THE BLOG
03/28/2008 02:48 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bill Clinton Craps Out

I speak for dice shooters everywhere when I say that Bill Clinton has seriously dissed the honorable game of craps .

When he went on the Charlie Rose show last week and tried to scare the Bejeezus out of the American people by claiming that to nominate Barack Obama would be to "roll the dice" with the country, he grossly distorted the odds.

Clinton's fear-mongering remark reveals much greater experience in rolling around in the hay than rollin' dem bones.

To be precise, rolling the dice is one of the very best bets you can make in Vegas, or anywhere else. Depending on how much a given casino allows you to put down as odds behind your basic pass line bet, on every roll of the dice the house has a razor-thin advantage of only about one-half to one-and-one-half percent. Indeed, in the most liberal of casinos that allow 100x odds, the house advantage drops to an invisible 0.02 percent.

That means a roll of the dice, to use Clinton's term, is for all practical purposes an even-money 50-50 bet. Which, as I said, makes it a damn good bet.

If Clinton had really wanted to spook us, he would have instead implied that voting for Obama was not a roll of the dice but rather a "spin of the wheel." Roulette is a veritable cash vacuum cleaner for any casino, offering a 5.36 percent advantage to the house -- four to 15 times riskier than a friendly game of dice. Worse, any spin of the notorious Wheel of Fortune offers as much as as a staggering 24 percent house advantage, perhaps a hundred times more dangerous than trying to toss an innocent eeyo-eleven at the craps table.

Even the most generous of slot machines offer an edge to the house 3-4 times greater than craps.

All that to say any 50-50 bet, like craps, is a great bet. And Bill Clinton's use of this particular metaphor ought to allow us to compare the risk of rolling the dice to that of electing Hillary. Is she really better than a 50-50 chance not to embroil us in another war? Not to fail again on health care? Not to succumb to the power of special interest lobbies? Are you convinced enough to put some money down?

I'll let you decide which level of risk you're more comfortable with.

I, for one, would rather roll the dice.