The Pros and Cons of Craps Odds Bets


The Pros and Cons of Craps Odds Bets


A craps dealer prepares stacks of casino chips

The Pros and Cons of Craps Odds Bets


A craps dealer prepares stacks of casino chips

From casino films’ imagery of glitz and glamor to real-world casino visits and online casinos you can easily connect to, craps has always been one of the most exhilarating and entertaining casino table games to play. The craps table offers a world of fun and there’s never a moment of silence as everyone tries to get their bets in. 

More than that, this casino table game offers something that no other game does: it puts you in the pilot’s seat. Think about it: do you ever get to deal the cards in blackjack or spin the wheel at the roulette table? The answer is no. But in craps, you get to throw the dice! That adds a great element of fun and excitement to the game. In fact, as online casino games go, craps is regarded as one of the most thrilling to play.

An excellent choice for a game to play with your friends, craps’ high-energy and fast tempo make for unforgettable moments. When someone is on a hot streak, it’s hard to take your eyes off the table. And if you have some time to kill (but not too much,) craps allows players to enter and leave whenever they please – making it the perfect filler for dead time. 

Although craps is a game of chance, you can still play strategically to improve your craps odds with the diverse variety of bets available. With so many different betting options, first-timers may initially find craps both overwhelming and tedious. With this in mind, we’ve narrowed down some of the best strategies and tips in craps. But before we get into betting in this casino dice game and the pros and cons of different bets, here are a few basics you need to know.

How To Play Craps

Man rolls and throws the dice during a game of craps, while people around the table watch

If you’ve never played craps before, don’t panic! This casino game can seem complicated at first, but you’ll get the hang of it very quickly. There’s a lot of action at the table to take in all at once, so to make it easier to understand, let’s break it down.

When you play craps, both online and in-person, you wager on the outcome of the roll of the dice. Craps makes use of two six-sided dice, which the player then throws down a high-sided felt table (or in online craps games, you hit the “roll” button.) The player who throws the dice is called the “shooter.” When craps is played in-person, every player at the table gets a chance to roll and the dice are passed counterclockwise after each new round.

Here are the basic craps rules:

  • The shooter selects two dice to roll.
  • The shooter must make a Pass Line bet – either on the Pass or Don’t Pass Line (we’ll explain this later.) The other players at the craps table will also place their bets (everyone can bet on it, regardless of who is throwing.)
  • The shooter will then roll the dice off the opposite wall of the table. The shooter’s first roll is called the “come-out roll.”
  • The house edge is the mathematical advantage a gambling game has over the player, which can also be defined as the long-term percentage return to the casino and the percentage loss of your bet. The house edge in craps will vary, depending on the type of bet you make. Single-roll bets have a house edge of 5.56% all the way up to 16.67%. In multi-roll bets, the house edge depends on the bet and how long it takes to resolve.

The Come-out Roll

For beginners, the come-out roll is the perfect place to begin. From here, you can gain a clearer understanding of other elements of the game such as pass line odds and your bet pass. A great tip is to continue playing. After all, practice makes perfect. 

  • If the come-out roll is a 7 or 11, then the Pass Line bet wins and the Don’t Pass Line bets lose. This will end the round.
  • If the come-out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, known as “craps,’’ the Pass Line loses and the Don’t Pass Line wins. This will also end the round.
  • If the come-out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, that specific number becomes a “point” for the player, otherwise referred to as the “point number.” The dealer will place a puck on that specific number on the craps table. The shooter will continue to roll the dice until they roll that point number. If the point number is rolled, those who placed bets on the Pass Line win and those who placed bets on the Don’t Pass Line lose. If the shooter rolls a 7, Pass Line bets lose and Don’t Pass Line bets win.

Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line Explained

NY Rangers players play craps in New York City

Here’s what you need to know about the Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line.

