Craps House Edge

casino craps guideCraps can really be an intimidating game for a player who does not have a lot of experience. The truth is that the game that is available in the land-based casinos features a great variety of bets, a large number of commands and the gameplay’s pace is happening too fast to even ask a question.

Learning what house edge is, is considered a key part of understanding not only craps, but any casino game a player could be interested in. The truth is that casino’s income is not generated thanks to pure luck, but because of the so-called “house edge” or house advantage. In other words, casinos make their money because of a built-in advantage that allows them to “outplay” their customers.

So, in order for the casino to make profit, the games use a law of averages, in which they are provided with just a few percent advantage that would give them a chance to generate winnings in the long run. Finding the games with the lowest house edge is what is important for the players, so that they could exploit the game and draw profit from it.

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Defining the House Edge

The standard definition of the casino’s house advantage is the ration of the expected player loss to the amount they have initially wagered. This calculation is considered as universal and almost every legitimate gaming venue pushes in this calculation.

The game of craps has a reputation of featuring some of the best odds of all casino games available in brick-and-mortar gambling venues and online casinos. The problem with craps that turns out to be bothering most inexperienced players is the fact that the game has a lot of different kinds of bets. In fact, some bets could be resolved in just one roll of the dice, while others may take multiple rolls.

As there is a great variety of craps offerings and different bets currently offered in both online and land-based casinos, choosing the most favourable bets and trying to avoid the worst ones is essential. Many players are focused on choosing the bets that are very probable to occur. However, the bad news is that such bets do not feature large payout rates, which means players would generate relatively small returns. Other players prefer bets that feature large payouts but in fact they are less probable to turn up.

This means there is not a betting strategy that could guarantee absolute success. In fact, players could use the house advantage that combines both probability and payment in the best possible way, in order to opt for the games that would be best for them when it comes to a long term strategy. Normally, the bet would be less favourable when the house advantage increases.

Calculating the House Edge

Before starting to calculate the house advantage for a game of craps, players must consider how probable a certain outcome would be. In this case, the values of the roll come to represent the possible outcomes.

So, when it comes to craps, there is a possibility of a total of 11 outcomes that equal to totals from 2 to 12. These outcomes, on the other hand, can be accomplished in 36 ways. The probability of getting a certain outcome of the roll can be calculated easily, making it clear for the player which numbers are the most likely to turn up.

Once a player has become familiar with calculating probabilities, they need to consider the eventual craps payouts. In the general case, the payment for the so-called “any” bet in the game of craps will equal to 7:1. And then comes calculating the house advantage. If a player wants to do that for “any” craps bet, they must bear in mind the fact that the results in the long term are what really matters.

Unfortunately, the probability of winning in a series of 9 wagers, is 1:9, which means that players will win only 1 and lose the other 8 wagers for every 9 wagers placed. In addition, it would be a good idea for players to learn how to calculate the house advantage for every wager, as they vary depending on the bet used.

Of course, players should also remember that apart from the single roll bets there are various bets that are determined over multiple roles, and this makes calculating the house edge more complex.

people around craps table

Craps House Edge

As already mentioned above, normally, the house advantage is defined as the ration of the player’s expected loss to their initial bet. In addition, calculating the house edge for single- and multi-roll bets is different.

The house edge in craps could be expressed in several ways – per bet made (when pushes are being counted), per bet resolved (when pushes are not being counted) or per roll (the house advantage per a single bet resolved divided by the average number of rolls). Players who would like to measure the efficiency of a bet are recommended to stick by the “per roll” figures. So, the rule that the best craps bets are the ones that feature a low “per roll” house edge should be applied.

Single-Roll Bets

As suggested by their name, Single-Roll bets are always resolved in a single roll, except for the field bet. These bets are also called Proposition Bets. These are some of the most intimidating bets in the game of craps since they usually give large advantage to the casino, which means that the house edge is sometimes ridiculously high. This, of course, makes players try to stay away from them as much as possible.

Payments could sometimes vary depending on the player’s location, and there are some casinos that feature more liberal rules than others. The house edge also depends on the pay-off of a certain casino.

You can check the table below to see the casino’s house advantage with the Proposition bets.

Bet Pays House Edge
2, 12, and all “hard” hop bets 33 to 1 5.56%
2, 12, and all “hard” hop bets 32 to 1 8.33%
2, 12, and all “hard” hop bets 31 to 1 11.11%
2, 12, and all “hard” hop bets 30 to 1 13.89%
2, 12, and all “hard” hop bets 29 to 1 16.67%
3, 11, and all “easy” hop bets 16 to 1 5.56%
3, 11, and all “easy” hop bets 15 to 1 11.11%
3, 11, and all “easy” hop bets 14 to 1 16.67%
Any craps (2, 3 or 12) 7 to 1 11.11%
Any craps (2, 3 or 12) 7.5 to 1 5.56%
Any seven 4 to 1 16.67%

Multi-Roll Bets

Here is the casino house edge for all bets in the game of craps that may take several rolls to resolve. The house advantage is calculated depending on the way it is expressed in – per bet made, plus pushes, per bet resolved, excluding pushes and per roll.

