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Best of Larry Edell

Gaming Guru

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Come On Down!

12 June 1999

My old friend Steve always makes come bets, but he never quite knows what to do with the odds. He's a school buddy from my Brooklyn high school, where I was the resident mathematician. I was always telling him that he would do a lot better if he figured out the mathematical implications of his bets, rather than just go on hunches.

We usually met in Atlantic City, but this time our various travels took us both to Tunica, in Mississippi. It was the first time there for both of us. Steve had business in Memphis and I had some in Nashville, so we met at the craps tables in the Grand Hotel, which actually is in Robinsonville.

Most of the casinos in the state of Mississippi are on giant, stationary riverboats. The hotels are all on solid ground, but you have to leave the hotel and go onto one of the riverboats to gamble. There are nine casinos in Tunica County, and we met at the Grand, simply because it has the most craps tables.

From our previous meetings, I knew that Steve was going to bet come because he believes that come bets show which numbers are really hot. Sometimes it will be the 6's and 8's, but sometimes the 4's and 10's are hot.

Steve's only problem was that some of his come bets were left over after the point was made, and he had been calling the odds all on, in the belief that if the casino normally wants them off, then he wants them on.

I told him about calculating odds, and that the come bet is really an extra pass line bet, so the odds are not allowed before a point is established. This was months ago and I doubt if anything sunk in. Steve always hated math, even in high school.

Now at the craps table, we bought in, and I asked him again to take a closer look at come bets and how the odds were paid off.

"Whatdathinkiamadufus?" good old Steverino said as we both plunked down green chips on the pass line.

"Well. . .I just thought. . ."

"Hey, I've been playing for five years, right?"

"Yes, but . . ."

"Well, I know all there is about come bets. They're like a pass line bet, see. Only after the point. I woulda thought youda known about this."

"Well. . ." The shooter rolled a yo. Good, but still no point.

"The problem is if I get a come bet on two numbers and the point is made, I got two come bets on the next come-out with the same shooter. The house says the odds are off on the come-out, so if a seven rolls they get my flat bet but I get the odds back."

"But what about. . ."

"When one of the come bets hit? If I call my odds on I get paid. If I leave them off I only get paid on the flat bet. But if the odds are all on, I lose everything on the come-out seven. If they are all off I lose money if one of my points hit."

Now the shooter rolled a six point, so Steve took double odds and bet $25 come. The next roll was eight, so he took double odds. Then the nine hit and he did the same.

Then, as if to prove a point, the shooter threw a six - the point!

"See! Whadidatellya! Now, whadallido?"

"Well, what are the chances of a seven. . ."

"Hey! I know. A seven rolls six times, right? And the nine four times plus the eight six times. That means I have a ten to six advantage on the come-out with my two bets, right?"

"Yes, and if . . ."

"Yeh, if I had only, say, the nine left on the come, I would have a six to four disadvantage."

"So. . ."

"Yeh, so if the odds favor me on the come-out, I call the come odds on. If they don't, then I leave them off!"

"ODDS ON!" Steve bellowed suddenly, startling the dealers and halting the shooter in mid-throw. "Sorry," he added.

The shooter glared at him and threw. A nine, which became the new point. Steve won his come bet, and still had the eight come bet up.

I was astounded at Steve's newfound knowledge. He must have actually studied a craps book! I smiled, as a two and a three tumbled across the felt.

"So now . . ."

"HEY! I just discovered something! If I can figure out the odds of my left over come bets compared to the seven, I can determine whether to call the odds on or off!"

"Amazing." The shooter threw a ten.

"HEY! who said this is a game of chance! It's all math!"

"Yes," I said, genuinely impressed, "Knowing the odds will certainly help you win."

"HEY! Why didn't you tell me this before?"

"Must have slipped my mind."

And then the shooter threw an eight, and his very next roll was the nine point!

"HEY, a perfect game," Steve said as we collected our winnings.

I put my chips in my pocket. "So, just if someone should ask, how do you determine whether to have your come bet odds on or off if they last until the next come-out?"

"GEEZ! I know all that stuff now! I just calculate the odds of the points and compare them to the seven. This means that if I have only one come bet, the odds will be left off. If I have both the four and ten, their combined odds are the same as the seven, so their odds will be left off also. But if I have any other two come bets, I'll call the odds on."

Since he won, Steve wanted to progressively increase his pass and come bets, but while he was talking and counting his chips, the shooter established a five point. The very next roll was a seven, so we stopped playing, left the casino, and went out onto solid ground again.

We decided that riverboats are a fun, friendly alternative to the Las Vegas-type casinos. Their motto is "Come On Down!" But when you have just one come bet with odds on the come-out, just remember to leave your come on down!

And, as always, good luck at the tables!

©1999 by Larry Edell
Larry Edell

If you would like a free copy of "The Crapshooter", the only newsletter devoted exclusively to casino craps, just send a stamped envelope to The Crapshooter, Dept. RGT., Box 421440, San Diego CA 92142. We'll also send info on our books "Make Your Living Playing Craps" and, "Tina Trapp's Guide to Craps", as well as a free catalog, and a special free offer!

Purchase Larry's book, "Make Your Living Playing Craps" available online here.

Larry Edell Websites:

www.TheCrapShooter.com
Larry Edell
If you would like a free copy of "The Crapshooter", the only newsletter devoted exclusively to casino craps, just send a stamped envelope to The Crapshooter, Dept. RGT., Box 421440, San Diego CA 92142. We'll also send info on our books "Make Your Living Playing Craps" and, "Tina Trapp's Guide to Craps", as well as a free catalog, and a special free offer!

Purchase Larry's book, "Make Your Living Playing Craps" available online here.

Larry Edell Websites:

www.TheCrapShooter.com