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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Are Craps Don't Bettors Really "The Bad Guys"?

11 June 2008

Have you ever seen a player smile when a blackjack dealer gets 21? I know that I never have.

When the dealer gets "blackjack" (a 2-card 21), there's no way to win. Only players who also have blackjack will "push" (tie). If the dealer draws to 21, the only way to win is to have a blackjack.

How about at the craps table? Have you ever seen a player smile when the stickman calls "seven out", the signal for the dealers to start raking in the chips from players who had wagered the dice would pass?

My answer is yes and I would imagine many readers will join me.

When the dice are cold and the dread number 7 is popping up with regularity, that silent and inconspicuous player standing "on the hook" (corner of the table) may be the only one winning money.

That's because he's a "don't" bettor, or a craps player who wagers that 7 will be rolled before the point.

The vast majority of craps players bet that the dice will pass, or that the point will be made before a 7. Rooting for the point creates the camaraderie that makes the game of craps so special. The cheers that erupt can be heard in the farthest points of the casino floor.

Don't bettors patiently wait for the number 7 to appear. If it does, they must celebrate in silence and collect their winnings without fanfare. Don't bettors are loners. Betting the dice will pass is a team sport.

Does this make Don't bettors "the bad guys"? Not really. It's just a way to take complete advantage of the freedom of the game.

If you wager the dice will not pass, the toughest mathematical hurdle you encounter is the come out roll. The odds are against you. You'll lose your bet on 7 or 11. There are six ways to make a 7 and two ways to make 11 out of a possible 36 combinations of the dice.

You'll win your bet on a 2 or 3 (12 is a push), but there is only one way to make a 2, two ways to make a 3, and one way to make a 12.

If the Don't bettor survives the come out roll and a point is established, the odds of winning shift in his favor.

The odds are 1-to-2 in favor of the Don't bettor if the point is 4 or 10, 2-to-3 in favor if the point is 5 or 9, and 5-to-6 in favor if the point is 6 or 8. Win the bet and you collect even money.

Comparing the same situation if you have a Pass line bet, the respective odds are 2-to-1, 3-to-2, and 6-to-5 against, yet the payoff (even money) is the same.

Just as with betting the pass line, Don't bettors can make an odds bet on which there is no house advantage.

The casino knows that once a point is established, the odds are stacked against Pass Line bettors, whereas Don't bettors are in the driver's seat. That's why a Pass Line bet is a contract bet. Once you place it, you can't pick it up. A decision of the dice has to be reached.

Don't bets can be picked up by the player at any time. The box man is only too happy to see a player retract a bet that has the possibility of winning when the odds are working against the house.

CASINO NEWS: Midwest Gaming & Travel is celebrating the first anniversary of "Boyd's Eye View" (BEV), an online gambling forum accessed from the magazine's website, www.midwestgamingandtravel.com. The forum is moderated by Linda Boyd, author of "The Video Poker Edge", and includes questions, comments and suggestions about all aspects of gambling posted by casino-goers from around the country.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp