Volume VII : Issue #8 | |

In This Edition: | A Word From Soft Touch From the Editor Come Better…or Maybe You Better Not! Fair Market Value and the Come Bet Today’s Wisdom… Queen Bee’s Buzz… The Three Amigos Shoot the Lights Out! Newsletter Archive Links |

**Soft Touch Say’s**

Exploring our full potential as advantage craps players means we have to expand our exposure to the many dimensions of the game. Through this newsletter, we share the knowledge gained from our playing experiences. Helping us realize our full potential for winning and prospering from the game is just one mission of Dice Setter newsletter.

As craps players, we come to the game with a unique mission. Each of us has to clearly determine what our purpose is for choosing to enter a game. For some, it is financial freedom, wealth, camaraderie, meeting friends, peak performance, and the list continues among a multitude of motivations.

Whatever our purpose and mission that motivates us to play, each of us has to consciously decide for our selves what our true purpose is for being at the tables.

So instead, I have always emphasized the joy of being an individual player, independent and free, just like the many players who write us with their experiences or contribute their insight through their written work for my newsletter.

My mission, fueled by the passion I have for the game, has more to do with the freedom of choosing the game outcome I wish to have when I wish to have it. This freedom has everything to do with separating from mass consciousness of losing and transforming some pretty outdated paradigms about what I wish to experience from the game.

My wish for my readers is this: Find your own personal connection to the game and self-facilitate your own personal gaming evolution. I know my “wise men” have and so can you.

Enjoy the newsletter and I wish you all the best the craps table games have to offer you.

Soft Touch

**PS** If you have any suggestions for the new Dice Setter website or newsletter please send them to me at **Ed@dicesetter.com** and I’ll have a look and see how we can incorporate them into our future plans.

Mike In Hawaii is a fascinating individual in the way his passion for craps is driven straight to his creative ability to sort out the math, and answer the **“wonder questions”** about the game. We get into some tight crevices discussing craps and Mike says, “Oh, that is interesting, let me work on it and get back to you.” The next day, Ka-boom! I open my email and I find an article like Fair Market Value.

I thought I would share his personal note to me, the day he sent his article published in this month’s edition of Dice Setter Newsletter. I feel it goes a long way to helping the reader understand his article in this edition.

Ed Jones

Mike In Hawaii writes:

Ed, the entire point in using fair market value is that each bet is independent when done this way. All the complicated future paths are taken into account. Whatever entanglements those paths may have with the future paths of other chips are thus also taken into account. No massive state tables and decision trees. You have already done that for each one individually.

The super whammy, the real important point, is that now things that were

very tricky to think about and analyze such as hedge betting, and fancy

composite bets all over the felt, become easy to analyze exactly and quickly.

Do a proper fair market value on each one and then use the killer axiom.

All bets are independent when viewed as fair market value. The total fair market value of all bets at a given moment is the sum of their fair market values. The total house advantage on the composite of all bets is the sum of their fair market values minus the sum of their face values divided by the sum of their face values.

It is like having a magic wand or pixie dust to sprinkle on a mind-bending problem, and see the answer magically appear.

Viewed through the crystal ball of fair market value, we see the come box for what it really is. Yet another sucker bet when used in combination with anything else. We also see it is actually a dark side bet! Its one moment of glory when it is working for the bettor it is a dark side bet. Another victory for the old saying “If the casino devoted a lot of felt space to the bet, watch out!”

Mike In Hawaii

**Come Bettors… or Maybe You Better Not!**

**By Michael Vernon**

The editor of Dice Setter asked me to clarify a bit of confusion about an email question received from a Dice Setter newsletter subscriber. The question has to do with the come bet and the odds of it winning verses losing.

Dear Dice Setter Editor,

I subscribe to several gambling newsletters including Dice Setter. In a different craps newsletter, I read something confusing about the come bet and the odds for the bet to win. I copied the gist of the question that was asked, followed by the questionable answer that was given. The odds for a come bet to win are referred to as 2:1. I know that the odds are 1.41% against the come bet winning, same as with a pass line bet. This answer does not make sense to me. What is your take?

The Question:I have a quick question about the five count. Say the shooter gets to the five count, I place a bet in the come field and the shooter rolls a three. Even though I lose in this situation, do I hold at the five count and continue to make come bets until the hand ends with a seven out?

The Answer:You have it exactly right. Even though you are a two-to-one favorite when you put a Come bet up, (eight ways to win with a 7 and 11 combined and only four ways to lose on the 2,3,12 combined), those craps numbers do appear half the time. You just go right back up with another Come bet if that happens. The seven out is the end of it all obviously.

