Bank craps is a game played by multiple players betting against a casino. Each casino might set slightly different payouts for the various bets. Players take turns rolling two dice and whoever is throwing the dice is called the “shooter”. Players can bet on the various options by placing chips in the appropriate sections of the board. It may be required to ask the dealer to place certain bets.

While acting as the shooter, a player must have a bet on the “Pass” line or the “Don’t Pass” line. Pass and don’t pass are sometimes called “Win” or “Right” and “Don’t Win” or “Wrong” bets. The game is played in rounds and these “Pass” and “Don’t Pass” bets are betting on the outcome of a round. The shooter is often replaced at the end of the round or when they lose a round with a seven. The dice are moved clockwise around the table for the next player to become shooter. The shooter is presented with multiple dice (typically five) by the “stickman”, and must choose two for the round. The remaining dice are returned to the stickman’s bowl and are not used.

Each round has two phases: “come-out” and “point”. To start a round, the shooter makes one or more “come-out” rolls. A come-out roll of 2, 3 or 12 loses and is called “craps”. Anyone betting on the Pass line loses in this situation. A come-out roll of 7 or 11 (a “natural”) wins and results in a payout for “pass line” bets. The other possible numbers are the point numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. If the shooter rolls one of these numbers on the come-out roll, this establishes the “point” – the number that must be rolled again before a seven. The dealer flips a button to the “On” side and moves it to the point number signifying the second phase of the round. If the shooter rolls a seven before repeating the point number (a “seven-out”), the Pass line loses and the round ends.

Joining a game

A player wishing to play craps without being the shooter should approach the craps table and first check to see if the dealer’s “On” button is on any of the point numbers. If the button has been turned to “Off”, then the table is in the come-out round. If the dealer’s button is on, the table is in the point round where most casinos will allow a pass line bet to be placed, but the player should check with the dealer. All single or multi roll proposition bets may be placed in either of the two rounds. Between dice rolls there is a period for dealers to make payouts and collect losing bets, after which players can place new bets. The stickman monitors the action at a table and decides when to give the shooter the dice, after which no more betting is allowed.

The craps table

In a casino, players make bets with chips on a specially made craps table with a table cloth made of felt that displays the various betting possibilities. In most casinos, craps tables are double sided. The layouts on both ends of the table are identical, with the center bets in the middle. This allows more players to participate. Players can make multiple bets for each turn, round, or roll and should become familiar with the craps layout.

A casino craps table is run by up to four casino employees: a boxman who guards the chips, supervises the dealers and handles “coloring out” players (exchanging small chip denominations for larger denominations in order to preserve the chips at a table); two base dealers who stand to either side of the boxman and collect and pay bets; and a stickman who stands directly across the table from the boxman, takes bets in the center of the table (hard ways, yo, craps, horn, etc.), announces the results of each roll, collects the dice with an elongated wooden stick, and directs the base dealers to pay winners from bets in the center of the table. Each employee makes sure the other is paying out winners correctly. Occasionally, during off-peak times, only one base dealer will be attending the table, rendering only half the table open for bettors or one of the two base dealers will assume the role of the stickman. In some casinos, there is no boxman; the boxman’s duties are shared between the dealers and a roving supervisor who covers many tables.

In the game of shooting dice, there is no marked table and often the game is played with no back-stop against which the dice are to hit. (Despite the name “street craps,” this game is often played in houses, usually on an uncarpeted garage or kitchen floor.) The wagers are made in cash, never in chips, and are usually are thrown down onto the ground by the players. There are no attendants, and so the progress of the game, fairness of the throws, and the way that the pay-outs are made for winning bets are self-policed by the players.


The dealers will insist that the shooter roll with one hand and that the dice bounce off the far wall surrounding the table. These requirements are meant to keep the game fair (preventing switching the dice or making a “controlled shot”). If a die leaves the table, the shooter will usually be asked to select another die from the remaining three but can request using the same die if it passes the boxman’s inspection. This requirement is used to keep the game fair (and reduce the chance of loaded dice).

