Sep

16

2010

# Hedge Bets in Craps

A craps player told me he likes to make \$6 place bets on 6 or 8, but also hedge with \$3 bets on 7. That way, a roll of 6 or 8 wins \$7 and loses just the \$3 on 7. And if a 7 wipes out the place bets, he makes it up by winning \$12 with the 4-1 odds on any 7.

“I love this one,” he told me. “If either of my place bets wins, I make money. If the shooter rolls a 7, I break even. And with 6, 7 and 8, I have the three best numbers working for me.”

There’s a key flaw in the system.  If the roll is something other than 6, 7 or 8, there’s no decision on the place bets. You can leave your bets on 6 and 8 on the table for the next roll or you can take them down, but there are no winnings. But 7 is a one-roll bet — it’s 7 or nothing. On most rolls, the player just loses the hedge bet on 7 without getting anything back on the other bets.

Let’s say my system-playing friend had his \$6 bets up on 6 and 8 and \$3 on 7. Now the roll comes … and it’s a 9. He’s lost \$3 on 7, and if he wants to keep hedging, he has to put up fresh money.

Hedge bets have that problem, and any 7 is a particularly weak one, with a house edge of 16.67 percent.  Don’t ruin decent bets like 6 and 8, with house edges of 1.52 percent, by layering on a weaker bet like any 7.