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Best of Larry Edell

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The Crapshooter: Math Weenies

17 June 2001

The Crapshooter © 2001 by Larry Edell

In craps, a math weenie is someone who places the importance of mathematical calculations above all else. He would insist that a craps player has no chance of winning because craps is a negative expectation game and every bet on the table has a positive expectation for the house. I, on the other hand, believe that rhythm rollers, system shooters, and other people skilled at shooting can significantly eliminate the house edge.

So, I was playing one fine evening and two gentlemen approached the table and began discussing which bet to make. One (Gentleman "A") seemed to know what he was doing, as he was constantly telling the other (Gentleman "B") what not to bet. He was a math weenie.

Mr. B was watching how the other players were betting and asked, "How about the field?" Mr. A said, "5.5% house edge."

Mr. B saw another bet and said, "How about placing the four?" Mr. A replied, "6.6% house edge."

The dealers and other players were, of course, watching all of this, and I was despairing that poor Mr. B would never get a bet in. Finally, I had enough and decided to teach the math weenie a lesson.

Mr. B sighed and asked, "What about placing the six?"

Mr. A shook his head and replied, "1.5% house edge."

I cleared my throat. "Um, excuse me, but that's not correct."

"Oh?" Mr. A inquired pleasantly, "Then what exactly are the ODDS for the PLACE SIX or EIGHT, Mr. Knowitall?"

Well. I proceeded to inform this fine gentleman of his error. "You see, the odds for the place six and eight are 7:6. The player's advantage, actually his disadvantage, is -1.5%."

He glared at me. "That's what I said, smart guy!"

"Well, no. If the player advantage is -1.5%, it doesn't mean that the house advantage is + 1.5%. The house, you see, is betting on the seven rolling before the six or eight, and the player is betting the six or eight will roll before the seven."

"So?"

"Well, in 36 rolls, the player would win $35 and lose $36 so he bets a total of $66 (11 x $6) and gets $65 back, resulting in a -1.5% edge. The house, however, wins $36 and loses $35 on a total of $77 (11 x $7) so the house edge for the six or eight is +1.3%."

Gentleman A politely responded. "Listen you %$*)+#@ idiot I'm trying to teach my friend here how to play and you are just %$#@* confusing the $*+ out of him! Everyone knows the house edge for the six or eight is 1.5 not 1.3, you *^%$#@!!!"

"Well, the player advantage may be -1.5% on the six or eight but the house edge is 1.3%. You were wrong on all those other house edges also. The house edge is a totally different number than the player advantage."

Gentleman A politely responded yet again, "I had enough of you %$#@*^%$#@!!! We're leaving! Come on, Percy!"

Percy?

They started to walk away but Percy returned, smiling.

"Thanks! I was starting to believe this game was no fun at all, the way he was explaining it. I have just one question though."

"Shoot."

"Are you one of those math weenies?"

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