Craps Bets Explained
Take the time to learn about the different bets in a craps game, and players can enjoy more fun and excitement beyond the throw of the dice. Here our experts explain the different types of bets in craps, the best bets to make, and top betting tips to help beginner players improve.
Types of Craps Bets
In craps, bets can be divided into single roll bets, also known as proposition or 'prop' bets, and multi-roll bets. Prop bets only count for one roll from the shooter and expire immediately after. Multi-roll bets take several rolls from the shooter before they are resolved.
Prop bets are riskier, but the potential payouts are generally higher. It's easy to lose a lot of money quickly on certain prop bets, so we recommend beginner players first learn the craps payout odds and house edge of these bets below.
Pass Line Bet
The most popular craps bet, the Pass Line, has a house edge of just 1.41% and is the easiest wager to make. A pass line bet means players wager on the shooter landing a 7 or 11 before a 2, 3 or 12 on the comeout roll. If the dice land on 7 or 11, the pass bet wins; if it lands on 2, 3 or 12, it loses. If it rolls on any other number, the pass bet stays active on the craps table until the shooter lands the point number again, or a 7.
Don't Pass Line Bet
This is an inverted bet that can be played at most times during a game. Basically, it is a reversal of the Pass Line bet. Don't Pass Lines will see players win on a 2 or 3 roll, while a 7 or 11 will lose. A throw of 12 means that the bet is a push, and any other numbers must not reappear before a 7 for the player to win. While the lower house edge on this bet may be appealing, it's an unpopular bet at the craps table because the player is essentially betting on other gamblers to lose.
Players can only make this bet after the point on the Pass Line has been determined, but the rules are exactly the same as those for a Pass Line bet. After the come point has been set, if a player makes a come bet it means they're betting on the shooter landing a 7 or 11 on the dice before the come point.
Don't Come Bet
Again, this wager is a reverse option, but this time it's on the Come bet. After the point has been set, players can wager on the shooter landing a 2 or 3 before a 7 or 11. If the dice land on 12, it's a tie and other numbers may not reappear before a 7 is thrown in order to collect a payout.
The Field Bets
A nifty wager for a single roll of the dice at any time. The Field bet sees the player win if they throw a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11, a double payout on a 2, and triple if a 12 is rolled. To counter these winnings, a bet is lost if the dice lands on a 5, 6, 7, or 8.
Free Odds/Laying the Odds Bets
Players can only 'lay the odds' after a pass or come bet. On this wager, players wager the shooter will land a 7 before a specific point number is thrown. As this bet is statistically fair, there is no house edge on these wagers. Little wonder then that these are popular bets with craps players.
Place bets can be made at any time during a game of craps but are often played when a point number has already been determined. The idea is that the player makes a bet on a number that must be rolled before a 7 is thrown. There are three different payouts and house edges for each dice number wagered on.
Similar to a place bet, a buy bet is made on the shooter landing a specific point number before landing a 7. If a buy bet wins, the casino pays out at true odds, but takes 5% of the winnings as commission. Some casinos will charge the commission on the buy bet before the dice are thrown, others will only take it if the buy bet wins. As a result, the house edge on this bet can be fluid.
Big Six, Big Eight
Another bet that can be placed at any point during a game of craps, the Big Six, Big Eight wager pays out if a 6 or 8 is thrown before a 7.
This slang term refers to a number that is rolled 'the hard way', or both dice show the same number. For example, to land a 'Hard 8' both dice must land on 4. To win a hardway bet, the number must appear before the shooter rolls a 7.
2 or 12 Bets
The 2 and 12 are the hardest numbers to land in craps, because there are so few dice combinations. This also makes this bet one of the most potentially lucrative, with a payout of 30:1. If players bet on the 2, then it must land on the next roll, else they lose. The same restrictions apply for the 12 bet. If any other number lands, the player loses.
3 or 11 Bets
Similar to the 2 or 12 bet, players wager on the shooter landing a 3 or 11 on the dice before a 7 is thrown. If any other number lands, the player loses.