Pass Line

The Pass Line bet is the easiest bet to make in craps. Basically, you’re betting that either a 7 or 11 will be the result of the come-out roll. It’s the easiest bet because both these numbers are fairly easy to roll since they can be formed by various combinations of two dice. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 during the come-out roll, your money will be doubled. You’ll often see 7s and 11s being rolled in Hollywood: The One in Vegas episode in the widely popular TV show “Friends” being a great example.

But if the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10, a point is established and they’ll rethrow the dice. When you bet the Pass Line, you’ll want the shooter to roll the point number again, and if the shooter does hit the point number, your Pass Line bet will be doubled. If a 2, 3 or 12 (craps) is the result of the come-out roll, you’ll lose your Pass Line bet. 

Don’t Pass Line

A Don’t Pass Line bet means you’re betting against the shooter. You’ll want the shooter to “crap out” (roll a 2, 3 or 12) on the come-out roll. But if the shooter rolls a point number on the come-out roll, they’ll rethrow – at which point a Don’t Pass bet will win, provided the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling the point number.

Place Bets

Once you’ve mastered the foundations of craps, it’s time to start looking at place bets. A great way to better your odds of craps, place bets are made up of a series of numbers across the board: 4,5,6,8,9 and 10. Regarded as the “point” (as mentioned above,) each number comes with its own odds. 

Craps odds are influenced by the perceived likelihood of a number being drawn. The more likely your number is to appear, the lower the odds. And as in any other casino game, the house always has an edge. 

In craps, it varies between each number:

  • 6 and 8 – house edge of 1.52%
  • 5 and 9 – house edge of 4%
  • 4 and 10 – house edge of 6.67%

What are odds bets?

So, what are the odds in craps? Craps odds bets, sometimes referred to as “odds,” is a side bet that can be placed after the point number has been decided. After making your usual Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line wager you can place extra chips behind it to represent odds. This is because the odds bet will revolve around the outcome of the point number and not your original bet, with different points offering different payout values. 

For each point number the payout values are as follows: 

  • 2 to 1 – points 4 and 10
  • 3 to 2 – points 5 and 9
  • 6 to 5 – points 6 and 8

This wager has no house edge.

What are the pros of odd bets?

Neon-lit craps sign in casino saying Shoot to Win! above it

Placing odds has many benefits for players, including the following:

No house edge

Odds bets at the table is the only time when the casino doesn’t have an advantage over you because an odds bet doesn’t come with a house edge. Just remember that your original bet still comes with a house edge. That said, to try and balance this out you can make a small Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line wager which is backed by larger odds. 

Best opportunity to grab at a casino

The house edge varies with all casino games and will ultimately influence your decision of which game to play (this also goes for online casino games.) With craps’ odds bets, you have the chance to play a game without factoring in whether you can afford the house edge. You can simply place odds on your regular bets.

Get More Action at the Table Without Forking Out Large Sums of Money

Placing odds bets at the craps table gives you an opportunity to get more action while minimizing the risk to your bankroll. This is because the odds bet itself has no house edge, which increases your chances of winning. 

What Are the Cons of Odds Bets?

Close up of the hands of a craps dealer preparing stacks of casino chips

Craps odds bets sound ideal for winning big without a house edge. But there are a few downsides to them that you should keep in mind before you start playing craps online or at your local brick-and-mortar establishment. 

You Must Bet a Multiple of Your Original Wager

Odds bets can be expensive because you have to place a wager that is a multiple of your original bet.

Odds Bets Can Eat Into Your Bankroll Quickly

If you’re looking to make the most of your bankroll and play for a while, odds bets may actually decrease the amount of time you spend playing. This is because odds bets will force you to place larger wagers since they often require you to double your bets or more. Make sure you’ve decided how much money you want to gamble with before you start your session and stick to your budget.

The House Edge on the Original Bet Will Still Impact Your Odds Bet

In order to place an odds wager you’ll need to place a bet on the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line. When wagering on these two bets, the casino has a slight advantage. As a result of this, the house will still have an edge on your bet as a whole, even though your odds bets are free from a house edge.

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