Craps Play for Beginners - Part 2 . March 2001

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Craps Play for Beginners - Part 2

by Gayle Mitchell

Let's move forward with your basic craps education to the odds bet.  Winning is even sweeter when you have backed up your pass-line bet with an odds bet placed directly behind it.  This odds bet is made only after a shooter has established a point. But, you say, the layout has no space for an odds bet. That's because the casino doesn't advertise odds bets.  (And could that be because a 10-times odds bet slashes the casino advantage to .2 of 1%?  Just double odds comes down to .63 of 1% for the casino.)  The odds bets are determined by a probability chart and are based on 36 combinations a pair of dice can be rolled.  For instance, the 7 can be rolled in six combos (combinations); that's the highest combination probability.  The 6 and 8 can be rolled five combos, and the 5 and 9 can be rolled four combos, and the 4 and 10 can be rolled three combos each.

We will group the point numbers in sets, like this:

6 and 8 - 6 to 5 odds.   Pays $6 for every $5 wagered. 5 and 9 - 3 to 2 odds.   Pays $3 for every $2 wagered. 4 and 10 - 2 to 1 odds.  Pays $2 for every $1 wagered.

The casino pays correct odds bets, unlike a pass-line bet that pays even money.  This information is important because, if you do not take the correct odds with the right amount of chips, you will be paid even money only. The whole idea behind taking odds is for bigger wins. If you don't memorize this information, just ask the dealer, "What is the correct odds amount?", and follow those instructions.  The second optimum bet at a craps table is another two-step with odds well under that low, low 1% advantage for the casino. It's the come bet, which is boldly displayed on the layout.  For this bet, you place the chips near your position on the table, while the shooter is trying to repeat a point number.  Think of this bet as a delayed pass-line bet.  Let's say 6 has been established as the shooter number to win on the pass-line, and you want an additional bet working for you.  Okay, make that same bet as described in the come bet area. If the next roll is a 9, you will be looking for 6 "on the line" and a 9 "coming" before a 7 rolls. If the next roll is a craps, you lose the come bet. A 7 or 11 wins outright, but remember the 7 wipes out the pass-line bet. In this case, the dealer places the payoff directly beside your bet. It's your responsibility to immediately pick up the chips. If your come bet is a point number, the dealer will position that bet for you.  Now comes the second part--making the odds bet to lower the casino advantage. Position this bet near the original come bet and, clearly, say to the dealer: "Odds on my come bet."  At any time, you can remove odds bets (but not pass-line or come bets).  In the last part of this Craps articles,  we will discuss place bets, 'wrong' bets, betting strategies and toss in some 'craps lingo'.  See you at the table again, real soon.

Gayle Mitchell is author of  Casino Gambling Made Easier   books, booklets and strategy cards.