Craps Bets & Odds
Understanding the odds and bets that you can place in Craps is vital to ensuring you don’t lose all your money or embarrass yourself in a live game.
You might here people shouting all types of lingo and vernacular terms such as “Horn Bets” or “Lay 10” which often confuse or put off even the biggest casino degenerates.
Thankfully, the rules of Craps are actually quite simple even if it takes time to learn the jargon. Make sure to read all information on this page, before You play Craps for Money.
We can predict the odds of any particular number coming up on a roll and why the craps rules are made how you will see. For example, the odds for you to roll a 4 on your next roll are 11 to 1.
You can figure this out by taking the number of ways a four can be made with two dice (with a one and a three, a pair of twos, or a three and a 1) compared to the number of combinations that two dice can make, which is 36.
So we have a 3 in 36 chance, or 1 in 12 chance that a 4 will come up on any given roll. To express these odds as ‘against’, you would say the odds against rolling a four are 11 to 1 (think of it as 11 non 4’s to one 4 for a total of 12 rolls). The calculation we’ve just done determines the ‘true odds’ of rolling a 4.
As many of you may know, the casino doesn’t like to pay back its players with ‘true odds’, it prefers to alter them.
Craps rules, like so many other casino game rules, pay back odds which guarantee the house a profit in the long run. Say for instance you were to place a bet on ‘any sevens’, meaning you’re betting that the next roll will be a seven.
The odds against hitting a seven on the next roll are 5 to 1 (you can calculate that out the same way we did for 4), which means that if you bet one dollar and win, you deserve to win 5 bucks, but the casinos only pay you 4.
Most bets in most games at the casino have been altered in this way. In fact, this is exactly the phenomenon that gives the casino a house edge in many situations.
We’ve covered all the major types of bets and odds you receive here.
For instance, odds can be related either as 2-1 or 2 to 1, where a 1 credit bet returns 2 credits. In other words, 2 to 1 odds returns the original 1 credit bet and a 1 credit profit.
The Best Bets
The best bets in craps are the pass line bet, taking the odds, the don’t pass bar, the come bet, and placing the 6 or the 8. Let’s look at each:
This is the most basic and popular of bets when playing Craps. It has one of the lowest house edges (1.41%) and it is very simple to place. Betting on the pass line bet or betting “with the dice” is the most common bet in craps and you will see many players or shooters choosing it.
A pass line bet requires you to place chips on the “Pass Line” section of the table. If the shooter’s come out roll is a 7 or 11, you win even money (1:1). However, if the come out roll is 2,3 or 12 (craps) you lose.
If any other number is rolled (4,5,6,8,9 or 10) it’s called the point. The shooter continues to throw the dice until he/she roles a 7 or the Point. If the point is rolled first, you win even money. If the 7 is rolled first you lose your bet.
Interestingly, in a game of Crapless Craps, the ability to lose a Pass Line bet to craps on a come out roll is removed – hence the name “crapless” craps. This improves your odds of winning by removing the house edge and increasing your expected value.
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Don’t Pass Line
You can also bet on the “Don’t Pass” line, which is basically when you are betting or laying the shooter on his first roll. This is simply the opposite of the pass line bet and is also known as betting against the dice.
To make this bet place your chips in the narrower section just beyond the pass line labeled don’t pass.
If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 (Craps) than you win straight away (1:1 even money). If a 7 or 11 is rolled before the Point is scored you lose. A 12 is considered a Push (draw) and normally you can relinquish this bet.
If any other number is rolled (4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10) this is established on the point number. After this happens you’ll win you’re money back if a 7 is rolled before the Point number, and lose if a 7 comes first.
Taking the Odds
After the point has been established, you can make an additional bet known as Taking the Odds or Pass Odds. You are betting on the Point number being rolled before a 7. The pay out odds are normally displayed on the Casino craps table.
The odds vary for different numbers based on the likelihood of them being rolled. Normally, the payouts are as follows
- 4 pays 2:1
- 5 pays 3:2
- 6 pays 8 pays 6:5
- 9 pays 3:2
- 10 pays 2:1
The odds bet is the best bet you can make in the game of craps, because the house has no built-in advantage. Free odds bets are paid back at true odds, so when you’re making these bets the casino has no house edge whatsoever, it’s an even game!
This is similar to a Pass Line bet, but it is made after the point has been established (dealer button is ON). The next roll then becomes the Come Out roll for your bet and establishes your Point. The payout depends on the Point:
- 7 or 11 pays 1:1 (also known as a Natural)
- 2, 3, or 12 you lose your money (also known as Craps)
- If neither of the above is rolled then (4,5,6,8,9 or 10) becomes the point for your bet. If a 7 comes before your point is rolled again you lose. If your point is won however your payout depends on the Point.
Come Bet Payouts:
Taking the Odds
This is similar to the Come Bet and has the same odds above (Come Odds). You can place this bet only after the point has been established. If the 7 is rolled before the point, you lose.
Laying the Odds
Opposite of Taking the Odds. This is a Don’t Pass Line bet which can be made only after the point has been established. If a 7 is rolled before the point, you win.