Names of Rolls in Craps
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 Snake Eyes Ace Deuce Easy Four Five (Fever Five) Easy Six Natural or Seven Out
2 Ace Deuce Hard Four Five (Fever Five) Easy Six Natural or Seven Out Easy Eight
3 Easy Four Five (Fever Five) Hard Six Natural or Seven Out Easy Eight Nine (Nina)
4 Five (Fever Five) Easy Six Natural or Seven Out Hard Eight Nine (Nina) Easy Ten
5 Easy Six Natural or Seven Out Easy Eight Nine (Nina) Hard Ten Yo (Yo-leven)
6 Natural or Seven Out Easy Eight Nine (Nina) Easy Ten Yo (Yo-leven) Boxcars or Midnight

Nicknaming the rolls makes the game more interesting. Locals often have their own names.

Rolls of 4, 6, 8, and 10 are called “hard” or “easy” (e.g. “Six the Hard Way”, “Easy Eight”, “Hard Ten”) depending on whether they were rolled as a “double” or as any other combination of values, because of their significance in center table bets known as the “hard ways”.

Two is called “Snake Eyes,” because the two 1s that comprise it look like a pair of small, beady eyes. Another name for the two is “Loose Deuce.”

Three is referred to as “Ace Caught a Deuce.”

Four (usually hard) is sometimes referred to as “Little Joe from Kokomo.” This is because in African American accents of the South, the word “Four” is generally pronounced “Fo'” — hence “Little Joe from Kokomo” is rhyming slang.

Five is often called “No Field Five” in casino craps because 5 is not on the Field and thus not paid in the Field bets. Another name for a Five is “Little Phoebe.”

Six may be referred to as “Jimmie Hicks,” “Jimmy Hix,” or “Jimmie Hicks from the Sticks,” all examples of rhyming slang.

Seven rolled as 6-1 is sometimes called “Six Ace” or “Up Pops the Devil”

Eight rolled the hard way, as opposed to an “Easy Eight” is sometimes called an Eighter from Decatur. It can also be known as a “Square Pair,” “Mom and Dad,” or “Ozzie and Harriet.”

Nine is called a “Centerfield Nine” in casino craps because 9 is in the center of the betting area called the Field. In Atlantic City, a 4-5 is called a “Railroad Nine.” The 4-5 Nine is also known as “Jesse James” because the outlaw Jesse James was killed by a 45 (4-5) caliber pistol. Other names for the nine include “Nina from Pasadena,” “Nina at the Marina,”

Ten the hard way (5-5) is “A Hard Ten” or “A Woman’s Best Friend.” This is both an example of rhyming slang and of a sexual double entendre. Ten may also be known as “Puppy Paws” or “A Pair of Sunflowers.”

Eleven is called out as “Yo” or “Yo’Leven” because it can often be mistaken for a seven; “Yo” is an attention-getting expletice. And older term for Eleven is “Six Five, no Jive” because it is a winning roll.

Twelve is known as “Boxcars” because the spots on the two dice that show 6-6 look like schematic drawings of railroad boxcars; it is also called “Midnight,” as in 12:00 am.

Types of wagers

Line bets

The shooter is required to make either a Pass Line bet or a Don’t Pass bet if he wants to shoot. Some casinos require all players to make a minimum Pass or Don’t Pass bet whether they are currently shooting or not. Line bets are based on points.

Pass line bet: The fundamental bet in craps is the pass line bet, which is a bet for the shooter to win their point number. A pass line bet is won immediately if the come-out roll is a 7 or 11. If the come-out roll is 2, 3 or 12, the bet loses (known as “crapping out”). If the roll is any other value, it establishes a point; if that point is rolled again before a seven, the bet wins. If, with a point established, a seven is rolled before the point is re-rolled, the bet loses (“seven out”). A pass line win pays even money.

