The game of Craps is quite simple and straightforward, indeed. What may cause it to appear more convoluted to the new player is the enormous variety of bets one can place. In this section, we will familiarize ourselves with most of these bets in the hopes that by the end it will all become clear. Keep in mind that a huge percent of these bets are actually awful bets and the house has a big edge over you. However, some give you the fair chance to beat the house and make a profit.
Below you can find a chart with all the craps odds and pay offs.
The Line and the Odds Bets
The Line Bet is the bet you make on the Pass Line at a Come-Out Roll. This is the most fundamental and basic of all Craps bets. You simply place your bet on the Pass Line at the Come-Out Roll and the Dealer knows that this is the bet you want to make. This is called a “self-service area” or a “self-service bet” because you are placing the bet, whereas in other betting scenarios you need to ask the Dealer or the Stickman (depending on the type of bet) in order to place the bet.
If you place a Line Bet, then if the Shooter throws 7 or 11, you win. If he hits 2,3 or 12, you love. For all the remaining values, the number he rolls becomes the Point, which starts the second stage of the game. This is when you can place an Odds Bet according to the table’s rules. Placing an Odds Bet is usually a good idea. It’s an additional bet you are making that the Shooter will throw the point again before the 7 and since this is the only way you can win, anyway, you get the chance to increase your winnings. If 7 is thrown before the Point, however, you lose all. The Line and Odds Bets have been examined in more detail in another section of the site so feel free to look them up there is still something unclear.
The Come Bets
The Come Bet is almost identical to the Line Bet, the only difference being that the Come Bet is placed after the Shooter has rolled at least once and there is already a Point. This means that you cannot place a Come Bet at the Come-Out Roll. This is when you place the Line Bet. After the Come-Out Roll and after the Point has been established, you can place a Come Bet. This is another “self-service bet”. You can place the bet in the Come Box.
The Come Bet works in the same way as the Line Bet. If the Shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you win on the come bet, and if he rolls 2,3 or 12, you lose. Now, what happens if he throws another value, though? The Point has already been established so what is the fate of your bet? This is really interesting. As I’ve said, the Come Bet works in the same way as the Line Bet, so your chip is placed on the number the Shooter has thrown. If the Shooter throws it again before the 7, you win, and if he doesn’t, you lose. Just like with the Line Bet, you can place Odds Bets on your Come Bet, again complying with the same table rules. You throw your Odds Bet in the Come Box and tell the Dealer that you want to make an Odds Bet. The Dealer will then take your Odds and put them on top of your original bet (you will see that they are placed a little offset; this is so the dealer knows it’s Odds). At this point, if the Shooter rolls a 7 before your number for the Come Bet, you lose the Come Bet and the Odds. If he rolls the number before a 7, you get paid. You can bet on Come Bets as the game moves on – there is no limit.
In order to make this more clear, I will give you an example. Let’s say you join a table at the Come-Out Roll, but you decide not to bet on the Pass. The Shooter throws 8 and 8 becomes the Point. You don’t care about that too much, because you haven’t placed a bet. Now you finally gather the courage and decide that it’s time, though. You place your $5 bet in the Come Box. The Shooter throws again and hits 5. The Dealer takes your chip and places it in the 5 box. You decide to be a bit more adventurous so you want to place an Odds Bet. You throw two $5 chips on the table and say something like, “Give me Odds on the 5”. The Dealer will take the 2 chips and place them on top of your original Come Bet (just a bit offset, like I said earlier). At this point you can make another Come Bet, but you decide not to because you want to see what happens. The Shooter rolls again and throws 4. This doesn’t concern you because you need a 5. The next time the Shooter throws, he indeed rolls a 5 and you win on your Come Bet. You get paid for the original bet ($5) and then you get paid for the Odds (following standard casino protocols, it will be 3-2 for the 5) so you get three $5 dollar chips for the two you bet. In the end, you walk away from the table with $20 dollars in winnings.
These are the only good bets you can make. All of the rest of the bets I will describe further are absolutely terrible and not really worth the risk. Still, if you want to bet on them, there is no way I can stop you, but remember that you have been warned.
Marching into the realm of awful bets with huge house edge, we kick off our journey with the Place Bets. When you place a Come Bet and the Shooter throws a number, your chip goes to that number’s box (assuming he doesn’t throw 7 or the Point) and if he rolls it again before 7, you win. Instead of placing a Come Bet and betting on a number thrown by the Shooter, you get to directly pick the number you wish to bet on. You can place a direct bet on any of the numbers at any time by talking to the Dealer. You can’t make a Place Bet yourself. This is maybe for the best, because these are really bad bets with a huge house edge. If you decide to ignore my warnings and proceed to making a Place Bet anyway, you may be asked to raise or lower your bet for an easier payout if you win.
