7 Reasons Craps is the Best Casino Game

Craps Best Casino Game Image

Craps is one of the staple games found in most casinos around the world. It’s to the point that a casino really doesn’t seem like a real casino if it doesn’t have a craps table.

But it’s also a game that rarely gets mentioned as a favorite or included on many top 10 lists. It has a lot to offer and keeps players coming back for more.

You’ll learn why so many players are always around the table in the 7 reasons craps is the best casino game below.

1 – Low House Edge on the Best Bets

Craps offers a wide range of betting options, which I cover in section 5 below, but the best options have a low house edge.

Here are the best bets at the craps table with the corresponding house edge.

  • Don’t pass line – 1.36%
  • Pass line – 1.41%
  • Odds six or eight – 0%
  • Odds five or nine – 0%
  • Odds four or 10 – 0%
  • Place six – 1.52%
  • Place eight – 1.52%

The pass line and don’t pass line bets are made on a come out roll. You can tell if the current role is a come out role by seeing if the round disk is not placed on a point and says off or if it is placed on a point and says on.

When it says off you can place a pass line or don’t pass line bet.

Once a come out role has been made if it doesn’t resolve with a roll of two, three, seven, 11 or 12, a point is set.

The don’t pass line bet wins if the come out role is a two or three or if a point is set and the shooter rolls a seven before rolling the point again.

It loses is the come out bet is a seven or an 11 and when the point is rolled again before a seven. The bet is a push on a roll of 12.

A pass line bet wins with a come out roll or seven or 11 and if a point is set and the point is rolled again before a seven is rolled.

It loses on a come out roll of two, tree, or 11 or if a seven is rolled before the point is rolled again.

The odds bets are one of the only bets offered in a casino at true odds, creating a 0% house edge. I cover them in the next section.

The other low house edge bets, the place six and place eight, are bets that the number you pick will be rolled before a seven is rolled. These bets are usually not on or working on a come out roll. When you place one of these bets it stays in place, called working, and gets paid out every time your number is rolled and lost when a seven is rolled.

You can take down a place bet after and roll.

The place six and place eight pay 7 to 6. This means you should place these bets in multiples of 6. Here are the pay outs for bets of multiples of six.


2 – The Odds Bets

The odds bets at the craps table are one of the few in the casino offered without a house edge. But you won’t find a spot on the table that tells you where to place an odds bet.

When you place a pass line bet and a point is set you can then place an odds bet. You do this by making an additional bet right behind your original pass line wager.

The amount of the odds bet is set by the casino and you may have to ask how much you can place. Some casinos allow odds bets up to 100 times your pass line bet.

The payout for an odds bet depends on the point that was set.

If the point is four or 10 the payout is 2 to 1.

If the point is five or nine the payout is 3 to 2.

If the point is six or eight the payout is 6 to 5.

These payouts are given at true odds, which make this a 1% house edge wager. In other words, the odds of a four or 10 being rolled before a seven are 2 to 1, the same as the payout.

You win your odds bet if the point is rolled before a seven.

If you have a large enough bankroll you should always take the maximum odds bet. By doing this you reduce the overall house edge to the lowest possible amount in comparison to your bet.

The house still has an edge on the original pas line bet, but when you bet more on the odds at no house edge it reduces your long term risk.

Here’s an example:

If you bet $20 on the pass line the casino has a 1.41% edge on your $20. This means that on average you lose 28.2 cents on every $20 bet, or 1.41%.

If you place a $200 odds bet when a point is set it effectively reduces the house edge because on average the $200 bet will break even.

Your expected loss on the two bets combines is still 28.2 cents, but this is a much smaller percentage of your total bet of $220 than of just $20.

Some casinos offer what’s called 3 – 4 – 5 X odds bets. They do it this way to make payouts simple for the dealers. This means that you can place three times the original bet as an odds bet if the point is four or 10, four times if the point is five or nine, and five times if the point is six or eight.

When you bet using the 3 – 4 – 5 X system the payout on the odds bet is always six times the original pass line bet.

Here’ an example using a point of eight.

You place a bet of $20 on the pass line and a point of eight is set. You then place an odds bet of $100. When you win the odds bet you get $120, which is 6 to 5. You also win the original bet on the pass line for another $20.

When you use these numbers to look at the house edge, you still lose on average the 28.2 cents, but you total wager amount is $120, reducing the effective house edge as much as possible.

If you make don’t pass line bets you can also place odds behind them when a point is set. These odd bets are paid out if a seven is rolled before the point is rolled again.

The payouts for don’t pass line odds bets are:

1 to 2 if the point is a four or a 10.

2 to 3 if the point is a five or a nine.

5 to 6 if the point is a six or an eight.

3 – The Excitement of the Table

The craps table is usually the loudest and most exciting place in the casino. Most of the bettors use the pass line bet so they all win and lose together.

This creates a team atmosphere where everyone is rooting for the shooter to win. When a group of players win together it leads to more excitement and camaraderie.

The excitement around the table is one of the reasons s many players avoid trying craps. It can be intimidating the first time you play because of all of the betting options and all of the excited players, but don’t let this stop you from joining a game.

Walk up to the table and wait for the next come out roll. Place a bet on the pass line and join the fun. The way you know it’s safe to place a pass line bet is by looking at the disk the casino uses on the table. When it gets turned to the off side pass line bets can be placed.

