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The Secret of Protecting Your Pass Line Bet


Pssst...! Wanna know a secret?

How about the secret of protecting your pass line bet?

Many dealers will encourage you to make additional hedge bets on craps numbers (2, 3 and 12) to protect your pass line bet. You'll always hear "any craps" bets called whenever a new shooter is coming out.

Wanna know the secrets that craps pros use to protect their pass line bets?

Let's find out!

Any craps is the most common hedge bet and pays seven to one. This means that if you have a ten dollar pass line bet and a $1 any craps bet, you'll win $9 ($10 - $1) if the 7 (or 11) rolls, and lose only $3 ($10 passline - $7 any craps) instead of $10 if the 2, 3, or 12 rolls.

It sounds OK, but let's look at the numbers. At the end of 36 rolls, you've invested $36 (36 x $1) in these hedge bets. The 2, 3 or 12 will theoretically roll four times (once each for the 2 and 12, and twice for the 3) in 36 rolls. So if you win these craps bets four times, you've won $28 (4 x $7), and spent $36 (36 x $1) giving you a $8 ($36-$28) loss.

You can also bet $2 ($1 each) Craps and Eleven (C&E). Craps (2, 3, or 12) pays 7 to 1, while the eleven pays 15 to 1. If the eleven rolls you win $24 ($10 passline + $15 eleven - $1 any craps). The seven will win you $8 ($10 passline - $2 C&E). If the 2, 3 or 12 should roll, you'll lose $4 (+$7 craps - $1 eleven - $10 passline) instead of $10.

This time, though, in 36 decisions, you've invested $72 (2 x $36) in hedge bets. The 2 and 12 will have each rolled once, and the three and eleven twice. You would make $7 on the 2 ($1 x 7), $14 on the 3 ($2 x 7), $7 on the 12 ($1 x 7), and $30 on the eleven ($2 x 15). This totals $58 ($7 + $14 + $7 + $30), but you've already invested $72 so you have a $14 ($72-$58) loss! Another winner for the house!

Finally, you can make a 3-way craps bet (on the 2, 3, and 12) for $3. This is different from the any craps bet because the odds are higher - 30 to 1 for the 2 and 12, and 15 to 1 for the three. So if the 2 or 12 roll you win $18 ($30 - $10 - $2) instead of losing $10, and if the three rolls, you win $3 ($15 - $10 - $2) instead of losing $10. This bet also means that you will win on the 7 and 11 (from your pass line bet) and on the 2, 3, and 12 (from the 3-way craps bet). In 36 rolls, however, this time you've invested $108 ($3 x 36). The 2 and 12 will roll once, and the 3 twice. At 30 to 1, the 2 and 12 pay $30 each, for a total of $60. At 15 to 1, the 3 pays $30 ($2 x 15). You made $90 ($30 + $60) but spent $108 for a loss of $18!

Unfortunately, as you can see, you can not profitably protect a $10 pass line bet by hedging it with craps bets. Some craps writers have maintained that a craps hedge bet is only profitable with a passline bet of $25 or more, with a $4 any craps bet. Let's look at the math. If you bet $4 any craps you'll win $112, which comes from $4 (bet) x 4 (number of times 2, 3, or 12 rolls) x 7 (payoff). You'll lose $144 ($4 x 36) resulting in a $32 loss. So, it's still not a good bet. In fact it's worse than a $10 passline bet with a $1 any craps bet!

Now let's look at the same $25 passline bet with a C & E hedge for $4. If the eleven rolls, you'll win $83 ($25 passline + $60 eleven - $2 any). The seven will win you $21 ($25 passline - $4 C&E). If the 2 or 3 roll you win $1 ($28 - $25 - $2). In 36 rolls you've invested $144 ($4 x 36) . The 2 and twelve will each have rolled once, and the three and eleven twice each. You would make $14 on the 2 ($2 x 7), $28 on the 3 ($2 x 14), $14 on the 12 ($2 x 7) and $60 on the eleven ($2 x 30). This totals $116. So you've lost $28 ($144 - $116).

Finally, lets look at a $6 3-way craps bet with a $25 passline bet. If the two or twelve roll you win $31 ($60 - $25 - $4). If the three rolls you win $1 ($30 - $25 - $4). In 36 rolls on this bet you've invested $216 ($6 x 36). At 30 to 1, the 2 and 12 pay $60 each (30 x $2) for a total of $120 ($60 + $60). At 15:1 the 3 pays $60 ($2 x 15 x 2). You made $180 ($120 + $60) but spent $216 giving you a $36 loss!

Craps is a math game, and, as you can see, there is no way you can protect a pass line bet with craps hedge bets - whether your unit is $5, $10, or $25.

So - the secret of protecting your pass line bet is to save all the money you would normally use for hedge bets and use that money to make more "free odds" bets!

Pssst...! Now you know the secrets of protecting your pass line bets!

(c) 2005 by Larry Edell

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