Don’t pass line bet: A Don’t pass line bet is a bet for the shooter to not make their point number (shooter “seven out, line away”) and is almost the opposite of the pass line bet. The don’t pass bet is opposite in that it loses if the come-out roll is 7 or 11 and wins if the come-out roll is 2 or 3. A 12 will draw (this depends on the casino— in some places a 12 will win and a 2 will draw); either way a player cannot lose if 12 is rolled. A draw, meaning a tie (the word “BAR”, printed on the Craps layout, means “Standoff”; it results in a tie), on 12 is done to ensure the casino maintains a house edge regardless of whether players are betting pass or don’t pass. If a point is established and that point is rolled again, the don’t pass bet loses. If a 7 is rolled instead of the point being re-rolled, the don’t pass bet wins. There are two very slightly different ways to calculate the odds and house edge of this bet. The table below gives the numbers considering that the game ends in a push when a 12 is rolled, rather than being undetermined. Betting on don’t pass is often called “playing the dark side,” and it is considered by some players to be in poor taste, or even taboo, because it goes directly against conventional play.

Pass odds: If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is thrown on the come-out roll (i.e., if a point is set), most casinos allow pass line bettors to take odds by placing from one to five times (and at some casinos, up to 100 times) the pass line bet behind the pass line. This additional bet wins if the point is rolled again before a 7 is rolled (the point is made) and pays at the true odds of 2-to-1 if 4 or 10 is the point, 3-to-2 if 5 or 9 is the point, and 6-to-5 if 6 or 8 is the point.

Some casinos offer “3-4-5X Odds,” where the maximum allowed odds bet depends on the point (three times if the point is 4 or 10, four times on 5 or 9, and five times on 6 or 8). This rule simplifies the calculation of winnings: a maximum pass odds bet on a 3-4-5X table will always be paid at six times the pass line bet regardless of the point.

As odds bets are paid at true odds, in contrast with the pass line which is always even money, playing pass odds on a minimum pass line bet lessens the house advantage. A maximum odds bet on a minimum pass line bet often gives the lowest house edge available in the casino. However, the odds bet cannot be made independently, so the house retains an edge on the pass line bet itself.

Don’t pass odds: If a player is playing don’t pass instead of pass, they may also lay odds by placing chips behind the don’t pass line. If a 7 comes instead of the point coming, the odds pay at true odds of 1-to-2 if 4 or 10 is the point, 2-to-3 if 5 or 9 is the point, 5-to-6 if 6 or 8 is the point.

Come bet: A come bet is played in two rounds and is played similar to a pass line bet. The main difference is that a player making a come bet will bet on the first point number that “comes” from the shooters next roll, regardless of the table’s round. If a 7 or 11 is rolled on the first round, it wins. If a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled, it loses. If instead the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 then the come bet will be moved by the base dealer onto a box representing the number the shooter threw. This number becomes the come bet point and the player is allowed to add odds to the bet. The dealer will place the odds on top of the come bet, but slightly off center in order to differentiate between the original bet and the odds. The second round wins if the shooter rolls the come bet before a seven. If the seven comes before the number (the come-bet), the bet loses. On a come-out roll for the pass line the come bet is in play, but traditionally the odds are not working unless the player indicates otherwise to the dealer.

Come wagers can only be made after a point has been established. On a come out roll the come bet is placed on the pass line as they are an identical bet.

Because of the come bet, if the shooter makes their point, a player can find themselves in the situation where they have a come bet (possibly with odds on it) and the next roll is a come-out roll. In this situation odds bets on the come wagers are presumed to be not working for the come-out roll. That means that if the shooter rolls a 7 on the come-out roll, any players with active come bets waiting for a come-point lose their initial wager but will have their odds money returned to them. If the come-point is rolled the odds do not win but the come bet does and the odds are returned. The player can tell the dealer that they want their odds working, such that if the shooter rolls a number that matches the come point, the odds bet will win along with the come bet, and if a seven is rolled both lose.