At first glance it is obvious that the person answering the question has the math sort of right but mostly wrong. It is wrong enough that the little old lady just off the bus for her first game of craps finds out the hard way for herself.

Dice Squad Detective: “Just the facts ma’am! Can you tell me what you were doing just before you lost your money?”

Little Old Lady from Pasadena: “Well, I was making come bets. I read where the come bet was twice as likely to win. There are six ways to win with a seven, and two ways to win with an eleven. Compare that to the four ways of losing to craps, I’d have a 2:1 advantage making a come bet. The information went on to say, “of course you can expect craps half the time,” so I figured my chances of winning would be twice as good as my chance of losing. It sounded like it was a great bet to me.”

The statement, that the odds for a come bet to win at 2:1, is wrong as most craps players reading this will recognize. The three crap numbers, 2, 3, and 12 do not have a combined probability of a 50% occurrence any more than the 7 and 11 combinations have a 100% occurrence. In fact, it does not make any sense at all. (If craps numbers appear half the time, then .5 times 2 would equal 100% for 7/11.) There are the other 24 combinations of numbers… 4,5,6,8,9,10, which have their own probability of appearing. Together, all of the 36 combinations, 7/11, craps and the six box numbers add up to 100% of the total possibilities every time the dice are picked up and rolled.

Perhaps the person writing the answer had his or her fingers ahead of their thoughts when typing out the answer and simply did not pick up on their hasty erroneous answer. Still, comparing 7/11 to 2/3/12 as a ratio of probability for winning at 2:1, is not justification for making a come bet any more than dice counting would be.

Mike In Hawaii has written several articles with the math and odds for many of the bets in a craps game. (Distance Between Sevens, June 2007 and others published in Dice Setter Newsletter archives) The casino operates the game with a distinct advantage over every single bet, including the mislabeled “Free Odds” bet. No bet in the game of craps provides the player with a 2:1 shot of winning over losing and there is nothing free in craps… okay, advice and a cocktail…you’ll have to get your own drink here.

In addition to clearing up the 2:1 probability for the come bet in the answer above, while I am at it, I want to address the misrepresentation that the come bet is just like the pass line bet. Sure, it pays the same and has the same house odds, 1.4%, but the come bet is not like the pass line bet. **If you are a come bettor,** this is where you should probably stop reading and close the page. I come bet to bury Caesar, not praise him.

The biggest problem for the come bet is the seven. Manipulate the math any way you wish, but the seven either puts an end to the game when it shows up in the middle of a hand or it wipes off all established come bets when it appears during a come out roll.

Going out on a limb here, but winning one come bet does not make much money in the come field on a winner seven which ends the game. As a flat bet that is paid even money, it is of little consolation and a poor hedge to collect a winner seven come bet. One reason for making a come bet hinges on the hope of catching a hand with repeating box numbers. Taking another risk here, I do not believe that the average come bettor is playing the come field hoping to win on a seven-out.

Once the come bet is on a box number, (4,5,6,8,9,10), it becomes a contract bet and is never safe from any seven rolled from that point on. That is to say, the come bet number must repeat as the only way of salvaging a come bet from the “odds-on-favorite”, the seven. Only by repeating the come bet number does the come bet win and is removed from harms way.

Contrast that to the pass line bet, which is always 7/11 friendly for every come out roll. And, by the way, 7/11 combined has a probability of 22.222% of appearing every time the dice are tossed. Unfortunately for the come bet, the same probability 22.2222% holds true, but it does not provide the same advantage. With the exception of when a come bet is first played in the “come field”, and the seven is the very next roll, the seven is otherwise death for the come bettor. The come bet in the come field may win on a seven-out while any other come bets up on numbers are lost, including any odds, and the game is over.

Math is a powerful tool and too often manipulated to make certain dice plays or systems look better on paper. Just because it is on the Internet, be careful what you accept as truth. Push to shove, use a pencil and paper along with a calculator to prove it yourself. Does the math add up? I like the way Mike in Hawaii puts it. There is “God’s Math”, and there is “Monte Carlo or Machined Math”…. And I guess from the answer above, there is also made up math.

Copyright ©2007 Michael Vernon

# Fair Market Value and the Come Bet

## By Mike In Hawaii

This is the oldest craps betting system known to man. It is believed the Minoans taught it to the Egyptians who taught it to the Greeks who taught it to the Romans.

