I actually enjoy the occasional trip to Las Vegas, but I’m not the kind of gambler casinos want to see. It’s nearly impossible to beat the odds playing games against the house in a casino, but I do have one small idea for beating the house (sort of) at the dice game craps.
Before I go any further, I should mention that this idea hasn’t worked for anyone else who has played craps with me. It requires patience that the typical gambler doesn’t have. So, I don’t recommend trying this.
I start by finding a craps table that allows bets as small as $5. Some casinos don’t have any tables with bets this small. Then I only bet what is called the pass line. It is the most boring possible bet, but it has very close to fair odds. Out of 495 bets, the casino expects the player to win 244 times and lose 251 times, a net loss of 7 bets. Out of 495 bets, I expect to lose $35, which works out to just over 7 cents per bet.
It takes about 3.2 rolls of the dice, on average, to decide each bet. So, my loss per dice roll averages about 2.2 cents. In a very unscientific experiment, I timed the rolls at one table and found that each one took about 40 seconds. That’s 90 rolls per hour for an average loss of just under $2 per hour for me.
So far, all this sounds like losing money: where does the beating the house come in? They bring free drinks while you play. I wander over to a craps table and play for an hour before dinner and (statistically) lose $2, but have a couple of drinks while playing. The way I see it I come out ahead.
Of course, I could actually win or lose money each time I do this, but the long-term average will be losing roughly $2 per hour. And I enjoy the fun of being part of a group of excited people who tend to all win and lose together.
A few friends who have tried this with me couldn’t resist making bigger bets and making some of the other more exciting bets on the table that have worse odds. So, be warned: if you try this, it is likely to work out badly for you.