Best Bet in the Casino
What is the best bet in the casino? A roll at the craps table or a hand of blackjack takes approximately the same amount of time. So, if I played basic strategy blackjack the house edge is half a percent. Placing the 6 at craps has a house edge of one and a half percent. However, it probably takes at least 3 rolls of the dice for a decision so I lose 3 times as much in three times the amount of time. It is the same thing. If I were to add multiple odds to a pass line bet I'm pretty sure I still lose, or expect to lose the same amount of money but the house edge appears lower. Could roulette with a high house edge yet a slower game be the best game in town?
Stickman's Answer: What a great question. It shows you are thinking about all aspects of playing casino games. You are correct in your analogy of Blackjack and Craps, although craps is highly dependent on which bets you make. The average number of rolls to resolve a pass line bet is 3.8 so placing the 6 or 8 is slightly better than a blackjack game with rules that make it a half-percent house edge game. You are also correct that you will lose the same amount of money in the long run regardless of odds wagered as odds have no edge for the casino or player.
If you place a $10 pass line bet you will lose about 15 cents per bet over the long run regardless of the amount bet in odds. The only difference would be the variance (how much the bankroll fluctuates up and down). It will be higher with more odds bet. However, if you are going to bet more than just the base pass line bet, it is best to bet as much of the additional amount as you can on odds rather than any other bet as the other bets have a house edge and the odds bet doesn’t.
There is a better game than either of the two you mentioned when considering loss per hour – Pai Gow Poker. This game can be played very slowly and has a house edge 2.73 percent if you never bank. Banking will reduce the house edge. The game can be played as slow as 15-20 hands per hour and combined with the lower house edge is a better bet than roulette with a 5.26 percent house edge on a double zero wheel. Pai Gow Poker is explored in depth in the book Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker! by Frank Scoblete. It is available on Amazon.com
Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. In addition, Jerry “Stickman” along with his partner, #1 best-selling gaming author, Frank Scoblete gives private lessons in dice control. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at firstname.lastname@example.org
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