In this betting system you bet the pass line and then bet the come box working to establish two come points. Variations call for odds on the pass line bet if it survives the come out roll and even odds on the come points if you get good ones. One of its strong points is that it “tracks” the hot numbers according to its supporters. You hope to end up with three numbers working for you. One on the pass line and two in point boxes. It is a bit tricky to think about because both the pass line and its out of phase cousin the come bet are multi-roll bets whose rules change but their odds do not. Also the bets interact since they are out of phase with each other in spite of having very similar rules.

With all the possible things that can happen in all the possible combinations, this would seem difficult to analyze. But not with **Fair Market Value**.

If you can calculate the present fair market value of each chip in play at a given moment, the value of your combined position is simply the sum of the fair market values of all your chips in play at that moment. The current house advantage on your position can be easily calculated by comparing the total Fair Market Value of your chips with their original face values. Since fair market value takes into account everything that can happen in each individual chip’s future, all the complicated interactions associated with several chips in play in parallel fade away. The key concept is that each bet faces its fate independent of the others. Failure to observe this rule is what leads to concepts such as placing the six and eight in “parallel” in order to gang up on the “poor seven”.

Back to the case at hand. The come bet is nothing more or less than a pass line bet made after the come out roll. Each one is another “pass line bet” with its own “come out roll” and if it survives that, setting its own come point number.

It may look different because the bets are made in the Come Box instead of on the Pass Line. And if they survive their personal moment of glory during their individual come out roll, they get physically moved to one of the point boxes. But the math is the same. And they are contract bets.

Enter our Minoan hero with a fist full of nickel chips all bullish on the Come Box. A new hand is about to start. He plunks down a $5 chip on the pass line. “Kaching!”. That chip is now worth $4.93. That is its fair market value. It has been devalued by the well known minus 1.41% house advantage on a pass line bet. The very best thing that can happen at this point for our hero is a natural win. Everything else goes down hill from here and he is going to be throwing good money after bad faster than he really needs to.

Assume a point is set. We know from the previous article that which point is set determines the remaining Fair Market Value of the chip trapped on the pass line.

Check out the bad news. If the Point is 6 or 8, then your pass line bet is still worth $4.55. If the point is 5 or 9, its value drops to just $4.00. And if the point is 4 or 10, the damage is massive. The fair market value of that chip is just $3.33. The house advantage on the poor thing is minus 33 percent!

Come Out | Point 6 or 8 | Point 5 or 9 | Point 4 or 10 |

Since a come bet is a pass line bet by another name, the future possibilities are the same and the numbers are the same. Only the timing changes. So when our hero proudly implements his strategy and plunks down another nickel in the Come Box, it immediately becomes worth $4.93. So now he has two chips working. One of which is worth from $3.33 to $4.55 and one that is worth $4.93.

Suppose he gets what he wants and another point number, not the winning point number, is rolled. Now his chip in the Come Box gets promoted to one of the point boxes. There it is worth from $3.33 to $4.55 depending on which box it went to.

Down goes another nickel into the come box. “Kaching!” It is now worth $4.93. At this point he has a chip worth $4.93 on the layout and two other chips worth from $3.33 to $4.55 each.

Suppose he again gets his wish and a third point number appears. Now he has the felt like he wanted it. A bet on the pass line and two come point numbers.

Let’s take the best case scenario for his glorious established position, the one he worked so hard to get to. He has a pass line bet with a point of five and come points of six and eight. His total fair market value is $4.00 + $4.55 + $4.55 or $13.09. The face value of the chips used is $15. The composite house advantage on his position now that it is established is ($13.09 – $15.00) / $15.00 or minus 12.73%. (Gasp!).

Let’s take a worst case scenario. He has a pass line bet with a point of five and come points of four and ten. His total fair market value is $4.00 + $3.33 + $3.33 or $10.67 for a whopping house advantage of minus 28.89% (Argggg!) Beware the Sevenator.

It gets worse. What is the moment of glory for a pass line, or its cousin the come bet? It is the come out roll or the come bet’s equivalent. That is when these particular bets are weighted in the player’s favor, heavily. But wait! With a chip on the pass line and a chip in the come box, you have “hedged away” most of the “come out roll” advantage of the chip in the come box. If it wins with a seven, that same seven cleans off your pass line bet. The one roll you have a decent bet in the come box, you have nullified nearly all of the advantage by having a second bet on the pass line praying “please no seven, please no seven…” The only natural win left for the come box which will not hurt you on the pass line is an 11.

