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19 Craps Bets You Should Never Make

By Randy Ray
Published on May 14, 2017
Craps Bets

One of the best things about craps is that it offers a wide range of bets. You can choose from dozens of wagers on any turn, which is far more options than the average casino game.

But beware because this variety can also get you into trouble. Craps features some downright awful prop bets that give the house a big advantage.

What are these wagers?

Find out as I discuss 19 craps bets that you definitely want to avoid. And I’ll also cover a few wagers that will improve your chances of winning.

1 – Any 7

  • House Edge: 16.67%
  • Odds of Winning: 5:1
  • Payout: 4:1

How the Any 7 Bet Works

This is a single-roll wager on the dice combination being 7. Any other number causes you to lose Any 7.

The good news is that a 7 has a greater chance of appearing than any other combination. The bad news is that you still only have a 1 in 6 chance (5:1 odds) of this happening on a single roll.

What’s even worse is that Any 7 only pays 4:1 on your bet. Given the wide discrepancy between this and the 5:1 true odds, Any 7 carries a 16.67% house edge.

Outside of live keno, the Big Six Wheel, and a few card side bets, you won’t find a worse house edge in all of gaming!

2 – Betting on 2

  • House Edge: 13.89%
  • Odds of Winning: 35:1
  • Payout: 30:1

How the 2 Bet Works

This is a single-roll bet that the shooter’s next toss will produce a 2. Any other number results in you losing the bet.

Only one out of the 36 possible dice combinations produces a 2, leaving your odds of winning at 35:1.

Besides the long odds of winning, a 2 bet only pays 30:1 for wins. This creates a 13.89% house edge, which is almost as bad as Any 7.

3 – Betting on 12

  • House Edge: 13.89%
  • Odds of Winning: 35:1
  • Payout: 30:1

How the 12 Bet Works

This works just like the 2 wager, except that you need a 12 combination to win.

You’re also facing the same 35:1 true odds, meaning you won’t win this wager very often. And again, you only get a 30:1 payout, putting the house edge at 13.89%.

4 – Whirl Bet (a.k.a. World Bet)

  • House Edge: 13.33%
  • Odds of Winning: 2:1
  • Payout: 26:5 on 2 or 12; 11:5 on 3 or 11; and push (0:1) on 7

How the Whirl Bet Works

Called both the Whirl and World bet, this single-roll wager combines the Horn and Any 7 wagers.

You must get a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 to win, while any other number results in a loss.

One downside to Whirl is that it has complicated odds.

The Any 7 portion of the wager is a push when 7 is rolled. Meanwhile, the Horn portion pays 26:5 on a 2 or 12, and 11:5 on a 3 or 11.

It makes sense to pay more for a 2 or 12 because they occur less frequently. But it’s also really confusing for new players.

Beyond the confusion, one more reason to avoid this bet is its 13.33% house advantage.

5 – Horn Bet

  • House Edge: 12.5%
  • Odds of Winning: 5:1
  • Payout: 27:4 on 2 or 12; 3:1 on 3 or 11

How the Horn Bet Works

As described above, the Horn is a bet on 2, 3, 11, or 12 being rolled. Any other number results in a loss.

Given that four number combinations will result in a win, the Horn looks like a good opportunity. But the problem is that you only have a 1 in 6 chance of any of these numbers being rolled.

Just like with the Whirl bet, this wager involves split payouts. You receive 27:4 on your bet for a 2 or 12, and 3:1 for a 3 or 11.

This is again a confusing prospect for new players. Worse yet is that the Horn carries a 12.5% house edge.

6 – Yo (11) Bet

  • House Edge: 11.11%
  • Odds of Winning: 17:1
  • Payout: 15:1

How the Yo Bet Works

This bet is called Yo because the croupier often yells “yo eleven” to avoid confusion between 11 and the similar-sounding 7.

Yo is a simple wager on if the next dice combination will be an 11.The odds of an 11 being rolled are only 17:1.

Even with the high payout of 15:1, Yo has a large11.11% house advantage.

7 – Betting on 3

  • House Edge: 11.11%
  • Odds of Winning: 17:1
  • Payout: 15:1

How the 3 Bet Works

This works the same as the 11 wager, except that you’re betting on a 3 being rolled.

