The Don't Pass Bet
If you're in a land based casino and having a good time at the craps
table, maybe making a few new friends, then you probably shouldn't bet
on the don't pass bet. Essentially its like betting against the shooter
or against the dice, which means you win when everybody else loses. Not
that there is anything wrong with that, but you want to keep those new
friends don't you? You want to be invited to the next party no? Craps
is a party game in a casino, filled with good vibes, my well learned
advice, don't disrupt the vibes. They may have nothing at all to do with
mathematics, but they are no less important.
On the don't pass bet (to make this bet place your chips in the narrower
section just beyond the pass line labeled don't pass) made on the come
out roll, you lose on a 7 or 11, and win on a 2 or a 3. A 12 on the come
out roll is like a push in blackjack, it's a standoff where nobody wins
or loses. If anything else is rolled it becomes the point, and you win
if a 7 is rolled before the point is repeated. Notice how this is the
opposite of the pass line bet, and notice how you win when the shooter
loses. Seems awfully nice of the casino to offer an opposite bet of the
normal one, wouldn't the house lose their statistical edge? Only if they
kept the numbers straight. Sadly on a don't pass bet with odds, the casino
pays out pretty crappy amounts. The odds of a 7 coming out before a 10
are quite good so the casino has to hedge its bet in effect.
The Come Bet
You'll quickly notice the large area of the craps board labeled with
'COME' smack dab in the middle of the playing area. Make sure you have
read the section on the Pass bet in our craps rules section and earlier
in this section, if you know all there is to know about the Pass line
bet, then you wont have any trouble getting your head around the simple
'COME' bet. The easiest way to think about the COME bet is to think,
it's exactly the same as the Pass line bet, but can be made after the
point is set. There is no such thing as a come bet on the come out roll,
because it would be exactly the same as a Pass line bet.
Say I wanted to make a come bet, and the point had been set to 5. I would
put my come bet down in the come section and wait for the next roll.
If a 7 or 11 is hit you win (while the shooter looses), and you lose
on a craps shot (2, 3 or 12). If it's any one of the other numbers, this
becomes your 'come point'. If your 'come point' is rolled before a 7,
you win. So say a 9 is rolled, at that time the stickman moves your come
bet to the 9 on the board. Now if the shooter rolls a 9 before a 7 you
win, if they roll a 7 before a 9 you lose. Also remember that on come
bets you also have the ability to place "odds" bets just like pass line
bets after your 'come-point' is established.
The Don't Come Bet
The don't come bet is the opposite of the come bet, much in the same
way the don't pass bet is the opposite of the pass bet. The don't come
bet must be made after a point is set by the shooter. If a 7 or 11 is
rolled you lose, if a 2 or 3 is rolled you win, and a 12 is a standoff.
Otherwise a come point is set and you win if a 7 is rolled before the
come point is repeated, and lose if the come point is repeated before
a 7 is rolled. The don't come bar is highlighted in our graphic.
Once again the odds are in your favor that a seven would be rolled before
a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 so the odds bets pay the opposite of a pass line
The Hardway Bet
Named that way because it's a hard way to win, just kidding, but the
hardway bet has some pretty horrible odds, so I recommend you stick with
pass line bets with odds for the most part. Actually the 'hard' bit derives
from the doubles involved. To roll a 'hard eight' means to roll it with
double 4's, to roll a 'hard 6' means to roll it with double 3's. So in
craps the only hardway bets that exist are a hard 4, 6, 8, and 10. When
you make a hardway bet your betting that the hard version of what your
betting on will come up before the soft version, or a seven. The soft
version is the opposite of the hard version. Two threes is a hard six,
but a 4 and a 2 is a soft six.
Odds are not completely consistent from casino to casino on the hardway
bets but generally they go like so: a hard 4 pays 7 or 8 to 1, a hard
6 pays 9 or 10 to 1, a hard 8 pays 9 or 10 to 1, and a hard 10 pays 7
or 8 to 1.
Hardway bets are usually placed to add a little spice to the game, not
in any effort to win more money. This is emphasized by the fact that
the house edge is something atrocious on these bets. For a 4 or 10 the
hard way, there is an 11.1% house edge, for a 6 or 8, it's around 9%.
The Buy Bet
You may find some people who look like they know what they're talking
about around the craps table 'buying' instead of 'placing' numbers. What's
the difference, why do we care? A buy bet decreases the house edge and
enables you to win more. The numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 can all be bought,
but usually the 4 or 10 is picked because its pays off better. The buy
bet is similar to the place bet in that the number you buy must come
up before a 7 does. 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. The catch is, you have
to pay a 5% commission on any bets you buy (often called a 'vig'). 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.
The Proposition Bet
Proposition bets are the ones you can make in the middle of the table,
and exist only on the 'next roll'. As one roll bets they can be heart
racing and exciting, an integral part of the craps experience.
These bets include:
"any seven" bet
With the "any seven" bet you're betting the shooter will hit a
7 on the next roll. Horrible house edge, never make this bet.
"snake eyes" bet
With the "snake eyes" bet you're betting the shooter will throw
a two on the next roll.
"yo eleven" bet
With the "yo eleven" bet you're betting the shooter will hit an
11 on the next roll.
"any craps" bet
With the "any craps" bet you're betting the shooter will throw
a 2, 3, or 12 on the next roll.
"any three" bet
With the "any three" bet you're betting the shooter will throw
a 3 on the next roll.
"midnight" 12 bet
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.
Just to illustrate the horrible house edge on many of these proposition
bets I have provided a table:
The Field Bet
The field bet is also among the smarter bets in craps, but not the great
odds you get with odds on the pass line. The field holds approx a 5.5%
house edge. As you'll notice in our graphic, the field is an area on
the craps table just beyond the don't pass bar. The other handy bit about
a field bet is that it can be played on any roll, so it's a very non-threatening
The great aspect to the field bet is the simplicity. It's a one-time
bet which states simply: if the shooter throws a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11,
or 12 (any of the numbers in the field area) then you win. If a 5, 6,
7, or 8 are thrown then you lose. There is no trick to placing your chips
on one of the numbers in the field, its just anywhere you want and any
of those number can be hit. If your betting on the field, most casinos
also give you a bonus if a 2 or a 12 is thrown (notice the circles on
those numbers). Many casinos pay 2x your bet when a 2 or "snake eyes"
is thrown and some even pay 3x your bet if a 12 (commonly called a 'midnight')
So look at that, even if you're just a beginner you already know exactly
how to make a pass bet, a pass bet with odds, and a field bet. Most of
the wagering at a craps table revolves around just these betting techniques.
The Place Bet
The place bet is a variation of betting with a number. You can make a
place bet anytime by handing the dealer your bet and saying 'I want to
place the 8' or whatever number you want to place bet for. You can make
a place bet at any time on any of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. If the number
you have 'placed' is hit before a 7, you win and you're paid as follows:
4 or 10 placed - 9:5 odds, 5 or 9 placed - 7:5 odds, 6 or 8 placed -
Notice the pass line bet offers better odds, so basically you should
stick with it over the long run. 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.
The Lay Bet
An unusual and uncommon fellow, the lay bet resembles the don't pass
and don't come bets in that you are playing against the dice. The lay
bet can be made at any time. In essence it's the opposite of the buy
bet, and the same as the don't come bet, but with different odds. The
lay bets may be placed on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. The bet is on the fact
that a seven will be rolled before your 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. Lay bets are usually only made by people who think they
understand more about what's going on that is probably possible. I would
be surprised if anyone were ever in a position where a lay bet is the
best option, I recommend sticking to the basic bets if your not an expert