Pass

The Pass bet is probably the most important one when it comes to the game of craps, since almost every craps player bets on it. The bet is put on the pass line at the time of a come-out roll.

In case that the come out roll amounts to a 7 or an 11, then the player wins even money. Players lose in case that the come out roll equals a 2, 3 or a 12. On the other hand, a total is called “the point” if it equals a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. In such cases, the dice are rolled until the shooter rolls either the same point again, or a 7. If a 7 comes out before the point, the player loses. However, if the shooter rolls a point first, then the player wins even money.

The house edge for the Pass bet depending on the bet made equals 1.41%. It is the same per bet resolved, but when calculated per roll it drops to 0.42%.

Don’t Pass

The Don’t Pass bet is pretty much the opposite of the Pass bet. A player who bets on this type of bet is called a “wrong” bettor and normally is winning when everyone else is losing, or losing when the rest of the players are winning.

Players who place wagers on the Don’t Pass bet win in case that the come out roll equals a 2 or a 3. On the other hand, they lose if the come out bet is 7 or 11. An result of 12 is a push with little exceptions. In case of a push, the dice are rolled until the shooter rolls the point or a 7. In case that a 7 comes out before the point, Don’t Pass bets win. If the point comes out first, the player loses. All wins are paid even money.

The house edge for the Don’t Pass per bet made is 1.36%. Depending on the bet resolved, the house edge amounts to 1.40%, and drops to 0.40% when calculated per roll.

Come and Don’t Come

The Come bet is considered mathematically the same as the Pass bet, which was explained earlier. The only difference between them two is the fact that the Come bet is made any time other than a Come Out roll. Players need to be aware of the fact that the roll following a Come bet will act as a Come Out roll.

Logically, the Don’t Come bet is exactly like the Don’t Pass bet, except for the fact that it can be made anytime except a Come Out roll.

The house edge for these bets is exactly the same as the house advantage at the time of Pass and Don’t Pass bets, respectively.

craps dont come bet

The Odds

The Odds bet is known as a type of a side bet that is made by players after a point is rolled. This bet wins if the point is thrown before a 7.

The Odds is considered one of the best bets in a game of craps because they are exactly fair, meaning there is a zero house edge, regardless of the way the advantage is calculated. The Odds bet pays 2 to 1 on points of 4 and 10, 3 to 2 on points of 5 and 8 and 6 to 5 on points of 6 and 8.

As already mentioned the house edge equals to 0.00% if a player chooses the Odds bet, no matter which way the edge is calculated.

Laying the Odds

This is the opposite bet of taking odds, so the exactly the opposite rules apply. Opting for Taking the Odds means that the player places their wager after a Pass bet. On the other hand, the bet placed against a point after a Don’t Pass bet is called Laying the Odds. The bets in both cases are statistically fair, which means that there is no house edge.

Laying the Odds bet pays 1 to 2 against a 4 or a 10, 2 to 3 against a 5 or a 9 and 5 to 6 against a 6 or an 8. No house edge applies in all cases.

Place

Craps players know the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 as the Place numbers. Such a bet wins in case that the player bets on any of the above-mentioned numbers and it comes out before a 7. In addition, Place bets pretty much resemble the Odds bets, but in this case no Pass Line bet is required.

Place bets on 4 and 10 pay 9 to 5, on 5 and 9 pay 7 to 5, and on 6 and 8 pay 7 to 6. When taking into account the house edge that applies to the above-mentioned Place bets, it turns out that the best odds are when betting on 6 and 8.

When betting on 4 and 10, the house edge equals to 1.67% per bet made, to 6.67% per bet resolved and to 1.67% per roll. If the player chooses to use a Place bet on 5 and 9, the house edge amounts to 1.11% per bet made and per roll, and to 4.00% per bet resolved. The most favourable bet is on 6 and 8, because in these cases the house edge amounts to 0.46% per bet made and per roll, and to 1.52% per bet resolved.

Place to Lose

Place to Lose bets are exactly the opposite to Place bets. This means that a player wins on a 7, and loses when a number he has been betting against comes out. Place to Lose bets, however, are not available in every casino around the world.

