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Best of Mark Pilarski

Gaming Guru

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Henry on the attack, and BEEEG wins

13 October 2003

Dear Mark,
I just found out there is a one-dollar craps table in one of the Mississippi casinos, and would like to know what the odds would be if you played the 6, 8, 4, 5, 9 or 10. I have only played craps a couple of times. Henry M.

I'm not quite sure if you're asking whether the odds change whether you are playing on a dollar game, or, what the odds are if you had a pass line bet, or placed the following numbers: 6, 8, 4, 5, 9 and 10. I'll answer all. Every single casino game has a built-in edge working for the house. This house edge does not discriminate against the size of a wager, even if you were so lucky as to find a dollar crap game. With your example, the casino holds the same 1.4% advantage on a pass line bet (without odds) no matter which number you play.
As for "placing" the numbers mentioned above, the price of the table ($1) would not make a difference as to the casino edge, but the odds do change depending which number you place. The house edge for placing the 6 and 8 is 1.5%, for the 5 and 9 is 4.0%, and for the 4 and 10 is 6.7%.
Now, Henry, even being the newbie you are to craps, you are now armed with the bets to make, a pass line wager, placing the 6 & 8, and which ones to avoid placing: the 4, 5, 9 and 10. Go git 'em, Henry.

Dear Mark,
I just saw in the paper that someone hit a Wheel of Fortune machine for over 10 million dollars. Was this the largest jackpot ever hit? Do they get the money up front, or is it annual installments? Dusty F.

You're right, Dusty, IGT's Wheel of Fortune, the most successful slot machine theme ever developed, was recently hit for $10,745,500. It was not the largest as, Nevada Megabucks and Jeopardy quarters both had bigger jackpots.
Megabucks paid $39.7 million in March 2003, and Jeopardy was hit in Biloxi, MS and paid $13.8 million.
All IGT MegaJackpots's top awards are paid in annual installments with the exception of Rapid Riches MegaJackpots and MegaJackpots Instant Winners Jackpots. These two machines pay the entire jackpot immediately upon verification of the win.

Dear Mark,
Do you still offer your laminated Best Bets cards for FREE? Tammy T.

Yes, Tammy, a freebie it still is.
Allow me, Tammy, and any other readers interested, to arm you folks with a FREE, yep you're reading it right, zilch, zap, nada, AKA: FREE, Casino Pocket laminated WIN Card, that not only lists all the "Best Bets" in a casino, but a roll call of money management techniques that let you hold on to your winnings. Just drop me a note along with a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to: Mark Pilarski, ATTN: Best Bets, P.O. Box 1234, Traverse City, MI 49685.

Gambling quote of the week: "Whether at Binion's World Series or played for pennies around the kitchen table, poker makes con jobs not only legal, but lucrative." James McManus, Positively Fifth Street

Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski

As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.