REG.GAMBLING'S CRAPS FAQ
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Frequently Asked Questions about Craps
This is the Craps section of the rec.gambling Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ) list.
Changes or additions to this section of the FAQ should be submitted to:
elliott@aero.org.
Page last modified: 2-9-95
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Table of Contents
C1 What special terminology is used at the Craps table?
C2 How is Craps played?
C3 What are "Odds?"
C4 What is the house advantage on 10x odds?
C5 What are "Come" and "Don't Come" bets?
C6 What are all those other bets?
C7 What are the odds for all these bets?
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Q:C1 What special terminology is used at the Craps table?
A:C1 (Steve Jacobs, Ken Elliott III, Dave Everett)
Craps Terminology:
any craps
a bet that the next roll will be 2, 3, or 12. This bet pays 7:1 and
has a house edge of 11.1%.
3-way craps
a bet made in units of 3 with one unit on 2, one unit on 3, and one
unit on 12. This is a horn bet without the bet on 11.
any seven
a bet that the next roll will be 7. This bet pays 4:1 and has a house
edge of 16.7%.
big 6
a bet that a 6 will be rolled before a 7 comes up. This bet pays even
money, and has a house edge of 9.1%. A place bet on 6 pays 7:6 but is
identical otherwise. The place bet is preferred, having a house edge
of 1.5%
big 8
a bet that an 8 will be rolled before a 7 comes up. This bet pays even
money, and has a house edge of 9.1%. A place bet on 8 pays 7:6 but is
identical otherwise. The place bet is preferred, having a house edge
of 1.5%
buy bet
giving the house a 5% commission in order to be paid correct odds for
a place bet. The buy bets on 4 and 10 allow the player to reduce the
house edge from 6.67% to 4% on these bets. Some casinos collect the
commission only on winning bets, while others collect it at the time
the bet is made.
come bet
A "virtual pass line bet"; a bet made after the come out roll but in
other respects exactly like a pass line bet. See question C5 for more
details.
come out roll
the first roll of the dice in a betting round is called the "come out"
roll. Pass bets win when the come out roll is 7 or 11, while pass bets
lose when the come out roll is 2, 3, or 12. Don't bets lose when the
come out roll is 7 or 11, and don't bets win when the come out roll is
2 or 3. Don't bets tie when the come out roll is 12 (2 in some
casinos; the "bar" roll on the layout indicates which roll is treated
as a tie).
dice pass
The dice are said to "pass" when the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the
come-out roll. The dice "don't pass" when the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or
12 on the come-out. If the come-out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10,
this roll sets the "point", and the shooter continues to roll until
the point is rolled again or a 7 is rolled (see "seven out"). If the
shooter rolls the point before rolling a seven, the dice pass. If the
shooter sevens out, the dice don't pass and the shooter loses control
of the dice. NOTE: in this context, "pass" does NOT mean that the dice
to given to the next player. Control of the dice is transferred only
when the shooter "sevens out" or when the shooter has completed a game
and no longer wishes to roll the dice.
don't come bet
A "virtual don't pass bet"; a bet made after the come out roll but in
other respects exactly like a don't pass bet. See question C5 for more
details.
don't pass bet
a bet that the dice will not pass. This bet can be placed only
immediately before a "come out" roll. One result (either the 2 or the
12, depending on the casino) will result in a push. House edge on
these bets is 1.40%. A don't pass bet can be taken down, but not
increased, after the come-out roll.
double odds
an odds bet that is about twice as large as the original pass/come
bet. Some casinos offer higher odds, such as 5X or even 10X odds.
field bet
a bet that the next roll will be 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. This bet
pays even money for 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11, and usually pays 2:1 for 2 or
12. Some casinos pay 3:1 for either the 2 or 12 (but not both), and
some casinos may make the 5 instead of the 9 a field roll.
hard way
a bet on 4, 6, 8, or 10 that wins only if the dice show the same face;
e.g., "hard 8" occurs when each die shows a four.
