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Best of Donald Catlin
Free Buy Bet3 September 2010
As you may have noted in my last article, I finally got back to Michael in Laughlin who inquired about introducing a $3 line bet at Craps. Here is his reply:
Well, Michael, it is good to hear from you. I will address your "free buy bet" in this article. The bet is not "free" at all but it is, as we will see, considerably better than the usual buy bet. By the way, the usual name for this wager is the Fig Vig; the regular buy bet is called the Pig Vig. Here are the details.
In the Pig Vig wager, the player wagers $21 on either the 4 or 10 (or both). Let's use the 4 to illustrate. If the shooter makes the 4, then he is paid $60. Effectively this means that the player's $21 is returned along with $39. The player has, therefore, won $39, had $20 of his $21 returned, and paid $1 in vigorish. If the seven occurs the house simply collects the player's $21; the player loses $20 and pays $1 in vigorish.
In the Fig Vig game, the player wagers $20 on the 4. If the shooter rolls a 4, then the player receives his $20 wager back plus $39 rather than $40; essentially he is charged $1 in vigorish. If the seven occurs the house collects the player's wager of $20.
To compute the house edge for each game, we first calculate the player expected loss per game and then divide this figure by the wager per game. This produces the following tables.
As you can see the expected return per game is -1, so the expected return per dollar waged is -1/21. This means the house edge is approximately 4.76%.
The house edge here is 1/60, which is approximately 1.67%. I hope these simple calculations clear up things for you, Michael.
I should point out that the above two wagers are not the only buy bets involving the 4 and 10. There are a slew of buy wagers involving these two numbers. For example, some casinos offer the player a chance to buy the 4 or 10 for $25, pay 2:1, and collect $1 vig on winning bets. If you check this out the house edge is only 1.33%. You can find a list of these various wagers in the new book Casino Craps, Shoot to Win by Frank Scoblete with Dominator. I'll be reviewing this book next month.
Finally, as I mentioned in my last article, I had both a broken computer and a broken back during much of June and July. These annoyances resulted in my not receiving some of my email during that period. If you wrote to me this past summer and I didn't answer you please write again; I should get your letter this time. See you next month.
Don Catlin can (hopefully) be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of Donald Catlin