Types of Craps Bets

Players can place many types of bets at a craps table. This guide to craps betting takes a look at every single possible wager. Dice shooters need to know all the options when they start wagering, though it's important to remember that the best bets are the basic ones.

This is an overview, but we give a bet's name, definition, odds, and other terminology associated with it. This should give readers a basic understanding of a bet, though you can click on each entry to learn more. Read through these to find the wagers which sound most interesting to you, but always remember the basic line bets.

Explanation of All Bets

Basic Line Bets

The basic line bets are the Pass Line Bet and the Don't Pass Bet. The Pass Line Bet is the basic bet in all of craps. It is a wager on whether the shooter wins or not. On the come-out roll, if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, then he or she wins. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, then the shooter craps out (or loses). A third option exists: the shooter rolls as 4,5,6,8,9,10. If any of these options happen, a point is set. Then the goal becomes to roll the point before rolling a seven.

The Pass Line Bet is a wager on the shooter winning this round of betting. It has a 1.41% house edge. The Don't Pass Bet is a wager that the shooter loses on the same proposition. It has a 1.36% house edge.

The Place Bet

The place bet is made on the "point numbers" or "box numbers": 4,5,6,8,9, or 10. The payoff on these bets is a little better than 1 to 1, with payouts of 9:5, 7:5, and 7:6. The house edge ranges between very good (1.52%) to pretty bad (6.67%), so it pays to know which place bets to make (Place 6, Place 8). 

The 2,3,11,12 bets

The 2,3,11, and 12 proposition bet allows a player to wager on the craps plus yo (eleven). The payoff for 2 and 12 bets is 30:1. The payoff for 3 and 11 bets is 15:1. These are the biggest payouts in the game, but have a bad house edge.

The Big 8 & 6 Bets

The Big 6 and Big 8 bets are place bets on whether the 8 or the 6 appears before the 7. The payout is 1:1. If that sounds like a sucker bet to you, then you're right. Few people make Big 8 and Big 6 bets anymore. Brick-and-mortar casinos leave them off their tables sometimes. In online craps, these are almost always included.

The Horn Whirl Bets

The horn or whirl bet is on the 12,11,3, and 2. This might sound like the 2,3,11,12 bet, but it has subtle differences. It is actually four separate bets made with the same chip unit on each number. That means the horn payoffs are on each individual number, so rolls of 2 or 12 pay out 30:1 and winning 3 or 11 bets pay out 15:1. Horn bets are sucker bets, though.

The Craps and Eleven Bets

The C&E bet again might sounds like the 2,3,11,12 bet, but it isn't. Instead, it's two separate bets on the craps (2,3,12) and the yo-eleven (11). It pays out differently, depending on which number is rolled.

The Don't Come Bet

The Don't Come bet is the same as the Don't Pass bet, except it is made after the come-out roll. The Don't Come Bet is therefore the best wager you can make, depending only on the house edge. Making this wager is called "wrong betting", because you are wagering against the shooter and most other players at the table. The come bet is almost as good, but allows you to wager on the shooter.

The Any 7 Bet

Six different dice combinations produce a 7 and this wager wins when any of the 6 combinations are rolled. The Any Seven bet pays out 4 to 1.

The Small, Tall and All Bets

The Small, Tall and All bets are a relatively new set of side bets found in casinos. Because casino often has a $1 minimum wager for these bets, even disciplined gamblers are known to make this wager. These are three different bets, so let's take each one in its turn.

The Small Bet wins if the shooter rolls a 2,3,4,5, and 6 before rolling a 7. It's like a parley in horse racing, because 5 numbers have to hit before the bet is won.

The Tall Bet wins if the shooter rolls an 8,9,10,11, and 12 before rolling a 7.

The All Bet wins if the shooter rolls a 2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11, and 12 before rolling a 7.

The Fire Bet

The Fire Bet is a side wager which stipulates you have to roll 3 or 4 (or more) points before rolling the seven. If the point needed is 6, then you would need to roll 6 three to six times before a 7 is rolled in order to win the bet.

When to Buy the 5 & 9 Instead of Placing Them

Players have the option to make Buy bets or Place bets on points. This presents a choice, because sometimes it's better to make a Buy 5 and sometimes it's better to make a Place 5 bet.  It has to do with the casino's policies on collecting the vig. For example, if you make a Buy 5 bet using $25, then the payout is going to be $35. If you make a Place 5 bet using $24, then the payout is going to be $36 with a $1 rake by the casino.

In both cases, you win $35, but on the buy bet, you risk $25. On the place bet, you risk $24, because you only pay the extra $1 when you win. At the same time, some casinos collect the vig before the roll. It pays to know the house rules.

