Craps is different from other table games such as blackjack, for example, where players are wagering on only one of two potential outcomes. In craps there are more than 20 possible bet types. Each different type of craps bet comes with its own odds. Of course, the lower the statistical likelihood of winning with any given bet type, the higher the pay out to the occasional lucky player who does win. Every gambler has an individual style of play (and bankroll size); it’s up to you to decide whether you are a high roller or a more cautious bettor. Familiarize yourself with the craps odds and the house edge before placing your bet. Then you can choose the bet type that is right for you.
In casino lingo, “odds” refers to the probability of a certain outcome. To use a simple example, if you turn over the top card of a deck, the odds that it will be black are equal to the odds that it will be red. These odds can be written as a ratio – 1:1. If you gamble on the outcome of the draw, theoretically a win should be paid out 1 to 1. However, this will not result in a profit for the casino or “house.” A casino is a business like any other, which needs to earn a profit to survive. Therefore the casino will add certain conditions to the payout to ensure that the odds are skewed in its favor, that is, that players will lose more often than they win.
The House Edge
The house “edge” is defined as the ratio of the average net loss by players to their total bet size. This is where the casino makes its money. As an example, imagine that a player places bets worth a total $120 on a craps game, and wins $118. $120 minus $118 means he has a net loss of $2. Divide 2 by 120, and the result is a house edge of 1.66 percent. Experienced players will study the game of craps and the various types of possible bets in an effort to reduce the house edge on their wagers, and come away from the game with higher payouts.
The most common basic bets in craps are Pass, Come, Don’t Pass and Don’t Come. The house edge for all these bets is similar, about 1.4 percent. The house edge is much lower on what are called odds bets, side bets made after a Point has been thrown. Other more specialized bets may have a much higher house edge (meaning the chance of your winning is smaller), but pay off at higher odds. For instance, Any Craps is a wager that the Shooter will get a total of 2, 3 or 12 on his next roll. The house edge is 11.1 percent, but the potential payout is 7:1.