs, the Craps table itself is called a double-side dealer. Each of these designs is divided into spaces, of different shapes and sizes, representing the various bets that can be placed against the house. This green baize table covering is known as a Craps layout. Although there are numerous differently shaped layouts, the actual difference is small. Some layouts may carry one or two wagers that others don’t have; some may differ more or less in the odds offered. This last variation depends directly upon the players who patronize that particular casino how much they know about dice odds and how much of a house percentage they will stand to buck. The smarter the patronage, the better the odds approach the correct ones; the less they know, the greater the house percentages.

All Craps layouts are clever exercises in mathematics, designed to give the player an exciting run for his money and at the same time to give the house a mathematical edge on every bet shown on the layout. Unfortunately, the majority of Craps players know little or nothing about the house percentages they are fighting, and this lack of knowledge puts them in the chump, or sucker, category. The following odds and percentages will tell you how to stop being a chump and become as gambling-wise as the most seasoned dice gambler found in Las Vegas or anywhere else.

Before we begin our analysis of Bank Craps odds and percentages, you must remember that if you become a habitual crap- shooter, you will lose, no matter how smart you bet. It makes no difference in the long run whether you make bets having less than 1 percent against you or whether you place bets that have a big 16 2/3 percent going against you. Over a long period of play, the house’s percentage is bound to take both the smart dice player and the chump. The only difference is that the chump doesn’t have even a fighting chance-he gives his money to the house.

Line Bets. There are two different types of line bets: the pass line bet and the don’t pass line bet. Each bet can be made only before a come-out roll. After the come-out, they can- not be withdrawn. First to be discussed is the pass line bet.

Pass Line (also referred to on different layouts as “Pass,” “Line,” “Win,” or “Do”). The player who wants to bet the house that the shooter will win-that the dice will pass-places his chip or chips, before the come-out, on the long narrow space ‘of the layout printed with any of the following words: Pass Line, Pass, Line, Win, or Do.

This bet is without a doubt .the most popular bet made by dice players in the Craps table, because it’s the bet they first learned when shooting Private Craps. The house pays this bet off at even money (1 to 1) and enjoys a favorable edge of 1.414 percent, or about 7 cents on a $5 wager. Owing to the house’s low percentage take, this is one of the wisest casino bets a player can make. But most card craps players are attracted by other bets that payoff at bigger odds; and because they don’t know odds, they don’t know they are fighting greater house percentages. Like all bets placed on the Craps layout, this wager can be made by any player whether he is the shooter or not; however, it cannot be with- drawn; it remains until it’s won or lost.

Don’t Pass Line (also referred to on different layouts as either “Don’t” or “Lose”). The player who wants to bet that the shooter will lose-that the dice will not pass-places his chip or chips, before the come-out, on the small corner layout space marked with the words Don’t Pass, Don’t, or Lose. The house pays off at even money (1 to 1). If you were to make this bet in a private or noncommercial crap game, you’d have an advantage for, as I told you above, the shooter has a 1.414 percent disadvantage. Remember, however, that you are not playing in a private crap game-you’re playing in a gambling casino. And casinos wouldn’t stay in business long if they took a beating of 1.414 percent. The casino resorts, therefore, to a simple tactical maneuver: It bars either the double sixes (or the double aces) on the come-out roll. This means that if, on the come-out, the shooter throws a double six (6-6) or a double ace (1-1), as the case may be, your bet is a standoff; there is no action for the player or players who have placed bets on the spaces of the layout marked Don’t Pass, Don’t, or Lose.

In a private or noncommercial game of Craps, the fader or wrong bettor would have won the bet; but at the Bank Craps table, it is no decision or “standoff” for the don’t bettor. By barring the two sixes or the two aces and counting a standoff as a neutral roll in this bet, the house is taking away the 1.414 percent edge you would have had, and has replaced it with a house advantage of 1.402 percent or about 7 cents on a $5 wager. If a standoff is counted as a roll the house advantage become 1,364 percent. So, for all practical reasons, it doesn’t matter whether you bet the pass line or don’t pass line; the house percentage remains about the same. However, because this wager has a standoff, players think erroneously that it has a much higher house percentage than it actually does- hence you’ll seldom find many players betting the don’t pass line. If the house bars the double aces instead of double sixes, as some do, it gets the same results as if it were barring two sixes. When some houses bar the ace-deuce (1-2) instead of the double six or double one (ace), the 4.385 percent in its favor has not merely doubled-as so many dice players think-it has more than tripled! When you see a layout that bars the ace- deuce, forget that the don’t pass line exists.

