FROM CANCUN SKIP: I thoroughly enjoyed reading your new book, “Confessions of a Wayward Catholic.” I received it as Christmas present from a friend.
My question relates to your recent article on Place Bets versus Come bets. I understand that Come bets have a lower house advantage than Place bets but there are two other factors to consider in favor of Place bets.
1. Odds bets are not considered the same as Place Bets in determining a player's comps. A $220 Place Better will receive a lot more comped room and dining offers than a player with $10 on the Pass Line with odds and three Come Bets with odds. Both are risking $220 but being rated differently.
2. The Come bets are in peril of being lost on the Come out Roll. While the Come Bet odds are returned to the player, the loss of the Come bets is a substantial portion of the total wager at risk. This is particularly true on the Las Vegas Strip properties most of which offer 3X 4X 5X odds.
How significant you feel these factors to be in choosing Come betting versus Place Betting.
FRANK RESPONDS: I’m happy you enjoyed my new book. It’s been selling well and readers are enjoying it.
You are correct that Place bets will gain you more in comps than will Come bets but those comps do not make up for your losses when placing numbers. Take your $220 example ($60 each on the 6 and 8 with $50 each on the 5 and 9), as opposed to going up on four Come bets with Odds.
Your expectation is to lose 91 cents for the 6 and 91 cents for the 8. That is a loss of $1.82. Your placement of the 5 and 9 will cost you $2 per number or $4 for both of them. So your expected loss for each placement of these four numbers is $5.82. The casino will return (maybe) 40 percent of your theoretical losses as comps; so one round of your Place betting will return $2.33 in comps.
Using comp dollars as actual dollars that means your expected loss using Place betting the 5, 6, 8 and 9 will be $3.49. Over the course of an hour or two (or three or four or more), you will gain plenty of comps and plenty in losses.
Now let’s take a look at Come betting four numbers. For every $10 as a Come bet your expectation is to lose 14 cents. You will use four Come bets (or a Pass and three Come bets) and your expected total loss is 56 cents. So the casino gives you (maybe) 40 percent of your losses back as comps which is 22 cents. Your loss now becomes 34 cents.
So what is better? Clearly, the comps you got Place betting do not make Place betting superior to Come betting. The difference is a staggering $3.15. Come betting, even considering comps, is the better way --- the far better way --- to wager.
Certainly taking odds adds to the amount you are betting but the more you play craps the more the odds will tend to even out since the casino has no edge on the odds.
Casinos know exactly what they are doing when it comes to the math of the games and how much betting styles are really worth to them. Comps are merely lures to get players to wager more money and/or the same amount of money just on poorer bets.
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