Any 7 Bet
The 7 is the number with the most combinations on the dice. It's tempting to bet on landing a 7 any way, but at 4:1, the payouts aren't as high as other craps bets.
Any Craps Bets
It's common in craps games to refer to the 2, 3 or 12 numbers as 'craps numbers'. In an 'Any Craps' bet, players wager the shooter's next roll will land on one of these three numbers.
Craps Dice Chart
All craps bets center on the probability of the dice landing on a particular number. Of course, some numbers will land more frequently than others because the dice can land on more combinations than other numbers. For instance, the number 7 has six different dice combinations, whereas the number 11 only has two.
To understand why some craps payouts are much higher than others, look at the dice chart below. This will help explain why some bets pay out much more than others.
|2||1||35 to 1||2.78%|
|3||2||17 to 1||5.56%|
|4||3||11 to 1||8.83%|
|5||4||8 to 1||11.11%|
|6||5||31 to 5||13.89%|
|7||6||5 to 1||16.67%|
|8||5||31 to 5||13.89%|
|9||4||8 to 1||11.11%|
|10||3||11 to 1||8.83%|
|11||2||17 to 1||5.56%|
|12||1||35 to 1||2.78%|
How to Place Bets in Craps
Craps is a fast-paced game, so players must be quick with any bets they make. Follow the steps below to make craps bets in a casino like a pro:
Make Sure There's Space at the Table
A craps table can accommodate up to 20 players. Check the chip rack to see if there's any available spaces for new players, otherwise wait for a new game to start. Once a player joins a game, they must add their chips to the rack to help the dealers keep track of bettors.
Check the Craps Table for the Dealer's Puck
This puck indicates when the dealers are accepting bets for the pass line or the point number.
Hand your Pass/Don't Pass Bet to the Dealer
The dealers and boxman have a specific system for managing bets. They will arrange all craps bets on the table and distribute any winnings.
Wait for the Comeout Roll
The first roll of the dice by the shooter in craps is called the comeout roll. If a point has been thrown, players can proceed to make more bets.
Hand any Additional Multi-roll or Prop Bets to the Dealers
Almost all bets in craps are handled by the dealers. The only exception are Field bets. Players can add these to the craps table themselves by placing their chips directly in front of them on the nearest Field section.
Wait for the Dealers to Distribute any Winnings
As aforementioned, the dealers and boxman use a specific system around the craps table to distribute winnings to bettors.
When playing craps online the gameplay for betting is similar, only gamblers must click on the craps table to place their bets with the virtual dealer.
Making bets in craps is simple, but it does require players to have a basic understanding of the rules. Dealers are usually happy to offer a short explanation of bets to new players, but at peak times they may be too busy. To learn more about how to play craps, check out guide for beginners:
Craps Betting Tips for Beginners
Craps is a fun and exciting casino game, and if players understand how craps bets work, they can walk away from the table with a potentially decent payout. Use the tips below to help you extend your bankroll for more games and potentially improve your skill in craps betting strategies.
Avoid Craps Tables with Minimum Bet Limits that Exceed your Bankroll
The minimum bet limit may not appear too pricey at first, but after multiple craps sessions it can eat into your bankroll. Play craps at off-peak times, or calculate whether your bankroll can take the hit of minimum bets across the duration of time you want to play.
Use Online Casinos to Learn.
Unlike craps games in land-based casinos, players can take all the time they need to make their bets on casino sites. For beginners to craps, online casinos offer the best environment to learn how to play, and practice craps betting strategies.
Practice on Free Games First
Online casinos usually offer demo versions of their games. These free games offer the same experience for bettors, only they don't risk their own funds. Free games are an excellent tool for practicing bets in craps or learning the rules.
Pick up your Winnings from the Craps Table Quickly
The dealers will usually place any winnings next to your original bet. If a player takes too long removing them from the craps table, the dealer will assume they want to include it in the next roll.
Memorize the Possible Dice Combinations
By understanding the chances of various craps bets winning, beginner players can avoid losing money on prop bets with low chances of landing.