hop bet
a bet that the next roll will result in one particular combination of
the dice, such as 2-2 (called a "hopping hardway") or 3-5. 2-2, 3-3,
4-4, and 5-5 are paid the same as a one-roll 2; other hop bets are
paid the same as a one-roll 11.
horn bet
a bet that the next roll will be 2, 3, 11, or 12, made in multiples of
4, with one unit on each of the numbers.
horn high bet
a bet made in multiples of 5 with one unit on 3 of the horn numbers,
and two units on the "high" number; e.g., "$5 horn high eleven": $1
each on 2, 3, 12, and $2 on the 11.
lay bet
a bet that a particular number (4,5,6,8,9, or 10) will NOT be rolled
before a 7 comes up. The casino takes 5% of the winnings on these
bets. The 5% commission is usually taken up front, but some casinos
take the commission after the bet wins.
lay odds
after a point has been established, the don't pass bettor can place an
additional odds bet that will win if the original don't pass bet wins.
The odds bet is paid at the correct odds for the point, and is a fair
bet with no house edge. This also applies to a don't come bet. Making
this bets is referred to "laying the odds" for your don't bet.
line bet
a bet on the "pass line" or the "don't pass line" is called a "line"
bet. These bets are placed at the beginning of the game, before the
"come out" roll. The shooter is required to make a line bet in order
to shoot the dice.
odds off
odds bets that are "not working". Odds bets can be called "off" by the
player at any time, but are left on the felt until the bet is
resolved. Also, come odds bets are usually "off" during the come out
roll, unless the bettor asks to have the odds bets "working". Come odd
bets that are "off" will be returned to the player if the line bet
loses on the come out roll. Don't come odds generally work on the
come-out roll.
pass bet
a bet that the dice will pass, also known as a "pass line" bet. This
bet is generally placed immediately before a "come out" roll, although
you can make or increase this bet at any time. House edge on this bets
is 1.41%.
place bet (to win)
a bet that a particular number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) will be rolled
before a 7 comes up. These bets are paid at slightly less than correct
odds, giving the house an edge of 1.52% on 6/8, 4% on 5/9, and 6.67%
on 4/10.
place bet (to lose)
a bet that a 7 will be rolled before the number you are placing
(4,5,6,8,9, or 10) comes up. The casino requires you to lay slightly
more than the correct odds, giving the house an edge of 3.03% on 4/10,
2.5% on 5/9, and 1.82% on 6/8.
point
if a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled on the come out roll, then this
number becomes the "point". The shooter must roll the point again,
before rolling a seven, in order for the dice to "pass". A "come
point" is just the number that is serving as a point for a come bet.
put bet
1. A bet made on the pass line after the come out roll. This is
allowed in Las Vegas and at Turning Stone, but not in Atlantic City
and not at Foxwoods. This is not recommended, as 45% of your pass line
wins are made on the come-out roll. 2. A bet made directly onto a come
point number. E.g., "Put $5 and $10 odds on the six." Not recommended
for the same reasons given in 1.
right bettor
a player who bets that the dice will pass.
seven out
when the shooter rolls seven after a point has been established.
Control of the dice is transferred to the next shooter. Another term
for this is "miss out." You will sometimes hear players call this
something else, but we can't print those things here. This is often
incorrectly called "crap out."
shooter
the player who is rolling the dice. The shooter must place a "line"
bet ("pass" or "don't pass") in order to be eligible to roll the dice.
Of course, the shooter can place other bets in addition to the
required "line" bet. Most shooters (and players) tend to play the
"pass" line. Note that shooters who make "don't pass" bets are not
betting against themselves, they are simply betting that the dice will
not "pass".
single odds
an odds bet that is about as large as the original pass/come bet. Some
casinos allow "double odds", or even larger odds bets.
take odds
after a point has been established, the pass/come bettor can place an
additional odds bet that will win if the original pass/come bet wins.
The odds bet is paid at the correct odds for the point, and is a fair
bet with no house edge.
two ways
a phrase appended to a hardway or proposition bet to indicate that the
player is betting one chip for the dealers along with his own bet. A
$2 bet two ways is $1 for the player and $1 for the dealers; a $6 bet
two ways is $5 for the player and $1 for the dealers; a $10 bet two
ways is $5 for the player and $5 for the dealers. E.g., "Hard 6, two
ways" or "Two-way hard 6."
working
bets that are "live" (i.e., can be resolved with the next roll) are
said to be working. Generally, place bets, buy/lay bets, and come odds
bets do not work on the come-out unless you tell the dealers to "make
them work." All other bets (e.g., hardways) work unless you call them
"off" (i.e., tell the dealers you do not want them to "work").
world bet
a bet that the next roll will be 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12, made in multiples
of 5, with one unit on each of the numbers.
wrong bettor
a player who bets that the dice will not pass.
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Q:C2 How is Craps played?
A:C2 (Dave Decot, Frank Irwin, Alan Mintz, Ken Elliott III, Jeffrey Osier)
Casino craps is played completely against the casino, on a big felt layout
set inside a large table with high rails around the side so you can bounce
the dice off 'em and still keep 'em on the table. Up to between 12 and 16
people can play at once, depending on the size of the table (obviously).
The layout looks something like:
Dealer stands Boxman sits Dealer stands
here here here
#######################################################################
# __ ____________________ $$$$$$$$$$$$$ ____________________ __ #
# | d||DC| 4| 5| 6| 8| 9|10| +---------------+ | 4| 5| 6| 8| 9|10|DC||d | #
# |Po||__|__|__|__|__|__|__| |any seven 4-1| |__|__|__|__|__|__|__||oP| #
# |An| ____________________ +===============+ ____________________ |nA| #
# |St|| C O M E | |hard 4 | hard 6| | C O M E ||tS| #
# |Sp||____________________| |-------+-------| |____________________||pS| #
# |La| ____________________ |hard 10| hard 8| ____________________ |aL| #
# |Is||2 3 4 9 10 11 12| +===============+ |2 3 4 9 10 11 12||sI| #
# |Ns||_______FIELD________| |two | three| |_______FIELD________||sN| #
# |E |_____________________ |-----HORN------| _____________________| E| #
# | don't pass bar 12 | |eleven | twelve| | don't pass bar 12 | #
# \________PASS_LINE______| +===============+ |________PASS_LINE______/ #
# | any craps | #
# +---------------+ #
# /dice\ #
#####################################################################
Stickman stands
here
Each player bets a minimum amount determined by the table.
Each die has six sides, each side with a different number of spots from one
to six.
Two such dice are rolled by one player called the "shooter". The shooter
must place a "pass" bet or a "don't pass" bet in order to be eligible to
roll the dice. Exception: the shooter can let his Hot Babe (TM) roll the
dice for him if he has a pass or don't pass bet down.
The total number of spots on the tops of the dice after the shooter has
rolled is called the "roll".
A game consists of a series of rolls.
A roll of 2, 3, or 12 is called "craps".
The first roll by the shooter during a game is called the "come-out roll".
If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, the game is over:
Bets on the "Pass line" win 1:1.
Bets on the "Don't Pass line" lose.
If the come-out roll is craps, the game is over:
Bets on the "Pass line" lose.
Bets on the "Don't Pass line" win unless:
The "Don't Pass" line says "Bar " and the roll is the indicated value,
in which case the bet pushes.
Otherwise, the come-out roll becomes the "point", and a large white marker
is placed on the number representing the point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10).
For each roll in a game subsequent to the come-out roll:
If the roll is the point, the game is over:
Bets on the "Pass line" win 1:1.
Bets on the "Don't Pass line" lose.
If the roll is 7, the game is over:
Bets on the "Pass line" and lose.
Bets on the "Don't Pass line" win 1:1.
The turn of the "shooter" is over.
Otherwise, the game continues and the shooter rolls again.
During a game, bets on the Pass line cannot be removed; they can, however,
be increased. Bets on the Don't Pass line may be decreased or removed, but
not increased.
When a game is over:
If the game was over on the come-out roll, or because the point was
rolled again, the shooter may continue to be the shooter for another
game, or pass the dice on to the player just clockwise, who becomes
the new shooter.
