Intermediate Craps
BACKGROUND
The shooter can establish points of 4,5,6,8,9 or 10. Some points
(6 and 8) are more likely to be "made" than other points because
there are more ways to roll them:
- There are five ways to roll a 6
- There are five ways to roll a 8
- There are four ways to roll a 5
- There are four ways to roll a 9
- There are three ways to roll a 4
- There are three ways to roll a 10
- Note that there are six ways to roll a 7, making it the most
likely number to come up.
(This is how the house gets its edge.)
Clearly a point of 6 or 8 gives you the best odds of winning when
a point is established. The following are the mathematical odds (also called the "true odds")
of the various points being "made" before a 7 is rolled and what the payout on the odds bet is:
- 6 or 8 = 5:6 - pays 6:5
- 5 or 9 = 2:3 - pays 3:2
- 4 or 10 = 1:2 - pays 2:1
ODDS BET
When you have a Pass Line bet down and ONCE A POINT IS ESTABLISHED,
you can also put down an additional bet known as an odds bet. Winning Pass Line bets pay off at even money. Odds bets pay off at the "true odds" of making the current point. As a result, it is better to "put down odds" rather than to simply place a higher Pass Line bet. The fact that the payout is equal to the (true) odds of making the point, this bet is also referred to as "free odds" because the house doesn't take a "cut" of the payout. However, if a 7 is rolled, you lose both your Pass Line and odds bets.
The bet (chips) are placed directly behind your Pass Line bet on the layout after a point is established.
Most Las Vegas Strip casinos offer "double odds" (aka "2x odds") at their craps tables. This means that you can place an odds bet up to double the amount of your Pass Line bet. There are two things to keep in mind when placing odds bets:
- because of the 3:2 payout, odds bets placed on points of 5 and 9 should be in even-number dollars
- because of the 6:5 payout, at "double odds" tables you can actually put down 2.5 times your Pass Line bet when the point is 6 or 8. For example, with a $10 Pass Line bet, you can put down a $25 odds bet.
Example: You put down a $10 bet on the Pass Line and a point of 6 is established. You could then put down up to $25 as an odds bet. If the point is made, you will get paid even money ($10) on your $10 Pass Line bet, but you will be paid at a rate of 6:5 ($31) on your $25 odds bet.
For more aggressive betting, you could also place odds bets (up to double your Pass Line bet) on the "less-likely-to-be-made points" and the payoff will be at those odds (2:1 for points of 4 or 10, and 3:2 for
points of 5 or 9). All the "experts" say that it is foolish not to put down the maximum odds bets allowed on all points but I suspect they have more money than we do.
To try and take advantage of odds bets without bleeding money at a cold table, I normally adjust my odds bets according to the odds of making the point. I will put down the maximum odds bet for points of 6 or 8 because they are the most likely to be made. However, I will lower the amount based on the odds of making the point. Example, for a $10 Pass Line bet:
- $25 odds for points of 6 and 8
- $10 odds for points of 5 and 9
- $5 odds for points of 4 and 10
But recall that above I said it's better to put down a lower Pass Line bet with higher Odds. So when the points are 4,5,9,10 wouldn't I be better off putting $5 down on the Pass Line and the rest as Odds? Yes. But I usually play to get "rated" (which I cover on the Gaming page) and that requires minimum $10 Pass Line bets at most places. Not to mention that when you put down your Pass Line bet you have no idea what the point is going to be, and if you want to play $10/$25 (Pass Line/Odds) on the 6 and 8 you'll have to put down a $10 Pass Line bet. Remember that you can't reduce a Pass Line bet.
You also have some flexibility with Odds bets. They can be increased (provided you're not at the allowable maximum), decreased, or "taken down" (removed) completely at any time.
Note: Many Las Vegas casinos have now started offering "3/4/5x Odds". This means you can put down up to 3x Odds on points of 4 and 10, up to 4x Odds on points of 5 and 9, and up to 5x Odds on points of 6 and 8. Also, on my last visit Casino Royale was offering 100x odds and their tables typically have lower minimum bet levels. Simply ask a dealer what the odds are at any table you play.
To summarize:
- An odds bet can only be made in conjunction with a Pass Line bet
- An odds bet can be only be placed after a shooter has established a point
- An odds bet is put down behind your Pass Line bet
- Odds bets pay out at a higher return than Pass Line bets
- Because of the above, it is better to place a lower Pass Line bet and "back it up" with an odds bet rather than to place a higher Pass Line bet without odds
- If a shooter sevens out you lose both the Pass Line and odds bets
- Because of the 3:2 payout, odds bets on points of 5 and 9 should be in an even dollar amount
- At a "double odds" table, you can put down 2.5 times your Pass Line bet when the point is 6 or 8
- Odds bets can be increased, decreased, or taken down
The Optional Come Bet - You Already Know How It Works
on the Advanced Craps Play page
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