Craps is not just a game; it’s a game of chance. As such, it’s important when you play Craps to know how and why you have higher or lower odds of hitting certain numbers. Because you are throwing two dice, your odds of beating craps is dictated by the total number of possible combinations for hitting your number. For instance, you can only roll a 2 with two 1s, but you can roll a 4 with either a 1 and a 3 or two 2s.
Craps is not just a game; it’s a game of chance. As such, it’s important when you play Craps to know how and why you have higher or lower odds of hitting certain numbers. Because you are throwing two dice, your odds of beating craps is dictated by the total number of possible combinations for hitting your number. For instance, you can only roll a 2 with two 1s, but you can roll a 4 with either a 1 and a 3 or two 2s. This means that you have double the craps probabilities of making a 4 as you do a 2.
Since the score of 7 has the highest number of possibilities (six), 7 is the total that has the highest odds against it. This explains the reason why 7 is the special number in craps probabilities.
Online Craps Odds and Payouts—The Math of the Game
Thirty-six possible number possibilities exist in craps. This chart shows the possible outcomes for each total using two dice:
|4||1-3, 3-1, 2-2|
|5||1-4, 4-1, 2-3, 3-2|
|6||1-5, 5-1, 2-4, 4-2, 3-3|
|7||1-6, 6-1, 2-5, 5-2, 3-4, 4-3|
|8||2-6, 6-2, 3-5, 5-3, 4-4|
|9||3-6, 6-3, 4-5, 5-4|
|10||4-6, 6-4, 5-5|
By looking at the numbers on the chart, you can tell that the most probable result from a roll is a 7. The next most likely outcomes are the 6 and the 8, then 5 and 9, then 4 and 10, then 3 and 11, and at last (and lowest probability) the 2 and the 12. These numbers suggest that you will get a 7 one time out of every six rolls (on average), a 6 or an 8 one time out of every 7 to 8 rolls, etc..
Online Craps Odds and Probabilities—Probabilities for Each Total
If you look at the potential totals, the “true odds” for each total can be calculated.
# of Ways to Roll
|4||3||2 to 1|
|5||4||3 to 2|
|8||5||6 to 5|
|9||4||3 to 2|
|10||3||2 to 1|
At present, the casino craps payoff is not on “true odds” unless you are wagering “free odds” as well as your primary wager. The free odds bet, which is an extra bet you lay with your first line bet, pays true odds, thus reducing the casino’s house advantage.
As a fuller explanation of how the house edge functions in casino games, look at the case of flipping a coin. The coin has 1 in 2 odds landing on heads, and 1 in 2 odds of landing on tails. If you made a bet on that coin and that bet paid true odds, you’d get paid even money.
Still, the casino must have an advantage so that they can make an income on the game. So, the payment for any bet is lower than what true statistical probabilities would prescribe. For instance, on a wager that bore true odds of 1:1, you’d believe that if you made a $1 wager and won, you would win $1. However, in a casino, contingent on the wager, you may merely be paid off $.96. The deviation from the true odds to what you win is their profit source — it’s called casino advantage.
A different method of understanding casino advantage against true odds is to view the meaning of the casino (or house) edge. This edge is considered to be the average loss divided by the first wager and is supported by the first bet instead of the average bet. This gives players an estimation of how much they should expect to lose when they put down a wager. For instance, by recognizing that the casino holds a 1.41 percent advantage in craps, you can understand that you’ll lose (on the average) 14.1 cents on each $10 wager.
Online Craps Odds and Payouts—Best Bets
- Pass/Don’t PassThe Pass Line is the extended, arching part on the border of the table nearest to where the players watch the game. If you put down a Pass or a Don’t Pass bet, you’re playing either with or against the shooter. This bet, whose craps payoff is even money, gives the casino a 1.41 percent advantage.
- Come/Don’t ComeThese wagers, set down on the “Come” segment of the table layout, run similarly to Pass Line bets. However, you place these bets after the come out roll. Come bets are a means for the casino to have money on the table on every roll of the dice. In the case of Come/Don’t Come bets, fresh players don’t have to hold back until the following come out roll. Come and Don’t Come bets boast a craps payoff of even money, and the casino still has the 1.41 percent advantage found in Pass Line bets. Craps players know that these bets (as well as Pass Line bets) are among the more intelligent wagers to make in craps.
