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Comps and hedges

29 July 2014

By Frank Scoblete

FROM MARK: On a recent trip to Atlantic City, my friend and I usually play the same amount. At the craps table, his first bet is $90 each on 6 and 8 $50 each on 5 and 9 and he buys 4 and 10 for $25 each for a total of $330.

My first bet is also $90 each on 6 and 8; with $35 each on the 5 and 9 and $10 each on the Hard 6 and 8 for $270. After the first bet he drops down to $220 inside with $15 on 4 and 10 for a total of 250. I continue to make my same bets. His rating and comps are always higher then mine.

Do they take into consideration the numbers we are placing?

FRANK RESPONDS: A couple of possibilities present themselves. It might be that the floor person rates the first bets before moving to another table, in which case your friend looks like a significantly bigger bettor than you.

Secondly, it is possible that your friend's initial $50 bets on the 5 and 9 — which come in with a house edge of 4 percent! — will obviously be considered better than your lower wagers on these numbers; although such bad bets as the Hard 6 and Hard 8 must garner some attention for you. His buy of the 4 and 10 at $25 is also not a great bet in Atlantic City, where the commission is taken out of both winning and losing bets. The house edge is around 4 percent in such a case.

Why not ask the floor person who is rating you exactly how he does it. Chances are he’ll tell you. Of course, keep in mind, the floor person is the boss and even if he says something that is patently false or (ahem) nonsensical, his opinion is the bottom line.

I am sending you a free copy of either “Confessions of a Wayward Catholic” or “The Virgin Kiss.” You choose.

FROM SARIT: I just purchased your book "Forever Craps" on Amazon, and so far, looks good! Harrah's in Council Bluffs pays triple on the field for a 12 and double for a 2. Now that there are 20 ways for the casino to win, and virtually 19 for the player to win, does this make this bet more worthy?

And what do you say about protecting the Come bet with an equal bet on the field? What about protecting the flat Come bets (my Odds are off) with a bet on Any 7 on a new Come Out after the Point has been made — since if a 7 comes, all the work I've put into the Come bets will be gone with that 7.

FRANK RESPONDS: Yes, by paying three times the amount on the 12, the casino’s edge on the Field bet is cut in half. The edge is approximately 2.8 percent.

As to hedging your bets, well, that’s a bad idea. All the bets you wish to hedge with come with high house edges. You are just giving the casino more of your money. If you think of each bet being a separate game against the casino, then you can see you are playing a really losing game by making such bad bets. Just think if another player were making those bets — you’d feel sorry for him.

I am sending you a copy of one of my books, either “Confessions of a Wayward Catholic” or “The Virgin Kiss.” You choose.

FROM REGIS: When sitting down to play Let It Ride, blackjack or three-card poker, does it make any difference with the amount you buy in for? Usually if my bankroll is $300 for the day, I still only lay out $100 at a time. If the table is profitable I hang around, but if I tank out the $100 I leave.

What if I buy in for my $300, but still leave after losing $100?

I know comps are based on bet amount plus time spent playing. But, will the $100 vs. the $300 buy-in change anything comp wise?

Love your column!

FRANK RESPONDS: If the casino is one you play in all the time, after a while the floor people will know $100 is your limit regardless of what you buy in for. However, a casino that isn’t knowledgeable about your play might give you somewhat more in comps if the floor person thinks you are willing to lose that $300.

I am guessing, though, that most casinos will simply use their formula for comps which is house edge, number of decisions and amount of bet to determine what they’ll give you in comps.

I am sending you a copy of my book, either “Confessions of a Wayward Catholic” or “The Virgin Kiss.” You choose.

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 fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete
Frank  Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in AmericaFrank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books include Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.

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