True Odds

To understand the significance of the -odds bet, it is important to have a rudimentary knowledge of the probabilities in craps as a whole and how the casinos legally structure the games to favor them. Craps is based on the probability of certain two-dice combinations appearing, often in relation to the seven. Each die has the numbers one through six in dot form. The side with one dot is one; the side with two dots is two and so on. On two dice of six sides each, there are thirty-six different combinations that can occur (6 sides x 6 sides = 36 combinations). Below is the pyramid of craps. You will note that the seven can be made six different ways with two dice and is therefore the most powerful, prolific number.

 Number Combinations Ways to make True Odds 2 1-1 1 in 36 5 to 1 3 1-2,2-1 2 in 36 17 to 1 4 1-3,3-1, 2-2 3 in 36 11 to 1 5 1-4, 41, 2-3, 3-2 4 in 36 8 to 1 6 1-5, 5-1, 2-4, 4-2, 3-3 5 in 36 6.2 to 1 7 1-6, 6-1, 2-5, 5-2, 3-4, 4-3 6 in 36 5 to 1 8 2-6, 6-2, 3-5, 5-3, 4-4 5 in 36 6.2 to 1 9 3-6, 6-3, 4-5, 5-4 4 in 36 8 to 1 10 4-6, 6-4, 5-5 3 in 36 11 to 1 11 5-6,6-5 2 in 36 17 to 1 12 6-6 1 in 36 35 to 1
 [ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ][ 4 ][ 5 ][ 6 ]

Catching every card

You get up and go home satisfied that you've protected your poker bankroll. Later, you learn that the fish temporarily got ahead \$2,800, three-betting pots without even looking at his cards, ordering double-shots with beer chasers, and was generally enjoying the hell out of inflicting painful beat after painful beat on his old tormentors. Unfortunately for the fish, the long-term expectancy caught up with him rather quickly. After catching every card he wanted for two hours, his luck changed to below average, but his already bad play turned horrendous. Not only did he give the \$2,800 back, he lost another \$8,000 on top of that.

There was \$10,800 pumped into that game after you lost your \$1,000 and left. Purely average luck and play would have made you a winner for the night and who knows how much you might actually have won. You left a good game, and you probably paid for it dearly.