For example, if you wish to Place a bet on 4 or 10, you will be asked to bet a number that can be divided by 5 since the payout with be 9-5 should you win. If you were to place an Odds Bet to the same numbers, the payout would be 2-1. Not to mention the fact that if you Place a bet on 4 or 10, the house gets a 6.67% edge, which is a lot, whereas with Odds Bets the house gets 0 edge. As you can see, Place Bets are bad.
If you’d like to a Place a bet on 5 or 9, then again you will be asked to bet a number that be divided by 5. The payout in this case would be 7-5 which still give the house a 4% edge. Just for reference, an Odds Bet on one of these numbers would be paid 3-2.
Finally, if you want to Place a bet on 6 or 8, you will have to bet a number that can be divided by 6 as the payout is 7-6, constituting a 1.5% house edge. This is not that terrible but it’s still not good as 0 edge. If we reference check, we would see that if we place Odds Bets on those numbers, the payout is 6-5.
A few more things about the Place Bets. After every roll of the dice, you get the chance to increase or decrease the bets, or to remove them entirely. Usually at a Come-Out Roll, your Place Bets are temporarily turned off unless you say otherwise. This means that they are out of play as the Shooter throws.
Buy Bets are much like Place Bets with the difference that they are paid as true odds (or the same as Odds Bets). The catch is that you pay a 5% commission to the casino in order to make the bet but if the Shooter rolls the number you bet on before 7, then you get paid the true or correct odds. Buy Bets still carry a house edge. The edge is 4.75% which means that it’s only sensible to place Buy Bets on 4 or 10, since the other Place Bets offer lower house edge. This is still worse than placing a Line or Come Bet and then backing it up with Odds Bets. You need to talk to the Dealer if you wish to make a Buy Bet.
You will see the Field Box right next to the Come Box. It features many of the possible totals – 2, 3, 4, 9, 10,11 and 12. Field Bets are self-service bets, which means that you are placing them yourself. They are one-time bets, meaning that after one roll you collect your winnings or the casino collects your bet. You are getting paid even money, meaning that if you win, your winnings are equal your bet. This is not always the case, though. Some casinos offer a bonus for 2 or 12 (or both) which means that if the Shooter throws 2 or 12 (the one that gets the bonus; or either), you can get paid double or even triple your bet. However, the chance of winning is still rather small, even though it seems huge. The house still holds an edge, and it’s not a small one so steer clear of those bets.
Proposition Bets are different combination bets. You are basically betting that a combination is going to get rolled. Some of them are one-roll bets, meaning that they are getting resolved in one roll. The most famous of the Proposition Bets are the Hardways Bets.
The Hardways can be bet on 4,6,8 and 10, since these are the only numbers that can be rolled the “hard way”. The hard way to roll these combinations is to roll a pair. For example, a pair of 2s makes a 4. However, 4 can also be rolled with a 3 and 1 or a 1 and 3. Hence, 1 and 3 or 3 and 1 is the easy way to roll, and a pair of 2s is the hard way because the statistical probability of hitting the combination the hard way is lower. Apply the same reasoning to the rest of the Hardways.
There is only one way to win a Hardway Bet and that is for the Shooter to roll the combination you bet on. If he rolls 7 or an easy combination, then you lose your bet. For example, you’ve bet on a hard 8. If the Shooter rolls 7, you lose. If he rolls 5 and 3 or 6 and 2, you still lose even though the value is the same, because it was rolled the easy way. Keep in mind that Proposition Bets are bad bets even though they have huge payouts. 4 and 10 are paid 7-1 and 6 and 8 are paid 9-1. Still, the house has an enormous edge so be advised.
Other proposition bets include the Big 6 or Big 8. You are basically betting that the Shooter will hit 6 or 8 before he rolls 7. The difference between this bet and the Place Bet is that this is paid out evenly – you get what you bet. Just for a reference, if you make a Place Bet, you will be paid 7-6 if you win. There is usually no reason to make this bet and give the casino such a huge edge, which is why many have removed this bet altogether.
