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Craps Odds

Odds in the game of craps are much like other casino games, but of course, with a couple of exceptions. If you're looking for information on free odds in the game of craps, follow the link. This page discusses craps odds in general, not the specific free odds bet.

If you are familiar with the free odds bet however, you're likely to understand the concept of craps odds that much easier. The free odds bet is the one bet in craps (and possibly, in the entire casino) which holds no inherent house edge. It is a fair bet. The trick is, before you can place a free odds bet in craps you need to place another bet, which is invariably negative expectation.

To call a bet a fair bet is to say a great deal about hit. Take this simplified example: I take bets that if I flip this coin it will come up heads or tails. If you bet 5 dollars that the coin will come up heads, you would expect to be paid back your original five dollars, plus another five for winning your bet. But what if I decided that it costs you 5 dollars to bet on the coin, but when you win you only win your five dollars back plus 4 more. You can see clearly that this bet is not fair. Why? Because we know inherently that a coin flip is a 50/50 chance. So to bet and win on a coin flip means you have overcome odds 50% against you, and you deserve to be paid back in full what you bet. If you'd bet that it will come up heads at least 1 flip in 2, you have better than 50% odds, and I as the bookie should feel no guilt if I paid you less then 5 bucks for winning.

In the casino, craps odds operate like the crooked bookie. Every bet on the table is a negative expectation bet. This means that whenever you win one of these bets, you are not paid back the cash you deserve, you are not paid equal to the odds you've overcome to win the bet. This is how the casino makes money all of the time, not just when they win. Consider the roulette wheel: if you bet on the number 3 being hit, and it gets hit, you've overcome 38 to 1 odds by winning, but you are only paid back 35 times what you bet. The casino wins every time.

In craps, odds are you'll be playing the free odds bet at one point or another. Now at least, you understand a little better why it is you do that. Because, although the pass line or come bet you made before you placed your odds wont be paid back as you deserve (if you win), all of the money you put into free odds will be paid back correctly.