- Place BetsYou can make Place bets on the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. As you put down a Place bet, you are hoping that a specific number will appear prior to the time a 7 is rolled. The dealer positions Place bets on the table (layout) for you. You can make Place bets at any time subsequent to the “come out” roll. These bets work in a similar fashion to Come bets except that you are not allowed to add an odds bet. You are also able to take off or bring down the amount of your Place bets at any time (as opposed to Come bets). If you make a Place bet on the 6 and 8, they ought to be made in $6 multiples, while Place bets on the 4, 5, 9, and 10 ought to be made in $5 multiples due to the payout structures.
The chart below shows the craps odds and house advantage for Place bets – those aiming to win at craps should avoid the bold-faced wagers:
4 and 10
9 to 5
10 to 5
5 and 9
7 to 5
7.5 to 5
6 and 8
7 to 6
6 to 5
Online Craps Odds and Payouts—Bets to Skip
- Field BetsThe Field is the big region close to the boundary of each side of the table layout. This area shows the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12. You can place your bets in the Field yourself, without selecting a specific number. These bets are good for one roll only and they pay off at even money, except for the 2, which generally pays at 2 to 1, and 12, which typically pays at 3 to 1. To win a Field bet, a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 must be rolled immediately after you place your bet. You lose your Field bet whenever a 5, 6, 7, or 8 come up. Although the Field bet may seem to be a painless gain since you are able to profit on so many outcomes, the numbers that constitute losing bets (5, 6, 7, and 8) have much greater probabilities of appearing. Beating craps is not easy for those who play straight Field bets. The casino advantage on Field bets is a strong 5.55 percent — almost four times that of the Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come bets.
- Proposition BetsThe dealer places Proposition bets in the middle part of the table layout near the stickperson’s position. This part of the layout has two areas: One Roll Bets and Hardways. One Roll bets are exactly what they describe themselves to be: bets made during an individual roll and on a particular number. Hardways are wagers that involve the numbers to be rolled the “hard way”: e.g. 8 the hard way is two 4s (any 3/5 or 2/6 combination doesn’t count), and 6 the hard way is two 3s (any 1/5 or 2/4 combination doesn’t count).
- Any 7When you bet on Any 7, you’re betting that a 7 will appear in any possible total. To make this bet, you must hand or push your chips to the dealer (or stickperson) so that they can place them on the layout. This single-roll bet pays out at 4 to 1. With a house advantage of 16.67 percent, this bet is widely acknowledged as one of the worst bets in craps.
- Any CrapsYou can place this one-roll bet at any time. Four combinations for rolling Craps (2, 3, or 12) are possible, thus the odds of having those numbers appear in an individual roll are 4 in 36 (since a total of 36 potential combinations exist). This bet pays out at 7 to 1, setting the house advantage at 11.1 percent — another bet that makes money for the casino and loses for you.
- 2, 3, 11, and 12This bet is also a single-roll bet placed in the middle of the table layout. The likelihood of rolling a 2 or a 12 is 35 to 1, with a customary payoff of 30 to 1. This difference produces a house advantage of 13.89 percent. For 3 and 11, the likelihood is 17 to 1 and with the usual payoff at 15 to 1, generating a house advantage of 16.67 percent.
- Horn BetsThis is essentially a one-roll bet on 2, 3, 11, and 12 all simultaneously. This bet involves four chips being placed on the layout (one for each possibility), and the payoffs are equal to those for the single numbers outlined above.
- Hardway BetsThese bets are different from one-roll bets. When you place a bet on a number the hard way, you’re hoping that the dice will come up as a matched pair before they come up in any other possibility. For instance, if you’re placing a bet on a Hardway 6, you want to see two 3s come up before a 4 and a 2 or a 5 and a 1 happen.
- Big 6 and Big 8 BetsThese bets are easy to make, pay even money and you can make them at any time. You’ll put your chips on the 6 or the 8 (in the Big 6 and Big 8 portion of the table layout) or on both numbers, and you’re betting that the 6 or the 8 comes up prior to the 7. Many players believe that you should never make the Big 6 and Big 8 bets since the house advantage is higher than 9 percent. As an alternative, if you truly enjoy betting on 6 and 8, put down a Place bet on 6 as it pays off at 7 to 6 with a house advantage of a mere 1.52 percent.
Online Craps Odds and Payouts—Craps Payoffs
When you look at the table layout, you might see the craps payoffs inscribed as either 5 to 1, 30 to 1, etc. or as 5 for 1, 30 for 1, etc. The differentiation is that “for” implies your first bet comprises a portion of your winnings. As an example, if you bet $10 and the craps payoff is 5 for 1, you’ll get paid $50. If you put down $10 and the payoff is 5 to 1, you’ll get $50 and you’ll hold on to your first wager of $10 for a total amount of $60.