Is this starting to look like a really lousy way to establish point numbers yet? The following table shows the fair market value of an established comes point bet. I have used $30 just because it can be paid off evenly on any point as a place bet. This should be familiar as it is the same as the value of a bet stuck on the pass line with the same point established after the come out roll. The thing to look at is the Vig amount.

Come | Point | $30 | Bet |

Point | 6&8 | ||

Make Pt. | 45.5% | $13.64 | |

7 Out | 54.5% | ($16.36) | VIG |

FMV | $27.27 | ($2.73) | -9.1% |

Point | 5&9 | ||

Make Pt. | 40.0% | $12.00 | |

7 Out | 60.0% | ($18.00) | VIG |

FMV | $24.00 | ($6.00) | -20.0% |

Point | 4&10 | ||

Make Pt. | 33.3% | $10.00 | |

7Out | 66.7% | ($20.00) | VIG |

FMV | $20.00 | ($10.00) | -33.3% |

Meanwhile down at the other end of the table is another better. He has a different strategy. He is going to bet the pass line and if a point is set he is going to Place Bet two numbers.

Right off his strategy is more flexible because his point numbers are not going to be contract bets. He can take them down. He can also select which numbers to bet right off the bat, not have to “roll for them”. He does not have to fiddle around passing them through the Come Box, but can place his numbers any time he wants. Finally he gets paid off at something other than 1:1 odds if he wins. True he does not get paid off at correct odds, but a lot closer to them.

Finally, his payout varies based on which point number he risks his money on. If he is going to choose any number pair other than 6 or 8, that is going to make a very significant difference in the fair market value of his Placed chips compared to the Come Box established chips in the same box.

Our place bettor’s two equivalent positions are a pass line point of five and $6 place bets on the six and eight. When he makes the place bets, his pass line chip has a house advantage of minus 20%. His two place bets have house advantages of minus 1.52%. They are also $6 bets in the interest of integer math. So his composite house advantage on this position is $15.82 / $17 or minus 6.95% composite.

With a pass line point of five and $5 place bets on the four and ten, he is looking at $13.33 / $15 or minus 9.80% composite. But wait, he gets to choose his points with his place bets. There is no reason for him to make these six percent house advantage bets. He can stick with the place six and place eight for minus 6.95%. The come better has to live with what he gets. If he gets points of 4 or 10, he is just stuck with the bad news.

The place better can do even better. He can skip the pass line bet all together. In that case the place six and the place eight have the well known 1.52% house advantage. If our hero skips the pass line bet, his situation is still on average going to be a minus 12.5% when he manages to get his two come points established. (Since his numbers are chosen for him at random we use the average value of all possible points, minus 12.5%).

The sharp eyed might also point out that our come better can skip the pass line bet if he wants, as long as he is not the shooter. This is true, but he still is in the position of having one good roll, the next one, followed by a lousy paying point number if he does not immediately roll a 7 or 11 or crap. After he manages to establish his first point and starts working on his second point with another bet in the come box, he is back in the same leaky boat. If he scores a natural win with a seven in the come box, he instantly loses the first point bet he already established. So he is back to hoping he does not see a seven while he has chips in the come box. Again throwing away the one real advantage of a come bet or a pass line bet. Having the seven work FOR you on your come out roll. That is what generates that nice reasonable house advantage of just minus 1.41% you keep hearing about. Take that away and the deal goes sour.

The only come bet that makes any sense is a single come bet with no pass line bet working. Just remember this is actually a bet on the dark side at the moment you make it. Your best result at this point is a seven and that is not going to make most of the people at the table happy since most are right bettors. Made all by itself so it can take full advantage of a seven on its personal come out roll, a single come bet does have a decent house advantage. But when it sets a point, it suffers the same lousy house advantage from then on that its cousin the pass line bet does. Stacking up lousy bets by trying to get a lousy point bet working on the pass line and two more lousy bets working as come points just does not make any sense.

Bottom line on the point numbers is placing is much better than getting there through the come box. If you want chips in a point box, just place them there!

The only slightly tricky part is to know how much to place. That is not even that hard. Place multiples of five on everything but the six and eight, and place multiples of six on those two numbers. Why? The payouts are 6:7 on the 6 & 8; 5:7 on the 5&9; and 5:9 on the 4 & 10. So multiples of five can be paid off evenly except on the 6 and 8. You need to place in increments of $6 on the 6 and 8 to get paid off evenly. You would need to be increments of $30 (5 * 6) to be paid off evenly on any number. But you can place any multiple of $5 on 4, 5, 9 and 10, and any multiple of $6 on the 6 and 8.

