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Best of Alan Krigman
It's relatively easy to see how often you can expect to win with any of these craps bets. Just consider the statistically correct results of 1,980 come-out cycles, based on the number of ways a pair of dice can form various totals.
Don't Pass and Don't Come bets win during come-out rolls when the dice
total two or three. They lose on seven or 11 and push on 12. On other
totals, the bets move behind the point for a later decision -- winning
or losing depending on whether the seven appears or the number repeats
first. The following list indicates how the 1,980 come-out cycles will
be theoretically resolved. Ignoring the pushes, the figures show that
the chance of winning is 949/(949+976) or 49.2987 percent. The chance of
losing is the complementary 50.7013 percent.
Pass and Come bets win during the come-out roll on totals of seven or
11. They lose on two, three, or 12. On other totals, the bets move to
the point for a later decision -- winning or losing depending on whether
the number repeats or the seven appears first. The following list
indicates how the 1,980 come-out cycles will be theoretically resolved.
The figures show that the chance of winning is 976/(976+1004) or 49.2929
percent. The chance of losing is the other 50.7071 percent.
Some craps players think that "Don't" bets win more often than their "Do" counterparts. These breakdowns confirm this belief. But, clearly, the difference is negligible. The greater vulnerability of the "Don't" bets during the come-out roll offsets their elevated strength after the point is established.
More tellingly, compare both wagers with other even-money bets. In single-zero roulette, for instance, you expect to win on red, black, odd, even, high, or low an average of 18 times in every 37 spins. The chance of winning is therefore 18/37, which equals 48.6486 percent. Flat "Do" and "Don't" bets at craps are over half a percent more likely to win. And that leaves out the bonus dice devotees earn in the form of license to hoot and holler in the heat of the action, without the casino sending goons from the decorum department to mark demerits on their rating slips.
As the celebrated Sumner A Ingmark apprised parsimonious punters:
A frugal bettor gets