centerfield9
• Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 26, 2011
February 24th, 2020 at 7:02:09 AM permalink
Let's say a casino gave you a one-time Free Play coupon that can be used on any bet in the casino including the sportsbook/racebook. Is there an optimal way to play it?

This is not a matchplay. If you play the coupon on an even-money bet: you lose nothing if you lose, you win the face value of the coupon if you win. If the bet pays 3-to-1, you win 3x the face value. If the bet pays 1-to-2, you win half the face value. Do you go for the gusto and try for the 20-1 on Wheel of Fortune? Do you bet the 1-to-9 favorite on a horse? Or somewhere in-between? Remember, you keep what you win only, not the win plus the value of the coupon. The casino takes the coupon after you use it.
The less you bet, the more you lose when you win
Mosca
• Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
February 24th, 2020 at 7:37:23 AM permalink
That kind of depends on you. What you like, how you feel about risk and edge.

I’d use it to make an odds bet at craps. It pays real odds and might return 2 for one.
A falling knife has no handle.
charliepatrick
• Posts: 2967
Joined: Jun 17, 2011
February 24th, 2020 at 8:02:03 AM permalink
If you have a free-to-bet coupon, i.e. they don't return the "bet" part, the best way is to place it on something like a number at single-zero roulette.

Let's assume it's a \$5 bet.
If you chose an even money shot then (about) half the time you'd get back \$5, so its value is (about) \$5/2 (actually \$5*18/37 = \$2.43).
If you chose a number, then 1 chance in 37 you would win 35*\$5 (=\$175) or you'd lose. So its value is \$175/37 = \$4.73.

Essentially if you win at even money, you get half your "winnings" back, whereas on a number you get 35/36 of your "winnings" back. btw a roulette number (even double zero) is better than true odds at craps since (or a 4 or 10) you'd get back 2/3 of your "winnings".

If you have a coupon which will also return the "bet" part, then you would be correct to place it on the lowest House Edge bet available. You might think this would be the odds part of craps, however this costs you the House Edge of having to make the original bet and waiting for a point. Thus you might be better off putting it on Blackjack or a low House Edge game such as Baccarat.
darkoz
• Posts: 11553
Joined: Dec 22, 2009
February 24th, 2020 at 11:23:05 AM permalink
Is this a real scenario? You say suppose it happened?

In my experience these type of table bets have restrictions like even money bets only
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
centerfield9
• Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 26, 2011
February 26th, 2020 at 10:57:49 AM permalink
This is not real. I understand most free play coupons restrict play to even-money bets. I was just wondering how people gauge the zero-risk/variable-reward on a one-bet opportunity. What would you play if it was a \$100 coupon? How about \$1,000?
The less you bet, the more you lose when you win
charliepatrick
• Posts: 2967
Joined: Jun 17, 2011
February 26th, 2020 at 11:31:22 AM permalink
Quote: centerfield9

...even-money bets....if it was a \$100 coupon [or] \$1,000?

Place \$5 on Blackjack and the coupon behind it accepting you might have to double/split for quite a lot! (I haven't done the exercise where you don't add to a profitable split but do for a double and/or change strategy, c.f. freebet.)
unJon
• Posts: 4655
Joined: Jul 1, 2018
Thanked by
February 26th, 2020 at 3:07:51 PM permalink
Quote: centerfield9

This is not real. I understand most free play coupons restrict play to even-money bets. I was just wondering how people gauge the zero-risk/variable-reward on a one-bet opportunity. What would you play if it was a \$100 coupon? How about \$1,000?

Throw it on zero on a single zero roulette wheel.
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
Wiggins
• Posts: 78
Joined: Mar 26, 2015
February 26th, 2020 at 11:36:51 PM permalink
Quote: centerfield9

This is not real. I understand most free play coupons restrict play to even-money bets. I was just wondering how people gauge the zero-risk/variable-reward on a one-bet opportunity. What would you play if it was a \$100 coupon? How about \$1,000?

Like the other poster said, it's personal preference. The value of \$100 or \$1000 is subjective. The higher the payout odds, the better the expected value on your coupon.

I was faced with this exact scenario recently. An online sportsbook awarded me two \$1250 free bets as part of a very generous new user promotion. \$1250 is not life-changing money to me, but it's still a significant amount. If I was short on rent next month, I could have gotten minimum value and hedged the bet on another site to win a guaranteed ~\$600. Instead, I chose to get better value but still have a reasonable (IMO) shot at winning. I took the Chiefs to win the SB at +450 (this was early in the playoffs). If \$1250 meant nothing to me, I would have bet the Titans at +5000 instead. My second bet is on Kansas +700 to win the NCAA tournament.