Come and Don’t Come. The player who wishes to bet on the come or don’t come places his bet on the spaces of the layout marked Come or Don’t Come. These bets are put there to help speed up the line action because, even if a shooter is trying for a point number, a bettor can put his money on the layout and bet as he would on the come-out. The come bet is essentially the same as the pass line bet, and the don’t come bet mimics the don’t pass bet, except that the come and don’t come bets are made after the come-out. Both are paid off at even money, and the house percentages on these wagers are the same as on pass line bets and don’t pass line bets. The house edge is 1.414 percent, or about 7 cents on a $5 wager, on the come; and 1.402 percent, or about 7 cents on a $5 wager, on the don’t come.

If you put a chip on the space of the layout marked Come, then the first roll of the dice is the point number as far as you’re concerned. For example, the shooter is trying to make his point, which happens to be 8. You make a come bet, and on the next roll the shooter throws a 5, your point number if 5. In every subsequent roll of the dice, your come bet stands until either a 5 is made and you win, or a 7 is made and you lose. This also holds true for the don’t come bet and the don’t pass bet-even to the bar on the two sixes or the two aces. Come or don’t come bets, like line bets, cannot be withdrawn; they remain until they are won or lost.

Free Odds Bets. The smart dice poker game player (“do bettor”) can slice down the house’s edge of 1.414 percent on the pass line bets and come bets to less than 1 percent by taking the odds that the shooter will make his point number. When you have made a pass line bet or come bet, and the shooter already has come out on a point or a new number, you’re allowed to make a free second bet, limited to the amount of your wager on the pass line or come, that the shooter will make his point number. This is called “taking the free odds,” meaning that the house will give you the true odds that the shooter won’t make the point. The true or correct odds on each point number are as follows:

ODDS AGAINST MAKING THE POINT NUMBERS The point Numbers

Correct odds

Correct Payoff odds in Dollars

4 or 10

2 to 1

$2.00 to $1.00

5 or 9

3 to 2

$1.50 to $1.00

6 or 8

6 to 5

$1.20 to $1.00

Let’s say that you have a $10 bet riding on the pass line, and on the come-out the shooter rolls a 4; the above chart reveals that the correct odds against the shooter making this point are 2 to 1. If you want to “take the odds,” you place an additional $10 on the layout directly behind your $10 pass line wager. If the shooter makes the 4, the house pays you $20 for the second bet plus $10 for your original pass line bet.

When you have a bet riding on the pass line, it’s always advantageous to take the free odds on the point, since this reduces the 1.414 percent the house originally had on the pass line bet to less than 1 percent (to be exact, .848 percent). However, if you are one of the few players who do bet the don’t pass line, remember that the house will allow you to “lay the odds ” on the point equal to your don’t pass line bet or don’t come bet. Suppose the point is 4 again and you have $10 riding on the don’t pass line. Also, you want to lay the odds that the shooter will not make it, and you can put down any even amount up to $20. When you take the odds, on a pass bet, you are limited to the amount of your line bet. But when you lay the odds on a, don’t pass bet, you are limited to the amount that could give you winnings of not higher than your original bet. If the shooter fails to make the point, the house pays you $10 for each of your two winning bets. The house advantage on both these wagers also runs to less than 1 percent (to be exact, .832 percent).

The free odds bets made on the pass line, don’t pass line, come, or don’t come, may be taken down (removed) at any time before the bet is decided. One thing should be remembered, however: The lowest-valued chip in a luxury casino is a $1 chip and, for that reason, dealers cannot payoff on any part of a dollar. Therefore, when you’re taking the free odds, make sure that your bet doesn’t payoff in cents. For example, if your pass line bet is $1 and the point is 5, taking the free odds for $1 would hurt you rather than benefit you. The dice dealer would not pay you the $1.50 your bet should bring; rather, you would be paid one lone $1 chip-that’s all. To receive the correct odds of 3 to 2, your pass line bet should be $2.