Otherwise, the shooter must pass the dice on to the player just
clockwise, who becomes the new shooter.
Note: The other bets that can be made and resolved are not detailed above
for purposes of saving space. A description of when these bets win or lose
is given in question C1.
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Q:C3 What are "Odds"?
A:C3 (Matt Wilding, Ken Elliott III)
Casinos allow a player to place "odds" on pass, don't pass, come, and don't
come bets after a "point" has been established. If the bet on which odds
are placed wins, the odds bet is paid fairly. This means the odds on pass
and come bets are paid 2-1 for the 4 and 10, 3-2 for the 5 and 9, and 6-5
for the 6 and 8. The odds for don't pass and don't come bets are paid 1-2
for the 4 and 10, 2-3 for the 5 and 9, and 5-6 for the 6 and 8 (this is
called "laying" odds).
The player should make odds bets that can be paid exactly, or the dealer
will pay off by rounding down. Odds on the pass line and come bets should
be a multiple 5 if the point is 6 or 8 and a multiple of 2 if it's a 5 or
9. (Don't betters can figure this out themselves.)
Casinos advertise the maximum odds bets they allow as the maximum amount
"times" the original bet the odds bet may be (for don't pass and don't come
bets, it's the maximum amount "times" the expected win). You can increase
your odds bet over this advertised maximum only enough to allow you to make
an odds bet that can be paid exactly.
A player can modify his odds bets at any time.
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Q:C4 What is the house advantage on 10x odds?
A:C4 (Ken Elliott III, David Escoffery)
The following table lists the house advantage for a pass bet and don't pass
bet with the indicated odds. Remember, the house advantage indicates
(mathematically) the percentage of your bet handle that the casino will win
in the long run. Be aware, too, that higher odds often means a higher bet
handle, which in turn leads to higher "variance;" that is, your bankroll
may exhibit greater swings if you're used to betting $15 a hand ($5 pass
bet at double odds) and suddenly start betting $55 a hand ($5 pass bet at
10x odds).
HOUSE ADVANTAGE
odds pass bet don't pass bet
0x 1.4141% 1.4026%
1x 0.8485% 0.8320%
2x 0.6061% 0.5915%
3x 0.4714% 0.4588%
4x 0.3857% 0.3747%
5x 0.3263% 0.3167%
6x 0.2828% 0.2743%
7x 0.2496% 0.2418%
8x 0.2233% 0.2163%
9x 0.2020% 0.1956%
10x 0.1845% 0.1785%
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Q:C5 What are "Come" and "Don't Come" bets?
A:C5 (Dave Decot, Frank Irwin, Alan Mintz, Ken Elliott III)
Other bets can be made during the game after the come-out roll by anyone,
called "Come" and "Don't Come" bets. These are made by placing the bet on
the "Come" box or the "Don't Come" box; these bets are regarded as Pass
(Don't Pass) bets, but as if the very next roll of the dice were the
"come-out" roll of a new game. For example, if a come bet is made and if
the next roll is 7 or 11, the Come bet wins immediately; if the next roll
is 2, 3, or 12, the Come bet loses immediately; otherwise, the number
rolled is the point for that Come bet (called a come point). Such a Come
bet is moved onto the area of the table where its point appears, awaiting a
roll of either its point or seven. The game for a Come bet always continues
until this happens, even though the shooter rolls the point for the Pass
line, even though the shooter begins a new game for the Pass line, even
though another shooter begins rolling, as long as the termination
conditions for that Come bet have not yet occurred.
Note that rolling a seven always terminates all Pass, Come, Don't Pass, and
Don't Come games on the table; since it results in immediate win or loss.
The payoffs for Come and Don't Come bets are the same as for Pass and Don't
pass bets.
It is possible to place odds bets on the points of your own Come and Don't
Come bets by handing the bet to a dealer and stating that you want "odds on
my ". Unless you specify otherwise, odds bets on Come are declared "not
working" on a come out roll after a point is made. However, odds on Don't
Come bets are usually working by default.
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Q:C6 What are all those other bets?
