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Frank Scoblete - Always, Nevers, & Sometimes of Craps & Roulette

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  • Frank ScobleteCraps is a game with a kaleidoscope of bets -- most of which will red shift your gambling account if you persist in making them. So, never make any of the Crazy Crapper bets in the middle of the table. Bets such as yo-eleven, a bet that comes to you from the department of redundancy department (after all, yo means eleven!), and 12 and Any Craps and Whirl and World and Horn and Hard 4, 6, 8, and 10, and Big Red are sucker bets of the worst kind at the craps table -- or sucker bets of the best kind if you happen to be the casino. They always have big house edges, often in the double digits. They have alluring names, true, but their names hide their disfiguring features -- they can cripple your bankroll in short order. The Field, too, is a never, even when the casino offers a 3 to 1 payout on the 12 or 2.

    The always bets of craps are also easy to list. They are Pass, Don?t Pass, Come, Don?t Come, Odds. If your intention is to cut the house edge to its very minimum, always use these options and the house will never have much of an edge on you.

    The sometimes bets at craps can get a little tricky as sometimes things always do. Here they are with advice on when you make them and when you don?t.

    Placing the 4 or 10 is a never because of the high 6.67 percent edge, but sometimes buying either or both is a good deal. When is that? When you only have to pay the five percent commission after a win. For high rollers buying the 4 or 10 for $50, the casino edge is about 1.3 percent -- better than the Pass Line or Come! Sometimes placing the 6 and/or 8 is the way to go, especially if you are on a low budget and want to get into the action on the two most active numbers after the 7. The casino only has a 1.52 percent edge on these bets and that is not so bad in the general scheme of things. The Placing of the 5 or 9 is another never because of its four percent edge, but here, again, sometimes it might be okay to buy it. When would that sometimes be? On those rare occasions when casinos will allow buying them and paying the commission only after a win just as we did with the 4 and 10 above (you?ll find this 5/9 buy option in many of Tunica?s casinos). If you?re an ?action? player, a euphemism for a player who doesn?t make the best bets at craps, always utilizing the buy option in these scenarios makes the game a far tighter contest between you and the casino. And if you are looking to reduce your exposure to the dreaded house edge even more, always use the 5-Count. (See my book Forever Craps: The Five-Step Advantage-Play Method!)


    While some gambling purists will say that you should never play roulette because of its humongous 5.26 percent edge, I am not a purist. I realize that some people will always love that wheel and no matter how much you cajole them, they will never give it up. In fact, there are better and worse approaches to roulette, as there are better and worse approaches to just about everything in life.

    Always look for European roulette wheels to play. Those are the ones with a single 0, as opposed to the American wheel that has both a 0 and a 00. Despite the bizarre fact that the European wheel was invented in America, and the American wheel was invented in Europe, there?s no irony when it comes to reducing the house edge from 5.26 percent down to 2.7 percent, which is what happens when you switch from American to European. In fact, if you have the opportunity to play the European wheel with the en prison or the surrender option (slightly different procedures, same general results), the house edge is reduced in half to 1.35 percent on the outside even-money bets such as red/black, odd/even, high/low; making them even better bets than a majority of the bets to be found in the casino.

    If you do get stuck playing the American wheel, as most of you will since it dominates the roulette landscape, never make the five-number bet of 0, 00, 1, 2, 3 -- unless you want to take an horrendous house edge of 5.26 percent and push it up to almost eight percent! That?s what the five-number bet does -- it takes you from the frying pan into the fire. Ouch!

    You might want to try a book on roulette. I always recommend my own (but of course!) Spin Roulette Gold: The Secrets of the Wheel and Christopher Pawlicki?s Get the Edge at Roulette: How to Predict Where the Ball Will Land! Armed with these two book you will always sometimes win money and you will never always lose money except, maybe, sometimes.

    Next time: The always, nevers, and sometimes of blackjack.

    Some of Frank's most popular books can be purchased by clicking one of the image links below:

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