Given that only 2 out of 36 dice combinations will form a 3, you won’t be looking at many wins with this bet. And you’ll be facing the same 11.11% house edge as betting on 11.

8 – Hi-Lo (2 or 12)

  • House Edge: 11.11%
  • Odds of Winning: 17:1
  • Payout: 15:1

How the Hi-Lo Bet Works

Hi-Lo is a wager that sees you win with either a 2 or 12. You’ll lose if any number besides these two is rolled.

Hi-Lo’s true odds (17:1), payout (15:1), and house edge (11.11%) are exactly the same as the 3 and Yo bets. This makes sense because Hi-Lo only offers two dice combinations that’ll make you a winner.

9 – Craps (2, 3, or 12)

  • House Edge: 11.11%
  • Odds of Winning: 8:1
  • Payout: 7:1

How the Craps Bet Works

Craps sees you win when a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, and you lose with any other number combination.

These three numbers combine to offer you four out of 36 dice combinations that’ll result in a win, or 8:1 true odds.

But the 7:1 payout doesn’t deliver enough to offset the high odds, and you’ll be facing an 11.11% house edge.

10 – C & E Bet

  • House Edge: 11.11%
  • Odds of Winning: 5:1
  • Payout: 3:1 on 2, 3, or 12; 7:1 on 11

How the C & E Bet Works

This wager combines the craps bet (2, 3, 12) with Yo (11).

C & E is another wager that offers split payouts based on what number combinations turn up. You get a 3:1 payout when a 2, 3, or 12 are rolled, and a 7:1 payout for an 11.

Some beginners are fooled into thinking they have a good chance to win with this wager thanks to the four winning numbers. But these are also the four dice combinations that are least likely to come up.

The end result is another bet with an 11.11% house advantage.

11 – Hard 4 / Hard 10

  • House Edge: 11.11%
  • Odds of Winning: 8:1
  • Payout: 7:1

How the Hard 4 / Hard 10 Bet Works

This is a bet on you forming either a 4 or 10 with an exact combination.

You win if 4 or 10 are rolled with pairs (2-2 / 5-5). You lose if 4 or 10 are formed with non-pairs (1-3 / 4-6), or if a 7 is rolled.

As you can see, there are a limited amount of combinations that will make you win or lose. This means Hard 4 / Hard 10 is a multi-roll wager that continues until a 4, 7, or 10 combination are formed.

While this hardways bet is interesting, you still want to avoid it due to the 11.11% house edge.

12 – Hard 6 / Hard 8

  • House Edge: 9.09%
  • Odds of Winning: 10.1
  • Payout: 9:1

How the Hard 6 / Hard 8 Bet Works

This bet is similar to the one described above, except that you’re trying to form 6 or 8 with pairs (3-3 / 4-4). You lose when forming a 6 or 8 with non-pairs (1-5, 2-4 / 2-6, 3-5), or when a 7 turns up.

While Hard 6 / Hard 8 gives you a better chance to win than Hard 4 / Hard 10, this wager still carries an unfavorable 9.09% house advantage.

13 – Big 6 / Big 8

  • House Edge: 9.09%
  • Odds of Winning: 6:5
  • Payout: 1:1

How the Big 6 / Big 8 Bet Works

This is a multi-roll wager that wins if a 6 or 8 combination is rolled. You lose if the 7 is rolled first.

The good thing is that you don’t have to roll a pair to win. Instead, any combination resulting in 6 or 8 wins.

But the problem is that you’re only paid 1:1 on your bet due to your higher odds of winning. The result is a 9.09% house edge, which is far worse than other even-money craps bets.

14 – Place 4 / Place 10

  • House Edge: 6.67%
  • Odds of Winning: 2:1
  • Payout: 9:5

How the Place 4 / Place 10 Bet Works

The Place 4 / Place 10 wager wins if a 4 or 10 combination is rolled before a 7. Like the bet above, you lose when 7 comes up first.

This wager offers 2:1 true odds, but only a 9:5 payout when you win. The result is a 6.67% house edge.

