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Craps : Stickman's position: The Iron Cross Bet

By Joni Hawk

Level: Mar 1st 2007
The Iron Cross bet consists of place bets on the 5, 6, and 8 and a field bet. The field bet wins if you only throw a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. If the field bet loses, one of the place bets wins giving the gambler a tiny income. With this gambling situation, you win on 30 out of 36 achievable dice combinations. Sounds like a perfect circumstance, doesn't it?

The question is: how good is the Iron Cross bet?

Common wisdom sustains that hedge bets cause you to lose more money. For example, if your usually bet is $6 on the 6 and 8, you have $12 at the leniency of a 1.52 % house edge. Multiplying the two you are going to lose about 18 cents on the $12.

Further, if you add a place bet on the 5 for $5, you add 4 % of it or 20 cents. Add still an additional bet on the field for $5 and you add 5.56 % of it or another 27.8 cents. With higher house edges, you'll have more money at risk; therefore you will lose more money.

However, what if you normally bet $12 on the 6 and 8 for a total of $24 gambled and you would rather wager $22 on the Iron Cross? Your wagers would be $6 apiece on the 6 and 8 and $5 each on the 5 and field bet. In this situation, you are gambling vaguely less money and obtaining many more wins than before. But, what is the house advantage and what can you suppose to lose per dollar wager?

In the case above, we have the following situation:

  • The 6 and 8 have a 1.52 % house advantage working on $24.
  • The 5 has a 4 % house edge functioning on $5.
  • The field bet has a 5.56 % house advantage operational on $5.

Naturally, the edge on the total bet of $22 should be between 1.52 and 5.56 %, and it actually is.

Gambling one unit on the Iron Cross carries a 3.87 % house edge when both the 2 and 12 pay double in the field bet. Consequently, is it wisely to wager $12 each on the 6 and 8, or $22 on the Iron Cross?

Although you are getting paid on 30 out of 36 rounds, the "tax" on those winnings is about 2.5 times as much money. Clearly, this is not a smart bet. No matter how appealing it may be, clever gamblers will stay away from it.

If you want to learn more about Iron Cross Bet, please visit goldentouchcraps.com, at the Stickman section of the web.
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