Craps features a wide range of bets. It offers everything from basic wagers like pass line and don’t pass line to exotic prop bets like Field and Any 7.
Of course, no craps wager is more coveted than odds. An odds bet, which goes beyond a don’t pass line or pass line wager, doesn’t carry a casino edge.
As I’ll cover below, the concept of odds is fairly easy to understand. However, a certain type of odds bet known as 3-4-5x is trickier. I’ll discuss more on 3-4-5x odds below and why they’re so popular in casinos.
How Do Craps Odds Normally Work?
Unlike every other craps bet, odds aren’t marked on the table. Instead, you place odds behind your don’t pass line or pass line wager once the point number is established on the comeout roll. You should also notify the dealer of your intentions so that there’s no confusion if you win.
Once you back the don’t pass line or pass line with odds, you’re relying on the given point number to turn up. Assuming you get the relevant point, then you win both your first wager and the odds.
Payouts vary based on the exact bet and point number. Here are the available possibilities:
- Pass Line
- 2:1 payout on point numbers of 10 and 4.
- 3:2 payout on points of 9 and 5.
- 6:5 payout on points of 8 and 6.
- Don’t Pass Line
- 1:2 payout for point numbers of 10 and 4.
- 2:3 payout for points of 9 and 5.
- 5:6 payout for points of 8 and 6.
Your overall payout depends upon what the odds pay. Here’s an example:
- You place a $10 pass line bet.
- A 4 is rolled on the comeout—thus establishing the point number of 4.
- You back this wager with $10 in odds (1x the original bet).
- The shooter rolls a 4 before a 7.
- You win $30 overall—including $10 for the pass line and $20 for the odds (2:1 payout).
As mentioned before, odds don’t feature a casino edge. However, the original bet still carries a house advantage.
You can reduce the overall house edge by betting larger odds. In the example above, you only took 1x odds by backing a $10 wager with an extra $10.
But most casinos let you go higher than 1x. Below, you can see how far the house advantage drops when you place larger odds wagers:
- 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%
- 3-4-5x odds: pass line 0.374%; don’t pass line 0.273%
- 5x odds: pass line 0.33%; don’t pass line 0.23%
- 10x odds: pass line 0.18%; don’t pass line 0.12%
How Do 3-4-5x Odds Differ?
As seen above, odds come in plenty of sizes. Of course, these different odds wagers can become confusing to dealers.
After all, the table crew is already working with various bets. When one player bets 3x odds on a 5 point number and another puts 5x odds behind 10, things only become more hectic.
In order to cut down on some of this confusion, casinos feature 3-4-5x odds. When making this bet, you’re putting:
- 3x odds behind point numbers of 4 and 10.
- 4x odds behind points of 5 and 9.
- 5x odds behind points of 6 and 8.
At first glance, this setup seems like it would be just as confusing. However, it actually clears things up by ensuring the same payout no matter the point number.
Here’s an example:
- You wager $5 on pass line. Your odds bets and payouts will then be:
- $15 (3x) on points of 4 and 10; payout would be $30 (2:1).
- $20 (4x) on points of 5 and 9; payout would be $30 (3:2).
- $25 (5x) on points of 6 and 8; payout would be $30 (6:5).
The telling part here is the equal payouts in each situation. Even though you’re dealing with different odds and bets, you’ll still receive $30 for the odds portion ($35 overall) after a win.
Why Casinos Like 3-4-5x Odds
Again, the table crew has a lot to watch over with basic bets. Their jobs only become more difficult when odds come into the mix.
Casinos won’t necessarily stop you from betting 1x or 2x odds. However, the dealer may push you to go with 3-4-5x odds instead.
Besides helping dealers out, casinos also like 3-4-5x odds because they eliminate awkward payouts. Assuming you wager $5 on pass line with 3x odds (extra $15) on a point of 5 or 9, you’d win $22.50 if successful.
Not all casinos have $0.50 chips sitting around. That said, they like getting rid of this problem to begin with by encouraging gamblers to place 3-4-5x odds.
Many Casinos Don’t Go Above 3-4-5x Odds
Many gambling establishments stop at 3-4-5x odds. Their main reasons for doing so include:
- 3-4-5x odds make it easy for dealers.
- This setup makes payouts easier.
- They don’t want to give away too much of an edge.
The last point is key with this topic. Casinos lose more and more of their advantage when they allow bigger odds.
The don’t pass line bet features just a 0.23% house edge on 5x odds and a 0.18% house advantage on 10x odds.
Of course, not every gambler feels entirely comfortable risking 5x or 10x their wager—even if there’s no house edge involved. That said, most gamblers are perfectly content with 3-4-5x.
Where Can You Find 3-4-5x Odds?
Online casinos offering craps don’t typically offer above 2x or 3x odds. If there’s an online game that features 3-4-5x odds, then I haven’t found it.
You’ll need to visit land-based casinos to find these odds. Again, most brick-and-mortar casinos are willing to offer 3-4-5x.
If not, then you should at least find 3x like with online craps. Maybe these aren’t you’re dream odds, but they still lower pass line and don’t pass line house edges to 0.47% and 0.34%, respectively.
Why You Should Make Odds Bets When Possible
Odds are great for craps players in general. Below, you can see the primary reasons to place these wagers regardless of if they’re 3-4-5x or something else.
Best Bet in the Casino
Plenty of fair games exist in the casino. Baccarat, blackjack, European roulette, French roulette, and Pai Gow poker all feature less than a 3% house advantage.
The only problem, though, is that each of these games still gives the casino an edge. An odds bet, on the other hand, doesn’t carry any casino advantage and gives you a better chance of winning real money.
Get More Action in Each Round
You might be tempted to place several wagers in a single round. After all, craps gives you the ability to make lots of bets.
However, the house edge gets worse as you move further away from pass line and don’t pass line wagers. Some prop bets even feature up to a 16.67% house advantage.
Odds provide you with more action in each round. The best part is that you don’t need to give away a massive edge to the casino when seeking this action either.
Capitalize on Hot Streaks
You or any other real money craps player can get on a hot streak with the dice. When this happens, you want more action on the line.
Of course, you’re not going to make much if you’re only risking $5 to $10 on pass or don’t pass line. But you can really earn some serious money when adding odds to the equation.
Odds are already a foreign concept to many beginning craps players. They only become more confusing when adding the 3-4-5x variety to the mix.
Luckily, you shouldn’t have much trouble learning 3-4-5x odds when you know how odds in general work. A 3-4-5x bet simply means that you’re backing an original wager with 3x, 4x, or 5x odds, depending upon the point number.
These odds make it easier for the casino to handle odds and make payouts. You also shouldn’t have much trouble with these wagers after gaining some experience with them.
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. …