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Craps Betting - Good Bets and Bad Bets!

Craps betting is something that takes a bit of learning because there are so many ways to bet on a craps table. This isn't Baccarat or something, where you just bet if you're going to win or lose on a single roll of the dice. As we discussed on our craps rules page, the betting takes place continuously over the course of a session where the shooter could conceivably have control of the dice for a very long time. In Craps, you're not usually betting on yourself, since your turn as the shooter is only one among the players at the table (up to a maximum of 12), so you're usually betting on what happens when someone else is throwing the dice. Below, you'll find a list of the easiest types of craps betting (be sure to refer to our craps table layout page to see where the specific bets are located on the table):

Pass Line Bet:
This bet is one of the best in craps betting because it has the lowest house edge. It's also about the simplest one to make. All you do is place your bet on the area marked as the Pass Line before the shooter rolls the dice, and wait to see what happens. If the Shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you win right away. If he rolls a 2,3 or 12, you lose right away (that's Craps). If he rolls any other number, that becomes the point, and you wait to see if he rolls that number before rolling a 7 (which would be Sevening Out). If he hits the point before rolling a 7, you win. This is one of the simplest forms of craps betting, and you can also buy odds on this bet, further decreasing the house edge. This is explained in more detail on our craps strategy page.

Don't Pass Bar:
This is basically the opposite of the Pass Line bet. In this case, you're betting that the shooter will Crap Out on the come out roll, or roll a 7 before hitting the point. Some hardcore craps players may frown upon this bet because you're betting against the shooter, and that can be considered bad luck. If you're a beginner at the game of craps, it's best to avoid this one until you've made some good friends at the table, and you don't have to worry about hurting their feelings with a Don't Pass bet.

The Come Bet:
This bet is easy to spot since it's in big red letters in the middle of the betting area. In craps betting, you place this bet any time after the come out roll. It's almost identical to the Pass Line bet, in that you're betting that the shooter will roll a 7 or 11 to give you a win, and if they don't Crap Out, your bet goes on the point. But with the Pass Line bet, you'd lose if the shooter rolled a 7 after the come out roll. The Come bet wins if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the next roll after you place the bet. From then on, it's identical to the Pass Line bet in that if the shooter doesn't crap out or roll a 7, your bet is moved to the corresponding point and if that gets rolled before a 7, you win.

The Place Bet is the last kind of craps betting we'll talk about here:
The Place bet is one that can be placed after the come out roll if a point is set. All you have to do is put your chips on the number you think will be rolled before a 7 is rolled or the point is hit. You can place your bet on the point, or on some other number. The odds are different depending on which number you place your bet on, so be wary of this one. It's similar to a Come bet, in that your money is on the Point, but you get to choose the number to place the bet on, not the roll of the dice. Since the odds are better with a Pass Line bet, it's usually better to stick to the Pass Line though.

The last types of craps betting we'll talk about here are Free Odds. The more complicated bets, and the ones that are usually best to stay away from will be discussed on another page. Free odds, as discussed on our craps strategy page, are by far the best bets to make in craps betting. They give you the advantage of lowering the hose edge, thereby increasing your payout when you win. Free odds can be bought on the Pass, Don't Pass, Come and Don't Come bets. Free odds bets are paid back at 1:1 odds, so the casino has ZERO house edge! Unfortunately, you have to place free odds along with your pass, don't pass, come or don't come bet, which all have lower odds. So even though you have access to a fair bet, it has to be in conjunction with a biased bet (i.e. one with a payout of less than 1:1). If you want to place an odds bet with your pass line bet, you simply place your pass line bet and wait for the point to be set. Once that's established, you simply add some more chips behind your pass line bet. If you're new to the craps table, you'll see others doing it too, so just follow their lead. To place odds on a Come bet, you must ask the Dealer to do this for you. Once your come bet has been moved to your point, the dealer can place your odds for you. He'll place them right on top of your come bet, but usually slightly offset, to show that it's an odds bet. Remember that on our craps strategy page that we said most craps tables have limits as to the amount of money that may be used for odds bets. That's something to take into account before you place one of these bets.

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