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Best of Mark Pilarski
Pooh pooh the hardway3 March 2006
In craps, is there a difference between a hopping hardway and a regular hardway? Is either worth playing? Clint F.
With a hardway, Clint, you are betting that a matching pair of dice will appear before a 7, or before two dice of the same total value are rolled. When the face of the dice are rolled as 2 and 2, it is considered a hard 4; the 3 and 3 is a hard 6; the 4 and 4 is a hard 8; and the 5 and 5 is a hard 10. Using a hard 8 as an example, you lose if a seven is rolled, or an eight the “easy” way (6 and 2, 5 and 3, or a 7 and 1).
With a hopping hardway, you are betting that a certain matching pair will appear on the next roll. This one-roller pays 30-to-1, compared to a payoff of 9-to-1 for the run-of-the-mill hard 6 or 8, or 7 to 1 for the hard 4 and 10.
Although all proposition bets like a hardway have high payoffs, the casino advantage on them is between 9-11%; far too high to chance them with your hard-earned money. The only thing hardways are good for is the house. Besides, Clint, they don’t call ‘em hardways for nothing.
Games management is the second line of defense when a new deck (set) of dice is introduced on a crap game. Prior to their baptism, a pit boss will inspect the dice with a micrometer to make sure they were produced to a tolerance level of .0005 of an inch.
The first line of defense is the dice maker. That manufacturer deals in tolerances of .0002, with imperfections discarded, making the random nature of a dice throw a certainty.
The most unlikely scenario is that dice 1230 and 1232 were from different decks. They could be from a slightly larger than normal set of dies allowing more tolerance, or they were lackadaisically inspected upstairs and somehow slipped through.
Either way, I doubt that the extra .0002” deficiency from one die to another would affect the outcome of the rolls. Next time you happen to run into a couple ten-thousandths of an inch, just ask ‘em.
Of late, Peggy, there has been single ticket winners of both the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery games.
To be a sole winner of any lottery, you just need to select numbers that nobody else picks. Simple enough. So, since most people tend to play birthdays and anniversaries, don't pick all your numbers under 32. Don’t play geometric sequences on the card, such as rows, columns, and diagonals. Don’t play a numeric sequence, such as 42-43-44-45-46-47, and especially not 1-2-3-4-5-6, since over 50,000 players have marked that sequence in the past when the jackpot was enormous.
What I can’t help you with, Peggy, is beating those insurmountable odds.
Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "Gamblers everywhere are eating better
these days; even the buffets — some of which barely used to count as edible — are
serving top-notch nosh." —Buster Phillips
Best of Mark Pilarski