Take Advantage of Casino Bonuses & Perks
Casino sites want new players to choose them over their competitors. Beginner craps players can use this to their own benefit by finding the sites that offer the best casino bonuses for new sign-ups. While these bonuses usually come with deposit requirements, they do offer free credit.
Don't Chase Losses
In craps, it's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the crowds and the fast-paced betting. Make a couple of bad wagers though, and you could find yourself making bad decisions you wouldn't make with a clear head. If this happens, walk away from the table – chasing losses never pays out.
Top 5 Best Craps Bets
With craps betting, the best wagers to make depend entirely on your style of play. For beginner or low-stakes craps players, many will use the low-risk approach. Craps bets with a low house edge and higher chance of landing may not land the biggest winnings, but there's less risk of losing your bankroll, too. For this style of play, these are the best craps bets to make:
High-stakes players or those more experienced in craps betting might want to experiment with a high-risk approach. In this case, try prop bets with a high house edge and big payout odds. These include: 2 or 12 Bets, Any Craps Bets, Hardways Bet, 3 or 11 Bets, or Buy Bets.
When using this approach in craps, be aware of the risks. It's less likely these bets will land, and players can possibly lose much of their funds through prop bets. Only play with money you can afford to lose.
Craps Betting Strategy
In craps bets, all the action relies on the roll of the dice. Some players claim it's possible to control how dice land, but there's a variety of outside factors that affect craps which make the game truly random.
Instead, the best craps strategies for players focus on managing bankroll and minimizing the house edge. Combine this with the best bets we discussed earlier for your gameplay style, and these strategies can help you enjoy craps games for longer and walk away with some winnings.
To learn more about these strategies, check out our craps betting strategy guide for more information.
What is the odds bet in craps?
Players can choose to make an 'odds bet' in craps after a point has been thrown. An odds bet is similar to a side bet, and it pays out if the point is thrown before a seven. Because the odds on odds bets are exactly fair there's zero house edge, which also makes these one of the most popular bets in craps for players to make. If a player lands their odds bet, the payouts differ depending on the number: 4 and 10 pays 2 to 1; 5 and 9 pays 3 to 2; 6 and 8 pays 6 to 5.
What is a buy bet in craps?
A buy bet is like a place bet, only buy bets pay out at true odds and the casino takes a 5% commission on winnings. Players make buy bets because they offer better payouts than place bets at certain points in a craps game, like when the house edge is higher than 5% or a player is making large wager. Understanding craps payout odds is essential for knowing when to make a buy bet.
What's the difference between a place bet & buy bet in craps?
The difference between the two bets lies in the odds. Buy bets pay out at true odds but the casino takes a 5% commission on winnings. Place bets conversely use payout odds, but the casino doesn't take commission. If a player made a place bet on 4 and won, they would receive in payout. If the player staked on 4 again but decided to make a buy bet, they would win . After the casino took its 5% commission, they're left with . Players should always calculate the potential payouts before making these bets.
What is a lay bet in craps?
When a player makes a lay bet, they are betting that the shooter will land a 7 before rolling a specific point number. Essentially, a lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet, because the gambler is betting against the shooter. If a lay bet wins, the casino pays out at true odds, but takes a 5% commission from the winnings.
What is a yo bet in craps?
This is a slang term used for betting on the shooter landing on 11. There's only one dice combination that can create 11 (5 and 6) so the odds of landing a yo bet are slim – 17 to 1 in fact. What entices players to make a yo bet is the 15:1 payout. However even on the unlikely chance a yo bet lands, the house edge is a steep 11.11%, so players should keep this in mind before betting on 11.
What is a horn bet in craps?
While not all casinos offer the horn bet, players will find this option in the center of the craps table with the other prop bets. The horn bet is a single-roll bet split between 2, 3 11 and 12. So, if a player wagered on the horn bet it would be split each between the four numbers. If the dice land on 2 or 12, the payout is 30 to 1. If they land on 3 or 11, the payout is 15 to 1.