Attractive odds rate high among the reasons why casino Craps tables are usually quite crowded. It is easier to win throwing dice than predicting where a Roulette ball will fall or whether the favourite will prevail in a horse race. And that’s not just rumour; the math actually proves it.
The “House Edge” is built into all games of chance. It ensures that the casino earns a profit over the long term. However, this advantage is much greater for some types of wagers than for others. It can range from a whopping 29% at Keno to a tiny 0.28% at the Blackjack tables when played by rules most favorable to the player. Experienced players avoid games that make it almost impossible to beat the House.
In the game know as “Bank Craps” or simply Craps, the House Edge on the Pass Line is just 1.41%. That makes it comparable to Baccarat at 1.23% and preferable to European Roulette at 2.70%. What’s more, at the Craps table it is possible to Take Odds by backing the Pass Line wager with additional funds, which payout at “true odds,” completely eliminating the House Edge for that portion of the bet.
To Take Odds, the player simply stacks additional chips on the apron directly behind the original Pass Line bet any time after the Point has been established. The payoffs for these extra wagers are much better than even money, namely 2-to-1 when successfully backing a 4 or 10, 3-to-2 for a 5 or 9, and 6-to-5 for a 6 or 8.
It is also possible to Take Odds following Come Bets and to Lay Odds after Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets. These types of wagers are positioned on the table surface by the dealer on behalf of the player. The maximum permitted is a function of the House rules, ranging from 1X or 2X up to 10X, 50X or even 100X.
At 2X for Odds, the House advantage falls to 0.61% for the total wager, which includes the original Pass Line bet. At 5X, the Edge falls to 0.33%, and at 20X it decreases to a mere 0.10%. Those who can afford to take advantage of 100X Odds can push the House Edge down to just 0.02%, leaving virtually no advantage at all for the casino.
No other bets on the Craps table layout quite compare with Taking Odds. Indeed, many Craps wagers have such poor Odds, they should never be considered. Among these “bad bets” are all of the proposition bets that appear in the center of the table.
For example, the Hard 6 and Hard 8 bets carry a House Edge of 9.09%. For the Hard 4 and Hard 10, the advantage is 11.11%. Similarly, betting on Any Craps provides the casino with an 11.11% margin, and wagering on Any Seven gives the House a massive 16.67% edge.
Just as poor as these are the proposition bets known as Big 6 and Big 8. They give the House a 9.09% advantage. At tables where Field Bets pay 2-to-1 on the 12, the House gets a 5.56% edge. Place Bets on the 4 or 10 give away a 6.67% margin, and Place Bets on the 5 or 9 come with a 4.00% advantage for the House.
Except for the Odds wagers noted previously, the only risk-worthy wagers at the Craps table are Place Bets on the 6 and 8. The House Edge on these comes to only 1.52%, which is preferable to Roulette odds. One of the most popular Craps strategies is a combination of Taking Odds and making Place 6 or Place 8 wagers. Strictly from an odds point of view, that mix has the best opportunity for success at the Craps table.