Another interesting bet is Any 7. This is a really adventurous bet and can definitely stimulate your adrenal gland. Any 7 means that you are betting on the Shooter rolling a 7 on the next roll. This is one-time bet, meaning that it is resolved in one roll. The Shooter will either roll 7 and you will win or he will roll something else and you will lose. This is a popular bet among people who bet against the shooter, since generally 7 means that you lose your other bets, hence you probably don’t want to see it. The payout is 4-1, in case you’re interested in making this bet even though I’m advising you not to. The house edge is 16.67%.
2, 3 and 12 are Craps numbers. There is a bet you can make if you like them for some reason. It’s called Any Craps. You are betting that on the next roll the Shooter will throw 2, 3 or 12. You will get pad 7-1 if you win, although the chance is small and the house has an 11% edge.
Another one-throw bet of this variety is the 2 and 12. Your bet is that the Shooter will roll 2 or 12 (depending on what you bet) on the next throw. The probability of success is extremely low and the house’s edge is 14%.
Keeping the one-roll bets, 3 and 11 is another ridiculous bet you can make. With 11% house edge, you are betting that the next number the Shooter rolls will be 3 or 11 (depending on what you bet).
The Horn Bet is possibly the mother of all bad bets. You basically place 4 bets in the same time and you wager that on the next throw, the Shooter will roll 2, 3, 11 or 12. These are 4 separate bets, meaning that even if he rolls one of these, you lose the other three and casino takes your bet. It’s simply absurd to me that some people would even consider such a silly bet.
Hop Bets are also outright awful. Using the Hardways, as well as 2 and 12 bets, you are trying to predict the outcome of the next roll, simultaneously giving the house a nice 16.67% edge.
Proposition Bets are usually handled by the Stickman.
Betting “The Wrong Way”
When you play Craps, you don’t have to bet with the Shooter. You can bet against him. This is when you will be the only cheering when everyone else is moaning in disappointment. Betting “The Wrong Way” will definitely make you the most unpopular person on the table so keep a low profile. Don’t give in to your excitement too much. Betting against the Shooter gives you the same chance at winning as betting with him. The difference is that when you win, you win alone, and when you lose, you lose alone. Also, generally people who bet “The Wrong Way” turn down being the Shooter, themselves.
The bets work in the same, but opposite way when you are betting against the shooter.
Don’t Pass is a wrong way bet opposite to the Line Bet. Instead of betting it on the Pass Line before the Come-Out Roll, you place it on the Don’t Pass section. If you make this bet, by definition if other people win, you will lose. This means that if the Shooter rolls 7 or 11, you lose immediately. But, if he rolls 2 or 3, you win and you’re getting paid even. For a 12, the bet is a stand-off, meaning that it’s neither won nor lost. If a point is established, you win if the Shooter rolls the 7 before the Point. As you can see, it’s pretty simple – the exact opposite of betting with the Shooter.
Another difference one can spot is when we involve the Odds Bets. You can still place those, only since the chance of the Shooter rolling 7 before the Point is statistically higher, ergo the Odds payouts are actually lower. This means that you have to bet more in order to reap the same rewards than if you were playing betting with the Shooter and collecting bigger Odds.
Just like Don’t Pass Bets, Don’t Come are basically the same as Come Bets, only opposite. Once a Point has been established, the bettor makes a bet that the Shooter will not roll the same number before 7. You can still back these bets with Odds Bets. In the same way as Don’t Pass, the payouts for the Odds will be lower, so you need to bet more money for bigger winnings.
Laying Bets are the Dark Side (this is how some people might call “Wrong Betting”) alternative of the Buy Bets. You still pay the 5% commission, but you bet that the numbers won’t be rolled before the 7 and the house gets a nice edge. If you Lay 4 and 10, then the edge is 2.45%. If you Lay 5 and 9 then it’s 3.25% and if you Lay 6 and 8, it’s 4%.
All in all, it’s a bad idea to bet against the Shooter. This means that you are betting against everybody else and even though it may not seem like a big deal, it can ruin a big part of your experience since Craps is a highly social game.
Most of these bets, unless they are one-roll bets, can be changed or removed after each throw. You can change your Odds, your Place Bets, Buy Bets, Laying Bets, etc. However, the Line and Come Bets, as well as their Dark Side alternatives – Don’t Pass and Don’t Come cannot be changed. Once placed, they are there until the end of the game, when you either win or lose.
This is a basic overview of the bets in Craps. I hope that the matter has become more clear to you now. If you find yourself at a Craps table, just don’t make bad bets and don’t make Dark Side bets – it’s better to win with everyone else and share the joy.