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How Craps Works

The Odds: Bets

There are lots of other bets you can place on the craps table besides the basic Pass Line play, each with its own rules and payoffs.

Below are descriptions of these other bets -- the bets sporting a "thumbs-down" are ones that experts say you should avoid.

Pass/Don't Pass

The Pass Line is the long, curving section along the edge of the table closest to where the players stand. When you place a Pass or a Don't Pass bet, you're betting either with or against the dice. With this type of bet, which pays even money, the casino has a 1.41 percent edge.

Review the section called Craps Basics: Pass/Don't Pass Bets for information on this type of bet.

Come/Don't Come

These bets, placed on the "Come" section of the layout, work just like Pass Line bets but they're placed after the come out roll. Come bets are a way for the casino to get bets in on every roll -- for Come/Don't Come bets, new players don't have to wait for the next come out roll. Come and Don't Come bets pay even money, and the house has the same 1.41 percent edge (actually 1.40 percent for Don't Come) as in Pass Line bets. According to some experts, these bets (along with Pass Line bets) are some of the smarter bets to place in craps.

Place Bets

Place bets can be made on the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. When you make a Place bet, you are betting that a particular number will be rolled before the 7 is rolled. Place bets are put on the table (layout) for you by the dealer. Place bets are made any time after the "come out" roll, like Come bets except that you can't add odds. You can also remove or reduce Place bets at any time (unlike Come bets). Place bets made on the 6 and 8 should be in $6 increments, while Place bets made on the 4, 5, 9, and 10 should be made in $5 increments because of the odds they pay. Below are the odds and house edge for Place bets -- the bets in bold black are the ones experts say you should avoid:

Field Bets

The Field is the large area near the edge of each side of the layout with the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12. You place your chips in the Field yourself, on no particular number. These are one-roll bets that pay off even money with the exception of 2, which usually pays at 2 to 1, and 12, which usually pays at 3 to 1.

So, with a Field bet, if a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 is rolled immediately after you place your bet, you win. If a 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled, you lose. While the Field bet might appear to be an easy win because you can win on so many numbers, the numbers that make you lose (5, 6, 7, and 8) have much higher chances of being rolled. The house edge on Field bets is 5.55 percent.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets go in the center section of the layout where the stickperson stands. There are two sections: Hardways and One Roll bets. One Roll bets are just as they say, bets on a single roll on a specific number. Hardways are bets that require the numbers to be rolled the hard way: For example, 8 the hard way is rolled with two 4s, and 6 the hard way is rolled with two 3s.

  • Any 7: Any 7 is a bet that 7 will be rolled by any combination. To place it, you must give the dealer (or stickperson) your chips to place on the layout. This one-roll bet pays 4 to 1, giving the house an edge of 16.67 percent.
  • Any Craps: This is a one-roll bet that can be placed any time. There are four combinations for rolling Craps (2, 3, or 12), making the chances of rolling it in a single roll 4 in 36 (since there is a total of 36 possible combinations). Craps pay 7 to 1, with a house edge of 11.1 percent.
  • 2, 3, 11, and 12: This is also a one-roll bet made in the center of the layout. The odds on rolling a 2 or a 12 are 35 to 1, with a payoff usually of 30 to 1. This gives the house an edge of 13.89 percent. For 3 and 11, the odds are 17 to 1 and are paid off at 15 to 1, giving the house an edge of 16.67 percent.
  • Horn Bets: This bet is basically a bet on 2, 3, 11, and 12 all at once. It requires that four chips be placed (one for each number), and the payoffs are the same as those for the individual numbers explained above.
  • Hardway Bets: These aren't one-roll bets. When you bet on a number the hard way, you're betting that it will come up as a pair before it comes up in any other combination. For example, if you're betting on a Hardway 6, you're betting that two 3s will come up before a 4 and a 2 come up or a 5 and a 1 come up.

Big 6 and Big 8 Bets

These are simple bets that pay even money and can be placed at any time. You place your chips on the 6 or the 8 (in the Big 6 and Big 8 section of the layout) or on both, and hope that the 6 or the 8 is rolled before the 7. Some say the Big 6 and Big 8 bets should never be made at all because the house edge is more than 9 percent. Instead, if you really like 6 and 8, make a Place bet on 6 because it pays 7 to 6 with a house edge of only 1.52 percent.