Craps and roulette offer more betting variety than any other common casino game. They each feature dozens of wagers.
This variety means that you’ll be hard-pressed to get bored of either roulette or craps. Furthermore, you can always try different bets in each session.
If you’re interested in both, though, then you may wonder how each game’s bets differ from the other. The following guide discusses how craps and roulette wagers compare in terms of house edge and win potential.
What Craps Bets Are Available?
Real money craps definitely looks like a confusing game at first. It features dozens of boxes that, unlike roulette, don’t fall into any specific format.
This game has a complex nature that includes come-out rolls and point numbers. Some wagers are only available on either the come-out roll or when a point is established. Nevertheless, you can quickly get the hang of the different bets after playing for a short time.
Craps is a dichotomy of sorts when it comes to the house edge. On one hand, it features some of gambling’s most favorable bets like pass line and don’t pass line.
However, it also offers some prop wagers with awful house edges. You certainly want to know the differences between both bet types when seeking a stronger chance at winning.
Here are the various craps wagers and their house advantages:
- Don’t pass line = 1.36% house edge
- Don’t come = 1.36%
- Pass line = 1.41%
- Come = 1.41%
- Place 6 / Place 8 = 1.52% house edge
- Lay 4 / Lay 10 = 2.44%
- Lay 5 / Lay 9 = 3.23%
- Place 5 / Place 9 = 4.0%
- Lay 6 / Lay 8 = 4.0%
- Buy 4 / Buy 10 = 4.76%
- Buy 5 / Buy 9 = 4.76%
- Buy 6 / Buy 8 = 4.76%
- Yo (11) = 11.11%
- 3 = 11.11%
- 2 or 12 (Hi-Lo) = 11.11%
- Craps (2, 3, or 12) = 11.11%
- Hard 4 / Hard 10 = 11.11%
- Horn = 12.5%
- Whirl = 13.33%
- 2 = 13.89%
- 12 = 13.89%
- Any 7 = 16.67%
“Odds” Further Lower the Craps House Edge
You can see that pass line and don’t pass line provide great chances to win. Their house advantages are among the lowest in all of gaming.
However, you can do even better by combining these bets with odds. An odds wager pays at true odds and, thus, doesn’t have a house edge.
You can make these wagers once a point has been established. Here’s how much you stand to win based on the different point numbers.
- 2:1 payout on 4- and 10-point numbers.
- 3:2 payout on 5- and 9-point numbers.
- 6:5 payout on 6- and 8-point numbers.
Don’t Pass Line
- 1:2 payout on 4- and 10-point numbers.
- 2:3 payout on 5- and 9-point numbers.
- 5:6 payout on 6- and 8-point numbers.
Odds can be worse by as much as 10x your original pass line/don’t pass line bet in some casinos. The house advantage becomes lower and lower when you bet larger 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%
The catch with odds is that you must risk more money when taking bigger multiples. Here’s an example to illustrate this point:
- You place a $5 pass line bet.
- The casino allows up to 10x odds.
- You wager the full 10x odds ($50 extra).
- You’re now wagering $55 on a single round.
Provided you have the bankroll, then you should place higher odds bets if they’re available. After all, you won’t find a better wager playing in the casino.
What Roulette Bets Are Available?
Roulette offers countless betting opportunities. You can place wagers on single numbers, intersecting corners of numbers, intersecting lines, and more.
Trying to understand every individual bet would be extremely difficult. Luckily, roulette wagers break down into different categories.
Here are the various categories of roulette bets along with how they work:
- Straight-up – 36:1 odds, 35:1 payout
- Split – 17.5:1 odds, 17:1 payout
- Street – 17.5:1 odds, 17:1 payout
- Corner – 8.25:1 odds, 8:1 payout
- Six line – 5.17:1 odds, 5:1 payout
- Column – 2.08:1 odds, 2:1 payout
- Dozen – 2.08:1 odds, 2:1 payout
- High/low – 1.06 odds: 1:1 payout
- Red/black – 1.06 odds: 1:1 payout
- Odd/even – 1.06 odds: 1:1 payout
Roulette’s House Edge Varies Based on the Variation
Unlike with craps, roulette has a house advantage that relies upon the given variation rather than individual bets. Below are the different roulette variations along with their respective house edges:
- American Roulette = 5.26% house edge
- European Roulette = 2.70%
- French Roulette = 1.35%
- Mini Roulette = 3.85%
Each of these games differs from each other based on the wheel and/or rules. If you understand these small differences, then you’ll know why each variation offers a different house edge.
American Roulette has a wheel that contains 38 pockets. The zero and double zero pockets both favor of the house on each bet. Therefore, this game carries a 5.26% house advantage (2/38).
European Roulette features a wheel with 37 pockets. Only the zero pocket favors the casino. As a result, the European wheel carries a 2.70% house edge (1/37).
French Roulette is played on a European wheel. However, the difference is that it also features the “la partage” rule.
La partage pays half back on losing even-money bets if the ball goes into the zero pocket. Provided you stick with even-money wagers, then you’ll only be facing a 1.35% house advantage.
Both Games Let You Choose Your Volatility
One nice thing about craps and roulette is that they each let you control the volatility. Most wagers in these games feature different odds and, thus, provide various short-term chances of winning.
Assuming you want to win more frequently, then you simply choose the craps/roulette wagers with better short-term odds. If you want to chase big payouts and are comfortable with high volatility, then you’ll go in the opposite direction.
Of course, when you’re playing craps, you also want to consider the house advantages. Certain prop bets that offer large payouts also feature some of the highest casino edges.
Real money roulette differs in this aspect because all bets in a given variation offer the same house advantage. You just need to figure out what type of payouts and volatility you wish to deal with.
Here’s an example on making such decisions:
- You have a $50 bankroll.
- You want to win the biggest payouts and don’t mind high volatility.
- You place a straight-up bet (35:1 payout) in every round.
Craps and roulette are both very popular table games. Therefore, you can’t go wrong by picking either one of them.
Of course, they also feature different gameplay models that may make one more appealing over the other. Everything depends upon your preference.
With craps, you get to toss dice down the table when it’s your turn as the shooter. This brings a physical element into the equation.
Craps also features the lowest house edge in the casino when odds are accounted for. If you put 5x odds behind a don’t pass line bet, for example, then you’ll only be facing a 0.23% house advantage
Roulette sees you bet on which wheel pocket/section a small metal ball will land on. Watching the spinning wheel while your wager hangs in the balance is exhilarating.
You also don’t need any in-depth knowledge of the bets when seeking the lowest house advantage. Instead, you simply need to know that French (1.35%) and European Roulette (2.70%) feature the smallest house edges.
Again, your individual preferences will guide you when figuring out the best option. Both are worthwhile in their own ways. Of course, nothing is stopping you from playing both games either.
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. …