The Horn Bet

casino craps guideSome seasoned craps players opt for incorporating the so-called Horn bet into their betting pattern to diversify their gameplay and bring in more excitement to their session. Inexperienced players, however, are recommended to refrain from experimenting with this more exotic bet type as the Horn is a higher-risk bet and is largely considered one of the worst options to go for in a game of craps as the player’s bet is actually divided equally into four individual, smaller stakes on four different numbers. The only advantage of the Horn is that it is a one-roll bet type so one would not have to wait for the dice throws, irrelevant to their bet to pass. Horn bets can be placed and are accepted at every stage of the game.

Craps novices should consider becoming better acquainted with the Horn bet’s essence, how it is divided and its odds prior to placing such stakes. Furthermore, this will help them avoid confusion as many beginners tend to mix up Horn bets with the so-called “Craps and Eleven” bet.

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The Horn Bet Explained

As we’ve briefly mentioned above, the Horn bet is a single-roll bet type and is always placed by the stickman in the center section of the table’s layout. A truly unique bet type, the Horn allows players to combine four individual wagers into one. The Horn covers all three Craps numbers (2,3 and 12) as well as the number 11. Thus, if you place a $20 Horn bet, the sum will be divided equally between all four numbers and the stickman will respectively place four $5 chips on 2, 3, 11 and 12. Unlike the Any Craps bet which wins when any one of the Craps numbers is rolled, with the Horn bet, only the number that is thrown wins, the remaining three stakes you’ve placed will ultimately lose.

Let’s return to our example to better demonstrate how it works. As players are required to place bets that are equally divisible by the number four, we will assume you’ve placed $20 “around the horn” to use the proper craps term, so that each of the four numbers 2, 3, 11 and 12 is covered with a $5 stake. The number 12 is rolled on the next dice throw, so you practically win with one of your individual stakes. As payouts for the Horn bet depend on the winning number and 12 pays out 30 to 1, you will collect a total of $150, plus your initial $5 stake on 12. Unfortunately, your bets on the remaining three numbers 2, 3 and 11 will ultimately lose, causing you to part with your remaining $15. So it turns out, this is the most profitable option as you will win $155 and lose $15 – your net profit in this case will amount to $140. The tricky part is that if one of the following numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 is thrown, you will lose your entire $20 stake and walk away empty-handed.

One important thing to remember is that players are advised to stick to whole numbers that are equally and easily divisible by four. First of all, this will enable you to avoid fractions which are difficult to divide and subtract mentally. Then again, if you have placed say $5 “around the horn”, your payout (provided that you win) will be fractional as well. However, there are no casino chips to represent cents, so the stickman will round down your profits to the nearest integer. If 12 is rolled, your $1.25 individual bet on this number will be multiplied by 30, so you win $37.50. Your other three $1.25 stakes will result in a $3.75 loss. Your net profits in this instance will amount to $33.75, but you will receive only $33.

craps horn bet

The High Horn Bet

The High Horn is a subtype of the Horn bet and generally works in the same manner. The only difference is that the stake on one of the four numbers is doubled, so that players actually place five individual bet units instead of four. Please note, if you intend to place a High Horn, you should specify which of the four numbers you wish to place the extra unit on – this will be your “High” number. Thus, instead of placing $20 “around the horn” with $5 bets on all four numbers, you are expected to put $25 on stake. This translates into the following division – $10 are placed on the number 12, for example, and the remaining $15 are divided equally between the remaining three numbers – 2, 3 and 11. If 12 is rolled, you will win twice as much money – $300. However, if any of the other numbers is rolled on the next dice, you lose your entire $25 stake.

The Whirl Bet

Also known as the “World” bet, this stake poses as an interesting combination between a Horn and an Any Seven bet, but is generally considered unprofitable and is to be avoided, especially by craps novices. The Whirl works in multiples of five bet units and actually consists of five independent bets, placed respectively on numbers 2, 3, 11, 10 and 7, meaning it is not a combination bet like the standard Horn.

A Whirl bet is won with only one of the numbers listed above, the remaining four numbers lose. Let’s assume you have placed a $5 Whirl bet, so you have five independent $1 stakes. If numbers 2 and 12 are thrown, you will be paid only $26 instead of $30 as $4 will be subtracted for the four losing numbers. Provided that 3 or 11 are rolled, players will collect only $11, instead of the usual $15 for the same reason. If the number 7 is rolled, your bet will result in a push as 7 pays 4:1, so you practically win nothing with this number.

craps whirl bet

Odds for the Horn Bet

Payouts for the Horn bet vary in accordance with the individual numbers, which in this case are paired. Numbers 2 and 12 pay out 30:1, while 3 and 11 pay 15:1. Unfortunately, such payouts do not correspond to what players should actually collect, because the losses for the remaining three numbers should be subtracted from the payout. From this, it follows that if you win with number 11 and have placed a $20 Horn bet, your $5 stake for 11 will be multiplied by 15, which makes for a $75 win in addition to your original $5 stake. But as you’ve lost $15 on the Craps numbers, it turns out your net profit amounts to $65 only.

The house edge for numbers 2 and 12, when combined for a Horn bet, amounts to 13.89%, while that for 3 and 11 is equal to 11.11%. This indicates players will lose respectively $13.89 and $11.11 for every $100 they spend placing Horn bets.

Conclusion

It certainly is not difficult to see why Horn bets are considered more risky and unprofitable. Sure, their payouts are higher, especially when compared with those of more basic bet types like the Pass and Come bets. Nevertheless, players still lose a substantial amount of their overall wager since with Horn bets only one number wins while the remaining three lose. Add the higher built-in house advantage to the equation and it turns out Horn bets are a total waste of time or in this case, of both time and money. That is why, players are recommended to avoid this bet type altogether or resort to it only on rare occasions, when they wish to diversify their betting pattern a tiny bit.

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