Craps - General Questions
I'm a floor supervisor at a local casino and was wondering about a strange play. A player was betting both the pass and don't pass at the same time. My question is if he was betting the do side for $10, I would give him an average bet of $10. Now that he is betting both sides, and probably not risking any funds, what would the average bet be? I know if this patron bet both the red and black on roulette, he should get an average bet of both bets on red and black, since the house advantage of 5.26% make both bets a loser over the long run.
Ray from Plainfield, USA
Show me a player making opposite, or near opposite, bets and I'll show you a player up to something. He is probably trying to take advantage of a promotion or comps. If I ran a casino, I would give credit only for money being risked. One could argue he is risking $10, because a 12 will cause the pass to win and the don't pass to push. However, that will happen 1 in 36 pass line bets only. If I ran a casino, I would give him an average bet of $0.
I was playing craps at www.gamehouse.com and bet $20 on the horn and won $60 on a roll of 11. If the horn bet is spread out between 2,3,11,12, shouldn't I have won $75 ($5X15)?
No, you were paid correctly. The 11 does pay 15:1 on the $5 of your bet. However you lost the other $15 on the 2, 3, and 12. So $75-$15=$60. Instead of taking the $15 from your bet, they take it from the winnings.
What are your casino choices in Atlantic City for craps and Spanish 21? When you mention that it is wise to take full odds on a bet while playing craps, do you mean to match your bet with an equal odds bet, or to make the highest allowed odds bet along with your bet (ex: at a table with 10x max odds place a $1 bet with a $1 free odds bet, or a $1 bet with a $10 free odds bet). I'm a little confused on that. I love your site, and honestly see it as "a diamond in the rough" among gambling advice web sites. Personally, I like to know what the mathematical odds are when it comes to wagering my hard earned money! Thanks in advance for answering my questions!
Dave from Roanoke, Virginia
Thanks for the compliment. The Spanish 21 rules are the same across Atlantic City. I only know of two that have the game, the Tropicana and the Claridge, but there could be others by now. If I'm not mistaken, the best craps game is at the Sands, which offers 5X odds. When I say to take the maximum odds I mean bet the maximum allowed on the odds. For example, $50 after a $10 line bet. Keep in mind that you won't win more money by taking the odds, you just get to bet more without losing more in the long run.
What is the casino average hold for craps?
Mary from Rising Sun, USA
I don't know the hold for any game. For the benefit of other readers, the hold percentage is the ratio of casino profit to chips purchased at the table. Since the same chips will circulate back and forth between the players and dealer for an unknown period of time, the mathematician has no way of calculating the hold or hold percentage.
When reading literature about the formula casinos use to determine comps, the only formula I ever see used as an example is a formula for blackjack. Assuming the casino determines your average bet by your spread, what formula is typically used by casinos to determine expected craps losses, which in turn, determines available comps.
Tim from San Antonio, Texas
I asked my friend Larry Drummond, a craps dealer and former webmaster of for help on this question. Larry can be a bit abrasive but is a good source of hard to find information on craps. Here is what he said, "Comps for craps vary from Casino to Casino and from Boxman to Boxman. A player should get to know the Boxman. The Boxman sets the players average bet and tracks the TIME that a player is at the table. It is easier for the Boxman to track action for COMPS. if the player is consistent in their wagering pattern. Now, I ask you ... if a player goes $52 or $54 across after a Point is established with a $5 flat bet on the Pass Line. Is that a $57 or $59 average? ... Or a $5 average with a whole bunch of other INDIVIDUAL bets? The answer is... IT DEPENDS ON HOW WELL YOU KNOW THE BOXMAN and HOW MANY TIMES TO YOU ATTEND THIS PARTICULAR CASINO."
Larry added in another e-mail the following, "In addition to the information I already sent to you ... ODDS on Pass Line and Come bets are often NOT included in the AVERAGE for comps. Same with LAYING ODDS on the Don’t Side... as in the long run this should be a WASH. But ... If a smart boxman wants someone who is spending big bucks on ANY 7, the worst bet on the table... he would probably average the ODDS and the LAYS to keep the sucker coming back to the casino ... you can re-word this to make it a little more palatable for your site ... In addition ... A good boxman will COMP to the MAX if he sees that the PLAYER is "betting for the boys."
Will you be doing a risk of ruin analysis for Craps? The only analysis I have found online to date seemed to be flawed.
Brian E. from Raleigh, USA
I wasn’t planning on it. There are so many betting patterns in craps that one analysis would only fit a small percentage of craps players.
