I love gambling almost as much as I love winning.
The last time I was at a casino was in Atlantic City. I arrived ready to spend $400 on a night of entertainment, happy to lose ever penny if lady luck wasn’t on my side. As it turned out, I walked away the next morning with over $2,000 in profit, mostly from playing craps.
This post is the first of three of how I turned the craps table at Trump Plaza into my own personal ATM machine.
Craps is a game played by multiple players betting against the casino. Players take turns rolling two dice, whoever is rolling is the “shooter” and players are afforded numerous options for betting on the outcome of each roll.
The game is played in two rounds: the “come-out” and “point”.
To start each round, the shooter makes one or more come-out rolls. Rolling a 2, 3 or 12 is referred to “crapping-out” or “craps” whereas rolling a 7 or 11 is a natural.
The simplest bet is on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line. If you bet on the Pass Line you are betting that the outcome of the come-out roll will be a natural. Most players play the Pass Line because they don’t like the idea of betting against themselves.
I never bet the pass line.
For more details on the rules of the game see Wikipedia.
The Probability of Rolling Two Dice
On the surface (and perhaps intuitively) rolling a 7 is the highest probable outcome of any independent roll. So why bet the Don’t Pass Line?
Let’s do some math:
Aggregate Probability of a Natural: 6/36 + 2/36 = 8/36 or a 22.3% chance of winning.
Not even a 1 in 4 chance, I don’t like those odds. So what do we do? Play the Don’t Pass Line. Although you only have a 4/36 or 11% chance of doubling up on your initial wager if the shooter craps out, you have an aggregate 77.7% chance that outcome will not be a natural.
Both the Pass Line and the Don’t Pass Line pay 1:1 odds, so this is a war of attrition. Play the numbers over the long-haul. The real money is made after a point is established and you make a place bet, which will be the topic of the next post.
When you enter the casino armed with statistics, its not gambling, its playing a game—one that you know you can win. Some people can’t hack it, tho. Just don’t be this guy: