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Free Odds Bets

Pass Line and Come
The free odds bet is the most important wager that a gambler can make, since it is the only bet the casino permits where the house has no advantage over the player. Yet if we examine the craps layout, there is nothing on the layout to indicate where or how this bet can be made. This is an intolerable situation in my opinion, but there's nothing that can be done about it, since the Gaming Commission in Nevada and the Casino Control Commission in New Jersey don't insist that casinos reveal all the possible bets and plays at their gaming tables.

A free odds bet can be made by all line bettors and by all bettors wagering on come and don't come. For now, we'll cover free odds bets made on the line bets, either on pass line or don't pass. The only qualification for these free odds bets is that the wager must be made in addition to a line bet. In private games this free odds bet can be made as a completely separate bet, but not at casino craps.

In most casinos the free odds bet can only be made in an amount equal to or less than the original bet, in which case the casino is said to permit single odds. There are exceptions to this rule, however, which will be covered in a later part of this section. For the time being, let's examine how a pass-line bettor makes a free odds bet, and what the ? bet is all about.

Let's assume that a right bettor has bet $10 on the pass line, hoping that the dice will win. After making the bet, the shooter, on the come-out roll, throws a point number, either a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. After any of these numbers have been established as the point, the right bettor may now make an additional bet behind the original bet, or behind the pass line, at free odds.

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Just One Round
A player who pleads for doubled stakes one week while losing should not object on another occasion when he is winning.

Usually, the player who has pleaded for the increased stakes to get even loses even more during that last period. If this regularly happens, particularly to someone who cannot afford the loss, you need to decide just how serious you are. Whether or not you have a moral duty to look out for another player's best interests really depends on whether the game truly is a "friendly" game, or whether, as is often the case in poker, everyone is trying to maximize his own winning chances.

If your game is truly friendly, even though for serious stakes, it makes sense to help a player protect himself from his short-term bad judgment. Most of the time, even when the players like one another, everyone is presumed to be "a grown-up" and must protect himself. In such situations, you may still want to protect a player from himself, figuring that you can shear a sheep many times, but only kill him once. It is often better to ensure the longevity of the game than worry about temporary unhappiness of one player.
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