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Question: How does a crapless table measure up to a conventional crap table as far as house advantages? Also, a floor manager at a casino suggested I go to a website named wizardofodds.com. He said it would help me to understand better the world of probability. Do you have any experience with it?

Answer: What you stumbled upon is an offering called Crapless Craps or Never Ever Craps. Here is another example of a casino game designed to relieve you of your hard-earned cash when you belly up to this form of a crap table.

In this modified variation of a regular crap game, you do not lose on the come-out roll when the shooter tosses a craps, a term for the numbers 2, 3 or 12. Instead, the number rolled, (2, 3 or 12) automatically becomes your point, just as 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 does on a standard game. Additionally, you do not win if the shooter throws a natural 11. It, too, becomes the point.

With these shabby extra rules, the house now holds a 5.4-percent edge on your pass line bet versus the 1.4-percent edge on a typical crap game.

I would highly recommend passing on Crapless Craps, whose house edge on the non-suspecting player is nearly quadrupled.

You also mentioned wizardofodds.com in your question.

For math junkies like Yours Truly, it has no peers. The Wizard of Odds is Michael Shackleford, a professional actuary who has made a career of analyzing casino games. Shackleford’s site provides the mathematically correct strategies and information for nearly every casino game in existence.

In this column, I am spreading smart gambling to the masses at a Gambling 101 level, all while working off Sister Cyrilla fifth-grade arithmetic. The Wizard’s gambling information level is more like Gambling 105.

If you have any inclination to study gambling mathematics at the highest level, then yes, Jerry, I highly recommend the wizardofodds.com.

Question: With the proliferation of sports betting taking place online, and with illegal bookies, do you think it will ever become legal to bet on sports in other states besides Nevada? 

Answer: Of the kazillion of dollars bet on sports each year, only 2 percent of the action is legal. The remaining 98 percent is wagered with a bookie named Vito, in a long narrow dark bar called Creedon’s, ask for Snuff, or online through gambling websites overseas.

Four states allow some form of wagering on NFL games. Of course, there is Nevada, plus limited betting in Delaware, Oregon and Montana. New Jersey keeps trying, but it continues to be rejected at the appellate level.

Also standing in the way is the 1992 federal law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law would need to be repealed before other states can allow sports betting.

Delaware, Oregon, and Montana were permitted to sanction NFL betting because they offered some form of legal sports betting before 1992. Those states loop-holed in by tethering sports betting to a state lottery or a fantasy game that they already operated, hence, they were grandfathered in.

By the way, Jeff, I am sitting on multiple questions regarding weekly fantasy football and its legitimacy and legality. A topic worthy of all 600 words that I am allotted, an – albeit negative – column on this form of fantasy football is coming soon.

Mark Pilarski is a nationally syndicated gaming writer. Visit him online at www.markpilarski.com or follow him on Twitter @MarkPilarski.

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