Craps Bets, Wagers and Terminology.
Craps offers the player a plethora of bets. Some craps bets are bad bets for the player. Craps betting can be a minefield for players who do not understand both the odds against winning the bet and the casino’s payout odds for that bet. In many instances the difference between the odds of the bet winning and the casinos payout odds are too great. To view the betting layout of a craps table click craps basics .
We shall concentrate on those bets that are more advantageous for the player and those bets that are more advantageous for the casino. That way you will know which bets to make and which bets to avoid.
Bets – There are two basic bets available in Craps. One roll bets which are determined by the next roll of the dice and sequence bets which may require several rolls of the dice before the results are known.
Craps – When a 2, 3, or 12 is thrown during the come out roll. It is an automatic winner for “wrong” bettors and an automatic looser for right betters – see also Pass line bet.
Pass line bet – you are betting that the dice will pass or win. Also called right bettors and front line bettors. Bets are placed on the table in the “pass line” area. A throw of 7 or 11 on the “come out” roll automatically wins for pass line bettors.
The Point – During the come out roll, a throw of 4, 5, 6, 8,9 or 10 establishes a point. The shooter must throw that number again (“Repeat the Point”) before a 7 is thrown. When that occurs, Pass line bettors win. When the 7 is thrown before the point is repeated they loose and “wrong bettors" or “Don’t Pass” bettors win. After the point is established, only the 7 and the “Point number” are relevant for pass line bettors. Other throws do not affect their wagers.
Sevening out – A seven is thrown before “the point” is repeated. Pass line betters loose their wager and “wrong bettors” win theirs. Don’t Pass bettors are also called wrong bettors and back line bettors – They are effectively betting against the dice by playing bets in the area marked ‘Don’t Pass. The throw of a 2 or 3 on the “come-out” roll is an automatic winner for the “Don’t pass” bettor and conversely 7 and 11 are automatic looses. Generally 12 is a stand off between the casino and the “Don’t Pass” bettor but some casinos swap the 2 and 12 around. Theoretically this makes no difference because there is only one way to throw a 2 and one way throw a 12. The problem is that we get used to doing things a certain way and this increases our changes of making an error of judgment.
Come and don’t come bets are available only after the point is established. The Pass and don’t pass bets (collectively called line bets ) can only be made before the “come out” roll. To place such a bet place your chips on the area of the table marked “come” or “don’t come” depending on which way you have decided to bet. If a seven or an eleven is thrown on the first throw after you are allowed to place that bet, it automatically wins and if the throw is a two, three or twelve, it is an automatic loss. Any other number thrown serves to establish the “come out Point”. The dealer then moves your bet from the Come or don’t come box to the rectangular box that is used to mark the Come Point. For the player to win the shooter has to repeat the throw before a seven is thrown. Hence the term ‘Sevening Out” and the player looses the bet when the seven is thrown before the point is repeated.
Free Odds Bets – these are bets where the house has no mathematical advantage over the player. The house has an advantage of 17% on the worst craps bets available to players. In order to make a free odds bet, you must make a pass line bet, don’t pass, come or don’t come bet and place it at the same time. The placing of such a bet is effectively a bet on the first bet becoming a winner!
Place Bets – these are popular with players but should be restricted to 6 and 8 only and winning bets are paid out at 7 to 6 so bets must be made in multiples of six betting units if you want the full odds. Casinos generally do not pay part odds with the possible exception of very low stakes games (if you can still find such a game.) The casino’s advantage is too great to touch any other place bets. The bet is made by giving your chips to the dealer and instructing the dealer to “place the 6” or “place the 8”. Big 6 and Big 8 – Never place this bet. The house odds are too great.
Buy Number bets – players betting on a place will be offered the option to buy the number. On a four or ten number buy, the odds drop from about 7 percent to about 5 percent even though the casino takes a 5 percent (one twentieth ) commission from winning bets. Since casinos, like Asian and East European taxi drivers are not big on change and your minimum commission is $1, you are effectively forced to bet in multiples of $20.
Lay Bets – used by wrong bettors to bet that a 7 will be rolled before the point they bet on. This bet is paid out at correct odds but attracts a 5% commission and thus the minimum bet becomes $20 if you want the full odds and even then the casino has a 5% advantage.
Field Bet – you bet on a number listed on the field box. If that number is not thrown on the next throw the bet is lost. This is a bad bet because the unlisted numbers of 5, 6, 7 and 8 are the most commonly thrown numbers and this gives the house an advantage of about 5%
Proposition Bets – the house has an advantage of around 17% so this is a bad bet.
Any seven – also a bad bet for the same reason.
Any Craps – you are betting that the next throw or roll will be craps that is a 2, 3 or 12. The house advantage is about 11% making it a bad bet.
2 or 12 bet – you are betting that the next roll or throw will be a 2 or a 12 . House advantage is about 13% so forget it.
3 o 11 bet – similar problems to 2 or 12
Horn bet – a combination bet that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 11 or 12. It requires a minimum of four chips – one for each number. The house advantage is a bit over 11%.
Hop bet – To make this bet, give your chips t the dealer or the stickman and say “Hop” followed by the two numbers to be thrown. The payout odds varies with the numbers selected but the house advantage is about 15%.
Craps Eleven – A combination bet of 11 and any craps. Forget it. This is ithe worst possible bet in craps!
Hardways or hard means that a double is thrown for the number when 4, 6, 8 or 10 is thrown. If the number is achieved through any other combination it is said to be the ‘easy way’ or ‘easy’. If you bet hardways, the number has to be thrown that way before it is thrown the easy way and before a seven is thrown. Hardways bets are bad bets because of the house advantage.