The only way to take full advantage of the free odds is to make your bet a minimum (or multiple) of ten ($10). Since the average pass line bettor usually bets only a buck or two, he cannot take full advantage of the free odds. Here’s why: When you make your pass line bet, you don’t know what the come-out number will be. If you bet $1, and the come-out is 4 or 10, you’re all right because you can get the full 2-to-1 odds. If the come-out is 5, 6, 8, or 9, you’re in trouble. You’d get $1 to $1, instead of $1.50 to $1, on the 5 or 9. You’d get even money, instead of $1.20 to $1, on the 6 or 8. Similarly, on every bet up to $10, you’d be blocked from getting full odds on one or another number. But, on a $10 bet, you can get 2 to 1, 3 to 2, or 6 to 5, depending on the come-out number. This is true of any multiple of ten, but not of any other number or multiple. You can figure it yourself. This does not mean that you have to bet $10. With a smaller bet you can still find free odds on some numbers, though not all.

If you happen to be in a situation like that just described and the Craps dealer tries to induce you to increase the amount of your pass line bet after the come-out by telling you that it is to your best advantage, since it will permit you to take full advantage of the free odds offered, don’t. Acceptance is to take even money instead of odds that the shooter, will make his point and the free odds bet is no longer free. Although “betting the line” and taking or laying the free odds as described is the smartest way of gambling at casino dice tables, it is strange how very, very few gamblers take full advantage of such a play. I have found that many players are just as unpredictable as the dice. During the thrill, action, and excitement of the guessing lottery game, they bet as their emotions, rather than their minds, dictate. They follow their intuition rather than their knowledge of the game, and seldom do the right thing at the right time.

Place Bets. Now we come to two spaces of the layout exactly similar in design, and with each situated nearest the dealer. Each design depicts six large boxed numbers that read 4, 5,6,8,9,10. These are called place numbers, and are similar to the free odds bets previously discussed, such as taking or laying the odds that the shooter will or will not throw a given number or numbers before making a 7. Most gamblers don’t bet the place numbers until after a come-out. However, place bets can be made at any time, and withdrawn whenever desired.

The two major differences between a free odds bet and a place number bet are that, when you bet a place number, you don’t have to make a line bet first; and, unlike the free odds bet, you may bet one or all six place numbers at any time before the next roll of the dice. But, for this privilege, the house charges you a percentage fee for each and every place bet you make.

The house extracts its percentage by paying off place bets at less than the correct odds, gives you the house payoff odds, the correct odds, and the favorable house advantage in terms of percentage and money, on all the possible place bets that can be made at Bank Craps:

BANK’S FAVORABLE PERCENTAGES ON RIGHT AND WRONG PLACE BETS

House Payoff Odds

Correct Odds

Percentage in House’s Favor

House Percentage on $5 Bet

House lays 9 to 5 on 4 or 10

10 to 5

6.666

About 33 cents

House lays 7 to 5 on 5 or 9

7 ½ to 5

4.000

About 20 cents

House lays 7 to 6 on 6 or 8

6 to 5

1.515

About 8 cents

Player lays 11 to 5 on 4 or 10

10 to 5

3.030

About 15 cents

Player lays 8 to 5 on 5 or 9

7 ½ to 5

2.500

About 12 cents

Player lays 5 to 4 on 6 or 8

6 to 5

1.818

About 9 cents

Obviously the best place bet is to take the 7 to 6 odds on the 6 or 8, since the house’s favorable advantage is 1.515 percent, or about 8 cents on a $5 bet. However, most inexperienced players, as you’ll learn later, insist on putting their money on the big 6 or big 8, which returns only even money, thus costing 9 1/11 percent, or about 46 cents on the same wager. This is a perfect example of foolish betting at the dice table.

