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Rolls in Video Craps

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The table game begins when the stickman pushes five dice to the new shooter for the Come Out roll. In the video version, you put in the number of coins that you want to bet. The machine automatically credits these coins to you and you can bet one, two or more (usually up to ten) on the bets you select. Just as in regular craps, the video-craps player can bet on more than one result.

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In the video-craps game, you do not have to follow the procedure for the table-game which would be to place a bet on either the Pass Line or the Don't Pass Line, for the Come-Out roll. You can start the game with any bet just by pressing the ROLL THE DICE button. However, since the Pass Line or Don't Pass bets with a house edge of only 1.4 percent are two of the best bets in video craps (the others being the Come and Don't Come), either of these would be the bets to make initially. In machine language, any of the four bets mentioned would make the video-craps machine a 98.6 percent payback machine. Not bad at all!

If the first roll is a seven or 11, the Pass Line wins even money. Those on the Don't Pass Line lose their bets. However, if the shooter-in-the-machine rolls a two or three on the Come Out roll, the Don't Pass wins even money, and the Pass loses. Should the shooter-in-the-machine roll a 12, the Pass loses but the Don't Pass pushes (no decision).

The shooter-in-the-machine will keep rolling Come Out rolls until it rolls a four, five, six, eight, nine, or 10. (Remember that you must press the ROLL button for a decision to be rendered.) These are called point numbers. Let us say the shooter-in-the-machine rolls a six. That now becomes the point and the machine will indicate either by lighting up the point number or, more likely, by entering the point (in this case a six) in a box labeled POINT NUMBER. For Pass Line bettors, the shooter-in-the-machine must roll another six before it rolls a seven in order to win. For Don't Pass bettors, the shooter-in-the-machine must roll the seven before a six for them to win.

Although in the long term mathematics of craps, the Don't Pass bettor has a slight edge over the Pass bettor, in reality this edge is so slight that it is essentially irrelevant. However, what is not irrelevant is the disparity of opportunity on or after a Come Out roll.

On the Come Out roll, the Pass Line bettor is in the driver's seat. That's because he wins on a seven or 11, and loses on a two, three or 12. Now, there are six ways to make a seven and two ways to make an 11, which gives the Pass Line bettor eight chances in 36 rolls for a win. However, there are four ways he can lose because the combined totals of two, three, and 12 can be made in four different ways. Thus, overall, the Pass Line shooter has a two to one advantage on the Come Out roll.

On the other hand, the Don't Pass bettor is at his most vulnerable on the Come Out because he theoretically loses eight times for every 36 rolls, but only wins three times on the two and three (remember, the Don't Pass bettor pushes on the 12—that's the casino's edge for this type of bet). Thus, the Don't Pass bettor faces odds of 8 to 3 against him on the Come Out.

Once the shooter-in-the-machine establishes a point, however, the nature of the game shifts dramatically in favor of the Don't Pass bettor. That's because the seven now becomes the standard for success or failure. The Pass Bettor must buck the odds against him, while the Don't Pass bettor has the odds heavily in his favor.

The following chart shows the relationship of every point number to the seven. Since most bettors are right bettors, that is they bet with the shooter-in-the-machine and against the seven, the chart is structured against the Pass Bettor. For example, the point number of four is made three ways in relation to the seven's six ways. The seven will come up six times for every three times of the four. Thus, the odds are two to one against the four. However, the Don't Pass bettor has odds of two to one in his favor!

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