So far we’ve covered the Pass Line and the Odds bets.  There’s one more set of bets you can make that has a low house edge: the Come Bet and the Odds Bet that goes with it.

There’s bad news and good news about this bet. The bad news is that it’s a little harder to understand than the Pass Line and Odds bets.  The good news is that if you find this confusing it’s okay to ignore this bet.  You certainly don’t have to make the Come Bet if it gives you a headache.  You can have plenty of fun with the Pass Line and Odds bets alone.

Here’s how the Come bet works:  Once a point is established (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), you make a Come bet placing your bet in the area marked COME.  (See the picture.)  At that point, the Come bet works similar to the Pass Line bet:  You win the Come bet if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and lose if a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled.  If any other number is rolled, you’ve established a Come Point, and your bet is moved to that number to mark it.  (So then there will be two points: the Point with the On/Off marker that will win for your Pass Line bet, and the Come point that will win for your Come bet.)

Here’s a summary of the Come Bet:

You can place a Come Bet only after a Point is made on a Come Out roll.

You Win if the next roll is 7 or 11, or if the Come Point is repeated before a 7.

You Lose if the next roll is 2, 3, or 12, or if a 7 is rolled before the Come Point is repeated.

Just like you can back your Pass Line bet with an Odds bet, you can back your Come Bet with an Odds bet.  Just as with the Pass Line bet, you just have to wait for a Come Point to be made before you make your Odds bet.  But instead of placing the chips yourself, you toss them towards the dealer and ask him/her to place them for you.

This is where people usually start domino qq getting confused, so let’s go through a sequence.  Use your printout of the picture above and some “chips” (coins) and a marker to follow along. Assume that you’ll play according to the following strategy:

Always make a Pass Line bet.  (Make a new one when you lose one.)

When a Point is made, make the maximum Odds bet allowed on the Pass Line.  Assume 3-4-5 odds.

When a Point is made, make Come Bets until you have one Come Point established.

When a Come Point is made, make the maximum Odds bet allowed.

You certainly don’t have to make a Come Bet; you can make just Pass Line bets if you want.  But since you could be waiting a long time to find out whether you win or lose, making a Come Bet makes things a little more lively.

Here’s how a sequence of rolls might play out:

New Round

Win: 7 or 11   Lose: 2, 3, 12   Set a Point: 4,5,6,8,9,10

7 You win!  New round begins with same shooter.

New Round

Win: 7 or 11   Lose: 2, 3, 12   Set a Point: 4,5,6,8,9,10

12 You lose.  New round begins with same shooter.

New Round

Win: 7 or 11   Lose: 2, 3, 12   Set a Point: 4,5,6,8,9,10

4 Point is set.  Marker is moved onto the 4.  You place your Odds bet below your Pass Line bet.  You win both bets if a 4 is rolled again before a 7.  You also place a Come Bet.

PASS LINE: Win: 4    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

COME BET: Win: 7 or 11    Lose: 2, 3, or 12    Creates a Point: Everything else

6 Come Point is set.  Come Bet is moved onto the six.  Make a Come Odds bet.

PASS LINE: Win: 4    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

COME BET: Win: 6    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

3 No effect

10 No effect

6 You win the Come bet and the Come Odds bet!  You place another Come bet.

PASS LINE: Win: 4    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

COME BET: Win: 7 or 11    Lose: 2, 3, or 12    Creates a Point: Everything else

9 Come Point is set.  Come Bet is moved onto the nine.  Make a Come Odds bet.

PASS LINE: Win: 4    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

COME BET: Win: 9    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

6 No effect.

3 No effect.

4 You win the Pass Line Bet and the Odds Bet that went with it!  Marker is moved back to the side.  New round begins with same shooter.  Your Come bet is still active, awaiting a nine to win.

