Craps can be one of the harshest or friendliest games on your bankroll. It offers a broad spectrum of bets that vary greatly in terms of house edge.
Some prop bets feature house advantages that go as high as 16.67%. Meanwhile, certain wagers carry as little as a 1.36% house edge.
You definitely want to stick with the latter category when playing this game. If so, you’ll enjoy some of the best opportunities in gambling.
Amazingly, though, you can do even better than this with odds bets. The latter is the only class of wagers in the casino that doesn’t feature a house edge.
You may jump at the chance to place a bet with no house advantage. Before doing so, though, you should definitely consider the pros and cons behind these wagers.
What Are Odds Bets?
Odds can be placed behind pass line and don’t pass on bets. You make a pass line or don’t pass line wager like normal and then put extra chips behind them to represent odds.
You must wait for a point number to be established on the come-out roll before making one of these wagers. An odds bet revolves around the outcome of the point number, rather than your original bet.
Pay outs are equal to the true odds of winning (hence no house edge). The following shows how much you stand to win based on the point in play.
- 2:1 pay out on point numbers of 4 and 10.
- 3:2 pay out on points of 5 and 9.
- 6:5 pay out on points of 6 and 8.
Don’t Pass Line
- 1:2 pay out for point numbers of 4 and 10.
- 2:3 pay out for points of 5 and 9.
- 5:6 pay out for points of 6 and 8.
Online casinos only require that you select the chips representing your odds bet and lay them in the correct position. The software automatically knows that you’re putting odds behind your original wager in this case.
At land-based casinos, you should inform the dealer that you’re backing a bet. Otherwise, they might overlook your odds or simply think that you’re placing a larger don’t pass line or pass line wager.
The greatest thing about odds is that they don’t carry a house edge. Therefore, you benefit more by putting more chips on the table.
Here’s how much the house advantage decreases based on the size of your odds:
- 1x odds: pass line 0.85%; don’t pass line 0.68%
- 2x odds: pass line 0.61%; don’t pass line 0.46%
- 3x odds: pass line 0.47%; don’t pass line 0.34%
- 5x odds: pass line 0.33%; don’t pass line 0.23%
- 10x odds: pass line 0.18%; don’t pass line 0.12%
- 20x odds: pass line 0.1%; don’t pass line 0.07%
- 100x odds: pass line 0.02%; don’t pass line 0.1%
Every casino puts a limit on what odds you can bet. Most gambling establishments only let you wager up to 3x or 5x odds.
However, other casinos are more liberal in how they treat these bets. Certain Las Vegas casinos allow between 20x and 100x odds wagers.
Of course, you don’t have to risk anywhere near this amount. You can still enjoy a lower house edge with figures ranging from 2x to 3x.
Pros of Odds Bets
Odds wagers are extremely popular among craps players for multiple reasons. You can see the main benefits to these bets below.
No House Edge
You don’t have to think long about why odds are so popular. They represent the only time that you’re on even ground with the casino.
An odds bet doesn’t carry a house edge. You’re essentially flipping a coin with the casino when placing this wager.
Of course, you still face a house advantage with your original bet. But you can make a small don’t pass line or pass line wager backed with larger odds.
Here’s an example:
- You put $5 on don’t pass line.
- The casino allows up to 5x odds.
- You place the maximum $25 odds bet (5 x 5) allowed in this situation.
Only $5 of your bet is subject to the don’t pass line wager’s 1.36% house edge. The remaining $25 doesn’t carry a house advantage.
No Better Opportunity in the Casino
Casino games can vary greatly regarding the house edge. For example, French Roulette (1.35% house advantage) gives you a much stronger chance of winning than land-based penny slot machines (8% to 12%).
Other games that are good bets include:
- Baccarat – 1.06% house edge (banker bet)
- Blackjack – 0.5% to 2.0% (varies by table rules)
- Pai Gow Poker – 1.5% (when acting as banker)
- Red Dog – 2.8%
- Ultimate Texas hold’em – 2.19%
- Video poker – 0.46% (Jacks or Better)
You can see that the casino offers plenty of solid opportunities to win. However, the games listed above all have one thing in common—a house edge.
Normally, the only chance you have to gamble without a house advantage includes sports betting, poker, card counting, and shuffle tracking. Of course, you must be extremely skilled to master these forms of gambling and advantage play methods.
Odds represent the one chance where you don’t need to become a poker pro or card counter to afford a house edge. Instead, you can simply put odds behind one of your regular bets.
Get More Action Without Paying Dearly
You can take a chance at winning more money in craps through one of two ways:
- Making prop bets that offer larger pay outs but also feature ridiculous house edges.
- Increase your stakes with better wagers.
You definitely want to avoid the many craps sucker bets. After all, some of these wagers feature double-digit house edges.
Of course, you put more money at risk by upping your stakes. You’ll also be facing a house advantage in most cases.
An odds bet, however, gives you an opportunity to get more action without being at a huge disadvantage. You can wager 10x odds or more depending upon the casino.
Cons of Odds Bets
Odds seem like a dream come true. However, they do carry some downsides that you should be aware of before running to the tables.
You Must Risk More Money
Craps odds aren’t free. In fact, they can be quite expensive depending upon your preferences.
You need to risk a multiple of your stake to place these wagers. Once you get up to 5x odds or more, you’re taking a much bigger chance.
10x odds, for example, require that you bet 10x the amount of your original wager. Even with the low house edge, you stand a bit over a 50% chance of losing this money.
Odds Bets Can Accelerate Your Losses
Chances are, you don’t go to the craps table with the intentions of making a few big rolls and leaving. Instead, you want to extend your entertainment and enjoy a fun evening.
You shouldn’t have any trouble making this happen with $5 pass line and don’t pass line bets. You’ll win around 50% of the time, on average, and enjoy lots of rounds with a small bankroll.
Online craps provide an even greater chance of playing for quite a while. Most gaming sites only require a $1 minimum wager.
Odds bets force you away from the comfort zone of making small minimum wagers. They require that you double your bets or more.
You’re Still Facing a Slight House Edge Overall
You can’t place an odd wager or without also betting on pass line or don’t pass line. The casino always has a slight advantage on the latter two bets.
Luckily, their edge is barely noticeable in the short run. But you’re still facing a house edge, nonetheless.
Even if you’re able to bet 20x or 100x odds, the casino will have a small advantage. So, your odds may be free of a house edge, but your initial bet isn’t.
Should You Back Bets With Odds?
Nothing compels you to take odds. You can stick to minimum pass line, don’t pass line, come, and don’t come bets and have a fun time.
However, you should strongly consider backing your wagers with odds. You’ll enjoy the type of house edge that other gamblers will envy.
Of course, anybody can step up to the craps table and enjoy the same ultra-low house advantage. Then again, though, craps is an intimidating game with its large betting board.
As long as you’re comfortable playing craps, you want to at least take 2x odds. Preferably, you’ll have the bankroll to place even more chips behind a don’t pass line or pass line bet.
Casinos like to hold an advantage in every situation. For some reason, though, they give up their edge when it comes to odds bets.
A rare exception to the norm, an odds wager doesn’t carry a house edge. You have the same chance of beating the casino with odds as they do you.
Of course, you must place a pass line or don’t pass line bet first. But you can risk the minimum on these and take the highest odds available in the casino.
Odds bets aren’t perfect when considering that they require risking even more money per round. However, they’re perfect if you want to get more action without taking significant risk in terms of the house edge.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …