In craps, one of the chief betting strategies for increasing winnings is to reduce the house edge as much as possible. Particularly for high-stakes players, the house edge in craps can eat as much as 16.9% on some bets. That can amount to a hefty loss over the course of a craps session.
Beginner craps players, if you can remember only one bet, make it the pass line bet. This is the starting bet for all craps games and has one of the lowest house edges at 1.41% and highest odds of landing (251 to 244 to be exact). This is one of the best bets craps players can make, with payout odds of 1 to 1. The don't pass bet has a slightly lower house edge (1.36%) but given 7 has a statistically higher chance of landing than 2 or 3, the odds of this bet winning are lower.
The odds of rolling a 7 are 6 out of 36 possible combinations, or 1 in 6. By contrast, there's only one possible combination for a 2 or 12 when rolling the dice, meaning the odds for landing either are 1 out of 36.
After pass bets, players should employ a betting strategy called laying the odds. These bets can only be made after the comeout roll but have a house edge of 0%. The payout odds for these differ between points. Check the payouts odds for all craps bets using the craps payout chart below, or learn more about different wagers on our craps bets page.
|Bet or Wager Type||True Odds||Payout Odds||House Edge %|
|Pass Line or Come Bet||251 to 244||1 to 1||1.4140|
|Don't Pass or Don't Come Bet||976 to 949||1 to 1||1.3600|
|Pass Line Odds / Come Bet Odds / Buy Bets (Have 5% Commission)|
|Numbers 4 or 10||2 to 1||2 to 1||4.7600|
|Numbers 5 or 9||3 to 2||3 to 2||4.7600|
|Numbers 6 or 8||5 to 6||5 to 6||4.7600|
|Don't Pass Odds / Don't Come Bet Odds / Lay Bets (5% Commission)|
|Numbers 4 or 10||1 to 2||1 to 2||2.4400|
|Numbers 5 or 9||2 to 3||2 to 3||3.2300|
|Numbers 6 or 8||5 to 6||5 to 6||4.0000|
|3,4,9,10, or 11||-||1 to 1||5.5000|
|2,12||-||2 to 1||5.5000|
|Numbers 4 or 10||2 to 1||9 to 5||6.7000|
|Numbers 5 or 9||3 to 2||7 to 5||4.0000|
|Numbers 6 or 8||6 to 5||7 to 6||1.5200|
|6 or 8||10 to 1||9 to 1||9.0900|
|4 or 10||8 to 1||7 to 1||11.1000|
|One Roll Bets|
|Any 7||5 to 1||4 to 1||16.9000|
|Any Craps||8 to 1||7 to 1||11.1000|
|2 Craps or 12 Craps||35 to 1||30 to 1||13.9000|
|3 Craps or 11 Craps||17 to 1||15 to 1||11.1000|
|Horn Bet (3 or 11)||-||3.75 to 1||-|
|Horn Bet (2 or 12)||-||7.5 to 1||-|
|Big 6 or 8||-||1 to 1||9.0900|
As craps uses two standard six-sided dice, it is important to first understand there are a total of 36 possible dice rolls. From this, some numbers have a statistically higher chance of landing because they have more combinations on the dice roll. For example, there are exactly six ways to roll a seven:
It may seem like some number combinations are listed twice, but this is only the different numbers appearing on the other die. To understand this, imagine a red die and a white die. While craps combines the numbers of the dice, each die rolls independently of the other one. Our craps bets page offers a dice combinations chart that explains this entirely.
Using this information, players will find the worst bets in craps are the ones least likely to land and with the highest house edge. These bets will usually have the biggest payout odds in craps, but the chances of landing them are slim. For instance, landing a 'snake eyes' (two 1's) offers payout odds of 30:1 but the chance of landing it is 1 in 36, with a 13.9% house edge. So, even in the unlikely event the shooter landed this bet, the player would lose a chunk of their winnings to the house edge.
Basically, the house edge is the difference between the true odds of a bet paying out and the actual odds a casino pays to the winner. Let's look again at the odds of landing a 7 in a craps game.
As mentioned before, the true odds of landing it is 5 to 1. So, if a player bet $10 on the 7 and won, theoretically they should receive $50. However, the payout odds of landing a 7 is 4 to 1. That means the player will actually receive $40 from the casino for their winning bet of $10.
Casinos use house edge to determine what percentage of initial wagers from players they can expect to earn long-term. The house edge is calculated using craps rules to ensure that even when players land a big payout, the casino can mitigate its losses.
Craps has one of the lowest house edges compared to other casino table games. Sic Bo, for instance, has a house edge of up to 33.3% on some wagers.
In craps, the house edge changes with each type of bet. Players can make a wide variety of bets in craps, but most can be classified as single-roll bets or multi-roll bets. The multi-roll bets can take several tries before the outcome of the wager is realized, and players have the option of taking these bets down after each roll.
This explains why players should incorporate the house edge in any craps strategy. We recommend players use the true odds to determine the chances of a bet landing, and the payout odds to objectively decide whether the winnings are worth the risk.
To calculate any payouts in craps, players must use the payout odds, not the true odds, with their wager. Some beginner players find breaking the payout odds into units easier to quickly calculate payouts on winning bets.
Looking at a craps table, the payout odds for landing a 4 are 9:5. This means that for every $5 bet you win, the dealer will pay you $9.
Let's say you're at a craps table with a $10 minimum bet though. You still want to bet on 4. Using the payout odds of 9:5, you know your minimum bet of $10 equates to two $5 'units'. You need to multiply the total number of units you want to bet by the amount the casino will pay out if the bet wins. Using the payout odds on landing a 4, you multiply 2 by 9 to get 18. This means that your $10 bet will win $18 if the 4 lands on the dice.
To calculate the payout in craps for any bet, convert the payout odds from a fraction to a decimal. Players should then multiply this decimal by the amount they want to wager to determine their potential payout. For instance, a bet on point 4 in craps has payout odds of 9:5. Converted to decimal form, this is 1.8. For a $10 bet, craps players would multiply 10 by 1.8 to discover they could win a payout of $18 if the dice landed on 4.
Dealers must calculate payouts for up to 20 players at any time in a craps game. Given how fast-paced a game can be, dealers have several tricks up their sleeve to keep track of bets and payouts for players:
Depending on where a player has stored their chips on a crap table's chip rack, a dealer will place the player's chips in the same position around the boxes of the specific bet.
The boxman and dealers pay out bets in a strict order to keep the process organized. Dealers pay out winnings in the following sequence: pass line bets, come bets and place bets.
To keep track of payouts for place bets, the dealers will start with the player located nearest to the stickman, and then pay out winnings in sequential order. Some craps casinos will vary the start point between the stickman and boxman for certain bets.
A craps dealer will have to calculate the same pass, place and come bets hundreds of times a day. While online casinos will use software to calculate payouts, dealers in land-based casinos gradually memorize the various payout odds in a craps game.
To find the payouts of all bets in craps, we recommend using a payout odds chart or a craps payout calculator. These will help players immediately find the payouts they can expect to earn on winning bets in craps.
This refers to limitations some casinos place on laying odds bets. The three, four or five refers to the maximum amount a player can make when laying the odds in a craps game. For instance, if a casino has 4X odds in place, that means the amount players can win would be no more than 4x the don't pass bet.
Either pass/don't pass bets or laying odds bets have the best odds in craps. Pass bets have payout odds of 1:1, meaning players can effectively double their money. Plus, the house edge on this bet is only 1.41%. Alternately laying odds bets have zero house edge but slightly lower payout odds, at 2:1, 3:2 and 6:5, depending on which numbers a player bets on.
This is a bet players can make in a craps game, but only after a point is thrown. Essentially, players bet on the dice landing on a specific number before they land on 7. There is zero house edge on odds bets because the odds are exactly fair. This makes the odds bet a popular choice for craps players. Payout odds differ between the numbers: the odds pay 2:1 on points 4 and 10, 3:2 on points 5 and 9, and 6:5 on points 6 and 8.
In craps, there is a 1 in 6 chance of rolling a 7 on the dice, or a 16.67% probability. The game uses two dice, which means there are 36 possible outcomes. Out of that 36, there are six different ways the dice could land on 7. By comparing the possible outcomes by the total number of outcomes, the odds of landing a 7 are 6 in 36.