Good Odds

The odds are always against you when you gamble, which is an excellent argument for not gambling in the first place.  If you're gonna gamble anyway, then it pays to play at a casino that offers good odds.  That's one reason I chose Bovada as the advertiser.  Let me first tell you about the competition, though.

Many online casinos are stingy when setting the odds on their games.  They think they'll make more money by setting the games tighter, so the player has less chance of winning, but they're wrong.  When players lose at a tight casino too quickly, those players much less likely to return.  Contrast that with a casino with good odds: Players get to play longer, which is a good experience, so they're more likely to return and become long-term customers.

Bovada has always offered games with good odds, knowing that if your money lasts longer, you'll be a happier, loyal customer.  They've got:

  • Two blackjack games returning over 99.8%
  • Single-0 roulette
  • Full-pay Jacks or Better (99.54%)
  • Nine other video poker games returning over 99%

Bovada's not perfect, but at least they offer decent odds.

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Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.
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Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Craps:  The “Don’t Pass” Bet

Last update: September 2019

In the How to Play Craps article, we saw how to make the Pass Line and Odds bets.  Those bets are all you need to know, but if you get bored with them, then you might be interested in the Don't Pass bet.  The good news is that its house edge is about the same as for the Pass Line bet.  The bad news is that many craps players frown on people who bet Don't Pass instead of the Pass Line.

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Don't Pass

The Don't Pass is the opposite of the Pass Bet, winning when the Pass Bet would lose, and losing when the Pass Bet would win.  Here's how it works:

Pass vs. Don't Pass

Pass Don't Pass
   Win 7 or 11 2 or 3
   Lose 2, 3, or 12 7 or 11
   Push (tie)
Bonus Round
   Win Point 7
   Lose 7 Point

Most players bet Pass/Come instead of Don't Pass/Don't Come.  Someone who bets Don't Pass/Don't Come is called a “Wrong Bettor”.  That doesn't mean he's betting incorrectly, it just means he's betting contrary to the way most people at the table are betting.  As a Don't Pass/Don't Come player, you'll be losing when everyone else is winning, and winning when everyone else is losing—and the other players may be hostile towards you as a result of the latter.  At the very best, there won't be any camaraderie.

Just like you can make an Odds bet after your Pass bet, you can make an Odds bet after your Don't Pass.  As you might suspect, the Odds bet for Don't Pass is the opposite of the Odds bet for the Pass.  For example, on a winning point for an Odds Bet on the Pass you're paid 2 to 1, but for a winning 7 on an Odds bet on the Don't Pass, you're paid 1 to 2.  That means that a $10 Odds bet wins $5.  You also get paid on your original Don't Pass bet.

Technically, the Don't side has a slighter smaller house edge than the normal bets, but it's so tiny it's not worth worrying about—especially for the heat you'll take from the other players for being a "wrong bettor". But for inquiring minds, here's the house edge for Pass Line+Odds compared to Don't Pass+Odds (rounded)

House Edge for various Craps Bets

Combined House Edge
on Pass Line + Odds
Combined House Edge
on Don't Pass + Odds
No odds 1.41% 1.36%
1x 0.85% 0.68%
2x 0.61% 0.46%
3x 0.47% 0.34%
5x 0.33% 0.23%
10x 0.18% 0.12%
100x 0.021% 0.014%
Figures from Wizard of Odds, then rounded

Let's put this into perspective: Let's say you're playing 16 hours, $5 basic bet, at a rate of 30 Come Out rolls per hour.  Your average loss from betting on the Pass Line is $33.84, compared to $32.64 from betting Don't Pass instead.  That's an extra 7.5¢ an hour.  Big whoop.

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Practice gambling with play money

Before you throw down your hard-earned cash in a casino, PRACTICE FIRST!  Learn the games with play money where it doesn't cost you anything if you lose.  Seriously.

You can play Bovada's games (below) right away without registering for an account.  Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games — ugh.  That's the main reason Bovada is the only online casino that gets advertising space on my site.  (When you see the registration box, you can cancel it and proceed to the game without registering.)

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