Most luxury casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, in additional to permitting place bets, also allow players to “buy the numbers.” In buying the numbers, the player is paid off at correct odds, such as 6 to 5 on 6 or 8; 3 to 2 on 5 or 9; and 2 to 1 on 4 or 10. However, for such services, the bank levies a direct charges of 5 percent payable in advance on the total sum wagered; this amounts to a charge of $1 on each $20 bet, which happens to be the minimum bet permitted at Strip casinos where bets of this type are allowed. Buying the numbers is favored by dice gamblers hailing from New York, New Jersey, and other Eastern states, but it is only recommended on the 4 and 10.

A number of casinos in this country and the Caribbean Islands operate their Bank craps tables by compelling players to buy the numbers. Place bets, come and don’t come bets, and free back-line bets are not permitted. The most notable casino of this kind is the plush E1 Casino in Freeport, Grand Bahama. This type of game is known as New York Craps. There is one very peculiar fact about the direct 5 percent charge: In most games, the house’s favorable percentage is greater than most players think, but the 5 percent charge at New York Craps is less than nearly all crap players and most casino operators suspect. Here are the correct percentages in favor of the house when the operator levis a 5 percent charge:

1. The do bettor pays $1, or 4.761 percent, when taking $20 worth of odds on the numbers 4,5,6,8,9,and 10.

2. The don’t bettor pays $1, The don’t bettor pays $1, or 2,439 percent, when laying odds of $40 to $20 on the numbers 4 or 10.

3. The don’t bettor pays $1, or 3,225 percent, when laying odds of $30 to $20 on the numbers 5 or 9.

4. The don’t bettor pays $1, or 4 percent, when laying odds of $24 to $20 on the numbers 6 or 8.

In Bank Craps games that permit a player to make a place bet or buy the numbers at 5 percent, it would be to a player’s advantage to buy the 4 and 10 and place the 5, 9, 6, and 8. It soon becomes clear that once you’ve learned the basic rules of Bank Craps, the bets that may be made on the Craps layout aren’t at all difficult to understand. The trouble with the average player lies not in not knowing how to play the game, but in knowing little or nothing about odds and the house percentages he is out to beat. As a result, in a game where he has an opportunity to slice the house edge down to less than 1 percent, as explained in the foregoing, he insists on making all sorts of ridiculous side bets where at times he’s bucking a house edge as high as 16 2/3 percent. Side bets are called “proposition bets ” by casino operators. I call them by their right name: “sucker bets.” Let’s analyze some of these ridiculous bets favored by many dice players, starting with field bets.

Field Bets. Many of the Craps players whom I have observed playing Bank Craps are suckers for field bets. The craps stickman begins to sell the field bets by chanting constantly during the game: “Place your bet on the field. Nine, that’s a field number. Ten, another field number.” Then, occasionally, he ;adds that the field has seven winnings numbers and only four losing numbers. The field usually bears the numbers 2,3,5,9,10, 11, and 12. When the player puts the bet on the space of the layout marked Field, he is betting that one of the group of seven numbers listed there will be thrown on the next roll. The bank pays even money. Since the field shows seven numbers, and there are only four (4,6,7, and 8) that can make him lose, the non-thinker figures that his chances are excellent. He may even believe that he has the best of it, or at the very least, an even chance. But appearances are nearly always deceptive, especially in casino online poker games. If we add together all the ways in which the winnings and losing numbers can be thrown, we find that the above field numbers can be made in only 17 ways as against 19 ways for the losing numbers. The house, consequently, has an advantage of 5 5/9 percent, or about 28 cents on a $5 bet.

Other layouts are made with the 4 in place of the 5, so that the field bears the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Some layouts pay double on 2 and 12; others pay 3 to 1 on 2. In each case, the player’s disadvantage is still 5 5/9 percent or about 28 cents on a $5 bet.

