Craps - One of the Oldest Casino Games

Craps is a popular casino game the history of which reaches all the way back to the Crusades. The popularity of craps is probably owed to the fact that multiple players can play it against the house, which lends the game a social dimension. It also helps that unlike in poker, players do not actually compete amongst them but rather against the house.

Casino craps feature a variety of bets which make the game even more interesting. Some of them are simple, others – like hedge bets – are much more intricate. Hedge bets are basically bets meant to protect another bet. A relatively common practice is to make a $5-$10 Pass the Line bet, which is then hedged with a $1 Any Craps bet.

The logic behind the move is the following: if the shooter rolls anything but a craps on the come-out, the $1 hedge bet loses. Given the fact that it’s only $1 though, the loss is not a particularly crippling one. If the come-out roll results in a craps, the Pass the Line bet loses, which means the player will drop $5. The hedge bet on the other hand wins, and since the odds on it are 7-1, the player ends up collecting a $7 win, which means a $2 profit in the end.

In theory, the hedge bet looks like a great idea, doesn’t it? It does seem to work over a small sample bets, but over the long-run, it is a losing proposition: the house edge will inevitably get the better of it.
The bottom line is that all the bets available on craps feature a negative long term expectation, against which there’s absolutely nothing a player can do strategy-wise. Combining several negative EV (expected value) bets, will never lead to a positive EV bet either. Furthermore, using a worse bet to hedge a bad one will only make the entire combination worse.

Do we recommend that you make use of hedge bets? From a strictly mathematical perspective, we certainly don’t. If they make the game more enjoyable for you though, then sure, go for them, but remember to exercise moderation.

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