While I don’t have a lot of faith in “due number” or “average hand” theories at craps, there is something to be said for “getting in, getting up, and getting gone.” One way to do that is through one of the many variants of the “Hit and Down” play. For most players, this consists of by-passing the come out roll, placing the six and eight, then waiting for one hit or two to three rolls before taking the bets down, then waiting for the next shooter. It’s a play I’ve adapted for my “hit and run” (or as we used to say in the backwoods where I grew up, “hit and git”) sessions. It is not unusual for me to hit the casino for a quick buffet lunch, then hit the tables for a half-hour or so before heading back to work. On such occasions it is imperative that I not start out in the hole and have to dig out to make a profit. The hit and down move is one of the most effective ways to turn these hit and run plays into winners.
The Hit and Down move is a play that attempts to provide the crapster with a quick win based on the “average” game at craps. The average number of rolls before a decision is made in a craps game is just under 3.6. That includes the Come Out roll – when the outcome of the game can be decided by naturals or craps rolling roughly 34% of the time. If we by-pass the come out roll, then the average number of rolls before the point is decided either by the point repeating or the seven showing is roughly 2.6. If you toss out the non-paying numbers – craps and elevens – the average number of paying numbers that will show before a pass line winner rolls or the seven settles the bet is just under two. Looking at those results, it’s easy to see how some early crapster arrived at the one hit and down concept. But are the six and eight the only numbers you should bet? The above calculations assume that you are placing all of the numbers for one hit and down. Of course, one time in six the seven will show on the first roll and the house will rake your chips. It’s times like those that demonstrate where “averages” come from. Some rolls are longer – and some are much shorter. But short hands are the rule rather than the exception.
What’s the best bet on random rollers and chicken feeders? If you go by the math of the tame, the best bet is no bet. But if you’re tossing the dice and your game is on – who’s to say you should ever regress? But that’s a decision you’ll have to make yourself.