Free Odds Fundamentals

The forum name says it all. You're new to the game of craps and don't have a clue where to begin. Pass Line. Don't Pass. Come. Don't Come. Hardways. Big Six. Big Eight. The Horn. Good Grief! Sounds like back when you were trying to make a decision about what to do in the back seat on that first car date. Well never fear! There are a few folks around here who have spent enough time at the tables to be able to answer just about any question you may have. So step right up and get a clue!

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Free Odds Fundamentals

Post by heavy » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Free Odds Fundamentals

It should come as no secret to you that the best bet at craps isn’t even displayed on the layout. The Free Odds bet is the only bet on the layout that is paid at true/correct odds. If the odds are two-to-one against you making your point the casino will pay you two-to-one when you make it. Over the long run the casino makes no profit on this wager. Of course, the Free Odds bet isn’t totally free - before you can make it you must first make a Pass, Come, Don’t Pass, or Don’t Come wager.

The payoff on the Free Odds wager varies, depending on the established point.

4 or 10 is the point - pays 2 - 1 - a $10 Free Odds bet wins $20
5 or 9 is the point - pays 3 - 2 - a $10 Free Odds bet wins $15
6 or 8 is the point - pays 6 - 5 - a $10 Free Odds bet wins $12

If you are laying odds on the Don’t Pass or Don’t Come just the opposite is true:

4 or 10 is the point - pays 1 - 2 - a $20 Free Odds bet wins $10
5 or 9 is the point - pays 2 - 3 - a $15 Free Odds bet wins $10
6 or 8 is the point - pays 5 - 6 - a $12 Free Odds bet wins $10

The amount of money you can wager on the Free Odds bet varies from casino to casino. The limits will be posted on a placard on the table. The most common Free Odds limit in Las Vegas is 3-4-5X odds. That means you can take or lay 3X odds on the four and ten - a wager three times the size of the flat bet - 4X odds on the five and nine and 5X odds on the six and eight. If you always take full odds on a 3-4-5X odds game the total payoff on a winning wager will always be seven times the size of the flat bet - an easy number for both dealers and players to come up with. This makes payoffs simpler for dealers and keeps the game moving quickly.

One of the great things about the Free Odds bet is that it effectively reduces the house edge on the underlying flat bet. For example, the 1.41% house edge on the Pass Line wager is reduced to 0.374% when the player takes full odds on a 3-4-5X odds game. A game that offers 10X odds gives the player the opportunity to reduce the overall edge on his Pass Line bet to 0.184%. At 20X odds the house edge is reduced to a miniscule 0.099%, and at 100X odds the vig drops to just 0.021%.

So why doesn’t everyone take max odds? Well, if we all had unlimited bankroll we probably would. But the fact that taking max odds reduces the overall house edge does not increase your chances of winning. The four and ten will still lose twice for every time they win. And that means with increased odds you have increased bankroll volatility. So what is the answer for the player with limited bankroll? Simple. If you can only afford to play 2X odds then that’s what you play. However, if you have a choice of a $10 line bet with $20 odds and $30 each on the six and eight - or a $10 line bet with $80 in Free odds which bet should you take? The mathematically correct answer is to bet the line bet with $80 odds.

For a patient, disciplined player the Free Odds bet is one of the best “negative progression” plays around. Negative progressions are betting systems that call for increased bets when losing. My favorite is a Fibonacci progression on the Free Odds – looking to win two bets back to back in a series before regressing to Single Odds. A simplified version of it in a 100X odds house might look something like this:

First Bet $10 PL plus $10 odds
Lose
Second Bet - $10 PL plus $10 odds
Lose
Third Bet - $10 PL plus $20 odds
Lose
Fourth Bet – $10 PL plus $30 odds
Lose
Fifth Bet - $10 PL plus $50 odds
Win
Sixth Bet - $10 PL plus $50 odds
Win
Seventh Bet - $10 PL plus $10 odds.

As with all “up as you lose” strategies, the hope is to catch a streak of lower level wins. The progressions simply help you stay near even or slightly ahead while you’re trolling for those wins. The standard Fibo progression is 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89. Personally, I would not stretch out the chase beyond the 21 unit level. At some point the “discipline” part of money management has to kick in and you walk with a manageable loss.

Free odds are fun – and they make a great “get back” bet. But they can also drain your bankroll quickly when things are going South.
"Get in, get up, and get gone."
- Heavy

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Re: Free Odds Fundamentals

Post by Bankerdude80 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:03 pm

I always wondered what the best play with free odds is considering the cumulative probability of a shooter making multiple point numbers.

The cumulative probability for a shooter to make six Passes in a row:

1 Pass 40.61%.
2 Passes 16.49%.
3 Passes 6.70%.
4 Passes 2.72%.
5 Passes 1.10%.
6 Passes 0.45%.

Is it best to bet max odds and keep the odds static (no change)?
Does it make sense to regress odds as a hand develops? (start at max odds and reduce your PL odds each time a point is made).
Is it best to start with a reduced odds bet and press (increase) the odds as shooter makes his point numbers?

Which is the better play? (Taking into consideration we do not have an unlimited bankroll).

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Re: Free Odds Fundamentals

Post by heavy » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:13 pm

Well, you can't confuse free odds with statistics . . .
"Get in, get up, and get gone."
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Re: Free Odds Fundamentals

Post by heavy » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:44 pm

What he said . . .
"Get in, get up, and get gone."
- Heavy

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