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Frank Scoblete - Part Two Is Hedging on the Don?t Something You Should Do?

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  • Frank ScobleteDon?t Pass bettors can also get tangled up in the hedges in numerous ways. Here?s one that is advocated by several gaming writers. Place a Don?t-Pass bet of $20 and when the point is 6 or 8, you Place bet the same number for $18. The thinking here is that if the 7 appears, you will win $20 on the Don?t Pass and lose $18 on the Place bet, giving you a $2 guaranteed profit. However, if the either the 6 or 8 hits, you will win $21 and lose $20, giving you a guaranteed $1 profit. Overall, you?ll win $17 betting this way.

    The problem with this betting scheme is obvious. When a Don?t Pass bet has made it past the come-out roll, it is the odds-on favorite to win as a 7 will appear more often than any single number. Even though the 6 or 8 will appear five times for every six appearances of the 7, the Don?t bettor is still favored to win one betting unit -- in this case $20 (he?ll win six times on the 7 for $120 but lose five times on the 6 or 8 for $100). How much will you win on the guaranteed hedge? A total of $17. That?s $3 less than had you played it straight! It is also a reduction of 15 percent in winnings. Not good.

    This same hedge is also advocated for the other numbers as well, with the same dire consequences.

    Again you bet $20 on the Don?t Pass and, if the 5 or 9 is the Point, you also Place bet that number for $15. If the 7 hits, you win $20 on the Don?t Pass bet, but lose $15 on the Place bet -- for a guaranteed win of $5. When the Point rolls you win $21 on the Place bet, but lose $20 on the Don?t Pass bet for a guaranteed win of $1.

    So what does this all add up to? Had you simply stuck with your Don?t Pass bet on the 5 or 9, you would have won $120 when the 7 rolled and lost $80 when the 5 or 9 rolled as the 7 is a six-to-four, or three-to-two, favorite over the 5 or 9. That?s a net win of $40. By hedging, you won $30 when the 7 rolled and $4 when the 5 or 9 rolled for a net win of $34. That?s $6 less! Your winnings have again been reduced by 15 percent because of hedging. Bad news.

    The same scenario holds for the hedging of the 4 or 10. Again, you bet $20 on the Don?t Pass and if the point is 4 or 10, you Place bet that number for $15. If a 7 hits, you will win $20 on the Don?t but lose $15 on the Place bet, for a profit of $5. However, if the point is rolled you win $27 on your Place bet, lose $20 on your Don?t Pass bet, and wind up ahead $7 overall.

    This sounds good until you take a look at what you actually would have won had you just stuck with your Don?t Pass bet of 4 or 10. You would have won $60 because the 7 is a six-to-three, or two-to-one, favorite over the 4 or 10. You would win six times ($120), lose three (-$60) and been up $60. How much did you win with the guaranteed hedge? You won $30 when the 7 rolled and $21 when the 4 or 10 rolled, for a win of $51. That?s $9 less! Again a reduction of 15 percent in your overall win! Just awful.

    By hedging on the Don?t Pass after you have successfully maneuvered through the toughest part of Don?t betting, the come-out roll where you lose eight times for every three times that you win, you have increased your overall losses dramatically!

    Now, a clever craps connoisseur might just say to him or herself: ?Well, if that come-out roll is so dangerous to me because I lose on the 7 and 11, why don?t I just hedge my come-outs and let my numbers stand when they are up against the Point??

    First, let?s establish how dangerous a come-out roll is for a $20 Don?t Pass bettor. It is very dangerous as he stands to lose $160 when the 7 and 11 roll and win a mere $60 when the 2 or 3 rolls. That?s a net loss of $100, on average, for every 36 come-out rolls. Not very uplifting.

    So our clever craps connoisseur hedges his $20 Don?t Pass bet by wagering $5 on the Any Seven bet, which pays off at four to one. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, our Don?t Pass bettor wins $20 but loses his $5 Any Seven for a gain of $15. How often will he win that $15? Three times for a net gain of $45.

    Now, the formerly dreaded 7 rolls and what happens? A washout on the six times that would have previously been losers as the Any Seven wins $20 and the Don?t Pass loses $20 on each and every 7. We are still losing on the 11, a loss of $40 but overall, at this stage, we are ahead $5. But then the hedge falls apart as we still have to get past those 24 Point numbers and the ?bar 12,? the totality of which costs us $125 for the Any Seven bet, for a net loss on the Don?t Pass come-out hedging of $120 -- instead of the $100 had we not hedged at all! That?s a 20 percent increase in our losses! Depressing.

    So here?s a simple saying to memorize: Don?t ?Don?t? hedge!

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