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“Can’t Lose Craps”
by Lawrence W. Hill

For those many Gambling Times readers of high refinement who are unfamiliar with the common dice game of Craps, here is a summary of the main rules:

1. The shooter rolls a pair of dice, and if they come up with a total of seven or eleven, he wins;
2. If they come up two, three or twelve, he loses;
3. If they come up any other total (four, five, six, eight, nine or ten), then that number becomes the shooter’s point, and he continues rolling the dice until he either equals that point number and wins, or rolls a seven and loses.

Craps has been around for a long long time, played everywhere from city back alleys to the poshest of casinos, and the probability mathematics of the game is fairly straightforward to figure. The shooter wins about 49.29 percent of the time.

“Craps Countdown” in the Winter issue of Gambling Times suggested a new bet in this old game, in which if the first roll is a five or a nine, the shooter and all others who have bet on him have the option of doubling their original bets, and if the shooter goes ten more rolls without a normal win-or-lose outcome (winning by making his five or nine point number, or losing by rolling a seven), then he automatically wins, or if the shooter does win by making his point number on exactly his tenth attempt, then he wins ten times his already doubled bet amount.

Well, as exciting as it might be through the countdown to the decisive tenth roll, this new bet still leaves one basic verity of Craps—that on any given roll of the dice, you can lose!

Here we will look at another Craps betting option in which, for one roll anyway, you can’t lose! If the first roll establishes a point number of four or ten, then the shooter and all those who have bet on him have the option of doubling their bets, and then, if on the very next roll the shooter makes his four or ten point, those bets win four times the usual even-money amount (that is, eight times the original bet before doubling), and even if that next roll is a losing seven, bettors don’t lose, but instead get their bets back, breaking even—no way to lose on that one next roll!

But for any such “can’t lose” proposition, there has to be a catch to balance out the underlying math, and here’s the catch: After that first attempt to make the four or ten point, the shooter can’t win! If he eventually rolls a seven, he loses as usual; or if he makes his point, he only gets his bet back, breaking even. But one beauty of this new betting option is in that bettors can play a hunch (as Craps players are rumored to do on occasion). If the shooter continues rolling the dice without either making his point or losing, and a bettor who had not taken the option earlier gets a hunch that something decisive will happen on the next roll, he can take the option then, doubling his bet, at any time of his choice.

Geez—playing hunches, doubling bets, 4 to 1 odds, “can’t lose!”—it sounds like Craps heaven!

Good Luck!

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