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Best Craps Bets and Strategy

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You may have heard that craps offers players some of the best bets in the casino. That probably sounded good right until the moment when you saw what a craps table looks like. With dozens of different bets to choose from, how is a player supposed to know just which bets will get them these supposedly great odds?

That’s why we’ve created this page. Here, we’ve cut to the chase and given you only the information on the very best bets to be found on the craps table. Each of these bets can be found in any standard game, including the online games that are available at sites like Royal Vegas. If you stick to only the bets in this guide, you’ll avoid any major errors or sucker bets and make the most of every dollar you spend at the table.

To Pass or Not to Pass

The Best Craps BetsThe first bet that almost any player learns about in craps is the pass line bet. That’s convenient, as this is also one of the best bets available on the table, and the one most of the game revolves around.

In order to make a pass line bet, just put a bet on the pass line before a come out roll. If that come out roll results in a seven or an eleven, congratulations: you’ve instantly won even money on your bet. If the roll instead results in a two, three or twelve, your pass line bet loses.

On any other result, the number that was rolled becomes the point. Your hope is now that the point will be rolled a second time before the shooter rolls a seven. If this happens, your pass line bet will still win at even money. However, if a seven is rolled first, you’ll lose your bet.

Less commonly played is the “don’t pass” bet. However, this bet is similar to the pass line bet; in fact, it is essentially that bet in reverse. Again, this bet is one you’ll make before a come out roll. If the come out roll is a two or three, you’ll win even money; if it is a seven or eleven, you’ll lose the bet. A twelve, in this case, is considered a push.

That’s obviously a tougher bet to win than the pass line bet, but this difference is more than made up for when a point is rolled. If you’re on the don’t pass line, you’ll win if a seven is rolled before the point is rolled again. Since a seven is the most likely outcome on the craps table, you’ll be the favourite to win every time a point is set.

That leads us into one of the biggest questions in craps: should you play the pass line or the don’t pass? The answer to this question will come down to what is most important to you as a player. If you want the lowest house edge possible, then you’ll want to stick with the don’t pass. Mind you, it’s not a big difference: the don’t pass has a 1.36% house edge, while the pass line bet has a 1.41% house edge. That’s so small that you might not even notice the difference over the course of your entire lifetime, but it’s worth noting if you care about maximizing every dollar most of all.

On the other hand, most players will be playing the pass bet, and in a live setting, it can be awkward to bet the “wrong way,” winning only when everyone else at the table is losing. If that’s going to bother you, then it’s best to stick to the pass line bet and sacrifice the tiny bit of edge the casino gets.

The Odds: The Best Bet in the Casino?

The odds bet, incredibly, offers no house edge to the casino. This is rarely the case in the casino; other than some rare video poker machines that give you an edge, or the gamble games at the end of many of those same machines (and some pokies) that have no edge, everything else in the casino favours the house.

Of course, the casino isn’t going to let you bet on the odds for free; these bets are only available if you’ve already made a pass line or don’t pass bet. But other than the small advantages on those bets, you won’t be giving up anything to the casino on the odds.

Here’s how the odds bets work. If you’ve made a pass line bet and a point was determined, you can then take the odds behind that bet. In most casinos, you can bet somewhere between 3x and 5x your initial pass line bet on the odds, though some casinos allow you to bet as much as 100 times your initial bet here. Like the pass line bet, these bets win if the point is rolled again before a seven. The odds pay out at exactly the right payouts to be mathematically fair based on the point, as follows:

  • Point of 4 or 10: 2-1
  • Point of 5 or 9: 3-2
  • Point of 6 or 8: 6-5

There’s a similar offer if you’ve made a don’t pass bet and a point is rolled. This time, the bet is known as “laying the odds,” and the bet will win only if a seven is rolled before the point. Since you have the advantage in this situation (remember, a seven is the most likely outcome on any roll), you’ll win less than even money on these bets; however, they still offer the fair odds that give the casino no house edge. Laying the odds pays the following, based on the point:

  • Point of 4 or 10: 1-2
  • Point of 5 or 9: 2-3
  • Point of 6 or 8: 5-6

Other Bets to Consider

While the above bets truly make up the best bets in craps, there is one other type of bet worth mentioning here. The come and don’t come bets are exactly like the pass and don’t pass bets, except that they are made on any roll other than the come out roll. They offer the same payouts and you can take the odds behind them. That makes the come and don’t come bets a great way to get extra action without increasing the house edge.

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