Don’t come bet: A don’t come bet is played in two rounds. If a 2 or 3 is rolled in the first round, it wins. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, it loses. If a 12 is rolled, it is a standoff and the player has the option to revoke their bet. If instead the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 then the don’t come bet will be moved by the base dealer onto a box representing the number the shooter threw. The second round wins if the shooter rolls a seven before the don’t come point.

Don’t come wagers can only be made after the come-out roll when a point has already been established. Odds can also be placed on a don’t come-bet just like a pass line bet; in this case the dealer (not the player) places the odds bet on top of the bet in the box, because of limited space, slightly offset to signify that it is an odds bet and not part of the original don’t come bet.

Single roll bets

Single-roll bets or proposition bets are resolved in one dice roll by the shooter. Most of these are called “Service Bets”, and they are located at the center of most craps tables. Only the stickman or a dealer can place a service bet. The bets include:

2 (snake eyes, or Aces): Wins if shooter rolls a 2.

3 (ace-deuce): Wins if the shooter rolls a 3.

Yo: Wins if the shooter rolls 11.

12 (boxcars, midnight, or cornrows): Wins if shooter rolls a 12.

2 or 12 (hi-lo): Wins if shooter rolls a 2 or 12. The stickman places this bet on the line dividing the 2 and 12 bets.

Any Craps (Three-Way): Wins if the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12.

C & E: A combined bet, a player is betting half their bet on craps and the other half on yo (11). One of the two bets will always lose, the other may win.

Any seven: Wins if the shooter rolls a 7. This bet is also nicknamed Big Red, since the 7 on its betting space on the layout is usually large and red.

The Horn: This is a bet that involves betting on 1 unit each for 2, 3, 11 and 12 at the same time for the next roll. The bet is actually four separate bets, and pays off depending on which number is actually rolled, minus three units for the other three losing bets. Many players, in order to eliminate the confusion of tossing four chips to the center of the table or having change made while bets are being placed, will make a five-unit Horn High bet, which is a four-way bet with the extra unit going to one specific number. For example, if you toss a $5 chip into the center and say “horn high yo,” you are placing four $1 bets on each of the horn numbers and the extra dollar will go on the yo (11).

Whirl or World: bet is a five-unit bet that is a combination of a horn and any-seven bet, with the idea that if a seven is rolled the bet is a push, because the money won on the seven is lost on the horn portions of the bet.

On the Hop This is a single roll bet on any particular combination of the two dice on the next roll. For example, if you bet on “5 and 1” on the hop, you are betting that the next roll will have a 5 on one die and a 1 on the other die. The bet pays 15:1 (just like a bet on 3 or 11) except for doubles (e.g., 3 and 3 on the hop) which pay 30:1 (just like a bet on 12, which is the same as 6 and 6 on the hop). The true odds are 17:1 and 35:1, resulting in a house edge of 11.11% and 13.89% respectively. When presented, hop bets are located at the center of the craps layout with the other proposition bets. If hop bets are not on the craps layout, they still may be bet on by players but they become the responsibility of the boxman to book the bet.

Field: This bet is a wager that one of the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 will appear on the next roll of the dice. This bet typically pays more (2:1 or 3:1) if 2 or 12 is rolled, and 1:1 if 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 is rolled. The Field bet is a “Self-Service” Bet. Unlike the other proposition bets which are handled by the dealers or stickman, the field bet is placed directly by the player. Players identify their Field bets by placing them in the Field area directly in front of them or as close to their position as possible. The initial bet and/or any payouts can “ride” through several rolls until they lose, and are assumed to be “riding” by dealers. It is thus the player’s responsibility to collect their bet and/or winnings immediately upon payout, before the next dice roll, if they do not wish to let it ride.