The "Free Odds" Bet

"Taking the odds" is a side bet placed after the point is set. The Odds pays 2:1 on points of 4 and 10, 3:2 when the point is a 5 and 9, and 6:5 when the point is a 6 and or an 8. The odds bet has a zero percent house edge, which is why casinos put a cap on how much you can wager on it. This cap is usually a multiple of your original bet on the come-out roll. It can be anywhere between 10x and 100x your original bet. It is advisable to lean free odds betting, because it is the best betting option on the table.

"Laying the odds" is what happens when you wager on the opposite of the taking-the-odds. You are betting the seven hits before the point. Taking the odds against 4 or 10 pays 1:2. Taking the odds against a 5 or 9 pays 2:3, while taking the odds against a 6 or 8 pays 5:6.

The Field Bet

The field bet is a one-roll bet on a field of numbers (2,3,4,9,10,11,12). It is simple to make, because there's a space which says "Field" on it on the table. If the roll comes up 2,3,4,9,10,11,12, you win. If the roll comes up 5,6,7,8, then you lose. The house edge is 5.55%, so it's not the best wager to make in craps.

3-Way Craps - Over / Under 7 Bets

3-Way Craps Bet is a one-roll bet on whether the craps happens before a 7 is rolled. These are three separate wagers, unlike the Any Craps bet. Check our article for more information on this type of bet

The Over/Under proposition is fairly rare. The Under 7 bet wins if a 2,3,4,5,6 is rolled before a 7. The Over 7 bet wins if the 8,9,10,11,12 is rolled before a 7. This is a sucker bet, with a house edge of 16.70%, rounded up.

Hop Bets

Hop Bets are similar to the hardway bets, except they do not involve pair. It's a bet on an exact matching set of dice. The Hop 4+2 bet means you only win if the roll is a 4 and a 2. The Hop 3+1 bet only wins if the roll is a 3 and 1, and so on. The payoff on these wagers is 15:1. 

The Don't Pass Bet

The Don't Pass Bet is a wager against the shooter. If the shooter loses on this round of betting, then the Don't Pass Bet wins. The house edge is 1.35% on the Don't Pass Bet, making it the best betting option at the craps table (alongside the Don't Come bet). 

Hardway Bets

Hardway Bets require a pair of numbers to succeed. Winning the hard way is rolling the 4,6,8,10 with a pair. That means 2-2 (Hard 4), 3-3 (Hard 6), 4-4 (Hard 8), or 5-5 (Hard 10). Since only one dice combination works, it pays out more than an easy 4, easy 6, easy 8, or easy 10.

The Buy Bet

Buy Bets pay out true odds, though you have to pay a 5% commission on them when you win. There are six buy bets: Buy 4, Buy 5, Buy 6, Buy 8, Buy 9, and Buy 10. Each is like a point bet, so you hope the shooter roll that “buy” number before rolling a 7. The only real difference is the odds are true and a commission is paid. You are betting on the shooter to win.

The Lay Bet

Lay Bets are the opposite of buy bets. Instead of betting on the shooter to win, you are betting the shooter loses. In this way, you are a wrong bettor. Once again, there are six lay bets: Lay 4, Lay 5, Lay 6, Lay 8, Lay 9, and Lay 10. The odds once again are true, while winners have to pay a 5% commission for this privilege.

The Come Bet

The Come Bet is the same as the Pass Line Bet, except it is made after the come-out roll. Thus, once the point is set, players can make the Come Bet. The house edge is 1.41% on this wager, making it the second-best wager at the table, alongside the Pass Line Bet.

The Pass Line Bet

The Pass Line Bet is the basic wager in craps. It is a bet made before the come-out roll that the shooter is going to win this round of betting. Even if a point is established, the Pass Line Bet remains a bet on the shooter winning. The house edge is 1.41%, making it the second-best bet at the craps table. Most craps gamblers make this wager every round.

Bet Types at a Craps Tables

Remember that the best wagers you can make when shooting dice is the come/pass bets and the don't come/don't pass. Learn those four wagers along with the odds bets and you won't have to place any other wagers. Just in case you want to try exotic bets, this guide to craps bets should give you all the information you

Which Bets are Good and Which Bets are Bad?

Know which bets are good and which bets are bad constitutes the main strategy in craps. Dice gaming in the casino has several bets with a low house edge. Among the games with no strategy required, craps is one of the best bets in the casino. Craps also has a lot of sucker bets, so it's smart to learn the difference in the two.

Luckily, it's easy to remember the best bets at a craps table. The basic bets are the one you'll want to play most often. Since those are the ones most gamblers place on almost every roll, you'll quickly memorize which bets are good and how to place those wagers. Read over this brief tutorial to learn the basics.