New Round

PASS LINE: Win: 7 or 11   Lose: 2, 3, 12   Create a Point: 4,5,6,8,9,10

COME BET: Win: 9   Lose: 7   Doesn’t Matter: 4,5,6,8,9,10

3 You lose the Pass Line bet.  Dice pass to the next shooter.

New Round

PASS LINE: Win: 7 or 11   Lose: 2, 3, 12   Create a Point: 4,5,6,8,9,10

COME BET: Win: 9   Lose: 7   Doesn’t Matter: 4,5,6,8,9,10

11 You win the Pass Line Bet.  New round begins with same shooter.

New Round

PASS LINE: Win: 7 or 11   Lose: 2, 3, 12   Create a Point: 4,5,6,8,9,10

COME BET: Win: 9   Lose: 7   Doesn’t Matter: 4,5,6,8,9,10

7 Here’s something interesting:  You win the Pass Line bet, but you lose the Come Bet (and the odds that went with it)!

New round begins with the same shooter.

New Round PASS LINE: Win: 7 or 11   Lose: 2, 3, 12   Create a Point: 4,5,6,8,9,10

8 Point is set.  You make an Odds Bet on the Pass Line, and you also make a Come Bet.

PASS LINE: Win: 8    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

COME BET: Win: 7    Lose: 2, 3, or 12    Set a Come Point: Everything else

6 Come Point is set.  Make a Come Odds bet.

PASS LINE: Win: 8    Lose: 7    Doesn’t Matter: Everything else

COME BET: Win: 6    Lose: 7    Set a Come Point: Everything else

4 No effect.

4 No effect.

11 No effect.

10 No effect.

7 You lose both the Pass Line bet and the Come Bet and the odds that went with them.  Marker is moved back to the side. New round begins with new shooter.

Note also that you don’t have to stop with at just two points established; you could keep placing Come Bets and establishing new Come Points, but you then have the potential to lose money a lot faster.  Here’s how that might work. Assume you’ve started out by placing a Pass Line bet.  And to keep it simple, we won’t make odds bets.

Roll = 6.  Point is established. You make a Come Bet

Roll = 10.  Come Point is established. You make another Come Bet.

Roll = 4.  Second Come Point is established. You make another Come Bet.

Roll = 9.  Third Come Point is established. You make another Come Bet.

Roll = 5.  Fourth Come Point is established. You make another Come Bet.

Roll = 4.  You win on the 2nd Come Point. You place another Come Bet

Roll = 8.  Yet another Come Point is established.

Roll = 7.  You lose all bets on the table—your Pass Line bet and the four Come bets!

Having your Come odds “working”

This one’s kind of advanced so I suggest you just skip down to the next section.  I’m including it only because I want my treatment of the Odds bet to be complete, for those who insist on knowing everything.

You’re still here?  Well, okay.  So, here’s the deal:  Come odds are normally “off” on come-out roll, but you can ask the dealer to keep them on, which is called having your Come odds “working”.  Let’s look at an example.

On the come-out roll, the shooter rolls a 10, which becomes the point.

You make a Come bet.

The shooter rolls a 6, establishing your Come point.

You place a Come Odds bet on that point.

The shooter rolls a 10, winning the Pass Line bet.  Everyone cheers.

Time for another come-out roll.  The shooter rolls a 6, which is the same as the Come Point you had established.  What happens now?

The Come bet itself is always in action, so that 6 on the Come-out roll gives you a win on the Come bet.  But the Come odds bet was turned off by default, so you don’t win that one.  You won just the Come bet, but not the Come odds that went with it.

However, before the shooter rolled the dice, you could have told the dealer that you wanted your Come odds “working”.  If you’d done that, then the 6 on the Come-out roll would have made you win both your Come bet and the Come odds bet.

Don’t Pass, Don’t Come

(not related to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”)

There’s lots more to Craps, but everything you need to know to have fun has already been covered above.  It’s completely unnecessary to learn any more.  If you want to stop reading now, there’s no harm in doing so—you’ve earned it.  But if you have an interest in learning a couple more bets, we’ll cover them now.  Realize that learning these extra bets won’t make any significant impact on your chances of winning, though.  (If it made a mig difference, this section would be mandatory, not optional.)  In any event, if you don’t clearly understand the material that’s already been covered, then go back and learn that material well before you even think about reading this section.  What’s already been covered is a lot more important than what’s about to be covered.

Okay, so you know how to make a basic Pass Line bet.  Instead, you could bet the opposite, the Don’t Pass line.  On this bet, you lose if a 7 or 11 is thrown, and you win if a 2 or 3 is thrown. (12 has no effect if you’re betting Don’t Pass.)  If a Point is made, then you win if a 7 is thrown, and lose if the point is thrown again.

