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The Best and Worst Craps Bets

19 September 2011

By Frank Scoblete

I often talk about the best bets at craps and then refer to the worst bets at craps as a contrast. I give percentages and talk about what smart players should bet and what ploppies actually do bet to their own detriment.

But what are these best bets? And what are these worst bets?

Okay, the very best bets at craps are the "rightside" Pass Line and Come; on the "darkside" the Don't Pass and the Don't Come. You can utilize the Odds bets with all of these, but we'll just ignore that bet for this column.

So what are the house edges on these good craps bets? Approximately 1.4 percent, with the darkside bets being slightly under this figure and the rightside bets being slightly above this figure.

Often giving percentages will leave many players with a bigger question: What do such percentages actually mean? How is my money really affected by such percentages? I mean, I know that the smaller the percentage the better it is for me, but how does that translate into actual money?

With every percentage given in gambling, you must simply use the following formula to make clear the monetary aspect of such a percentage. Out of $100 wagered on this bet, how much will you lose or, phrased differently, what is your expected loss over time on such a bet?

So looking at that 1.4 percent house edge on the above bets we can say that the "expected loss" will be $1.40 on every $100 wagered.

Are there other good bets at the game? Yes, you can place the 6 and 8 and face a house edge of 1.52 percent. That translates into a $1.52 expected loss for every $100 wagered.

If the casino where you play allows the "buying" of the 4 and 10 for $25 and $50 paying a $1 or $2 commission on wins only, the house edge is 1.3 percent or an expected loss of $1.30 per $100 wagered.

All of these are bets that I strongly encourage you to consider as the only bets you make. Why go up the ladder of losses by betting the bad bets at the table -- bets that are legion.

The worst bet on the craps table is the "Any Seven," otherwise known as "Big Red," which is where your bankroll will be if you make this bet. The house edge is -- hold onto your seats -- a whopping 16.67 percent. Yikes! That means for every $100 wagered on "Big Red", your expected loss is $16.67. And you will see players blithely throwing their money (away) on the "Any Seven" all the time.

Now contrast 1.4 percent with 16.67 percent and what do you get? A clarion call to avoid a loss of $16.67 for a loss of $1.40. Why would anyone, with any sanity, choose an "Any Seven" over a Pass Line and Come or Don't Pass and Don't Come bet? I have no idea, but players do just such a thing.

I actually think that a craps game can be so emotionally stimulating that a certain amount of psychological insanity begins to inhabit most of the players at the table and such psychic insanity causes them to make a host of bankroll-numbing wagers. Either that or these players are just stupid or thickheaded or really stupid and really thickheaded. You choose.

What are some of the other bad bets? Hard way "hop" bets, along with the 2 and the 12, all come in with a house edge of 13.89 percent or a loss of $13.89 per $100 wagered. The 3 and 11 come in with a house edge of 11.11 percent or a loss of $11.11 per $100 wagered. The hard four and 10 also come in with an 11.11 percent house edge; while the hard 6 and 8 come in with a house edge of 9.09 percent.

There are other bad bets in craps, too many to list in this article, but you get the picture. The gap between good and bad bets at craps is the gambling equivalent of the chasm across the Grand Canyon. There is no sense in trying to leap over such a chasm to the bad side of wagering at the game because you are going to fall into the chasm of economic despair if you try to do such a thing. The players making the poor betting choices are being hammered into the ground; it's as simple as that.

There is another bet that has entered many casino craps games, the Fire Bet. Here the shooter is trying to make all the point numbers when he rolls. The payouts appear to be outstanding should he make four or more of these point numbers. The house edge on this bet is between 20 and 25 percent! You are looking at $20 to $25 in losses per $100 wagered on the Fire Bet. This bet even makes the "Any Seven" bet appear moderate. You will not find the Fire Bet at all casinos. If it is in the casino where you play, avoid making it.

Stick to the good bets and you will always have a better chance to come home a winner on any given session of play. No betting system can give you an edge at the game, only controlled shooting can do that, but making good bets makes you a very tough customer of the casinos and that's a very, very good thing -- for you!


Get the Edge! Join Frank Scoblete in Las Vegas, October 21, 2011 for Advantage-Play Friday.

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

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Books by Frank Scoblete:

Beat Blackjack Now!: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge!

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