Good Bets: Passline Bet/Come Bet

The basic bets are good wagers in craps. These bets have the best odds in craps, so smart players never need place other wagers. The Passline Bet is a wager on the shooter winning. It has a 1.41% house edge, making it the rough equivalent of the player bet in Baccarat and an even-money bet in "la partage" European Roulette. Of the table games with no strategy components, those are the among the best bets in the casino.

Wagering on the passline bet means you hope for the shooter to roll either a 7 or an 11 on the come-out roll. Even if you don't win, you might not lose. On a roll of a 2 or 3, you'll lose the Passline Bet. In most places, the 12 is a push (though the 2 is a push in Reno). On a roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, a "point" is established the terms of the bet change.

That is when the Come Bet comes into play. The Come Bet also wagers on the shooter to win, but it is a wager made after the point is established. If the shooter rolls the point once more before rolling a seven, then the shooter wins. If the seven appears, then the shooter loses. The original Passline Bets remain in play, so the Passline Bet and Come Bet have the same results and payouts, at this point.

Good Bets: Don't Pass Bet/Don't Come Bet

The two other basic bets in craps are the "Don't Pass" Bet and the "Don't Come" Bet. In each case, they are the opposites of the Passline Bet and Come Bet. These are wagers against the shooter. If the shooter loses, then these bettors win. For that reason, those who bet on the "Don't Pass" or "Don't Come" proposition are called wrong bettors.

You might ask why anyone would make the "Don't Pass" or "Don't Come" bet. The house edge is 1.36% on these wagers, making them the best bets you can make at a craps table. Wrong betting is a slightly better gambling proposition than siding with the shooter, though you'll be betting against most gamblers at the table.

To be precise, the Don't Pass Bet is a wager on the come-out roll. It is a bet that a 2 or 3 is rolled. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, then the bettor loses. Once again, a 12 is usually a push. If the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, then the point is established and another roll is needed.

The Don't Come Bet is a wager on the shooter loses, after the point is established. It has the same terms as the Don't Pass Bet at this point. If the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling the point again, then the bettor wins. If the shooter rolls the point before rolling a seven, then the wrong bettor loses.

Good Bets: Place 6 or Place 8 Bets

A place bet is a wager on either the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 to be rolled before the 7. In either case, you place a bet on a single number, so there is a Place 4, Place 5, Place 6, Place 8, Place 9, and Place 10 bet. The payouts and house edge are different on the various wagers. The Place 6 and Place 8 bets have a 1.52% house edge. The Place 5 and Place 9 bets have a 4.00% house edge. The Place 4 and Place 10 bets have a 6.7% house edge.

Obviously, the only good bets among these are the Place 6 and Place 8 bets, which have a house edge of 1.52% -- nearly as good as the basic bets. This wager pays 6:5 odds, so you'll get a little better than you wagered when you win.

Good Bet: Betting the Odds

Betting the odds is not a main bet in craps, but a side bet. Once the point is established, a player can bet the odds on the original Passline Bet. This is an important enough concept that table always show the odds at the table. These might show 10x odds, or more likely "3x-4x-5x Odds". This means that you can wager 3x the bet when a point of 4 or 10 is rolled, 4x the bet when a point of 5 or 9 is rolled, and 5x the bet when a point of 6 or 8 is rolled.

These limitations are an indication of how good of a betting proposition taking the odds is. These odds have a 0% house edge, which effectively lowers the overall house edge of the Passline Bet. Players should learn this concept and take the odds anytime they can, because it lowers the house edge on their gaming.

Bad Bets: All Other Craps Wagers

All other bets in craps are what I consider bad bets. Lay 4/10 bets have a house edge of 2.44%, while Lay 5/9 bets have a house edge of 3.23%. Those betting propositions are not as bad as the others, but I see no reason to make much worse bets, which these are. Most other wagers have a house edge of 4% or higher -- some much higher.

Craps is known for its sucker bets, too. The house edge on wagers increase to 9.09% for the Big 6, Big 8, Hard 6, and Hard 8 bets. The house edge is 11.10% for the 3/11 craps or "any craps" wagers. The house edge expands to 13.9% for the 2/12 craps wager and to 16.9% for the any-7 wager. These are sucker bets and you should never make them at a craps table.

Knowing Good Bets from the Bad in Craps

Knowing which bets are good and which bets are bad is very important when shooting dice for real money. Making the right wagers will save the average gambler hundreds of dollars a session. It's intimidating to play craps for the first time, especially when the other players make these exotic-seeming wagers. What you realize after a time is those gamblers are making the sucker bets than no smart craps player would make. Learn the difference and become a good craps player.