The odds are paid 5 to 11 when betting on 4 and 10, 5 to 8 when betting on 5 and 9 an 4 to 5 when betting 6 to 8. The house edge also depends on which numbers the player bets against.

The house advantage of the casino is 0.76% per bet made when opting a Place to Lose bet on 4 and 10. The house edge is 3.03% per bet resolved and 0.76% per roll for the same bet. When betting against 5 and 9, the house advantage equals to 0.69% per bet made and per roll, and to 2.50% per bet resolved. Once again, the best odds come when betting against 6 and 8. In these cases, the house edge amounts to 0.56% per bet made and per roll, and to 1.82% per bet resolved.

Buy

The so-called Buy bets are believed to be much like the Odds or Place bets, but the odds here are different. They are considered to be paying fair odds, except in the cases when the player is required to pay a commission of 5% in order to be allowed to make the bet. The commission is based on the total amount of the bet and normally cannot be refunded. On the other hand, some casinos charge such a commission only if a winning is generated.

The house edge varies for the Buy bets. Usually, the house advantage is lower if a commission is charged only in case of a win. You can check the house edge for the various Buy bets in the table below.

Lay

Lay bets are considered to be resembling the Odds or Place to Lose bets, but the odds that apply here are different. Just like the Odds bets, the Lay bets also pay fair odds, but there is an exception when a 5% commission is paid for making the bet. The commission depends on the amount of the player’s winning and is usually not returned to the player.

The house edge vary with the Lay bets, especially if there is a commission paid. The casino’s advantage is the lowest with the Lay bets 4 and 10. You can check the house edge in every case of a Lay bet in the table below.

Big 6 and 8

This bet is actually exactly like the Place bets on 6 and 8. However, it does not pay 7 to 6, but even money. Players need to be careful, though, as this type of bet is considered one of the most unfortunate ones. Players could get much better odds by using the Place bet.

The house edge is quite large when using the Big 6 and 8 bet. The casino advantage amounts to 9.09% per bet resolved, and equals 2.78% per met made and per roll.

craps big six bet

Hard Ways

When the shooter is said to have rolled the “hard way”, this means that an even number with the same number of both dice has come out. In the game of craps there are four Hard Way bets, on the numbers 4, 6, 8 and 10.

Each of the four bets wins by rolling the number the hard way and loses if the shooter rolls any 7. The bet also loses in case that the number comes out the easy way. For example, a hard 4 would be a 2-2, while an easy 4 would be 1-3.

Such bets, however, are considered hard to win, which is exactly the reason why they pay higher odds in comparison to the rest of the bets. The odds vary depending on the player’s location. This means that house edge also vary. You can check all house advantages of these bets in the table below.

Bet House Edge per Bet Made House Edge per Bet Resolved House Edge per Roll
Pass 1.41% 1.41% 0.42%
Don’t Pass 1.36% 1.40% 0.40%
Come 1.41% 1.41% 0.42%
Don’t Come 1.36% 1.40% 0.40%
Odds 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Laying the Odds 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Place
Place 4 and 10 1.67% 6.67% 1.67%
Place 5 and 9 1.11% 4.00% 1.11%
Place 6 and 8 0.46% 1.52% 0.45%
Place to Lose
Place to Lose 4 and 10 0.76% 3.03% 0.76%
Place to Lose 5 and 9 0.69% 2.50% 0.69%
Place to Lose 6 and 8 0.56% 1.82% 0.56%
Buy
Buy 4 and 10 (Always) 1.19% 4.76% 1.19%
Buy 5 and 9 (Always) 1.32% 4.76% 1.32%
Buy 6 and 8 (Always) 1.46% 4.76% 1.46%
Buy 4 and 10 (Win Only) 0.42% 1.67% 0.42%
Buy 5 and 9 (Win Only) 0.56% 2.00% 0.56%
Buy 6 and 8 (Win Only) 0.69% 2.27% 0.69%
Lay
Lay 4 and 10 (Always) 0.61% 2.44% 0.61%
Lay 5 and 9 (Always) 0.90% 3.23% 0.90%
Lay 6 and 8 (Always) 1.22% 4.00% 1.22%
Buy 4 and 10 (Win Only) 0.42% 1.67% 0.42%
Buy 5 and 9 (Win Only) 0.56% 2.00% 0.56%
Buy 6 and 8 (Win Only) 0.69% 2.27% 0.69%
Big 6 and 8 2.78% 9.09% 2.78%
Hard Ways
Hard 4 and 10 US 2.78% 11.11% 2.78%
Hard 4 and 10 Australia 1.39% 5.56% 1.39%
Hard 6 and 8 US 2.78% 9.09% 2.78%
Hard 6 and 8 Australia 1.39% 4.55% 1.39%
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