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Varying Bets With The Iron Cross What Is The Effect?



Still More on the Iron Cross

Well, I have been called to task by a very observant reader. In my initial article on the Iron Cross I stated:

"In the next installment I will look at what happens when you vary the amount bet on the individual components of the Iron Cross. I will also show the effect on the house edge of varying degrees of dice control."

Well, the follow-up installment showed the effect of varying degrees of dice control on the house edge, but I did not address varying the amounts bet on the various components of the Iron Cross.

OK, just to be true to my word, I will document some variations in betting and the results on the house edge.

For review, the Iron Cross bet consists of place bets on the 5, 6, and 8 and a field bet. The field bet wins if a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 appears. When the field bet loses, one of the place bets wins giving the player a small profit. The player who uses the Iron Cross system get paid when any number rolls except of course if a 7 appears. When that happens the player loses all the bets.

In the initial article I showed the following betting spread and gave the house edge. Betting a $30 6 and 8, a $25 5 and a $25 field bet, the house edge is 3.87 percent of the entire $110 that is at risk. This amounts to about $4.25. If the field bet pays triple on the 2 or 12, the house edge is reduced to 2.49% which amounts to $2.73.

If you are looking to reduce the cut that the casino takes, your initial best bet is to find a casino that offers 3X return on a 12 (or 2) in the field. This cuts the house edge on the field bet in half (from 5.56 to 2.78 percent).

As far as tweaking the amounts on the various components of the Iron Cross bet in order to minimize the house edge, the general rule of thumb should be to maximize the low house edge bets and minimize the higher house edge bets.

In a game with the standard field bet - 2X for the 2 and 12 with a house edge of 5.56 percent, minimizing the field bet is obviously the top priority. Next comes minimizing the place bet on the 5 at a 4 percent house edge. Maximizing the 6 and 8 bet also makes sense since it has an edge of only 1.52 percent. The amount of money bet does not affect the percentage if the bets are in the same ratio to each other. For example, a bet consisting of a $25 field and 5 with a $30 6 and 8 and one consisting of a $5 field and 5 with a $6 6 and 8 both have a 3.87 percent house edge. You will lose five times as much money betting the higher stakes, however.

Here are some combinations with the resultant house edges illustrating the principle.

Field

Place 5

Place 6

Place 8

Total

House %

$ Loss

$25

$25

$30

$30

$110

-3.87%

-$4.25

$5

$5

$6

$6

$22

-3.87%

-$0.85

$20

$25

$30

$30

$105

-3.68%

-$3.87

$15

$25

$30

$30

$100

-3.45%

-$3.45

$5

$25

$30

$30

$90

-2.75%

-$2.48

$25

$20

$30

$30

$105

-3.86%

-$4.06

$25

$5

$30

$30

$90

-3.85%

-$3.47

$10

$10

$30

$30

$80

-3.04%

-$2.43

$5

$10

$30

$30

$75

-2.55%

-$1.91

$5

$5

$30

$30

$70

-2.47%

-$1.73

$25

$25

$24

$24

$98

-4.05%

-$3.97

$25

$25

$18

$18

$86

-4.27%

-$3.67

$25

$25

$6

$6

$62

-4.84%

-$3.00

$5

$5

$12

$12

$34

-3.24%

-$1.10

The most notable traits are:

  1. The impact of reducing the field bet size on the house edge percent. Since this portion of the overall bet has a large house edge, it also has a great impact on the overall house edge since there is less money to work against the higher house edge
  2. The impact of reducing the amount bet of the 6 and 8. As the amount bet on the 6 and 8 decreases, the overall house edge percent increases since you are reducing the amount of money wagered on the low house edge on these bets (1.52%).
  3. Reducing the amount of money placed on the 5 has very little impact on the house edge percent as the net win or loss on this bet is minimal.

Now lets look at the numbers from a 3X 12 (or 2) field bet game.

Field

Place 5

Place 6

Place 8

Total

House %

$ Loss

$25

$25

$30

$30

$110

-2.49%

-$2.73

$5

$5

$6

$6

$22

-2.49%

-$0.55

$20

$25

$30

$30

$105

-2.45%

-$2.58

$15

$25

$30

$30

$100

-2.41%

-$2.41

$5

$25

$30

$30

$90

-2.29%

-$2.06

$25

$20

$30

$30

$105

-2.44%

-$2.57

$25

$5

$30

$30

$90

-2.30%

-$2.07

$10

$10

$30

$30

$80

-2.14%

-$1.71

$5

$10

$30

$30

$75

-2.02%

-$1.52

$5

$5

$30

$30

$70

-1.91%

-$1.34

$25

$25

$24

$24

$98

-2.56%

-$2.51

$25

$25

$18

$18

$86

-2.65%

-$2.28

$25

$25

$6

$6

$62

-2.89%

-$1.79

$5

$5

$12

$12

$34

-2.23%

-$0.76

Items of note in this table are:

  1. Reducing the size of the field bet still reduces the overall house edge percent even though the field portion is only 2.78 percent. This is because there is more money percentage-wise working at the 1.52 percent on the 6 and 8.
  2. Reducing the amount bet of the 6 and 8 still increases the overall house edge percent as a higher percentage of the money bet is working against a higher house edge percent.
  3. Reducing the amount of money placed on the 5 has a somewhat greater impact as this is now the highest house edge percentage in the betting scheme.

So, what can we learn from all this?

First, ALL Iron Cross betting combinations carry a higher house edge percentage than placing the 6 and 8. They are ALL also higher than buying the 4 / 10 for $25 with a $1 vig taken on wins only.

If you MUST have the action afforded by Iron Cross, look for tables that pay 3X on the 2 or 12 and bet minimum on the field and 5. Also, maximize the amount placed on the 6 and 8.

But as stated many times before, even though you will get paid much more often using the Iron Cross, the additional edge you face is simply too expensive. Simply bet the lowest house edge bets. You have the best chance of making or the least chance of losing money that way.

Again, why would anyone want to give the casino additional money?

 




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