Don’t Come Bet
Oppose of Come Bet. This is similar to a Don’t Pass Line bet, but it is made after the Come Out roll. To make this bet all you need to do is to put your chips in the area labeled “Don’t Come” on the layout. You lose on a 7 or 11, and win on a 2 or 3. 12 is a “stand-off.”
Here you win if 7 rolls before your “come-point” is repeated, and lose if the “come-point” is made before a 7 is rolled.
You can bet on specific point numbers. If your number is rolled before a 7, you win. If a 7 comes before your point number, you lose. You’re paid out according to the table below.
Placing the 6 or 8
When you make a place bet you bet that one of the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 will be hit before a 7 is hit. You can make a place bet any time by throwing your chips on the table while telling the dealer ‘I want to place the 6’ or whatever number you want to place your bet for.
So, if the number you bet on is rolled before a 7 you win and you are paid as follows: 4 or 10 placed – 9:5 odds, 5 or 9 placed – 7:5 odds, 6 or 8 placed – 7:6 odds.
As you can see the best for you is to place a bet on 6 or 8, because these bets have the best odds and also they have a good chance of hitting.
If you get the feeling like you want to place the 4 or 10, you should buy them instead, because although there is a Vig (a fee for winning bets) on these numbers, the edge comes out in your favor, however slightly.
However, the pass line bet is still the best one with the best odds and in the long run you should stick with it.
Although you can technically place a place bet at any time, it is impossible for it to come into effect until the shooters point is set, therefore it is more acceptable to ask for this bet after the come out roll is over.
Bets with Poor Odds
In order to play any of these bets with any consistency, you will want to read my craps strategy article. There you will find a couple of scenarios where these bets are used to hedge other bets.
Big 6/Big 8 Bet
This is a Bet on a Big 6 or Big 8, put down after the point has been established. If a 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7, you win (1:1). This is a bet that you should not play because you can Place a bet on 6 or 8 and receive better odds.
Kind of what the name suggests, field bets are open to everyone who bets on the next number rolled. To place one you simple throw your chips into the table (as little chips as possible) and tell the stick man what you want. The payout for field bets:
- 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11 all payout 1:1
- 2 pays 2:1
- 12 pays out either 2:1 or 3:1 (depending on the casino)
Placed before any throw. The house edge on all of these bets are over 11%. Therefore, you should not bet these very often or you should hedge your bets when you do so. You can bet on any number as follows:
- Betting on the next throw being a 2, 3 or 12 (Craps)
- Any Seven: Betting on the next throw being a 7
- Eleven: Betting on the next throw being an 11
- Horn Bet: Betting on the next number being a 2, 3, 11, or 12. The payout is determined by the number rolled
Proposition bets are those placed in the middle of the table layout, and those bets never have a good house edge. You should make these bets only for fun and to make your game more exciting. So, here they are:
With the “any seven” bet you’re betting the shooter will hit a 7 on the next roll. It has a horrible house edge of 16.67%. Never make this bet.
With the “snake eyes” bet you’re betting the shooter will throw a two on the next roll.
With the “yo eleven” bet you’re betting the shooter will hit an 11 on the next roll.
With the “any craps” bet you’re betting the shooter will throw a 2, 3, or 12 on the next roll. It holds a house edge of over 11%
With the “any three” bet you’re betting the shooter will throw a 3 on the next roll.
With the “midnight” bet you’re betting the shooter will throw a 12 on the next roll.
With the “horn” bet you’re combining the snake eyes, 3, yo 11, and midnight bets.
A Hardway Bet is also made regarding the outcome of the next die throw. A Hardway roll occurs when doubles are thrown with an outcome of 4, 6, 8 or 10.
For example, rolling a pair of threes would produce a “hard 6”. An Easy roll is produced when the same outcome is achieved, but without rolling doubles.
For the previous example, rolling a 4 and a 2 would produce an “easy 6”. For a Hardway Bet to win, the shooter must roll a double with an outcome of 4, 6, 8 or 10. The wager loses if either a 7 or any Easy number is rolled.
The Lay Bet
The lay bet is almost similar with the don’t pass and don’t come bets, because with this bet your are playing against the dice. You can make this bet at any time in the game and it can be placed on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. A lay bet wins when 7 rolls before the number.
7 is more likely to come up than any other number so the casino requires you to wager more than you could win. This bet also requires a commission of 5% on average. If the bet is on 4 or 10 you get 1:2 odds, on 5 or 9 2:3 odds, on six or 8 5:6 odds.
The Buy Bet
When you choose this bet it means that you will buy numbers instead of placing them.
The numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 can all be bought but there are only two numbers that really make buy bets worthwhile and those numbers are 4 and 10 because they pay off better than the other numbers. You win if the buy number comes up before a 7 is rolled.
The odds are higher for a buy bet. 2:1 on a 4 or 10 buy, 3:2 for a 5 or 9, or 6:5 for a 6 or 8. Player pays 5% “vigorish” to get true odds on all numbers.
Depending on how much you bet, buying a bet can make you more money in the end even after accounting for the ‘vig’. The odds are only in your favor on a buy bet for a 4 or 10, so stick with the place bet on any others.
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