Multi roll bets

These are bets that may not be settled on the first roll and may need any number of subsequent rolls before an outcome is determined. Most multi-roll bets may fall into the situation where a point is made by the shooter before the outcome of the multi roll bet is decided. These bets are considered “not working” in the new come-out roll until the next point is established, unless the player calls the bet as “working.” Casino rules vary on this; some of these bets may not be callable, while others may be considered “working” during the come-out. If a non-working point number placed, bought or laid becomes the new point as the result of a come-out, the bet is usually refunded, or can be moved to another number for free.

Hard way: A bet that the shooter will throw a 4, 6, 8 or 10 the “hard way”, before he throws a seven or the corresponding “easy way”. A hard way is when both dice show identical values, also known as “doubles” or “pairs”, so 2-2 is hard way 4.

Easy way: Opposite of hard way is a bet that the shooter will throw a specific easy way (either 4, 6, 8 or 10), before he throws a seven. An easy way is a value that does not have two dice identical, so 3-1 is easy way 4. These are rarely available as bets except by placing on a point number (which pays off on easy or hard rolls of that number).

Big 6 and Big 8: A player can choose either the 6 or 8 being rolled before the shooter throws a seven. These wagers are usually avoided by experienced craps players since they pay even money (1:1) while a player can make place bets on the 6 or the 8, which pay more (7:6). Some casinos do not even offer the Big 6 & 8. The bets are located in the corners behind the pass line, and bets may be placed directly by players.

Place and buy: Players can place or buy any point number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) by placing their wager in the come area and telling the dealer how much and on what number(s), “30 on the 6”, “5 on the 5” or “25 buy the 10”. Both place and buy bets are bets that the number bet on will be rolled before a 7 is rolled. These bets are considered working bets, and will continue to be paid out each time a shooter rolls the place or buy point number. By rules, place bets are NOT working on the come out roll but can be “turned on” by the player.

Place bets are paid at odds slightly worse than the true odds. The place bets on the outside numbers (4,5,9,10) should be made in units of $5, (on a $5 minimum table), in order to receive the correct exact payout of $5 paying $7 or $5 paying $9. The place bets on the 6 & 8 should be made in units of $6, (on a $5 minimum table), in order to receive the correct exact payout of $6 paying $7.

Buy bets are paid at true odds, but a 5% commission is charged on the amount of the bet. Traditionally, the buy bet commission is paid no matter what, but in recent years a number of casinos have changed their policy to charge the commission only when the buy bet wins. Some casinos charge the commission as a one-time fee to buy the number; payouts are then always at true odds. Most casinos usually charge only $1 for a $25 green-chip bet (4% commission), or $2 for $50 (two green chips), reducing the house advantage a bit more. Where commission is charged only on wins, the commission is often deducted from the winning payoff—a winning $25 buy bet on the 10 would pay $49, for instance. The house edges stated in the table assume the commission is charged on all bets. They are reduced by at least a factor of two if commission is charged on winning bets only. Rarely casinos offer the place bet to lose. This bet is the opposite of the place bet and wins if a 7 is rolled before the specific point number. The place bet to lose typically carries a lower house edge than a place bet.

Lay: A lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet, where a player bets on a 7 to roll before the number that is laid. Just like the buy bet lay bets pay true odds, but because the lay bet is the opposite of the buy bet, the payout is reversed. Therefore players get 1 to 2 for the numbers 4 and 10, 2 to 3 for the numbers 5 and 9, and 5 to 6 for the numbers 6 and 8. A 5% commission (vigorish, vig, juice) is charged up front on the possible winning amount. For example: A $40 Lay Bet on the 4 would pay $20 on a win. The 5% vig would be $1 based on the $20 win. (NOT $2 based on the $40 bet as the way buy bet commissions are figured.) Like the buy bet the commission is adjusted to suit the betting unit such that fraction of a dollar payouts are not needed.

