5 Craps Bets You Should Make And the 5 You Want to Skip

Closeup of a Craps Table

Craps has been in casinos since before Las Vegas was ever a consideration. The game is a contender for being the most exciting casino game available.

In any casino worth visiting, the craps table generates a buzz on the casino floor that permeates the entire area. It’s incredible to see the players constantly glancing at the action from another game before summoning the courage to walk over and join the party.

I genuinely believe that if more casino patrons understood the basics of craps, it could take over as the most popular casino game. In many ways, craps has everything going for it that the slot machines are lacking.

I’m going to give you 5 craps bets you should make and the 5 you want to skip. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be playing like a pro in no time.

Craps 101

Craps is a far more straightforward game than many people assume. When you glance at a craps table, the sheer volume of available wagers can seem overwhelming to rookie gamblers.

However, by narrowing your focus from every available wager to only the 5 best bets, you’ll save yourself a lot of heartaches. More importantly, you’ll save money, which will keep you gambling longer.

Ultimately, your goal at the craps table should be to get the most entertainment from your bankroll. If you get hung up on winning, the experience will be diminished.

1 – The Don’t Pass Line Is a Greenlight

One of the best wagers a player can make at a craps table is the don’t pass. This wager is essentially betting that the shooter will fail.

That can cause a bit of discomfort for some players because the majority of players bet with the shooter. So, when the rest of the table is lamenting their losses, you’ll be busy raking in the chips.

Empty Casino Craps Game

You’ll face a lower house edge if you can deal with being the outcast. The casinos’ advantage for the don’t pass line is a mere 1.36%.

That creates a slow draw on your bankroll, making craps excellent for disciplined gamblers who want to stick to a flat bet and enjoy the game for hours.

2 – Betting the Pass Line Will Have the Blessing of Most Players

Not everyone feels confident betting against the table. I understand that the team atmosphere created in craps is hard to ignore.

Betting the pass line is perhaps the most fun way to play craps. A pass line wager is betting that the shooter will roll a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll or subsequently make the point.

The pass line has a slightly higher house advantage than the don’t pass line, but it’s a manageable 1.41%. That’s a negligible difference for most players, equating to a nickel of every $100 you bet.

3 – Come Bet Acts as a Continuation Bet with Potential

Part of the image players have of craps being exceedingly complex is derived from the come bet. This wager is almost identical to a pass line but is placed after a come-out roll.

The previously established point becomes inconsequential. You win when the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 following a come bet.

Long View of a Busy Craps Table

However, a 2,3 or 12 is an instant loser. Any other roll establishes a new point that’s only of consequence to the players who placed the additional bet.

Rookies are better off sticking to the pass line or don’t pass line. Yet, it won’t take long before you’re ready to start making the come bet. Make sure your craps bankroll can handle the added strain before spreading money across the board.

4 – Take the Odds for Turning the Tide

Odds bets are fantastic for turning your small stack into something more substantial. The free odds bets in craps are fabled in gambling circles around the globe.

I’ve seen many players walk up to a $5 minimum table that offered 20x odds and clean up as a shooter went on a tear rolling and hitting a number time after time.

If you’ve ever watched in amazement as a television character went on a heater in a rag to riches scenario, odds bets were likely in play. There’s no faster way to pile up chips in the casino short of hitting a slots jackpot.

The wonderful news is that the casino doesn’t have a house edge on odds bets.

5 – Don’t Come Has a Low Edge with Plenty of Life

The final bet I will cover is the don’t come bet. The same way the come bet acts as a secondary pass line wager, the don’t come acts for the don’t pass line.

The casinos’ edge on the don’t come bet is the same 1.36% as the don’t pass line. Intermediate to advanced players will often roll their odds bets into the new point on the don’t come bet.

Long View of an Active Craps Game

Keep in mind that you’ll likely be winning when the rest of the table is licking their wounds from a loss. So, show some etiquette and don’t throw it in their faces.

Everyone Will Tell You How Bad the Big 6 and Big 8 Are

Spend more than one second researching the worst craps bets, and the big six and big eight will immediately pop up. These wagers are a simple bet that the shooter either rolls a six or an eight before making the point.

That’s not terrible on its own, but the payout on these bets is even money. That means gamblers are betting on a lone number coming up that’s only paying what you wager.

Because of that, the house edge on these wagers is over 9%. Again, that’s flirting with slot machine numbers.

In some regions, the bets are so bad for the players that casinos can’t even have the bet on the table.

Any Seven Has a House Edge That Makes Slot Machines Look Brilliant

The house edge skyrockets when you start wading into the world of craps prop bets. The worst bet in the game is the any seven wagers.

This bet comes in the direction of the stickman who will call out “Any Seven” or “Big Red.” The big red is a single roll bet that the following number rolled will be a seven; any other number loses.

People Playing Craps Game in Casino, White Icon of Dice with Flame Motion

The house edge on any seven is nearly 17%. That’s far worse than most slot machines you’ll find, and you should avoid this bet one hundred percent of the time.

Bet Boxcars and You May Be Begging for Cash

Players down on their luck or looking for quick cash will often bet on boxcars or a twelve. This bet entices players with its 30 to 1 payout.

Sadly, that payout doesn’t come close to the 35 to 1 odds of winning. That creates a house edge of 13.9%, and you lose.

Players cannot sustain a healthy bankroll by tossing money out the window at a rate of 14%.

Whirl bets will Whirl the Chips Right into the Casinos’ Hands

The whirl bet in craps is convoluted enough that most players won’t bother messing with it. Yet, newbies in the casino always get bored and want to take a shot at something different.

The whirl bet is often a favorite for these players because it pays out at nearly 2 to 1. Sadly, the house edge is a shade over 13%. What these wagers amount to is a sucker bet, plain and simple.

Snake Eyes Is Great for G.I. Joe/Bad for Craps Players

When the worst gamblers at the craps table aren’t laying money on twelve, they are busy betting on two. Snake eyes admittedly sound way more fabulous than boxcars, but that doesn’t make a bet any better.

Casino Craps Table with Casino Chips on Table

The odds, payout, and house edge for snake eyes are the same as boxcars. Sure, it’s a great feeling that the bet pays off less than 3% of the time, and you win 30x your bet.

Unfortunately, you’ve got no guarantees that your bankroll will survive the constant onslaught of making haphazard bets.

Making a Profit Playing Craps

If your goal is to make a sustainable profit playing casino games, craps isn’t the game for you. The odds bets offer a house edge of zero, but at best, that’s a break-even proposition.

The smart plays like the pass line and don’t pass line have a house edge of over 1%, which isn’t bad. Still, that edge is constantly grinding against players, and there’s no way to turn the tide in your favor.

Ultimately, craps is a fantastic game that should appeal to a wide range of gamblers. But advantage gamblers will go hungry trying to beat craps.

Our Conclusion

Now that you have the 5 craps bets you should make and 5 you should avoid, it’s time to take your new knowledge into the casino and enjoy the rush of craps.

It’s advisable to spend some time playing for free online to get the hang of things, but there’s no shame in making your maiden trip to the craps table in the casino. Bet competent and keep your wagers small; this will ensure that you can gamble all night without going broke.