Although Craps does not rely on skill, it can still provide you with hours of lucrative fun, especially if you are familiar with the odds and house edge behind each of the bets. Just like in any other game of chance, Craps comes with its own set of Dos and Don’ts, which help the players reduce the risk rate.
Faced with the dynamics and betting possibilities of a Craps table, beginners can often feel overwhelmed with the possibilities and get caught up in the moment. This usually results in placing reckless bets with high payout rates and extremely low hit frequency, which makes them highly favorable – for the casino.
To avoid unnecessary losses and remain at the Craps table long enough to boost your balance (but not too long to reach the point where the fun stops), you will need to start with eliminating certain bets from your gameplay. According to the experienced Craps players, some wagers shouldn’t be placed under any circumstances, unless you actually live on adrenaline rush or have money to burn.
Craps Bets Overview
Before we go on to the “avoid-at-all-costs” craps bet, a brief overview of rules and available Craps bets may be in order.
The gist of the game is quite simple – the Shooter rolls the dice and the bets are settled according to the total. Depending on the variant, the Shooter can either be one of the players (land-based Craps) or the Dealer (online live Craps).
The first dice roll, the so-called Come out roll, will end the round if the dice land on 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12. The place numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 will initiate a new dice roll, and the players will have the following betting options:
- Pass Line – wins on 7 or 11 (Natural) and losses on 2, 3, or 12 (Craps). 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 become a point and lead onto the next round
- Don’t Pass – the point number will have to be rolled again. If that happens before the 7, the Pass bets will win. Don’t Pass bet wins when a shooter rolls a 7 before the determined point number
- Come/Don’t Come Bet – same as Pass and Don’t Pass bets, available after the point is rolled
- Pass Line Odds / Don’t Pass Odds – Pass Odds Line bet wins on a point value and loses on a 7. Don’t Pass Odds bet wins on a 7 and loses on point value
- Come & Don’t Come Odds – same as the above but you will be able to place it after the roll determines the point
- Place Numbers Win – wins on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 totals
- Place Number Lose – wins on 7 and loses on place numbers
- Buy – wins if your number lands before 7
- Lay – wins if 7 is rolled before a certain number (5% commission is charged on that bet)
- Big 6 – wins on a 6 (any 6 rolled before 7)
- Big 8 – wins on an 8 (any 8 rolled before 7)
- Hardways – wagering on a pair
- Field – wins on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 and loses on 5, 6, 7, and 8
- Proposition – the highest payout bet, wins on Any 7, Any 11, Any Craps (2, 3, and 12), Any Deuce (3), Aces, and Boxcar (12)
- Horn – split between 2, 3, 11, and 12
Bad Craps Bets – Odds and Payouts
Now that we’ve brushed up on all Craps betting options, we can focus on the bad Craps bets – as the numbers never lie, true vs house odds will be included for the same of comparison.
First one on the list of the unfavorable Craps bets, Any 7, has an extremely high house edge of 16.67% and a tempting payout rate of 4:1. Disastrously high house edge and 5:1 odds (or 1 in 6 chance of winning it) makes this option a rather poor choice.
If you do manage to win it, $100 bet will generate $500.
Betting on 2 and Betting on 12
Compared to Any 7, the house edge on these two bets is lower, which doesn’t necessarily make them a better choice. The odds of winning are 35:1 (!) and the payout is 30:1, which means that $100 bet will generate $3,100.
A combination of Horn and Any 7 bets, World bet carries 13.33% house edge and 2:1 winning odd. The payout rate depends on the dice total:
- 26:5 on 2 or 12
- 11:5 on 3 or 11
- Push on 7 (0:1)
To illustrate this with an example, it means that a $100 bet will bring $620 profit on 2 or 12, and $320 profit on 3 or 11. As appealing as this may seem, one should not forget about the high house edge.
Horn bet covers 2, 3, 11 and 12, with 5:1 winning odd. Players will lose on any other numbers and the house gets 12.5%. Just like with the Whirl bet, the payout depends on the results:
- 27:4 on 2 or 12 ($775 on $100 bet)
- 3:1 on 3 or 11 ($400 on $100)
Yo (11 Bet)
The odds for this bet are 17:1 and the payout rate is 15:1 ($1,600 on a $100 bet). While the payout seems attractive, the house edge of 11.11% is far from it. In case you are wondering about the name of the bet, “Yo” is added to avoid any potential misunderstandings that similar sounding 7 and 11 might cause.
Betting on 3
The house edge, true odds and the house odds are the same as with the Yo bet. The only difference is the total you are wagering on – 3 instead of 11. As there are only 2 out of 36 combinations that can produce a 3, it is easy to understand why this bet should not be one of your first choices.
Hop 2 Ways
Hops are the proposition (single roll) bets, where the players wager on a specific one or two-ways combination. For example, if you bet on 6-4, you win if the numbers land in that particular order. Hop 2 Ways will win on both 6-4 or 4-6. The house edge and the payout is the same as with the two previous bets – Yo 11 and Betting on 3.
Craps bets win on 2, 3, or 12, generating a payout of 7:1 (with 8:1 true odds). However, the house edge of 11.11% is too high to make this bet a good choice and even though you can earn $800 on a $100, your best bet would be avoiding this option altogether.
C&E is a Craps and Yo bet combo, with 5:1 winning odds. Just like with the Horn and Whirl bets, the payout rated depends on the outcome:
- 3:1 on 2, 3, or 12 ($400 on a $100 bet)
- 7:1 on 11 ($800 on $100)
Hard 4 / Hard 10
The last bet in this list wins on 2-2 or 5-5 dice combinations, generating 7:1 payout, or $800 on a $100 stake. The house edge is still high enough to make you nervous (11.11%) and reconsider placing this bet.
Craps is a game that sounds very complicated at first with all of the different bets and wagers that can be made between the good and the bad. Admittedly, this may be intimidating for the newer player. However, we’re going to direct you to some of our other Craps articles as well. Once you know “what you’re doing”, as well as some of the “better” wagers you can make you’ll see why Craps is among the most popular games.
There is a reason why when you go to a brick and mortar casino the tables are almost always full and loud and exciting and you have to fight to find a spot. May as well learn the ropes online in the comfort of your bathrobe!
As promised, more Craps reads!