Player bets

Fire Bet: Before the shooter begins, some casinos will allow a bet known as a fire bet to be placed. A fire bet is a bet of as little as 1 dollar, made in the hope that the next shooter will have a hot streak of setting and getting many points of different values. As different individual points are made by the shooter, they will be marked on the craps layout with a fire symbol. The first three points will not pay out on the fire bet, but the fourth, fifth and sixth will pay out at increasing odds. The fourth point pays at 24-to-1, the fifth point pays at 249-to-1 and the 6th point pays at 999-to-1. Note that the points must all be different numbers for them to count towards the fire bet. For example, a shooter who successfully hits a point of 10 twice will only garner credit for the first one on the fire bet.

Bet odds

Note: Individual casinos may pay some of these bets at different payout ratios than those listed below. The payoff odds listed are the most common throughout North American casinos.
Note: “Actual Odds” do not vary.
Bet True Odds Odds Paid House Edge
Pass / Come 251:244 1:1 1.41%
Don’t Pass / Don’t Come (Bar 12) 976:949 1:1 1.40%
Pass Odds / Come Odds Same as paid 2:1 on 4 or 10
3:2 on 5 or 9
6:5 on 6 or 8
Don’t Pass Odds / Don’t Come Odds Same as paid 1:2 against 4 or 10
2:3 against 5 or 9
5:6 against 6 or 8
Yo (11) 17:1 15:1 11.11%
3 17:1 15:1 11.11%
2 35:1 30:1 13.89%
12 35:1 30:1 13.89%
Hi-Lo 17:1 15:1 11.11%
Craps 8:1 7:1 11.11%
C & E (the combined bet) 5:1 3:1 on craps
7:1 on 11
Any 7 5:1 4:1 16.67%
Field 5:4 1:1 on 3,4,9,10 or 11
2:1 on 2 and 12
Field 5:4 1:1 on 3,4,9,10 or 11
2:1 on 2, 3:1 on 12
The Horn 5:1 27:4 on 2 or 12
3:1 on 3 or 11
Whirl/World 2:1 26:5 on 2 or 12
11:5 on 3 or 11
0:1 (push) on 7
Hard way 4 / Hard way 10 8:1 7:1 11.11%
Hard way 6 / Hard way 8 10:1 9:1 9.09%
Big 6 6:5 1:1 9.09%
Big 8 6:5 1:1 9.09%
Place 4 / Place 10 2:1 9:5 6.67%
Place 5 / Place 9 3:2 7:5 4%
Place 6 / Place 8 6:5 7:6 1.52%
Buy 4 / Buy 10 2:1 2:1 + 5% commission 4.76%
Buy 5 / Buy 9 3:2 3:2 + 5% commission 4.76%
Buy 6 / Buy 8 6:5 6:5 + 5% commission 4.76%
Lay 4 / Lay 10 1:2 1:2 + 5% commission 2.44%
Lay 5 / Lay 9 2:3 2:3 + 5% commission 3.23%
Lay 6 / Lay 8 5:6 5:6 + 5% commission 4.00%

The probability of dice combinations determine the odds of the payout. The following chart shows the dice combinations needed to roll each number. The two and twelve are the hardest to roll since only one combination of dice is possible. The game of craps is built around the dice roll of seven, since it is the most easily rolled dice combination.

Dice Roll Possible Dice Combinations
2 1-1
3 1-2, 2-1
4 1-3, 2-2, 3-1
5 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1
6 1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1
7 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1
8 2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2
9 3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3
10 4-6, 5-5, 6-4
11 5-6, 6-5
12 6-6

The expected value of all bets is negative, such that the average player will always lose money. This is because the house always sets the paid odds to below the actual odds. The only exception is the “odds” bet that the player is allowed to make after a point is established on a pass/come don’t pass/don’t come bet (the odds portion of the bet has a long-term expected value of 0). However, the “free odds” bet cannot be made independently, so the expected value of the entire bet, including odds, is still negative. Since there is no correlation between die rolls, there is no possible long-term winning strategy in craps.

