The Secrets of the Hard Ways

Pssst...! Wanna know a secret?

How about the secrets of hard way betting?

Most crapshooters know that the hard ways have high payoffs - the six or eight pays 9:1 and the four or ten pays 7:1. But hard way numbers (4, 6, 8 & 10) only pay off when two identical numbers are rolled. This means you will only win if 2&2, 3&3, 4&4, or 5&5 are rolled.

The 1&1 (2) or 6&6 (12) do not count as a hard way, because that is the only way they can roll.

If you bet on a hard six, you only win if the combination is 3 & 3. You lose if the combination is 4 & 2, 5 & 1, 2 & 4, and 1 & 5. On a hard eight, you only win if the roll is 4 & 4. You lose if it is 2 & 6, 3 & 5, 5 & 3 and 6 & 2. So of the five ways to make a six or eight, four are soft ways and only one is hard. The hard four must roll 2 & 2 to win. You lose on a 1 & 3 or 3 & 1. The hard ten must roll 5 & 5. You lose on a 4 & 6 or a 6 & 4. So of the three ways to make a 4 or 10, two are soft and only one is hard.

Wanna know how craps pros make money on hard way bets?

Let's find out!

The true odds of the hard 6/8 are 10:1 but the payoff is only 9:1, giving the casino a 9% edge. And the true odds on the 4/10 are 8:1 but the payoff is only 7:1, giving the casino a 11% edge. But, since the hard 6/8 rolls once and the hard 4/10 also rolls once, why are the odds different? And if each hard number rolls the same amount (one in 36) as the 2 and 12, why aren't the odds identical? The payoff for the 2/12 is 30:1. Why don't the hard ways pay higher?

When you place a bet for the 2/12, it is a one roll bet. If any number other the 2/12 rolls, you lose. Their true odds are 35:1, as they each should appear only once in 36 rolls. The hard way bets, however, stay up if anything other than a seven or an easy way rolls. Even though a hard number should roll once in 36 rolls, it stays up more often than the 2/12, which is why the payoff is lower.

Since hard ways stay up until they are hit or lose, it is easy to start a progression with them - just bet $1 each on the hard four, ten, six and eight - a total of only $4 to start out. These hard numbers each should roll once in 36 rolls. If there is a long time between sevens you could win $7 + $7 + $9 +$9 or $32 for a $4 investment.

If the seven (or the soft number) rolls you would increase your bet by $1 and put it back up. So you might have different bets on different numbers. You should also have a 30% win goal and loss limit for this hard way method. If you buy in for $500 you would quit if you win or lose approximately $150.

Some crapshooters try to minimize their losses by calling bets "off" when 6 rolls go by to help minimize sevens. The bets are also off on the come out when everyone is rooting for a seven.

Next time you play, give this hard way progression a try!

Pssst...! Now you know the secrets of hard way betting!

(c) 2005 by Larry Edell

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