Even though the odds are slightly better if you place a don’t pass line bet, most players view this as rooting against the shooter. You can do what you think is bets, but if you want to join the excitement and be a part of the group you should stick with the pass line bet.

The difference in the house edge is .05%, or one-twentieth of one percent. While this does add up over time, it doesn’t add up to very much.

Here’s an example:

If you place $20 bets on the pass line and place 100 of them a week it only costs you $1 a week in extra expected loss when compared to the don’t pass line bet. This is the only time I ever recommend taking a bet with a higher house edge, but it’s such a small difference it’s not worth it to me to be an outcast at the table.

4 – You Get to Throw Dice

Unless you’re the only player at the table you don’t have to throw the dice. You can pass them to the next player.

But one of the thrills of playing craps is that you get to throw the dice. So why not grab them and throw them down the table?

Throwing or shooting the dice is one of the most unique things you can do in a casino. It might take you a few throws to get the hang of it, but don’t worry too much. Even seasoned shooters make mistakes and even throw one off the table from time to time.

The main thing when you throw is that the dice need to hit the far wall of the table. If you don’t do it right one of the casino employees running the table will tell you, so it’s not a big deal.

5 – Plenty of Betting Options

The craps table is filled with betting options. I’ve already covered the best ones in an earlier section, but wanted to show you more here.

In addition to the bets covered in section one above; the following wagers are available when you play craps. I’ve included the house edge with each bet, and as you can see they aren’t very good.

Field paying 3 to 1 on the 12 – 2.78%

Field paying 2 to 1 on the 12 – 5.56%

Place to lose four – 3.03%

Place to lose 10 – 3.03%

Place five – 4%

Place nine – 4%

Place four – 6.67%

Place 10 – 6.67%

Big six – 9.09%

Big eight – 9.09%

Hard six – 9.09%

Hard eight – 9.09%

Any craps – 11.11%

Hard four – 11.11%

Hard 10 – 11.11%

Three – 11.11%

11 – 11.11%

Easy hops – 11.11%

Two – 13.89%

12 – 13.89%

Hard hops – 13.89%

All of these bets except the field when the 12 pays 3 to 1 are at a house edge at least two times bigger than the pass line bet.

The only craps bets I recommend considering are the ones included in the first section. None of the bets listed here should ever be placed unless you simply enjoy taking a long shot every now and then.

Just understand that every time you take a long shot you give the casino a bigger edge against you.

6 – The Slow Pace

Unlike slot machines and video poker games where you can play hundreds of spins per hour, the craps table operates at a slower pace.

Each roll of the dice takes time and then payouts have to be made. Even a fast-paced game of craps is slow compared to other table games like mini-baccarat and blackjack.

This helps your bankroll last longer and lets you play longer on the same amount of money or less than when you play most games.

In addition, you don’t have to bet on each roll and a single bet on the pass line often takes several rolls to resolve.

The slow pace also makes it easier to learn how to play and watch what the other players do.

It’s not always a good idea to do everything the other players do, because many of them do things that reduce your chances to win. The most glaring example is placing bets on the wagers with poor odds you learned about in the last section.

7 – Learn a New language

Craps is one of the games that seem to have its own language. When you hear the conversation around the table the first time you may think you’ve stepped into a different country.

Here’s a list of common terms and what they mean that you might hear playing craps. Most of them are used to describe particular dice roles.

Snake Eyes or Aces – A roll of 1 and 1.

Ace Deuce or Acey Deucy – A roll of 1 and 2.

Easy Four – A roll of 1 and 3.

Five or Fever Five – A roll of 1 and 4 or a roll of 2 and 3.

Easy Six – A roll of 1 and 5 or a roll of 2 and 4.

Natural or Seven Out – A roll of 1 and 6 or a roll of 2 and 5 or a roll of 3 and 4.

Hard Four or Little Joe or Little Joe from Kokomo or Ballerina – A roll of 2 and 2.

Easy Eight – A roll of 2 and 6 or a roll of 3 and 5.

Hard Six – A roll of 3 and 3.

Nine or Centerfield Nine or Old Mike or Nina from Pasadena – A roll of 3 and 6 or a roll of 4 and 5.

Hard Eight or Ozzie and Harriet or Eighter from Decauter – A roll of 4 and 4.

Easy 10 – A roll of 4 and 6.

Hard 10 or Puppy Paws or Dos Equis or Moose Head – A roll of 5 and 5.

Yo or Yo-leven – A roll of 5 and 6.

Boxcars or Midnight – A roll of 6 and 6.

Jimmie Hicks or Jimmie Hicks from the Sticks – A total of six.

Six Ace or Up Pops the Devil or Big Red – A roll of 1 and 6.

Jesse James or Railroad Nine – A role of 4 and 5.

Easy – Used for rolls of four, six, eight, and 10 that aren’t doubles.

Hard – Used for rolls of four, six, eight, and 10 that are rolled as doubles.

One of the important things to know before you start playing craps is the common superstition about saying the word seven out loud at the table. Most players never say seven and instantly bristle up if another player does.

The best course of action, even if you aren’t superstitious, is never say seven at the craps table.


Craps is a fun and exciting game and if you’ve avoided it for any reason you should consider giving it a try. The 7 reasons craps is the best casino game listed in this post point out many of the things you’ve been missing.

Use this guide to help you learn the best bets, how the game works, and some of the special language used at the table. Before you know it you’ll be a seasoned craps pro.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.