When playing craps, I like the pass line with odds, place the 6 and 8 and then feed the come line and place odds on each. My question is on the odds. Most casinos offer 10x odds. Do I need to max that out to get the best house edge, and, if I only double my pass line bet, does this still work to my advantage? To go 10x odds requires a sizable bankroll. Robert C.

At the outset, Robert, I do like that you complement your Pass line wager and odds with a Place bet on the 6 or 8. Besides being plenty darn cheap to make – as little as \$6 – placing either of those two numbers has only a small casino edge, 1.5%.

As for your citing taking odds, Robert, this is a wager that is distinct from all other crap wagers in that odds carry NO house edge. Although this bet doesn’t have a casino advantage, you do have to use it to back up a Pass line wager that does.

For instance, let’s say you place a \$5 bet on the Pass line, followed by the point becoming a 10. On a 10X odds table, you can back your pass line bet (\$5) with \$50 (\$5 X 10) in FREE odds.

So how does the word FREE come into play for you, Robert? Well, with two, six-sided dice, there are six ways of making a 7 (loser) and three ways of making a winner 10. The odds against your winning are 2:1; but if you win, your Pass line bet is paid at even money (\$5), and your odds bet is paid at the 2:1 true odds, bringing you a \$100 payoff.

With a casino advantage of 1.4% on your Pass wager, grouped with 10X in free odds, the two wagers coupled carry a minuscule 0.18% percent house edge.

The casino advantage on your total bet when taking odds combined with your pass line wager on 1X odds is 0.85%; on 2X odds 0.61%; on 5X odds 0.33%, and on 10X odds 0.18%. So, yes, Robert, double odds do work in your favor, but the more odds you take, the greater the reduction in the house edge.

Which leads me to what you also stated; “to go 10x odds requires a sizable bankroll.” Correct again! Taking odds, Robert, can be an expensive proposition, especially when dealing with multiples of 10X.

For a low-budget gambler, laying \$50 on the layout, even for those FREE odds, is some serious Ka-ching. A couple quick seven-outs at the onset of your play and you could easily exhaust your daily gambling bankroll. The lesson here, Robert, and it is an important one, is only to bet as much odds as your gambling budget allows.

Another sound gambling strategy is that if you decide to take max odds, pursue the lowest table limit available. When betting odds on a crap game, keep your Pass line bet at the table minimum, and odds at the highest amount that you are comfortable with.

Finally, Robert, let’s not forget one important fact: All craps bets come at a cost. Craps is a negative expectation game, meaning, that no matter how you bet, even a \$2 Pass line wager with 10X odds, the house always has an edge on your action.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “There are card players and racetrack betters who are genuine professionals, but no one makes a profession out of shooting craps.” – Peter L. Bernstein, Against The Odds