Reduced Variance Craps Strategy

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October 13th, 2012 at 3:39:00 AM permalink
PensiveGerbil
Member since: Oct 13, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 29
If you play craps to have fun and try to win money, then variance is your friend. If you have other goals, however, variance can be an enemy. I have been considering craps betting strategies which may reduce variance. Before I share my ideas, let me pose a hypothetical. Suppose you are given $800 in chips to bet at a $10 minimum craps table with 3-4-5x odds. At the end of the session, you will have to return whatever chips you have left. However, if you succeed in placing bets with a total value of $30,000 before going bust, you will win a prize of $1000 minus the amount you lost (you get the full $1000 if your bets yielded a profit). Pretty good deal! :-) So what betting strategy (or strategies) will maximize your expected prize money?
October 13th, 2012 at 3:43:10 AM permalink
AlanMendelson
Member since: Oct 5, 2011
Threads: 76
Posts: 2455
Since craps is a negative expectation game, you are destined to lose. And the longer you play the more you will lose. So what are you getting at? And what are you selling?
October 13th, 2012 at 4:18:48 AM permalink
PensiveGerbil
Member since: Oct 13, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 29
Quote: AlanMendelson
Since craps is a negative expectation game, you are destined to lose. And the longer you play the more you will lose. So what are you getting at? And what are you selling?


I have nothing to sell. I am seeking guidance and discussion about reduced variance betting strategies in a manner which I hope will minimize controversy and off-topic posts.
October 13th, 2012 at 6:35:57 AM permalink
s2dbaker
Member since: Jun 10, 2010
Threads: 51
Posts: 3259
Quote: PensiveGerbil
If you play craps to have fun and try to win money, then variance is your friend. If you have other goals, however...
I don't know about the rest of you but when I gamble, I totally hate myself and try to lose all of the money as fast as I can so that I don't have to gamble anymore.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez
October 13th, 2012 at 7:33:59 AM permalink
MathExtremist
Member since: Aug 31, 2010
Threads: 68
Posts: 3952
A gazillion years ago I came up with a better (lower-edge) hedge than the typical don't + place system. For a $10 3/4/5x table, do this:
$10 pass
$55 don't pass
Take odds as follows:
4 or 10, $30 for a guaranteed win of $15
5 or 9, $36 for a guaranteed win of $9
6 or 8, $40 for a win of either $3 or $5.

You could also bet 10 pass, 65 don't and take full odds. That wins 5 on every winner and a larger amount on sevens, which might be preferable due to the come out exposure of 7, 11. A long hand just wins 5 per roll, and many established numbers helps you recover a bit from the eventual 7-out.

Do this on every roll with come bets.

But with the terms you cited, you should figure out if the iron cross plus a 7 hedge isn't better. No time now tho.


Edit: I think this is the answer you were looking for...
150 do, 150 don't, 5 midnight. Guarantees you at least 30k in handle with no more than $500 loss for 500 prize win.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
October 13th, 2012 at 8:01:06 AM permalink
Scotty71
Member since: Mar 5, 2011
Threads: 19
Posts: 289
Quote: PensiveGerbil
I have nothing to sell. I am seeking guidance and discussion about reduced variance betting strategies in a manner which I hope will minimize controversy and off-topic posts.


All this and you just joined the forums today...you should PM 98Steps!
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." E.E. Cummings
October 13th, 2012 at 8:03:39 AM permalink
SanchoPanza
Member since: May 10, 2010
Threads: 30
Posts: 1785
Quote: PensiveGerbil
So what betting strategy (or strategies) will maximize your expected prize money?

Can the gambler decide when the session or sessions begin and end? That is no small question.
October 13th, 2012 at 8:14:17 AM permalink
MrV
Member since: Feb 13, 2010
Threads: 178
Posts: 3187
Quote: s2dbaker
I don't know about the rest of you but when I gamble, I totally hate myself and try to lose all of the money as fast as I can so that I don't have to gamble anymore.


Actually, I suspect that is true, at least subconsciously, or many who gamble regularly.

No better place to reinforce a deep-seated sense of self-loathing than in a casino.
"What, me worry?"
October 13th, 2012 at 8:51:42 AM permalink
PensiveGerbil
Member since: Oct 13, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 29
Quote: MathExtremist
A gazillion years ago I came up with a better (lower-edge) hedge than the typical don't + place system. For a $10 3/4/5x table, do this:
$10 pass
$55 don't pass
Take odds as follows:
4 or 10, $30 for a guaranteed win of $15
5 or 9, $36 for a guaranteed win of $9
6 or 8, $40 for a win of either $3 or $5.

You could also bet 10 pass, 65 don't and take full odds. That wins 5 on every winner and a larger amount on sevens, which might be preferable due to the come out exposure of 7, 11. A long hand just wins 5 per roll, and many established numbers helps you recover a bit from the eventual 7-out.

Do this on every roll with come bets.

But with the terms you cited, you should figure out if the iron cross plus a 7 hedge isn't better. No time now tho.


Edit: I think this is the answer you were looking for...
150 do, 150 don't, 5 midnight. Guarantees you at least 30k in handle with no more than $500 loss for 500 prize win.


If I understand correctly, you have suggested three strategies which involve making simultaneous Pass and Don't Pass bets on come out rolls? And your first two strategies including taking odds only on your Pass bet? What does "5 midnight" mean?

I believe your strategies fail to maximize the expected prize money largely because the house edge of your bets is far from minimized. I think the simple strategy of betting $10 on both Pass and Don't Pass and then taking/laying maximum odds when a point is established would be optimal. Do you agree?

Potential drawbacks of this strategy in a real live casino craps game would probably include ridicule, hostility, and embarrassment! So let's introduce one more condition: simultaneous Pass Line and Don't Pass bets are prohibited (as well as simultaneous Come and Don't Come bets). With this new condition, what strategies would be optimal?
October 13th, 2012 at 9:15:51 AM permalink
Ahigh
Member since: May 19, 2010
Threads: 77
Posts: 4392
In general there are two components to a good low-variance strategy:

1) Use low edge bets (unless you are trying to lose)
2) Try not to win too much money

Using a combination of come bets and/or DC bets, try to win as little as possible. If you can imagine every roll of the dice and what would happen, aim towards pushing as an end result or maybe winning a dollar or two.

The variance usually goes away if you do this. There are many details for how to do this, but generally increasing the size of the come bet to win as much on the last come as you lose on travelled bets works.

The tricky part is that you are still betting against the crap rolls with this strategy. So you lose on crap, and you win on yo, and you can also win if you get repeat numbers and don't start reducing the amount of the come bet to compensate for what would happen on a seven to prevent from winning.

The point of this example isn't that this is necessarily a good or the best strategy to decrease variance. Just that variance is the result of attempting to win and having it sometimes go your way and sometimes not. If you try _not_ to win _or_ lose but still play the game, the variance goes away for a zero edge game. For a small edge game the variance _usually_ goes away except for the case where you lose _sometimes_. The lower the edge, the less frequently you lose, and the rest of the time you have a low to no variance "game."
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