Online Craps 3 – Odds and Probabilities...

Craps uses a pair of six sided dice. Online craps uses a random number generator modeled on the statistical probabilities inherent in rolling two six sided dice. The distinction is really irrelevant. Any random number generator worth a gaming license, given an infinite number of ‘rolls’, will turn up a 2 on only one out of every 36 rolls, or a 7 once out of every 6, just as a set of ‘real’ dice would. To fully understanding online craps means to grasp the probability of any one number being rolled on any given toss.

With six ways to roll a 7, this outcome it has a probability of 6/36, i.e. 1/6. This makes the 7, statistically speaking, the most commonly rolled number in craps. While this is great news on the coming out roll, it is not so heartening when trying to hit the point. This 6/36 also means a shooter is far more likely to seven-out instead of crap out a session. Indeed, with only two ways to roll a 3, and one way to roll either a 12 or a 2, the probability of a shooter crapping out is relatively low (2/36 on a 3, or 1/36 on either 2 or 12).

When it comes to rolling points, a 6 or an 8 are the easiest to hit at a not so terrible 5/36 (1/7.2) probability. There are five ways to roll either a 6 or an 8 on a set of six-sided dice. 5 and 9 come next at 4/36, or four possible outcomes. This makes both 10 and 4 the most difficult points to hit as both have a rather meager probability of 3/36 (1/12), i.e. only three possible combinations will turn up a ten or a three. Taking down a pass line bet when the point is either 4 or 10 is not the worst of decisions.

Here is a table which makes this description a bit more clear. Included in the table are the probable outcomes expressed in ratios, i.e. 1/36, 2/36, and as percentages. Percentages are included here as many people find them easier to remember in the middle of an intoxicating session of online craps.

 Roll Possible Dice Combinations Probability (ratio) Probability (%) 2 1 1/36,              (35 to 1) 2.8% 3 2 2/36,  (1/18), (17 to 1) 5.5% 4 3 3/36,  (1/12), (11 to 1) 8.3% 5 4 4/36,  (1/9), (8 to 1) 11.1% 6 5 5/36,  (1/7.2), (7.2 to 1) 13.9% 7 6 6/36,  (1/6), (5 to 1) 16.6% 8 5 5/36,  (1/7.2), (7.2 to 1) 13.9% 9 4 4/36,  (1/9), (8 to 1) 11.1% 10 3 3/36,  (1/12), (11 to 1) 8.3% 11 2 2/36,  (1/18), (17 to 1) 5.5% 12 1 1/36,               (35 to 1) 2.8%

Odds are usually expressed in an X to 1 relationship. For example, say the point is 5, and those percentages you almost have memorized escape you at the moment. You need to know the odds of that five getting hit on the next roll. There are 36 possible outcomes, and you know that four of these combinations will hit the 5, hence 4/36 (or 1/9 if we reduce the fraction). This 1/9 is usually expressed as having odds of ‘8 to 1’. Wait a second, 8 to 1? What happened to the 1/9? The 1/9 expresses that, on average, for every nine rolls one of them will yield a five. In other words, eight of the rolls will not be a five while one of the rolls will be a five, and hence the odds are 8 to 1.

This X to 1 relationship expresses the true odds of a particular bet. In a perfect world online casinos everywhere would pay out according to the true odds so that if the odds were 8 to 1, and you won, they would pay \$8 for every \$1 bet. However, the world is imperfect and even online casinos must turn a profit. This is done mainly by paying out less than the true odds of a bet. Chances are if you win an 8 to 1 bet you’ll be getting back \$7 or \$6 for every dollar bet. Check an online casino’s pay out schedule for craps if you have never played the game there before.

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