The odds are even you win money playing craps. Craps is in fact one of the best casino games because you can achieve even odds, which is why the most successful gamblers find their way to craps table. You can actually achieve even odds (zero house edge), although the way to play to actually win money typically means playing at a house edge of 1.41%. That means a theoretical “Return to Player” or RTP of 98.59%, although you can achieve 100% by playing the correct variants detailed below. The thing to understand about craps is that it is really many games in one, and you can’t be distracted by the enticing low odds/high payout single roll bets or try to play multiple games simultaneously on each spin. Playing the “pass line” and odds is the standard approach to craps, where you bet on an amount and achieve very good payouts for successful roles. In fact, craps has the best odds in the casino and the best chance to win big when playing the pass line at higher stakes. For this reason—and because it is a fun communal/social game in person–craps is wildly popular.
How to Play Correctly
The best bets in craps are the pass line bet, the don’t pass line, taking the odds, the come bet, and placing the 6 or the 8. As mentioned there are many games rolled into one when you look at a craps table, and most are single roll bets that you want to avoid. That leaves the 5 types of ongoing (non-single roll) bets just mentioned as you options. Generally speaking, you only want to play one of these types of approaches each round of craps until the shooter rolls a 7 and the game resets. We break each bet option down below:
Playing the pass line is the most common approach to craps as it yields the best odds to player and the lowest house edge. This is the game you recognize when people are yelling for the shooter to roll a 7 or 11 on the initial come out roll and then any number except 7 thereafter.
A pass line bet requires you to place chips on the “Pass Line” section of the table. If the shooter’s come out roll is a 7 or 11, you win even money (1:1). However, if the come out roll is 2, 3 or 12 (craps) you lose. Once any other number other than 7 or 11 or any of the three craps numbers are rolled, that number becomes the Point, and you get paid true odds for that number if it is rolled before a 7.
After this “come out” initial roll, you can pull back your winnings or rebet if you lose. If any other number is rolled besides 7, 11 or craps, you are now playing the odds (see below).
You can “back the pass line” with as much as 5x your pass line wager typically (but in some places up to 100x), and this is where the magic happens in craps. The Pass Line bets carry a house advantage, but your wager backing the pass line does not. For this reason, backing the pass line is among the best bets you can make in any casino game since you achieve true odds. The house literally has no edge or advantage over you, which is almost never the case in a casino game. The more you wager backing up the pass line (or by taking the odds–see below) the better your advantage. Casinos typically allow up to 5x when backing the pass line wager, but some places allow much higher.
The higher the odds for number to come out (such as the 6 and 8), the lower the payout, but that shouldn’t stop you. On a good run, you can keep collecting money every time a 6 or 8 comes out a true odds until a 7 is rolled. Or you can make more (because of true odds) on less likely rolls of any other number from 4-10 until a 7 is rolled.
Don’t Pass Line
You can also bet the “Don’t Pass” line, where you bet against the shooter making a 7 or 11 (instead hoping for a 2 or 3 craps, with 12 being a push). In this reverse case you lose if the dealer makes a 7 or 11 and then play the game after the come out roll the same normal way as you would if you played the pass line. It is important to note that you have very slightly higher odds of playing the don’t pass line vs. the pass line. The rest of the table won’t like you for the come out roll, but there is nobody to care when you are playing online.
Taking the Odds
After the come out roll is a number other than 7,11 or craps, you have the option (in addition to your pass line bet) to place wagers on other numbers. The number that was rolled is now called the Point. If you keep your pass line bet down, you are betting that the point number will come before a 7 and you get paid each time it does.
With your pass line bet you are now rooting for the point number that has been established to keep coming before a 7 is rolled. However, you can make an additional bets known as the Pass Odds, or Playing the Odds. This means also betting on other numbers from 4-10 to come before a 7. The pay out odds are true odds which means they vary based on likelihood of coming out in a given roll, and you get paid more for less likely odds. These odd are typically shown on right on the table but here is the typical odds/payouts:
4 pays 2:1 (along with 5 and 10, the least likely to come out and the highest payout)
5 pays 2:1
6 and 8 pay 6:5 (the most likely to come out and the lowest payout)
9 pays 3:2
10 pays 2:1
Again, odds bets are the best bets you can make in craps and among the best bets you can make in the entire casino because the house has no edge and the game is completely even.
Come bets are the same as pass line bets except that they are made after the initial come out roll, which means you do not place these bets on the pass line, but rather on the Come Bet area after the come out/pass line roll has established a point. Once a point has been established, the next roll becomes the initial roll for your Come Bet wager and this is the roll that establishes your point. As with the Pass Line and Taking the Odds wagers, the rule of thumb is: The more money you bet on the odds, the lower the house edge becomes in your overall pass/come bet.
Playing the 6 and/or 8
As noted, when you place a typical craps bet on the pass line or come bet or take the odds, you are betting your number (between 4-10) is rolled before a 7. The number that comes out after the come out roll (the point) is your number automatically if you play the pass line, and you are not rooting for that. Ideally it is a 6 or 8 that comes out since those numbers have the best odds of being rolled again. They have the best odds of any number to come out except a 7. And because you automatically got this number as part of your pass line line wager, there is no fee to back up the pass line and play the odds of your point number coming out before a 7.
However, you can make a wager on any number from 4-10 to come out before a 7 even if it isn’t your point number from the pass line bet. There is small fee, or vig, for betting the odds on numbers other than your pass line point number whether you played the pass line or not.
Because of the better odds on a 6 or 8 coming out before a 7 vs other point numbers, many people choose to always place wager on or (or “buy” a 6 and 8). Then you keep collecting every time these numbers come out until a 7 is rolled. Of course, you can buy/place a bet on any other number form 4-10, and you will win even more for the lesser odds of those numbers coming out before a 7. Still, many people play several or sometimes all the numbers from 4-10 and just keep hoping for no 7. Hint: NEVER even say the word “seven” at a craps table in person. People don’t like the bad mojo!
There are many more ways to place bets on a craps table, most of which involve very high risk and higher reward payouts, but those games fall far outside the scope of our Best Odds Online Gambling focus, and we will simply advise you against them.
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