The lure of Craps is its fast action. But, because wagers on the field are either won or lost every time the dice are roiled, the action is so fast and furious that most players bankrolls can’t take it. With the 5 5/9 percent grinding away and taking 1/18 of every bet you make, the house can expect to eat up the amount of your wager in 18 rolls. To show what this means in dollars and cents, let us assume you place 180 field bets of $10 each, which you can do in an hour’s time at many fast-action craps tables, and let us assume that the law of averages works according to expectation. This hour of field betting would cost you exactly $100. It’s a cinch that the field bettor who believes that his chances of winning are excellent has not looked at the following chart, which shows all the 36 possible combinations that cab be made with two dice:

36 COMBINATIONS OR WAYS WITH TWO DICE 2 can be made in one way:

1-1

3 can be made in two way:

1-2

2-1

4 can be made in three way:

1-3

3-1

2-2

5 can be made in four way:

1-4

4-1

2-3

3-2

6 can be made in five way:

1-5

5-1

2-4

4-2

3-3

7 can be made in six way:

1-6

6-1

2-5

5-2

3-4

4-3

8 can be made in five way:

1-6

6-2

3-5

5-3

4-4

9 can be made in four way:

1-6

6-3

4-5

5-4

10 can be made in three way:

1-6

6-4

5-5

11 can be made in two way:

1-5

5-6

12 can be made in one way:

1-6

When we know that there are 36 ways of making the 11 numbers, and also how many ways each number can be made, we can easily obtain the true odds and house percentages on most bets made at Bank Craps. The general poker rule for figuring dice percentages is simply this: The house’s favorable percentage is the number of ways that the player is short divided by the total number of ways the event can happen. In the field above, the house has 19 ways to the player’s 17. The player is short two ways. Divide 2 by 36 and you get a favorable house advantage of 5 5/9 percent.

The Big 6 and the Big 8. The player who places his bet on the spaces of the layout marked Big 6 or Big 8 is wagering that the number will be thrown before a 7. He can put his money on that space at any time. The bank pays even money, and most players labor under the impression that it is an even money bet. The 6 and 8 ,spaces on most layouts are usually made large and are positioned where the players can reach them easily. Why any gambler should think that the bank would emphasize a bet that gives the house no percentage at all is a mystery.

We know from our combinations and ways table that, since either 6 or 8 can be made five ways and 7 in six ways, the correct odds are 6 to 5, or $1.20 to $1.00. The house’s advantage is 9 1/11 percent, which amounts to about 45 cents on a $5 bet. The 6 and 8 spaces on most layouts have grown large and have come to be known as the big 6 and big 8 not because they are the best bet on the layout but because the house has such a big edge. They are strictly sucker bets.

Smart money gamblers wouldn’t touch such a bet with a ten-foot pole especially when they know they can place the 6 and 8 and get far better odds. Again, why many dice players insist on putting their money on the big 6 or big 8 and pay a whopping house percentage of 9 1/ 11 percent or 46 cents on a $5 bet, when they can just as easily place the 6 or 8 and pay a low house percentage of 1.515 percent or about 8 cents on a $5 bet, is to me another perfect example of foolish betting.

Hard-Way Bets. Another ridiculous type of side bet is to wager on one of four spaces in the center of the layout headed by the words Hard Way. This is to bet that the shooter will make a specified even number (4, 6, 8, or 10) with two double numbers (the hard way) before it is made the “easy way” (any other way than a hard way) or before a 7 is made. Hard-way bets can be made at any time and withdrawn at any time.

Hard-way wagers can be found on all layouts and, once again, many dice players believe that the odds offered by the bank are fair enough. Some even think they are, getting correct odds, a lack of logic that almost classes as not thinking at all!

The layout does not offer correct odds on any of these bets; further, in many cases, it offers even less than it appears to. This misdirection, as gamblers call it, is accomplished by wording the Craps layout so as to mislead players who forget that the two little words “for” and “to” do not mean the same thing. You will see how this deception operates in the following analysis of the hard way wagers: The 4 (2 and 2) and 10 (5 and 5) pay 7 to 1; the 6 (3 and 3) and 8 (4 and 4) pay 9 to 1. The correct odds on a hard way 4 or 10 are 8 to 1; and on a hard-way 6 or 8, the odds are 10 to 1. Thus, the house has a 9 1/11percent, or about a 45-cent, edge against the player who bets $5 on the hard- way 6 or 8; and an 11 1/9percent, or about a 56-cent, edge against him when he bets $5 on the hard-way 4 or 10.