Maximizing the size of the odds bet in relation to the line bet will reduce, but never eliminate the house edge, and will increase variance. Many casinos have a limit on how large the odds bet can be in relation to the flat bet, with single, double, and five times odds common. Some casinos offer 3-4-5 odds, referring to the maximum multiple of the line bet a player can place in odds for the points of 4 and 10, 5 and 9, and 6 and 8, respectively. During promotional periods, a casino may even offer 100x odds bets, which reduces the house edge to almost nothing, but dramatically increases variance, as the player will be betting in large betting units.

Since several of the multiple roll bets pay off in ratios of fractions on the dollar, it is important that the player bets in multiples that will allow a correct payoff in complete dollars. Normally, payoffs will be rounded down to the nearest dollar, resulting in a higher house advantage. These bets include all place bets, taking odds, and buying on numbers 6, 8, 5, and 9, as well as laying all numbers.

Betting variants

These variants depend on the casino and the table, and sometimes a casino will have different tables that use or omit these variants and others.

  • 11 is a point number instead of a natural. Rolling an 11 still pays “Yo” center-table bets, however the Pass line does not automatically win (and the Don’t Pass line doesn’t automatically lose) when 11 is rolled on the come-out. Making the point pays 3:1 on Pass/Come odds bets (1:3 on Don’t Pass/Come odds); all line bets are still even money. This slightly reduces the odds of a natural and of making the point in general, increasing the house edge on the pass line.
  • 12 pays 3:1 on the field. This is generally seen in rooms that have two different table minimums, on the tables with the higher minimums. The lower minimum ones will then have 2:1 odds.
  • 11 pays 2:1 on the field. This variant is normally used when 12 pays 3:1, and further lowers the house edge on the field.
  • Big 6/8 are unavailable. These bets are equivalent to placing or buying 6 or 8 as points, which have better payout for the same real odds, so Big 6/8 are rarely used and many casinos simply omit them from the layout. Casinos in Atlantic City are even prohibitted by law from offering Big 6/8 bets.

Optimal betting

Since all bets have a house advantage, and a negative expected value, the optimal strategy is to be the house. Failing that, one can reduce one’s average losses by only placing bets with the smallest house advantage.

The pass/don’t line, come/don’t line, place 6, place 8, buy 4 and buy 10 (only under the casino rules where commission is charged only on wins) are the best bets with the lowest house edge in the casino, and all other bets will on average lose money between three and twelve times faster because of the difference in house edges.

The place bets and buy bets differ from the pass/don’t line and come/don’t line, in that place bets and buy bets can be removed at any time, since they are one-time propositions, whereas pass/don’t line bets and come/don’t line bets must be resolved as “win or lose” once placed.

Among these, and the remaining numbers and possible bets, there are a myriad of systems and progressions that can be used with many combinations of numbers.

An important alternative metric is house advantage per roll (rather than per bet), which may be expressed in loss per hour. The typical pace of rolls varies depending on the number of players, but 102 rolls per hour is a cited rate for a nearly full table. This same reference states that only “29.6% of total rolls are come out rolls, on average,” so for this alternative metric, needing extra rolls to resolve the pass line bet, for example, is factored. This number then permits calculation of rate of loss per hour, and per the 4 day/5 hour per day gambling trip:

  • $10 Pass line bets 0.42% per roll, $4.28 per hour, $86 per trip
  • $10 Place 6,8 bets 0.46% per roll, $4.69 per hour, $94 per trip
  • $10 Place 5,9 bets 1.11% per roll, $11.32 per hour, $226 per trip
  • $10 Place 4,10 bets 1.19% per roll, $12.14 per hour, $243 per trip
  • $1 Single Hardways 2.78% per roll, $2.84 per hour, $56.71 per trip
  • $1 All hardways 2.78% per roll, $11.34 per hour, $227 per trip
  • $5 All hardways 2.78% per roll, $56.71 per hour, $1134 per trip
  • $1 Craps only on come out 3.29% per roll, $3.35 per hour, $67.09 per trip
  • $1 Eleven only on come out 3.29% per roll, $3.35 per hour, $67.09 per trip

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