You’re better off placing a Buy 4 / Buy 10 wager because this offers a better payout along with a 4.76% house advantage.

15 – Field

  • House Edge: 5.56%
  • Odds of Winning: 5:4
  • Payout: 1:1 on 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11; 2:1 on 2 or 12

How the Field Bet Works

The Field wager is attractive because you win if a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 are rolled. You lose if a 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled.

It seems like you’d have the advantage with all of these different numbers in play. But the problem is that the four losing combinations cover 20 out of the 36 possible dice combos.

You receive a 1:1 payout for winning with a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 combination. And you get a 2:1 payout with a 2 or 12.

The house edge with this payout schedule is 5.56%.

But some casinos pay 2:1 for 2 and 3:1 for 12, which lowers the house advantage to 2.78%. If you can find this pay schedule, then the Field bet isn’t so bad.

16 – Buy 4 / Buy 10

  • House Edge: 4.76%
  • Odds of Winning: 2:1
  • Payout: 2:1, minus 5% commission

How the Buy 4 / Buy 10 Bet Works

You win a Buy 4 / Buy 10 bet when a 4 or 10 combination is rolled before a 7.

In theory, the house edge should be zero because your odds of winning and the payout are both 2:1. But casinos take a 5% commission out of every bet you make, putting the house edge at 4.76%.

Some casinos only take a 5% commission on winning bets, which reduces the house advantage to 1.67%. In these cases, it’s alright to make the Buy 4 / Buy 10 bet.

17 – Buy 5 / Buy 9

  • House Edge: 4.76%
  • Odds of Winning: 3:2
  • Payout: 3:2, minus 5% commission

How the Buy 5 / Buy 9 Bet Works

This bet wins when any combination of 5 or 9 are rolled before a 7. If the latter is rolled first, you lose your wager.

Buy 5 / Buy 9 pays at 3:2. But the house takes a 5% commission from every bet, putting the house edge at 4.76%.

If a casino only takes the 5% commission on winning bets, then the house advantage drops to 1.96%.

18 – Place 5 / Place 9

  • House Edge: 4.0%
  • Odds of Winning: 3:2
  • Payout: 7:5

How the Place 5 / Place 9 Bet Works

This bet wins when a 5 or 9 combination is rolled before a 7.

The big difference between this wager and Buy 5 / Buy 9 is that the casino doesn’t take a 5% commission out of each bet.

The house edge on Place 5 / Place 9 is 4.0%.

19 – Lay 6 / Lay 8

  • House Edge: 4.0%
  • Odds of Winning: 5:6
  • Payout: 5:6, minis 5% commission

How the Lay 6 / Lay 8 Bet Works

This wager sees you win when a 7 is rolled before a 6 or 8, with the latter two numbers resulting in a loss.

Lay 6 / Lay 8 pays 5:6 on wins, but the house also takes out a 5% commission on every bet.

If the commission is only taken out of wins, the house advantage drops to 227%.

What Craps Bets Should You Make Instead?

We’ve established the many bets that you want to avoid due to their high house edge and/or complicated payout structures.

But what wagers will help you win in craps?

Let’s check out four winning bets below along with why you should back them with odds.

1 – Don’t Pass Line

  • House Edge: 1.36%
  • Odds of Winning: 976:949
  • Payout: 1:1

How the Don’t Pass Line Bet Works

If you’re new to craps, it’s important to understand what a come-out roll and point number are. The come-out roll is the shooter’s first toss, and this can result in a win, loss, or point.

The point is any number that doesn’t result in a win or loss on the come-out roll (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10).

Now that we’ve established this, let’s look at when the don’t pass line betwins, loses, and ties:

  • Wins with a 2 or 3 on the come-out roll.
  • Loses with a 7 or 11 on the come out.
  • Ties/pushes with a 12 on the come out.
  • Once the point number is established, you win with a 7.
  • You lose if the point number (one of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) is rolled before a 7.

The reason why this is called don’t pass line is because you’re betting against the shooter winning. Because most players wager with the shooter out of comradery, don’t bettors can be pariahs in a land-based casino setting.

But if you’re playing online craps, or just don’t care about your image in a live casino, then you should make the don’t pass line wager every time. After all, this bet is tied for having the lowest house advantage.