There’s also the Don’t Come bet.  After a point is made, a Don’t Come bet loses on a 7 or 11 and wins on a 2 or 3.  If a point is made, then Don’t Come loses if the point is repeated and wins if a 7 kills the point.

You can make Odds bets on both Don’t Pass and Don’t Come, only in this case it’s backwards:  For example, instead of being paid 2 to 1 when winning on a point of 4 or 10, you’re paid 1 to 2.  That means that a $10 Odds bet wins $5.  You also get paid on your original Don’t Come bet, whatever that was.

Most players bet Pass/Come instead of Don’t Pass/Don’t Come.  Someone who bets Don’t Pass/Don’t Come is called a “Wrong Bettor”.  That doesn’t mean they’re betting incorrectly, it just means they’re betting contrary to the way most people at the table are betting.  As a Don’t Pass/Don’t Come player, you’ll be losing when everyone else is winning, and winning when everyone else is losing—and the other players may be hostile towards you as a result of the latter.  At the very best, there won’t be any camraderie.

So why would you bet Don’t Pass/Don’t Come?  Well, in fact there’s no need to.  (Remember how I begged you to believe me that this section was optional?)  You can be a fine Craps player without ever betting the Don’t side.

Technically, the Don’t side has a very slighter smaller house edge than the normal bets, but it’s such a small not worth worrying about—especially for the heat you’ll take from the other players for being a “wrong bettor”. But for inquiring minds, here’s the house edge for Pass Line+Odds compared to Don’t Pass+Odds (rounded)

Figures taken from The Wizard of Odds, then rounded

House Edge on Pass Line + Odds together

House Edge on Don’t Pass + Odds together

No odds

1.41%

1.36%

1x

0.85%

0.68%

2x

0.61%

0.46%

3x

0.47%

0.34%

5x

0.33%

0.23%

10x

0.18%

0.12%

100x

0.021%

0.014%

 

Let’s put this into perspective: Let’s say you’re playing 16 hours, $5 basic bet, at a rate of 30 Come Out rolls per hour.  Your expected loss from betting on the Pass Line is $33.84, compared to $32.64 from betting Don’t Pass instead.  That’s an extra 7.5¢ an hour.  Big whoop.

 

Whether you’re betting Pass or Don’t Pass, make sure you calculate your Expected Loss before you start playing.

 

Craps Superstitions

Many Craps players are superstitious, so you have to avoid doing anything they think is bad luck, otherwise they’ll get mad at you and blame you if they start losing. Here’s what to watch out for:

 

Never say the word “seven” once a Point has been made.  Crappers think that saying “seven” somehow makes it more likely that a seven will be thrown.  They commonly refer to seven simply as “it”.

Don’t hit anyone’s money with the dice when you roll.  Craps players think this will induce a seven and kill any points that have been set.

If you’re a man and you’ve never played before, don’t mention that fact.  New male Craps players are supposedly unlucky and are expected to seven-out quickly.

On the other hand, if you’re a woman, you should definitely mention your newness to the game.  Female craps “virgins” are considered to be extremely lucky and are expected to throw numbers (i.e., make points instead of sevening-out) for a long time.  Upon mentioning that you’ve never played before, you may see the players start suddenly wagering all kinds of money on the table, and maybe even giving you chips to bet with!  Of course, even if you have played before, you could always say you haven’t, just to see the fascinating human spectacle.

Practice craps with fake money or real money at Bovada

Betting Systems

You may see ads for Craps Systems on the Internet or in magazines that purport to show you how to win at Craps. They’re all junk.  (Like this one, which was debunked here.)  There is no way to overcome the house edge and win consistently over the long run.  If these systems really worked, the authors would be living on an island with their millions rather than being eager to get your $24.95 plus shipping.  And the casinos would have gone bust long ago (or discovered the flaw in the game, and changed the rules to close the loophole).  There are plenty of legitimate books that can teach you how to play, how to use good strategy, and how to not get in over your head, but the reputable ones won’t promise that you’ll be a consistent winner.  You can certainly use a betting system, and some of them are fun, but none of them will guarantee that you’ll win.  You can see more in our section on betting systems.