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==================================================   Friday, May 18, 2001

Best Bet in Craps and Simple Roulette Strategy

Hello everyone,

 What is it that the casinos go to great expense to tell the world about? It's that they offer 5-times 10-times 20-times and, in some venues, the unheard of 100-times odds in craps (in Las Vegas the Casino Royale and Sam's Town offer 100-times odds).

That's a lot of advertising for an invisible bet, because the casinos don't even bother to label the bet on the craps layout. Go check out any craps layout in any casino in the world. You'll never find the words “odds bet” anywhere. And unless you ask, the dealers will never mention it. Yet this invisible, secret bet has the uncanny ability of lowering the already measly 1.41% casino edge on the pass line to - are you ready for this? - up to an unheard of 0.02% (folks, that means the casino only stands to earn a piddling 2 cents for every $100 of action).

How in blazes, you ask, does this invisible bet work? It's really quite simple. With most bets, the casino will always pay off at less than true odds. It's like winning 95 cents instead of a buck if you were to flip a coin for a dollar and win. By paying less than true odds on winning bets, casinos guarantee themselves a profit. But with the odds bet in craps it's different, because the casinos pay the same as true odds. Which means the casino's edge on the odds bet amounts to a big fat zero. It's the only bet in the entire house like this, so no wonder it's often called the 'free' odds bet.

Here's how to make this invisible bet. Start by making a bet on the pass line and wait for the come-out roll. If the shooter throws a 7 or 11 you win. If he throws a 2, 3, or 12 you lose. If any of these numbers are rolled on the come-out roll you won't have the chance to make the free odds bet. However, once the shooter throws a point number on the come-out roll - the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 - you have the opportunity to make the odds bet. Do it by placing an additional wager directly behind the pass line bet. Those chips resting behind the pass fine in an unlabeled area of the layout are universally understood as the free odds bet.

The odds bet sort of rides along with the pass line bet. Both bets win if the shooter repeats the point number before throwing a 7. Both bets lose if the shooter throws a 7 before the point number.

The difference between the pass line bet and the odds bet is the amount of the payoff when the bet wins. Pass line bets win at 1-to-1 payoff odds. This means if you bet $5, you'll win $5. The odds bet, as I mentioned previously, gets paid at true odds when it wins. That means you'll get paid at greater than 1-to-1 odds, depending upon the point number. Those true odds are:
2-to-1 for the point numbers 4 and 10,
3-to-2 for the point numbers 5 and 9,
6-to-5 for the point numbers 6 and 8.

It's kind of important to memorize those odds because to get them you have to bet the right amount of money. Don't panic, the craps expert Larry Edell (editor, The crapshooter Newsletter) has developed a neat shortcut for remembering those true odds.

First, the true odds for the 4 and 10 are the same, as are the odds for the 5 and 9 and the 6 and 8. To get the true odds, just subtract one from the smaller of these numbers and relate it to 6 (the number of times a 7 is rolled). It's that easy.

For example, if you want to know what the true odds are for the 4 and 10, just subtract one from 4 and you get 3. So the true odds for the 4 and 10 are 6 to 3, or rounded 2 to 1. To get the true odds for the 6 and 8, subtract one from 6 to get 5, or true odds of 6 to 5. True odds for the 5 and 9 is one from 5 equals 4, or 6 to 4 (rounded it's 3 to 2). Pretty neat, huh?

All casinos allow players to wager single odds. This means you are allowed to make an odds wager equal to the pass line bet. Most casinos will also take double odds. This means the player can make an odds bet equal to twice the amount wagered on the pass line. For example, a player who bets $5 on the pass line would be allowed to wager up to $10 in odds. There are also casinos that heavily advertise 10-times 20-times and even 100-times odds. In the example of the 100-times odds, this means a bettor making a $5 pass line wager could wager as much as $500 in odds. 

As a general rule of thumb, to get the maximum odds payoff you should always bet an even amount of money when the point is 5 and 9 and in increments of $5 if the point is 6 and 8. Why is that? Suppose you bet $5 on the pass line and the point becomes 9. If you were to wager $5 as an odds bet and the bet won, the payoff at 3-to-2 odds would be $1.50. Casinos don't deal in small change, so to accommodate the needs of players who want to be paid at true odds they allow players to bump up their odds bet a buck from $5 to $6. Now the casino can pay the $6 odds bet when it wins at $9 (3 to 2 payoff). Likewise, to get the 6-to-5 payoff on the point numbers 6 and 8, you should always make an odds bet in increments of $5. That way, if you bet $5 you'll win $6, bet $10 - and win $12, and so forth.

If you're still confused, try this foolproof way for making the odds bet:

Wager three units on the pass line. If the point is 4 and 10, wager three units as odds. If the point number is 5 or 9, wager 4 units in odds. If the point number is 6 or 8, wager 5 units.

If you bet this way and win, the payoff regardless of the point number is always 9 units. Simple enough?

The above is ideal for the player who wants to wager $3 on the pass line and take either $3, $4 or $5 in odds, depending upon the point number. No matter what the point number is, when it wins you'll be paid $9.

If you see casinos advertise that they offer "true odds" or "full odds," it means they will pay 3 times on the 4 and 10, 4 times on the 5 and 9 and 6 times on the 6 and 8 (same as above). For example, if you bet $15 on the pass line, a casino that offers "full odds" will allow a player to wager $15 in odds on 4/10, $20 in odds on 5/9 and $25 odds on 6/8. The payoffs for the winning odds wager in all three cases is $30, which is an easy amount for the dealer to pay off.

Another way to make life simple is to bet $5 on the pass line and always take $10 as double odds. With a $10 odds bet, the payoff is $20 for the 4 and 10, $15 for the point numbers 5 and 9, and $12 for the 6 and 8.

If all else fails just ask the dealer how much to bet in odds and he will gladly help you. That's their job, and by the way, don't forget to show your appreciation by making a pass line and odds bet for them once in a while.

Given a choice, it's always to your benefit to wager small amounts on the pass line and larger amounts on the free odds bet. That's because the casino has a slot edge on the pass fine portion of your bet but no edge on the odds portion. Thus if you normally bet $25 on the pass fine, you are much better off betting $5 on the pass line and taking $20 in odds. You'll have the same amount of money riding on the outcome at one fifth the cost.

The ideal way to take advantage of the free odds bet is to wager the absolute minimum the casinos win allow, then gradually increase the amount of your odds wager as you win.

It's true that the more you bet in odds in relation to your pass fine bet, the lower the casino's edge (see table below). But keep in mind that when you bet more in odds, you are also putting more of your bankroll at risk. That's why it's best to start with single or double odds, then gradually increase the amount of your odds wager as you win.

Odds Multiple   Casino Edge (%)
         0                      1.414
         1                       0.848
         2                       0.606
         3                       0.471
         5                       0.326
       10                       0.184
       20                       0.099

     100                              0.021 

Once you make a pass line wager, you can't remove it from the layout or add more money to the bet after a point number is rolled (it's a contract bet which means it stays on the layout till it wins or loses). Not so with the odds bet. If you want, you can remove, increase or reduce the amount of your odds bet at any time.

One last key point about the odds bet. Most casinos won't give you comp credit for the odds bet because they have no advantage. However, some casinos will give you credit for your "spread," which includes the odds portion of your bet. Ask a casino host what their policy is and given a choice, play where they give you full comp credit, including the amount you wager as odds.

You could also make an odds wager on the come or don't pass/don't come wagers.

Don’t forget to sign up for the $1000 VegasUSA draw.  Just open a real account at VegasUSA following the link:, send your VegasUSA account name to, wager with real money and be entitled for the $1000 giveaway.  The winner will be announced at the end of the month, on the newsletter of May 31, 2001.

A Simple Roulette Strategy

A couple of days ago, I was going down the stairs in a metro station to take the metro to work.   I had returned my leased car and my new car was going to be ready only the day after, so I had to use the metro that day.  While going down the stairs I heard the noise of a metro approaching.  Constantly thinking odds, I thought there would be a 50% probability that the metro was coming from south to north and 50% that it would come from north to south, as there were only two directions.  With this in mind I started going down the stairs a bit faster.  As I approached the platforms, I saw that there were a lot more people standing for the south direction. This led me to believe that there was a metro that went north not long ago and that the next coming one would be for going south.  The chances of the next metro going north was still 50%, but the fact that there were more people for the south direction, added another factor to those odds and increased the likelihood that the next metro would be for the south direction. 

Comparing this to Roulette, we all know that the probability of the next spin being either Red or Black is nearly 50%, but there are other factors that increase the likelihood of its being Red or Black and let’s see what those factors can be:

Some of us Roulette enthusiasts like to play long hours of Roulette spins.  Some of us are satisfied with quick hits and runs.  In Roulette you will probably accomplish your goal on a short amount of play rather than extended hours of play.

If your goal is to make a decent profit on a daily basis, you may want to consider betting with high units rather than starting with the table minimum.  Starting with a minimum bet is usually the beginning of a progression or some kind of a parlay system.  Betting straight with the table’s maximum is where you are aiming for a high profit in a short amount of time.

Let’s say that this maximum on the outside bets is $1000.  Let’s also say that you will be happy if you could make a profit of $1000 per day or per session.  This means that we are fishing for only 1 unit profit, our unit being $1000 worth.

Now, what kind of system or method will ensure 1 unit profit without risking say more than 4 units. If you are betting on Red or Black, the probability of the next bet being either Red or Black is nearly 50%.  If the previous decision was a Red, the probability of the next bet being also a Red is also 50%.   That means that there is a nearly 50% chance that the color will either repeat or alternate. 

If we look at a series of numbers and their colors, on a choppy state of the table, the colors will alternate more than they will repeat.  And on a streaky state of the table, the colors will repeat more than they will alternate.  Or we can also say, that on a choppy state, within 10 bets, the color will change more than 5 times.   And on a streaky state, the color will repeat more than 5 times.  And this can happen at any stage during those 10 bets.

Once you detect that a table is streaky and you join while betting on following the previous decision, if you place 10 bets with flat 1 unit at every bet, there is a great chance you will be up by at least 1 unit during those 10 bets, without going less than –4 units, since there will be more repeating colors than alternating ones. 

The same way, if you see that a table is choppy and you join while betting on the opposite of the previous decision, you will probably be ahead by at least 1 unit during the next 10 bets without going lower than –4 units, since there will be more alternating colors than repeating ones.

This is exactly the same way we can assume that if there are many more people standing to go south on the metro, there will be at least one more metro going south during the next few ones than going north.

It all boils down to the ability to detect if a table is choppy or streaky.  This is quite easy to see with Reds and Blacks even over a distance.

Another approach would be to go for a repeat color once you identify that the choppiness has stopped, or go for the opposite decision once the streak has ended.   As you may have noticed by now, a table goes from a choppy to a streaky state and vice versa every now and then.  What you could do is to count and register the number of times a color has repeated and alternated under two columns on a writing pad.  Once the gap between the repeating and the alternating color starts expanding, it’s time to go towards the opposite trend, as according to the law of averages, Reds and Blacks should come up an equal amount of times, or at least the difference should not be too great over a long run.

Here is an illustration.  You come to a roulette table and start writing down the number of repeats and changes for say 20 spins


Spin   Red/Black  Repeat  Change   Gap           

1                R

2                R             1                                     1                        

3                B                                     1             0

4                B             2                                     1

5                B             3                                     2

6                R                                     2             1

7                R             4                                     2

8                R             5                                     3

9                R             6                                     4

10            B                                     3             3

11            R                                     4             2

12            B                                     5             1

13            B             7                                     2

14            B             8                                     3

15            R                                     6             2

16            R             9                                     3

17            R             10                                     4

18            B                                     7             3

19            B             11                                     4

20            B             12                                     5

Every time the color repeats you increment the repeat count and every time the color changes you increment the change count and you record the gap between those two numbers.

When the gap reaches 5 or more, you can tell that the table is in a certain streak or chop trend.

In the example above the gap is 5 favoring a streak trend, which is about to change to a chop trend.

This is when I would bet the next 10 bets with 1 unit every time on a change color, that is, on the opposite of the previous decision.  And there probably will be more changing colors than repeating ones giving you the 1 unit profit that you were looking for.

If you don’t dare playing with $1000 unit, try it with $10.  The worst you can lose is $40.  If it works well for you, try it with $100 units.  Upgrade as you gain trust and confidence.

By the way, this system is good for Baccarat as well, as Mike McGuire, the Baccarat guru states: “The shoe streaks 50% of the time and chops 50% of the time”.  With the above method while noting down the Player and Banker bets, you can record the streaks and the chops, calculate their difference and go for the opposite trend.

The Systems Gallery contains many systems, that took deep thought, research and long tests to develop. 

That’s all for this week.  Your feedback is welcome.

Best regards,


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