Some of the smaller casinos pay only 6 to 1 on the hard 4 and hard .10, and 8 to 1 on the hard 6 and hard 8 only, it doesn’t look that way. The following example shows how this misdirection is achieved: The Craps layout is made to read “7 for 1” above the hard 4 and hard 10, and “9 for 1” above the hard 6 and hard 8. The difference is this: When paying off at 7-for-1 odds, the house keeps the $1 you bet. Some of the larger casinos make use of this same gimmick to mislead players in believing they are getting larger odds by having their layout read “8 for 1” on the hard 4 and the hard 10, and “10 for 1” on the hard 6 and hard 8.

Many dice players with whom I’ve discussed the hard-way bets find it difficult to understand why the player gets 9-to-l odds on the hard 6 and hard 8 and only 7-to-l odds on the hard 4 and hard 10. These players believe that it is just as easy to make a double 3 as it is a double 5 and that the odds should therefore be the same against making either 6 or 10 the hard way. They see no reason why, if the house pays 9 to 1 against throwing a double 4 or a double 3, it shouldn’t also pay 9 to 1 against throwing a double 5 or a double 2.

The fallacy in the average gambler’s reasoning is that, when he makes the statement that it is just as easy to throw a double 3 or a double 4 as it is a double 2 or a double 5, he forgets that he is talking about the hard way. Suppose your point is 4 and you bet that you can make it the hard way with 2 and 2. There are, according to our table of combinations and ways, three ways to make 4: with 2 and 2, 1 and 3, and 3 and 1. If either 1 and 3 or 3 and 1 is thrown, you have made your point; but since you didn’t make it the hard way, you lose the bet. You have one way to win and two ways to lose. In addition, you can also lose if you 7 out; and since there are six ways to make 7, there are altogether eight ways you can lose as against one way in which you can win. Consequently, the odds are 8 to 1. The same reasoning also applies to making the point 10 with 5 and 5.

Let’s try the same process with points 6 and 8. The 6, according to the combinations and ways table, can be made in five ways. Betting on the 6 the hard way means that only one of these ways (3 and 3) wins and the other four lose. Add to those the losing six ways that 7 can be made, and you have 10 ways to lose against one way to win. The odds, therefore-strange as it may seem to players who don’t think logically-are 10 to 1. The same reasoning applies to making 8 with 4 and 4. Once a shooter passes by making his point number, all remaining undecided bets on the layout must be called “on or off” before the next come-out throw. If the bettor wants the come-out throw to count, he says, “All bets go on the come-out.” If he does not want the come-out throw to count, he calls, “All bets off on the come-out,” which means the come-out throw does not count.

One-Roll Bets or Come-Out Bets. And now we come to the last of the foolish side bets that can be made on the Craps layout: the “one-roll” or “come-out” bets. Strange as it may appear, these bets are made by smart money gamblers and chump players alike. Gamblers who like their action fast and sweet and those who like their odds big go for these bets the way Reds flock to riots. Like the field bet, these bets are wagered in one roll, or throw, of the dice. The player bets that a specific number will be made. The dice are rolled, and the bet is won or lost on that roll.

1. 12 (double 6) in one roll: The house a pays 30 to 1. Since the correct odds are 35 to 1, the house has an edge of 138/9 percent or about 69 cents on a $5 wager. When the house pays 30 for1, it has an edge of 16 2/3 percent, or out 83 cents on a $5 wager.

2. 2 (two aces) in one roll: The house odds and percentages are the same as for double 6.

3. 11 (5 and 6) in one roll: The house pays 15 to 1. Since the correct odds are 17 to 1, the house has an edge of 13 8/9 percent or about 56 cents on a $5 wager. When the house pays 15 for1, it has an edge of 16 2/3 percent or about 83 cents on a $5 wager.

4. 3 (1 and 2) in one roll: The house odds and percentages are the same as for 11.

5. All 7’s (3 and 4,5 and 2, or 6 and 1) in one roll: The house pays either 5 for 1 or 4 to 1. Since the correct odds are 5 to 1, the house has an edge of 16 2/3 percent, or about 83 cents on a $5 wager, which makes this and the four bets described above the biggest sucker bets found on the Bank Craps layout.

6. Any craps (2,3, or 12) in one roll: The house pays 8 for1 or 7 to 1. Since the correct odds are 8 to 1, the house has an edge of 11 1/9 percent, or 56 cents on a $5 wager.

Insurance Bets. Many crapshooters have a habit of making two wagers simultaneously in an attempt to insure one or the other. Example: A player places a bet on the pass line, and tries to protect it against a craps on the first roll by making a come-out bet on all craps. He thinks that if he loses one bet he may win the other, thus cutting down or canceling out his loss; actually, he stands to lose at least one of the bets and maybe both. Or he may attempt to insure a don’t pass line bet after the come-out by taking odds on the point. Since every wager in Bank Craps must be considered as a separate and distinct wager, the only effect of insurance betting is simply to pay the house a toll on two bets rather than on one. Instead of insuring himself against loss, the player has merely increased the percentage against himself.

How to Gamble Sensibly at Bank Craps. As in any banking game, the house earns a ‘percentage on every bet made at Bank Craps. This is not unreasonable because somebody has to pay for the casino rent, equipment, employees ’ salaries, etc. But just how much you pay for the privilege of shooting Craps in a casino is entirely up to you. Nobody can tell you how to win at Bank Craps because, if you gamble long enough and often enough, the house percentage will take its toll. But if you still insist on taking a fling at the dice tables, here are several rules to follow which can save you money.

1. Whenever you gamble at Bank Craps, set aside in advance the amount of money you are willing to lose. If you lose that amount, quit the game for the evening; do not borrow money, write a check, or obtain credit to continue gambling.

2. Also set for yourself a reasonable amount that you might expect to win, and if you succeed in winning that much, quit the game, no matter how lucky you feel. If you follow this rule you will retain your winnings more often, and you will have more winning play because you are trying to win smaller amounts.

3. If you lost yesterday, do not gamble today with the object of recouping yesterday’s losses. That is the most dangerous course any gambler can follow. Trying to get even has sent more players to the poorhouse than anything else. Write off yesterday’s losses and forget them.

4. Naturally, I expect that after reading this text on Bank Craps you will place your bets on the layout spaces which have the least percentage against you. If you follow this rule, your chances of winning are greatly increased.

5. Try to win the amount you hoped to win in the fastest time possible. Making bets back and forth all night merely gives the law of averages a chance to perform as expected in the long run and helps old Man Percentage slowly but surely to eat up your chances of winning.

If the Bank Craps player follows the above rules, he will be gambling intelligently; by greater. And when he does lose, his loses won’t hurt him too much,

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AMERICAN WHIST

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AMERICAN WHIST

BID WHIST

VINT

BOSTON

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Pinochle many Variations

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Pinochle many Variations

Two-Handed Pinochle

Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling

Auction pinochle

Strategy at Auction

CAD found

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Other Members of the Bezique Family

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The Bezique Family

Rubicon bezique

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Jass

Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

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The big euchre family

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Table of scoring points

Napoleon

Spoil five

Double hasenpfeffer

Ecarte

Three-card loo

Schafkopf

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The Heart Group

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Heart Group

Spot Hearts

Black Widow Hearts

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The All-Fours Group

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All-Fours Group

Shasta Sam

Auction Pitch Joker

Razzle-Dazzle

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Banking Card Games

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Banking Card Games

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ZIGINETTE

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The Stops Games

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ENFLE

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Skarney® and How It Is Played

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Skarney® and How It Is Played

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Cheating at Card Games

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Cheating at Card Games

Professional Card Cheats

Nullifying the Cut

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How to Shuffle Cards

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Dice and their Many Games

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Dice and their Many Games

The Casino Game: Bank Craps

THE CASINO’S LPERCENTAGE OF BANK CRAPS BETS

SCARNE’S RULES FOR OTHER DICE GAMES

English Hazard

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Applying All Card Games Poker

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Lottery guessing game

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Glossary of Game Terms

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glossary

glossary1

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