Understanding Craps Bets and Odds

It can be tricky to get your head around all the craps bet types and winning odds. Let’s look at some of the basic craps bets that you will encounter.

It can be tricky to get your head around all the complex craps bets and winning odds. Let’s look at some of the basic craps bets that you will encounter.

If you are interested in learning how to play craps and place craps bets, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. Although online craps is a fairly complex game with lots of rules and a set of intricate odds for betting on, the basics of the game can be learned quite easily and the complexity should not scare you off. Take a couple of minutes to read about how the craps game is played and you will soon understand the fundamentals about how to play craps.

Let’s first forget about all the complexity for now, and try to grasp the concept of craps. The game is based on the outcome of the roll of a set of dice. The shooter starts the game by throwing the dice on a craps table. Based on the combined number from both dice a number of things can happen:

  1. The shooter can immediately win the game.
  2. The shooter can immediately lose the game.
  3. The shooter can neither win nor lose the game, and craps bets and play will continue for one or more rounds.

As far as wagers are concerned, the shooter must place his craps bet on the table before his first roll of the dice. Other lookers on can place all types of side craps bets based on craps odds but let's first concentrate on the shooter.

First is the standard craps bet on the pass line. Once this craps bet is made the shooter throws the first roll of the game, also called the come out roll. If the dice show either seven or eleven the shooter usually wins 1:1 even money. If the numbers on the dice have a total of 2, 3 or 12 the shooter loses his pass line craps bet. If the shooter rolls either 4,5,6,8,9,10 he or she has made the point number and the game continues from there. The player is now trying to roll that same point number again, but if he or she rolls a 7 first they lose.

Since all craps bets have a house advantage, and a negative expected value, the optimal strategy is to be the house. Otherwise, you can reduce your average hourly losses by only placing craps bets with the smallest house advantage.

The pass/don't line, come/don't line, place 6, place 8, buy 4 and buy 10 are the best craps bets with the lowest house edge in the casino, and all other bets will on average lose money between 3-12 times faster because of the difference in house edges. Hard ways and C/E do not lose money as quickly as the pass line bet if some restraint is used, such as limiting such bets to the come out roll as the chart shows.