Odds Bets: Cut the House Edge

Play It Smart- Craps Strategies

By Nelson Paul

If you spend any amount of time playing the game of craps the question of placing an “odds” bet is likely to emerge. Even the casual observer will naturally wonder about the somewhat random appearance of the extra bet players make behind the pass line. This extra bet is the player’s best friend, and should be maximized at every opportunity. In fact it is the best bet in the whole casino, and the only bet where the player and the casino have an equal chance. Statistically, an “odds” bet wins or looses exactly 50% of the time.

Odds Bet Limit

The first thing you need to know about the odds bet in craps is the odds bet limit on your table. This limit is stated in terms of a multiple of your original pass or don’t pass line bet, and usually appears in large print on the table limits sign.  You look for something like “2 X ODDS” or 10 X ODDS. The larger the odds limit the better the opportunity for the player.  Casinos will try to drive traffic by raising their odds limits to attract action. Most games traditionally will have at least a 2X’s odds bet limit, 5X’s odds is common and if you can find a 10 X’s odds or higher, the casino is aggressively trying to attract craps action. Higher odds limits also help the player, just as they do when you’re trying to beat blackjack.

Pass Line and Odds Bets

If your original pass line bet is $10, a 10 X’s odds game will permit you to place a $100 odds bet on the table behind your original pass line bet. Once your understand the relationship between your pass line bet and your odds bet, no matter what the table limits are you can easily figure out how to play the odds bet.  If the limit is 5 X’s odds and your original pass line bet is $5 then your maximum odds bet is 25$.

Place Maximum Odds

The most important thing to remember about placing an odds bet is to always place the maximum odds bet the table will permit. The strategy is to minimize the line bet and maximize the odds bet at any game no matter what the table limits. If you are playing a $10 table with a 10X’s odds limit the better bet is to play the table minimum with the maximum odds rather than a bet above the table minimum with less than maximum odds.

The best bet would be $10 on the pass line with a $100 odds bet, rather than $20 on the pass line and a $100 odds bet.  Both plays are $100 odds bets, but the first bet is 10 X’s odds the second is only 5X’s odds.

Without turning you into a PhD mathematician, simply understand the concept that the house has an edge on pass line bet, and the odds bet is an even money play. To the extent the player can leverage the losses on the pass line into higher dollar even money odds bets, the overall advantage for the house is reduced.

Play it Smart and make your craps money last using maximum odds!

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Play it Smart and make your craps money last using maximum odds!

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