Category Archives: Craps

Multi Roll Craps Bets

Craps is perhaps the most communal of all casino games. The house hands the players some dice, and invites them to play. Players all take turns acting as shooters, trying to beat the casino literally with their own two hands. Unless a player is ‘betting on the dark side’, placing Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets, all players stand to win and loose together. When a shooter is ‘hot’, everyone is happy and making money. When bad luck is in the air, it affects everyone. But there is more to craps than the classic Line bets.

Other than the popular Line bets, playing craps gives you the ability to bet on almost anything. The simplest bets are Single Roll bets, which are determined after one single roll of the dice. However, players also have the option to bet on Multi Roll bets. These bets may be settled after one single shot, or may take any number of additional shots to be determined. Below is a list of classic Multi Roll craps bets, along with their corresponding payouts, actual odds and house edge.

Hard Way: A Hard Way (Also known as ‘doubles’) is when both dice are showing the same value. For example, a Hard Way Eight would be dice showing 4, 4. You win this bet if a shooter throws a specific Hard Way (4, 6, 8 or 10) before he throws a 7 or the corresponding Easy Way. The Hard Way is a very common craps bets, and it even has many references in pop culture. The movie ‘Hard Eight’ got its title, as well as many inspiring scenes, from this bet.

Hard Way 4 / 10 – Payout: 7:1; Actual odds: 8:1; House edge: 11.11%

Hard Way 6 / 8 – Payout: 9:1; Actual odds: 10:1; House edge: 9.09%

Easy Way: This bet is the opposite of the Hard Way. If the shooter throws an Easy Way (4, 6, 8 or 10) before the 7 or the corresponding Hard Way, you win, otherwise you loose. An example of Easy Way 4 is 3, 1.

Big 6 / Big 8: With the Big 6 bet, you win if a 6 is rolled before the 7. The Big 8 is the same, except with an 8. These bets are considered ‘sucker bets’ by most veteran players, and should be avoided. They pay even money (1:1), but the actual odds are 6:5 in favor of the house, so the house edge is 9.09%. Though the same house edge (or worse) is found in many other craps bets, this is considered an exceptionally bad bet because you can make the same proposition with better payouts using a either a Place or a Buy bet (see below) on the 6 or 8. Some casinos have removed these bets from their craps tables.

Place Bets: You can bet on either on of the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 to show before the 7. A Place bet must be placed by the dealer. You place the wager in the ‘come’ area and call out “place the 4”. The payout is worse than the actual odds, to maintain the house edge. Still, this choice is better than betting on the Big 6 or Big 8, as demonstrated below:

Place 4 / 10 – Payout: 9:5; Actual odds: 2:1; House edge: 6.67%

Place 5 / 9 – Payout: 7:5; Actual odds: 3:2; House edge: 4%

Place 6 / 8 – Payout: 7:6; Actual odds: 6:5; House edge: 1.52%

Buy Bets: Buy bets are the same as Place bets, with one small difference: Buy bets pay out true odds, but a 5% commission is charged to ‘buy’ the bet. The commission used to be charged regardless of the bet outcome, however in recent years most casinos have changed that policy and they now charge only for winning bets.

Buy 4 / 10 – Payout: 2:1 – 5% commission; Actual odds: 2:1; House edge: 5%

Buy 5 / 9 – Payout: 3:2 – 5% commission; Actual odds: 3:2; House edge: 5%

Buy 6 / 8 – Payout: 6:5 – 5% commission; Actual odds: 6:5; House edge: 5%

Lay Bets: This bet is the opposite of a Place/Buy bet. You win if the 7 comes out before the number you chose. The payouts for the Lay bet are true odds, but a 5% commission is charged.

Lay 4 / 10 – Payout: 1:2 – 5% commission; Actual odds: 1:2; House edge: 5%

Lay 5 / 9 – Payout: 2:3 – 5% commission; Actual odds: 2:3; House edge: 5%

Lay 6 / 8 – Payout: 5:6 – 5% commission; Actual odds: 5:6; House edge: 5%

What Do You Know About the History of Craps?

People have disagreed for a long time on when and how ‘craps’ emerged. One theory, that of Richard Epstein, is that craps has its roots in an earlier game played during the Middle Ages, known as ‘Hazard’; the formal rules of which were formulated by Montmort in the early 1700s. The origin of the name itself is even difficult to determine, but it most likely evolved from the English word “crabs”, or from the French Crapeaud (toad). On this point, however, gambling historians have divergent views. It is a viciously contended subject among many scholars and self-professed experts and even occasionally ends in tears and, unfortunately, fisticuffs!

According to other sources, there is also evidence that a form of Craps can be traced back to the time of the Holy Roman Empire. Soldiers in the Roman Legions used to shave down pig’s knuckles into the shapes of cubes, and toss them onto their inverted shields as a form of entertainment while in camp (“to roll the bones”). Most people now, generally, accept that the game of Craps came to the U.S. from Europe.

There are two general variations of Craps played today that can be directly traced back in history – they are called “Street Craps” and “Bank Craps”. In recent times, the Internet version – Online Craps – has also become very popular.

According to gaming guru and gambling legend Geoffrey W. Dibben, Craps even dates back to before the Middle Ages. The Arabs played a game using little numbered cubes, called azzahr (meaning “the die”). The game showed up across the Mediterranean in France, where it was renamed ‘hasard’, then jumped the English Channel to England sometime before 1550 AD, where the English spelling, hazard, was adopted. The roll of lowest value in that game was called crabs. The French, trying to be amiable, adopted that term from the English, but spelled it the French way: ‘crabes’. In the early 1700’s, the game crossed the Atlantic to the French colony of Acadia, in what is now eastern Canada.

In 1755, the French lost Acadia to the English, who promptly renamed it Nova Scotia and evicted the French-speaking Acadians. The Acadians then bitterly roamed the area and finally settled much farther south in Louisiana, where they were (and continue to be) called Cajuns. They still played the good old dice game, but dropped the title of ‘hasard’ and called the game simply ‘crebs’ or ‘creps’, which was their spelling of the French crabes.

By 1843, the Cajun word came into American English as ‘craps’. People were apparently careful for a while not to omit the final ‘s’ for fear of confusion with a slang term having a totally different meaning, and thus were reluctant to use the word on many occasions.