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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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New Craps Bets Help Take the Sting Out of the 7

26 December 2007

The number 7 in the game of craps is a double-edged sword. On the come-out roll it's a natural winner, but unless you are playing the "don't" (betting against the pass line) every other time the number appears during a roll spells disaster.

The dread number has mathematics in its favor. Of the 36 possible combinations of the dice, six of them are 7, more than any other number.

Those brave enough to venture a bet that 7 will appear on the next roll refer to it as "Big Red" or "Red", fearful that even its very mention will incur the wrath of fellow players at the table. Aside from the superstition, it's a very ill-advised bet because the 4 to 1 winning payoff packs an obscene 16.67 percent house edge. It doesn't get any worse.

Frank Mugnolo, president and CEO of Casino Gaming LLC of Broadview, Illinois, is hopeful of taking some of the sting out of the number 7 with a trio of new proposition bets he created called "Point-7", "7-Point", and "7-Point-7". The first two carry a house edge of 11.1 percent, in the same neighborhood as all "prop" bets. The last one gets scaled down to a more tolerable 5.56 percent.

In essence, what Mugnolo has done is take the number which has the greatest mathematical probability of appearing on the dice table and give players the power to wager on its appearance without being slammed with the monstrous house edge that comes with a bet on "Red".

His bets also add a new dimension to the game of craps by giving dice players opportunities to incorporate the number 7 into their playing strategies while still betting that the dice will pass.

Point-7 works this way: Make the bet on the come out roll. If 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 is rolled it's a loser. If a point is rolled the bet is live for the next roll only. If the roll is seven-out the bet pays 7 to 1.

With 7-Point, the bet is also made on the come out. If anything other than a seven is rolled, it's a loser. If it's a seven the bet is live for the next roll only. If that roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 the bet wins and pays 7 to 1. Any other number is a loser.

The third option, 7-Point-7, is the most intriguing. The bet is made on the come out. If 2, 3, 11 or 12 is rolled it loses. If the dice show a seven, the bet wins and pays 2 to 1. If a point is established, the bet remains in action for the next roll. If that roll is a seven, the bet wins and pays 3 to 1. Any other number is a loser.

Many craps players who are inclined to wager on the propositions, such as hardways, will find these bets attractive. They can be viewed as a creative method of insurance, albeit with an 11.1 percent edge, against a quick seven-out (in the case of Point-7).

The 5.56 percent house edge on 7-Point-7 makes it comparable to a Field bet, which pays double on the 2 and 12.

Mugnolo, whose "Automatic Win" betting option at blackjack tables in the Chicago area and across the country is gaining acceptance, unveiled his craps bets at the Global Gaming Expo last month in Las Vegas.

It's now up to casino table games directors to give the bets a try.

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