All you have to do is mention the phrase, "side bets," at one of the desk cubicles at Aces Casino Entertainment, the Orange county casino party company leader, to draw a crowd. Yes, 'tis true, we'll bet on anything in this place. We were all over the "World's Greatest Diceroll" that we did a blog piece on earlier this year (Ed. Note: Damned snake-eyes, I STILL can't believe it.), we do all the Super Bowl and World Series Pools, World Cup Soccer, rock-paper-scissors, board games, box games, 6th-grade kick-ball basketball results, you name it. We're on it.
So, one would imagine that it would go without saying that the game of Craps is considered the "house fave" with the Aces Casino Entertainment crew. Most everyone deals it, and almost everyone to a man (or woman) loves to play it in Las Vegas, when we visit there on our annual "Aces Casino Las Vegas road trip sabbatical," which took place last week. More on that later, we promise.... Bottom line - Get a job here. You won't be sorry. We have a LOT of fun here. (Ed. Note: For the record, Aces Casino Entertainment is not currently accepting applications. On average, we hire about two people per year.)
Now, explaining WHY Craps is the favorite game to play for all of us crazies is easy to explain... It's easily the most exciting game in the casino (especially when the table is hot), plus, there are not just the normal wagers played by a great percentage of the players at the tables.... "There Are SIDE BETS GALORE!" TONS of them, some that you may not even have heard of.
So, to that end, let's begin with Part One -- analysis of the Side Bets in the Game Of Craps.(We'll do Part 1 today, and Part 2 next week in the July 11 blog entry...)
#1 -- Crapless Craps
Crapless Craps is a great example of "the laws of diminishing returns.... In this game the player cannot lose a pass bet on the come out roll. If any number other than a 7 is rolled on the come out roll it becomes the point. (Yes, even 2, 3, and 12.) Besides that nasty trick, what you are giving up is the sure winner of 11 on the come out roll. Ouch. The boss ain't gonna like this -- He LOVES the back-to-back "Yo."
Now, to the mathematically challenged, it may seem a good deal -- you're only giving up 1 sure winner for 3 sure losers. The catch is that the probability of hitting a point of 2 or 12 is only 1/7, and the probability of hitting a point of 3 or 11 is only 1/4. So, the player is not gaining much on the 2, 3, and 12 since they will likely lose anyway, but is giving up a sure winner on 11 for only a 1/4 chance of winning. Are you sitting down? Overall the house edge on the pass bet in Crapless Craps is 373/6930 =~5.382%.
Now, I've always hated losing that pass line bet on the come-out roll when the dreaded snake-eyes / ace-deuce / boxcars roll shows up, but Crapless Craps ain't the answer. Take it for a spin once, but stay away from these tables and stick to the tried-and-true methods....
#2 -- Low Dice / High Dice
The Hard Rock in Las Vegas and "Texas Treasure" casino cruises offer a pair of side bets based on the total of the dice in one throw. The "Low Dice" bet pays 1 to 1 on totals of 3 to 6 and 5 to 1 on a total of 2. The "High Dice" pays 1 to 1 on totals of 8 to 11 and 5 to 1 on a total of 12. Mathematically speaking, the house edge is 5.56% whether playing low or high.
#3 -- The Midway Bet
The Showboat in Atlantic City I'm told has a "Midway" bet in the normal location of the Big 6 and Big 8 on a total of 6 to 8 in the next roll. A hard 6 or 8 pay 2 to 1, and all other totals of 6 to 8 pay 1 to 1. House edge on this one - The aforementioned 5.56%.....
#4 -- "Small and Tall"
Sam's Town in both Las Vegas and Shreveport offer these bet. The Small bet wins if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (all five numbers during the current roll) before rolling a seven. The Tall bet wins if the shooter rolls an 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 before rolling a seven. A win pays 34 to 1, or 35 for 1. The odds on both bets are the same. Looks tempting, but the math says the house edge is 7.76%... Ouch.
So much for Part One showing the masses some of the more exotic side bets that exist in this great game of Craps. Next up on July 11, we hit Part Two of the series, brought to you by Aces Casino Entertainment, the top Orange County casino party company on the west coast. (Ed. Note: Shameless plug, but well deserved.) Oh, and before we leave, be sure to check out the first edition of what we'll call "superstition Digest." That hits on July 22, and it looks to be a riot. Have a good week, and we'll see you later!