Ever played craps? If you have, you fall into one of two categories. You either love it; or you hate it. The reason behind the varying sentiments is simple. You can either monumentally increase your bankroll, or watch it dwindle before your very eyes in the matter of just a few rolls of the dice. Craps is different, in that unlike other games of chance, there is a secret to “where” you bet your money. The best pass bets to make are Pass and Don’t Pass, and Come and Don’t Come, with or without Free Odds.
Combined House Edge: Pass 0.47%
Combined House Edge: Don’t Pass 0.45%
Come and Don’t Come have similar house edges
There are more than 120 different bets that can be made at a craps table. There are bets that the dice will
roll a natural, and there are bets that the dice will "crap out." In fact, it seems that for every bet you can make, there is an opposite bet. There are hardways, buy bets, lay bets, one-roll bets, all-day bets, hopping bets and many more.
The come-out roll
The first throw is called the come-out roll. On this roll, you win if a 7 or 11 appears, you lose if a 2, 3, or 12 comes up (this is known as a craps). If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 comes up, that numbers becomes the
pass-line point. To win now, the pass-line point number must repeat before the 7 appears; otherwise, the hand is over.
When you bet on the pass-line as a right bettor, you are betting that the shooter will win by rolling a 7 or an 11 on the first throw of the dice, or that he will roll a number and repeat that number before a 7 is rolled. To make this bet, you put your bet on the pass line (also known as the front line). The pass-line bet is paid at even money, known as a contract bet. Pass-line and come bettors actually have an advantage over the house on the come-out roll. Because there are eight ways to win and only four ways to lose, you have a 2-to-1 odds favour. However, the advantage clearly shifts to the house whenever a point is established. That is why the pass-line and come bets (contract bets) cannot be picked up or changed after a point is established. This is the price the house exacts for being generous during the come-out roll.
Don’t pass is the opposite of a pass-line bet. On the come-out roll you win on a 2, 3, or 12 (12 is a tie, or push). You lose if a 7 or 11 appears on the first throw. You win if the shooter throws a 7 before making the pass-line point. This don’t-pass area is known as the "back line."
When you place your wager in the "come" spot, which you can do yourself, you are betting on the very next throw of the dice. You win even money if 7 or 11 comes up, and you lose on 2, 3, or 12. If none of these
numbers are thrown, your bet will go on the number that did appear, and you’ll win when that number is thrown again. You’ll lose if a 7 appears first.
This bet is the opposite of the come bet. You win if the next throw is a 12 or a 3 (2 is usually a tie), and you’ll lose if a 7 or an 11 comes up. Otherwise, your wager goes against the number thrown, and you win if
the shooter throws a 7 before the come number appears.
Another way you can bet is to "place" a number. When you place a number, you select the point yourself instead of making a come bet and waiting for a point to be established by a throw of the dice. This bet can be made at any time. To wager on a number, after the come-out roll, you simply tell the dealer that you want to place the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Do not reach across the cross-line; just toss your chips toward the
dealer so he can reach them. The dealer will take your chips and place the bet in a specific spot on the edge of the number so that he can identify whose bet it is.
This is a one-roll bet that you can make at any time. You are betting that a 2, 3, 4, 9, 100, 11, or 12 will appear on the next throw of the dice. You win even money on 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11. Many casinos will pay double on 2 or 12, and some casinos will pay triple on 12. You will lose the field bet if 5, 6, 7, or 8 appears.
Big 6 and Big 8
This is a bet you can place yourself on the spot marked Big 6 or Big 8. It pays even money when a 6 or 8 is rolled. You lose if 7 comes up, and nothing happens as long as other numbers continue to appear. It is an all-day bet, and you can remove the bet at any time. The house edge is 9.09%. The Big 6 or Big 8 is a poor bet for you.
Proposition bets are in the centre of the table, directly in front of the stickman, who is responsible for placing them. These bets are used for a variety of both one-time roll and all-day wagers, with large payoffs that you can make at any time. To wager on a specific proposition bet you toss your chips toward the stickman and announce what bet you would like to make, for example, $5 on a hard 4. The stickman will place the bet for you. When you win one of these bets, the stickman will instruct the dealer at your end of the table about the
correct payout, and that dealer will pay your winnings. You should avoid proposition wagers. They have the highest house advantages, ranging from 9.09% to a high of 16.67%, which makes them "long shot" bets.
Another way to get true odds on a place bet is to "buy" a number. A buy bet is a special type of place bet that is normally made only on 4 or 10. It generally requires a $20 minimum wager. The house will charge an additional 5% commission. This commission, called the vigorish, or vig, will result in the house paying true odds of 2 to 1 instead of 9 to 5 for that bet. For example, a $20 wager on 10 will normally pay $36, but a buy wager of $21 ($20 + $1 commission) will pay $40. If you want to buy 4 or 10, inform the dealer which one you want, and then toss your wager toward the dealer, who will mark the bet for you. When the bet is
for more than $20, 4 and 10 are the only numbers you should buy. All the other numbers (5 and 9, 6 and 8) should remain as place bets. To distinguish a buy bet from a come-point bet, a special "buy" button is placed on top of the chips or wager.
Lay bets are the opposite of buy bets because you win on 7 and lose when the point comes up. These bets are normally made by "wrong" bettors. The lay bet is similar to "giving" odds on any of the don’t come bets. In theory, giving means you must lay down, or bet $2 to win $1. The casino also take a 5% commission of the lay bets, just as it does with buy bets. For example, if you bet against the 4, you have to lay $41 to get $20. Review the following lay bet payout chart to see the house advantage; then you’ll understand why this is not a good bet.
Your best lay bet is against the 4 or 10; bet against the 6 or 8 and the house advantage becomes prohibitively high.
Taking odds on pass-line and come bets is the best bet anywhere in the entire casino. Why? Because the casino has zero advantage, or edge, over the player when adding odds to these original bets. The casino will pay you the true odds when you win an odds-type bet at craps. Remember that you can make an odds wager on the pass line and on the don’t pass-line after a point has been established. Also, you’ll want to take odds on a lay bet and on a don’t-come bet after the bet has been moved to a number. The odds bet, also known as free odds, can be removed or reduced at any time. But because they work to the player’s advantage, you shouldn’t taken them down or reduce them.
It’s always a good idea to keep your original line bet small and your free-odds bet large. That way, if you win on the come-out roll, you can ave your winnings so that you can increase your odds bet later. You’ll
then have a better advantage over the house.
Microgaming Craps Table
Playtech Craps Table
IGT Wagerworks Craps Table
Wagerlogic Craps Table