A:C6 (Dave Decot, Frank Irwin, Ken Elliott III)
Other bets are possible:
Place bets (to win):
Bets that an indicated number will be rolled before 7 is rolled
(come-out rolls are ignored for the purpose of determining this,
unless otherwise specified by the player making the bet).
Place bets (to lose):
Bets that a 7 will be rolled before the indicated number is rolled
(come-out rolls are ignored for the purpose of determining this,
unless otherwise specified by the player making the bet).
One roll bets:
Bets that a certain roll, or a certain pair of dice faces, or one of
several rolls, will appear on the next roll of the dice. Such bets may
be made before any roll. These all pay higher than 1:1, This includes
"Any craps", "eleven", "seven", "Horn", and "field" bets.
Field:
A special case of one-roll bet. This pays 1-1 whenever 3, 4, 9, 10, or
11 is rolled, and possibly higher amounts when 2 or 12 is rolled.
Hardways:
Bets that a certain pair of dice faces will appear before 7 is rolled,
and before any other pair of dice faces with the same total value are
rolled. For example, a bet on "hard 4 (2 and 2)" loses when (1 and 3)
is rolled, because this is an "easy way" to roll 4. A bet on "hard
anything" loses when 7 is rolled.
Hopping hardways:
Bets that a certain pair of identical dice faces will appear on the
next roll. These all pay 30:1 (or sometimes higher or lower).
Horn bets:
Basically, just betting on the 2,3,11, and 12 at once. This requires 4
units, since you are really making 4 bets.
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Q:C7 What are the odds for all these bets?
A:C7 (["Winning Casino Craps" by Edwin Silberstang], Ken Elliott III)
Note that some casinos offer different payouts for prop bets, lower
(promotional) commission on buy/lay bets, and collection of buy/lay bet
vigorish only on winning bets, all of which change the "Casino Advantage"
listed below. The numbers below represent those most commonly seen in Las
Vegas.
Bet Casino Payoff Casino Advantage
Pass-Line 1:1 1.41%
With Single Odds 1:1 + odds 0.8
With Double Odds 1:1 + odds 0.6
Come 1:1 1.41%
With Single Odds 1:1 + odds 0.8
With Double Odds 1:1 + odds 0.6
Don't Pass 1:1 1.40%
With Single Odds 1:1 + odds 0.8
With Double Odds 1:1 + odds 0.6
Don't Come 1:1 1.40%
With Single Odds 1:1 + odds 0.8
With Double Odds 1:1 + odds 0.6
Place Numbers (to win)
4 or 10 9:5 6.67%
4 or 10 (bought) 2:1 (-5% commission) 4.76
5 or 9 7:5 4.0
6 or 8 7:6 1.52
Place Numbers (to lose)
4 or 10 5:11 3.03%
4 or 10 (laid) 1:2 (-5% commission) 2.44
5 or 9 5:8 2.5
6 or 8 4:5 1.82
Big 6 and Big 8 1:1 9.09%
Field
With 2 and 12 paying 2:1 1:1 except 2 & 12 5.55%
With 2 pay 3:1, 12 pay 2:1 1:1 except 2 & 12 2.77%
With 2 pay 2:1, 12 pay 3:1 1:1 except 2 & 12 2.77%
In practically all casinos, odds on proposition bets are quoted as "x for
y", which means that the casino takes your winning "x" bet and pays you
"y", in contrast to what is done for other winning bets (e.g., if the "Any
7" bet is "5 for 1", when making a $1 bet and winning the casino will take
your $1 and give you $5, for a "real" payoff of "4 *to* 1"). The numbers
below are quoted as "x:y", not "x for y".
Proposition Bets
Bet True Odds Casino Payoff Casino Advantage
Any 7 5:1 4:1 16.67%
Any Craps 8:1 7:1 11.1
2 or 12 35:1 30:1 13.89
29:1 16.67
3 or 11 17:1 15:1 11.1
14:1 16.67
Hardways
4 or 10 8:1 7:1 11.1%
6 or 8 10:1 9:1 9.09
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