Compare the Vig amounts with the chart above. The two stacks of chips may look similar sitting in a point box, but the ones that got there by a place bet are very different than the ones that got there through the come box. Even the much maligned place bet on the 4 and 10 with its minus 6.7% house advantage, is much better than the best of the points established through the come box, those on the 6 and 8 with their minus 9.1% house advantage.

Place | Bet | $30 | Bet |

Point | 6&8 | ||

Make Pt. | 45.5% | $15.91 | |

7 Out | 54.5% | ($16.36) | VIG |

FMV | $29.55 | ($0.45) | -1.52% |

Point | 5&9 | ||

Make Pt. | 40.0% | $16.80 | |

7 Out | 60.0% | ($18.00) | VIG |

FMV | $28.80 | ($1.20) | -4.0% |

Point | 4&10 | ||

Make Pt. | 33.3% | $18.00 | |

7 Out | 66.7% | ($20.00) | VIG |

FMV | $28.00 | ($2.00) | -6.7% |

Place bets don’t change value because neither their payoffs nor the rules for their payoffs change from roll to roll. The house advantage on a 6 or an 8 starts at minus1.52% and stays there for as long as the bet lasts, or it is taken down at which time it goes back into the rail and reverts to being worth the full $5 face value.

The same bet established through the Come Box sits in the 6 or 8 box waiting to be paid off at 1:1 odds. It gets there sporting a minus 9.1% house advantage and stays there as long as the bet lasts (period so to speak).

Reality Check. What about ganging up on the poor seven with parallel place bets on the six and eight? Well $30 placed on the six is worth $29.55 and $30 placed on the eight is also worth $29.55. So we have (($29.55 + $29.55) – $60)) / $60 which is a composite house advantage of minus 1.52%. Exactly as expected. No magical ganging up on the poor seven.

By rolling up all the confusing stuff into one package for each individual bet using fair market value, it becomes easy to analyze composite bets. Even multi-roll bets that change value. Of which one of the worst cases is a combination of pass line betting with its out of phase cousin the come bet. This probably explains its long run as probably the most taught single craps betting strategy in existence. The important thing to remember is that neither the pass line bet nor the come bet is something you want to use to cover a point on the right side. If you want to cover a point use a more direct approach, at least on the right side.

Copyright © 2007Mike in Hawaii

**Today’s Wisdom:**

Am I in Control?

What is the level of control you exert? Are you rushing around like crazy? Have you relinquished control to others? If so, why? Did you do so because you felt powerless or perhaps it felt comfortable to allow another to drive the bus? Why?

By exercising control you command and become responsible, but also you have the ability to alter things to suit yourself and are not prone to the whims of others.

Remember, it’s OK to get what you want from life.

Stuart Wilde – “Life Was Never Meant to be a Struggle”

# Queen Bee’s Buzz

Queen Bee: I received an interesting tid-bit of information. It came on the luckiest day of the year. It just goes to show how much goes on behind the scenes of a game a craps that is never found in the “book of rules”. Enjoy!

Dear Queen Bee,

Happy 777 to you guys! FYI – if you are not already aware of this please share it with your readers.

Living in Las Vegas, I continue to learn something everyday at the Craps tables. The other night, at Bellagio, I had the table all to myself about 2 AM. I got to toss the dice continuously for quite awhile. After a few bad hands, I finally got on about a 25 hand roll before the “Devil” showed up. The stickman tossed in the other 3 dice and shoved the 5 dice back to me.**WARNING – those that don’t believe in requesting the “Same Dice” after 1 bounces off the table should NOT read the rest of this post.**

Jesting, I suggested to the stickman that I sure would have liked to use those same two dice I just had just rolled a hand with. To my amazement, the boxman said I could. I only had to mention it to the stickman before he mixes the all the dice together.

I took this new found rule and tried it at a few other casinos to test their tolerance. So far, 99.5% acknowledge the rule and allow the request.

- At Caesars, the dealers do not even hesitate when you request the same dice from the previous roller.

- At Paris, I found a woman random roller that was chipping the dice off the mirror on a long roll. I requested her same dice and had a long roll.

- At New York, New York, on their long tables, make sure you loudly yell the stickperson’s name as you request the same dice.

- At Luxor, no problem with the request.

- At Sam’s Town, The boxman and dealers did not have a problem with “same dice” requested from the previous roller except “Randy” who told me he would “only allow it this one time”.

Live from Las Vegas, Harley Horn