Mr. Wizard, you’re site is great. I think you may be the only honest expert on the internet. My question is this. I know how odds are calculated in craps but I cannot shake the feeling that once a player gets up multiple bets, either through placing them or betting the pass line and making successive come bets, that the odds shift dramatically into the houses favor. It only takes one seven to wipe out all the bets at one time. In order to win, you must hit each number and after it is hit, a seven would wipe out the remaining numbers.
Thank you for the kind words. I still say that the house edge is not dependent on the number of come bets you make. Yes, it is depressing to establish one come point after another and then lose everything on a seven. However there are other times when the shooter takes ages before rolling a seven and you win lots of come bets along the way.
What is your opinion of Card Craps as played by many of the casinos in the San Diego area?
In California dice alone can not be used to determine the outcome of a game. To get around this law many casinos use a hybrid of cards and dice, or cards only. My crap section now addresses some of the ways this is done.
I realize that decisions per hour in games like blackjack and craps can depend heavily on factors like the number of other players at the table, the hand shuffle vs. machine shuffle, shooter and dealer speed. Still, I was curious if you could give me a rough approximation of how many decisions per hour an individual can expect at a mostly-full craps table and a blackjack table with both a hand shuffle and machine shuffle. This would help me estimate my expected loss per hour and weigh it against the comps I am being offered.
The following tables show the number of hands/tosses per hour in blackjack, craps, and roulette. The source of the tables is by Jim Kilby.
Hands per Hour in Blackjack
|Players||Hands per hour|
Rolls per Hour in Craps
|Players||Rolls per hour|
In craps 29.6% of total rolls are come out rolls, on average.
Spins per Hour in Roulette
|Players||Spins per hour|
Do you have any good rules/setups for playing Craps at home for actual cash. I understand that to keep things legal, I can’t take a ’house cut’, but assuming a buy-in is enforced (like playing poker at home) is there a good system to play privately for money without becoming "the house" and paying winners out of my own pocket?
Chris K from Los Angeles
You could do a tournament. Every player will buy in for the same amount of non-cashable chips. Establish somebody to be the banker, paying off bets as in normal craps. Whoever has the most chips after some benchmark, for example x 7-outs, wins the pool. Since you will have an even chance with everybody else, I think it would be okay to ask for tips for the use of your house.
Just wanted to know if you knew where the majority of casinos here in Vegas buy their craps tables. And if these companies sold their tables to the public?
Dennis from Henderson, NV
Two suppliers of gaming tables I am aware of are TCS John Huxley and Midwest Game Supply. They probably do sell to the public. The price of a craps table at Midwest Game Supply is $3,950. If a used one will suffice, the sells used tables.
What casinos in Las Vegas have a small table, called a tub, for craps?
According to the the Bone Man at , here is where and when you can find the tubs:
One Tub at Wild, Wild West (probably open only evenings, weekdays, and on weekends).
One Tub at Ellis Island (probably open only evenings, weekdays, and on weekends).
One Tub at Circus Circus in West Casino section, hardly ever open unless on busy holiday.
2010 update: I hear the Ellis Island replaced the tub with a full craps table.
What percentage of rolls in craps are come out rolls?
Eddie from Seattle
The expected number of total rolls is 1671/196 = 8.5255. Interestingly, the expected number of rolls for a point is exactly 6. That leaves 2.5255 come out rolls. So the percentage of come out rolls is 2.5255/8.5255 = 29.6%.
I am wondering which will come up more rolling a pair of dice — an odd or even total?
The answer is 50/50. This will be true for any number of dice rolled, not just two.
A bit off-topic, but I've always thought an odd/even set of bets would be a good way to replace the dreaded big 6/8 bets in craps. To give the house an advantage, here are my proposed pay tables and analysis.
|3 or 11||1.5||4||0.111111||0.166667|
|5 or 9||1||8||0.222222||0.222222|
|2 or 12||3||2||0.055556||0.166667|
|4 or 10||1||6||0.166667||0.166667|
|6 or 8||0.5||10||0.277778||0.138889|
Please note that I claim all rights with this publication.
This question is raised and discussed in my forum at .
What is the etiquette of tipping the shooter in craps?
There is absolutely no expectation of tipping the shooter ever! I would go as far as to ask you not to, lest it become a "thing," and leeches start hanging around the table, only betting on their turn, and shaking other players down for tips. This whole culture of tipping in casinos is getting completely out of hand.
This question is raised and discussed in my forum at .