There are probably over 100 different bets and combination of bets at craps, not all of them on the layout. Some of these bets are excellent, some of them are good, some of them are not so good, and some of them are just awful. Here are the 10 best bets at craps in order of bestness. Most of these you have heard of, some may be new to you.
1. Taking over or buying player don?t bets.
This is a bet that very few people know about. I first heard of it from the Captain, and it is the only way to get a mathematical edge at craps. Often wrong bettors will place don?t pass and/or don?t come bets that wind up on the six or eight. For a don?t bettor, the most dangerous part of the game is trying to get up on the number since he has to buck the appearance of the seven and 11 to do so. But once up on the numbers, the don?t bettor has the best of it because he is now rooting for the seven, which has six chances of appearing in 36 possible combinations of two six-sided dice. The six and eight can each be made five ways. So if you are up on the don?t-six, you have six ways to win (on the number seven) and five ways to lose. When the bet is $10 you would win $60, lose $50, and be ahead by $10 after the 11 decisions (on average). If you see a don?t player about to take his bet down just say to the fellow: ?Don?t! Here?s $10 bucks, you?re even!? He?ll take the $10 because that?s what his bet is. Now the bet is yours and you have a nice six to five edge! If the player is betting $15 or more on the don?t. You can even offer to ?buy? the number by giving him $16, instead of $15. He makes a profit and so will you (in the long run). On 11 decisions of $15, you will win $90, lose $75 plus $11 for buying the bet and come out ahead by four dollars. As the amount on the don?t bet increases you will still probably be able to buy the bet for one dollar because the don?t player was willing to take it back with no gain. Of course, there will be wild swings even when you have this slight edge but playing with an edge is always better than playing without an edge.
2. The Oddsman?s Bet
Many players who make pass line bets can?t afford to take any odds or full odds behind the bet once the number is established. You can place the odds if the person allows you. The casino has no edge on the odds and in the long run your expectation is to break even. That could be a lot of casino fun with no expected cost! One caveat: make sure the person behind whose bet you?re taking odds fully understands what it is you are doing. You don?t want to win a bet only to have the man or woman scoop it up and keep it.
3. Don?t Pass with odds - Don?t Come with odds
Always put the least allowed on the don?t pass or the don?t come and the most in odds behind it. The house will have a 1.403 percent edge on the don?t pass and don?t come bets but no edge on the odds bets.
4. Pass with odds - Come with odds
The same advice applies to this bet which comes in with a 1.414 percent edge on the pass line and the come but no edge on the odds portion of the bets.
5. Place the Six or Eight to win
In multiples of six dollars, placing the six or eight is the only worthwhile place-to-win bet on the table as the casino has a rather reasonable 1.52 percent edge. You?ll be paid seven dollars for your six dollar bet when the number hits.
6. Place the six or eight to lose
You place five dollars on the table and say: ?Six (or eight) to lose.? If the seven shows, you win four dollars. The house edge is 1.82 percent.
7. Lay 4 or 10
Place $41 dollars on the table and say: ?Lay against the four (or 10).? If you win, you get $20. The house edge is 2.44 percent.
8. Place the five or nine to lose
You throw down eight dollars and place the above numbers to lose. If the seven shows, you win five dollars. The house edge is 2.5 percent.
9. Buy the four or 10 for $35 or $39 (paying one dollar commission)
Normally the placing of the four or 10 has a hefty house edge of 6.67 percent which makes it one of the worst bets on the craps table. However, the casino usually lets you ?buy? the number by paying a one dollar commission if you are betting $20 or $25. However, the Captain has bought the four and 10 for $35, paying that one dollar commission, which reduces the house edge to 2.78 percent, and he has also been able to buy the four for $39 dollars for the same one dollar commission. This latter bet reduces the house edge to 2.5 percent. It still isn?t a good bet but it?s a heck of a lot better than just placing it. Of course, you have to be able to afford it. Some casinos allow you to buy the four and only pay the commission if it wins. This is another wonderful way to reduce the house edge on an otherwise bad bet. Some casinos now allow the buying of the four or 10 and only paying the commission if you win. This reduces the house edge to around 1.3 percent -- a very good bet.
10. The Field (if it pays triple on either the 2 or 12)
Usually the Field is not a good bet, but when the 2 or 12 is returning three to one, instead of the usual two to one, the house edge drops to 2.78 percent.
There you have it, the 10 best bets at craps.
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