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Eddie's Hardway Parlay Method

19 June 2000

By The Midnight Skulker

A little less than a year ago, Eddie Gorniak of Chicago, Illinois, joined the rec.gambling.craps Usenet newsgroup. Shortly afterwards he posted his method for betting hardways. He is now arguably the most popular member of that newsgroup and, in my opinion, his method contributed in no small way to his popularity.

There is really nothing to the betting part of the method. Bet on a hardway 6 or 8 and fully parlay all wins three times. After the third win, add a $100 hardway bet on the opposite number (i.e., 6 if you have been betting the hard 8, and vice versa) while doubling your original wager. Hence, if you started with $5, parlayed to $50, then parlayed to $500, you would now press that bet to $1000 and bet $100 on the "sister", taking down $3900. From then on, you only double your bets when they win, and if one of them hits the table maximum, you can add $100 bets on the hard 4 and 10.

The appeal of the method is the big payoff when it works. However, all but the most numerically challenged will realize that it does not work very often. In fact, it is expected to work (i.e., the hard 6 or 8 will win three times in a row) once in 1,331 attempts. Hence this method should be a side show to one's primary betting strategy.

To limit the number of times he makes this bet, Eddie allocates only 5% of his session bankroll to hardway parlays. Furthermore, he makes the bet only when a shooter throws a hard 6 or 8 on a comeout roll, at which time he bets on the "place mate" (that is, he bets on 6 if the point is 8, and vice versa).

The mathematical justification for waiting for a comeout hardway is both simple and intuitive: there isn't one. The odds are 1330:1 against three consecutive hard 6 or 8 wins, regardless of when the sequence is started. The sole purpose of waiting is to limit the number of times the bet is made.

Make no mistake, the odds are atrocious. To put them into perspective, let's consider a recreational gambler who gets to a table 10 weekends a year, plays 4 four-hour sessions each weekend, and makes the hardway bet 5 times each session, for a total of 200 plays a year. Such a player can expect to wait over 6.1 years between collections, but when his/her ship does come in, it's a REALLY NICE ship, and between arrivals the player may find some excitement while waiting on the dock. Finally, Eddie notes that all he needs in a session is to make an extra 4 or 10 with odds to make up for his losses on the hardways.

A "colorful" variation

I personally would have a problem losing a bet the size of my session bankroll without having raked any profit at all, even though I could rationalize that 99% of it was "house money". Hence, when I make the hardway play, I do not fully parlay a win. Instead I increase my bet to the next denomination chip, from $5 to $25 to $100 to $500. Of course, my ship will not be as nice as Eddie's when we hit three in a row, but for me the consolation prizes when we get only one or two hits make up for it.

Other variations are possible, and players must decide for themselves how much of each win they're comfortable putting back on the table. What piqued my interest was not the mechanics of the method but rather its philosophy. I had always thought of the hardways, indeed all of the prop bets, as "sucker bets." Because of their high house advantage, no serious player would make them, except maybe as a way to toke the dealers. On the other hand, these bets have high payoffs, and a majority of the big wins I have witnessed have been by players hitting a lot of prop bets. Eddie's method marries this big win potential to its rarity of occurrence by providing a structure that limits, albeit artificially, how many times a player will "go for the gusto." It's a cheap thrill when used as directed, and once in a blue moon you'll have something to write home about.

For more information about craps, we recommend:

Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! by Frank Scoblete
The Captain's Craps Revolution! by Frank Scoblete
Sharpshooter Craps Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Craps! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Midnight Skulker
The Midnight Skulker has been playing craps for over three decades and has played almost everywhere in the country. He is a computer expert and a frequent contributor to Internet newgroups, where his opinions and observations have earned him much respect.