Craps is one of the best table games to play in a casino when considering the house edge. It is also one of the most exciting.
Here are the best bets to make at a craps table. Making these wagers and avoiding the bad ones will help keep you in the game longer and increase your chances of walking away from the table a winner.
The best bet at a craps table is debatable. It depends on several factors. The most important is whether somebody wants to shoot from the pass line or the don’t pass. The maximum odds permitted by the casino also affects the house edge. Another factor is whether the house requires the player to pay the commission upfront when buying or laying the 4 and 10, or only when it wins. For those reasons, these may not be in the perfect order of house edge.
Don’t pass and don’t come are usually the best bets at a craps table when taking max odds
The don’t pass and don’t come are identical bets. One is made on the come out roll. The other is made when a point is already established. The don’t come is basically a side bet on a new number after the point is established.
These bets win on the first roll if it is a 2 or 3. It pushes on a 12. Don’t bets lose on a 7 and 11 on the first roll after the bet is made. If the first roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, the don’t pass and don’t come win if a 7 comes before that number, and lose if the number is rolled first.
The house edge on the don’t pass and don’t come is 1.36%. That number is not great at first glance. However, it drops substantially as you take advantage of the free odds offered by the casino.
There are several different levels of maximum odds offered by casinos. Here are the most common craps odds and the related house edge when combining the line and odds bets:
- 2x: 0.46%
- 3-4-5x: 0.27%
- 5x: 0.23%
- 10x: 0.12%
- 20x: 0.07%
- 100x: 0.01%
Related: Craps Don’t Pass and Don’t Come Strategies
Pass line and come house edge with odds
The pass line is the main way players bet at a craps table. It wins if the come out roll is a 7 or 11. It loses on a 2, 3, or 12. If the come out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, it becomes the point. The pass line wins if that number comes before a 7. The bet loses if the 7 is rolled before the number.
The come bet works the same way. It is just a side bet on a new number.
The house edge on the pass line and come is 1.41% when taking no odds. Like the don’t pass and don’t come, that number drops when taking odds and combining the value of the bets. Here is the house edge for the pass line and come when taking max odds.
- 2x: 0.61%
- 3-4-5x: 0.37%
- 5x: 0.33%
- 10x: 0.18%
- 20x: 0.1%
- 100x: 0.02%
Buy 4 and 10
Most casinos give players a free buy on 4 and 10 or bets that are $20 or more. This means that the player pays $1 in juice for every $20 wagered when it wins. This commission is not usually paid upfront. On a $20 bet, the house edge is 1.67%.
One way to reduce the house edge when buying the 4 and 10 is to bet $25 or $50. When doing this, the house edge drops to 1.33% because the juice is the same as on $20 and $40 bets, respectively.
Lay 4 and 10
Laying the 4 and 10 is the opposite of buying the number. The player wants the 7 to come before the 4 or 10, whichever is bet. Most casinos require the player to post the commission whether the bet wins or not. That makes the house edge 1.96% when laying to win $25 or $50. If the casino only takes the juice on a win, the house edge drops to 0.67% on bets that will win $25 or $50.
Place 6 and 8
Placing the 6 and 8 is one of the most common bets to make outside of the line bets. The house edge on this is 1.52%. This bet is $6 for every $7 that you would like to win if the number is rolled before a 7.
What about the field?
The field is the best of the bets that only play for one roll. However, the house edge can still be high. If you play the field at craps, look for a game that pays triple on either a 2 or 12. Most tables that pay triple on a number on the field will do it on a 12. The house edge is 2.78% there is a triple number. The house edge is 5.56% when neither number pays triple.
A triple payout on a field 12 is common at Las Vegas craps tables. Most Michigan casinos also offer these better payouts.
Additional source: I used this page at Wizard of Odds to confirm my math.