Be “Put” off by this bet

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Some casinos offer a wager on the crap game called a “Put”bet; others do not. Should I be playing craps where they offer it, since it might be a bet that is favorable to the player? Rick K.

A “Put” bet, Rick, is a seldom-played wager that you can make on the Pass line after a point is established. For instance, say you have no action on the Pass line and the shooter rolls a six.You can then “Put” a bet down on the Pass line and instantly take the maximum odds.

The reason the casino allows you to make a “Put” bet is because you bypass a 22.2% chance of winning on the come-out if the 7 or 11 rolls, and only a 11.11% chance of losing if you crap-out, which is when the 2, 3, or 12 appears. For the normal crap player, especially one who does not take Free odds, it is a terrible bet and not worth giving up the come-out roll potential.

If you abstain from taking Free odds, which, by the way, carries no house edge, the casino has a 9.1% advantage on a 6 or 8 Put bet, 20% on the 5 or 9, and an enormous 33.3% edge on the 4 or10.

Players who take the benefit of instant Free odds will need to play on a table that offers at least 5x odds ifthe Put bet is played on either the 6 or 8: otherwise, Rick, it’s better to be Placing those numbers instead.

Only if the casino offers 10X, 50Xand even 100X odds, a “put” bet is a decent bad wager, especially on a $2 game.The higher odds will more than offset the seven/eleven come-out advantage.However, Rick, if the casino where you play offers only 2X odds max, it is still more profitable to make a Pass line bet and take advantage of the come out seven/eleven.

When I approached a blackjack game, a dealer told me he was cold. After an hour of play, I was down just $10 dollars, so I would consider that an overall win. Does a dealer really know if he or she is about to get hot or cold? Bill A.

As you approached the game, the dealer was offering comment on past performance, along with misguidedly relying on the notion that his preceding hands are a predictor of a future, frigid result.

Sure, Bill, any dealer can tell youat any given moment if they are “presently” hot or cold, but that is just an observation from previous hands. What no dealer can do is predict whether he or she will be hot or cold in the future, simply because the next hand remains an independent, random event, with the cards not caring what has happened in the past.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “Man is a gaming animal.  He must always berrying to get the better in something or other.”  —Charles Lamb, Essays ofElia, 1823

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