2 – Don’t Come

  • House Edge: 1.36%
  • Odds of Winning: 976:949
  • Payout: 1:1

How the Don’t Come Bet Works

This wager is like don’t pass line in almost every way. The only difference is that you must wait until a point number has been established on the come-out roll before having access to this bet.

Once you makea don’t come wager, the next dice roll will determine whether you win, lose, or establish a point number (same rules as don’t pass line).

Here’s an example:

  • The shooter tosses a 6 on the come-out roll. You put your chips on the don’t come space and wait for the next roll to determine your results.
  • The shooter tosses an 8, which becomes the point number for your wager.
  • The shooter throws a 7, which means you win.

As you can see, this works the same as don’t pass line. The main thing you need to get used to is waiting for the initial come-out roll before making this wager.

3 – Pass Line

  • House Edge: 1.41%
  • Odds of Winning: 251:244
  • Payout: 1:1

How the Pass Line Bet Works

A pass line wager wins or loses under the following conditions:

  • Wins with a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll.
  • Loses with a 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll.
  • Wins if the point number is rolled before a 7.
  • Loses if a 7 is rolled before the point number.

Pass line is a popular bet in casinos because many players enjoy betting with the shooter. But it also has a slightly worse house edge than don’t pass line at 1.41%.

4 – Come

  • House Edge: 1.41%
  • Odds of Winning: 251:244
  • Payout: 1:1

How the Don’t Pass Line Bet Works

The come bet maintains characteristics of both pass line and don’t come.

This wager wins and loses under the same circumstances as a pass line bet. But the process of making a come wager is the same as don’t come.

Once a point has been established, you have access to this bet. The next roll determines whether you win, lose, or establish a new point.

Backing Bets with Odds

The best wager in craps is the odds bet since it doesn’t have a house edge.But the reason why we didn’t put it at the top of the list is because it’s not always offered.

Assuming odds bets are available, here are two different types you can make:

  • Pass Odds – Available when you’ve made a pass line or come bet, and the point number has been established.
  • Don’t Pass Odds – Available when you’ve made a don’t pass line or don’t come bet, and the point number has been established.

In either case, odds bets are multiples of your original wager that don’t carry a house edge. The strategy behind making these wagers is that you lower the overall house advantage.

Below is a table that shows the combined house edge based on your bet and the different odds multiples:

Odds Bet Pass Line/Come House Edge Don’t Pass Line/Don’t Come House Edge
No Odds 1.41% 1.36%
1x 0.848% 0.682%
2x 0.606% 0.455%
Full Double Odds 0.572% 0.431%
3x 0.471% 0.341%
3-4-5x 0.374% 0.273%
5x 0.326% 0.227%
10x 0.184% 0.124%
20x 0.099% 0.065%

Full Double odds allow you to take 2.5x odds on point numbers of 6 and 8, while all other numbers are taken at 2x odds.

3 – 4 – 5x odds allow you to take 5x on a 6 or 8 point; 4x on a 5 or 9; and 3x on a 4 or 10 point.

As you can see from the decreasing house edge, it’s definitely good to take odds when you have the opportunity.

But keep in mind that the higher the odds you take, the more money you need to spend covering them. Also note that many casinos don’t have odds above 5x – if they even offer odds bets at all.

Conclusion

The craps table is loaded with unfavorable proposition bets that you should avoid. This is especially the case with the following bets:

  • Any 7
  • 2
  • 12
  • Whirl
  • Horn
  • Yo
  • 3
  • Hi-Lo
  • Craps
  • C & E
  • Hard 4 / Hard 10

These wagers have house edges ranging from 11.11% to 16.67%, making them among the worst in gaming.

The good thing, though, is that craps offers several bets that make it worth playing. The don’t pass line and don’t come bets both have a 1.36% house edge, while pass line and come have a 1.41% house advantage.

And if you have the option to back these wagers with odds, you stand an even better chance of winning since odds bets don’t have a house edge.

Stick to the bets that I’ve recommended here the next time you play craps. And whatever you do, avoid most or all of the 19 bets that I covered in the first section.

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