Most casino patrons tend to shy away from the craps table because of the many available bets, the unpredictability of a pair of dice, and the fast pace of the game. But this perceived complexity has the potential to pay off nicely to those players who take their time and learn the basics of the game. This includes understanding one of the best bets in craps, the Don’t Come wager, which has a low house edge and great chances of winning.
Casino craps or bank craps is a relatively simple game that originates from the traditional, street dice game variations. Unlike them, it has rules and payouts that remain the same in most land-based and online casinos, with only minor differences introduced sometimes to attract more players. Fans of the game know well that craps is easy to learn but very difficult to master and this is why there are so many unsuccessful players, while only a few seem to make consistent profits. The key to being successful, i.e. to win more than you lose, is to place the right bets at the right time.
The Don’t Come wager is one of these good bets that can cut the advantage all casinos have over their customers. Nevertheless, it is often ignored, especially by those who have little experience and low tolerance for risk, even though this type of bet reduces !!! the player’s being exposed to risk. In addition, this wager is undeservingly underestimated due to lack of knowledge and understanding.
Despite the simple rules of craps, betting properly is not obvious for many players who prefer sticking to the same bets for years. Those who dare to explore the Don’t Come bet and its opposite, the Come bet, may soon discover the game of craps is much more rewarding than they previously thought. In combination with other bets, it can also be used in successful betting strategies by expert-level players.
Basics of Come and Don’t Come Bets
The Come and Don’t Come bets are among the basic and most fundamental wagers in craps, along with the Pass and Don’t Pass bets. Most players would learn how to place them within their first several games, although they seem a bit confusing at first. Let us start with the Pass and Don’t Pass bets – these are when players are betting on or against the dice.
If a 7 or 11 is thrown after the initial roll, Pass bets win and Don’t Pass bets lose. When the numbers on two dice total 2, 3, or 12, the Pass bets automatically win. The Don’t Pass wagers, on the other hand, win if 2 or 3 is rolled, lose on 7 and 11, while the 12 is a push – neither a win nor a loss.
The Come and Don’t Come wagers are quite similar to these two with one major difference, namely the timing. While Pass/Don’t Pass bets can be placed before on the initial roll, called “come-out roll”, the Come/Don’t Come bets cannot be placed until a point has been established. Whenever the shooter rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, Pass/Don’t Pass wagers neither win, nor lose. Another roll of the dice follows, with the number thrown in the come-out becomes the point number.
It is this second time the dice are tossed across the craps table when players are given the option to place Come or Don’t Come bets. After the point has been established and a Come bet is placed, it wins in case 7 or 11 is rolled and loses if the dice show the craps numbers (2, 3, and 12). If any other number is thrown, it becomes the point for the following roll. Similarly, the Don’t Come bet wins if 2 or 3 is rolled and loses if 7 or 11 lands. The rest of the numbers would establish a point.
What is the Don’t Come Bet?
In theory, the Come and Don’t Come wagers are not so difficult to understand, as we have already seen – they are very similar to the Pass and Don’t Pass bets but instead of in the come-out roll, they are placed once the point number has been established. In practice, things become more complicated and many players are confused when the Don’t Come wager is actually available. The shooter tosses the dice, some players win, others lose and before you know it, the dice are being thrown on the table once again.
Compared to many casino games, craps is very fast and novices may find it hard to keep track of the rolls. Identifying a come-out roll may be particularly tricky but there is an easy way to know when you can place a Come/Don’t Come wager. Each time the shooter throws a point number in the come-out roll, the dealers move a small disk from one side of the betting layout to the box corresponding to the point number. This object is called a marker puck and before the point has been determined, it shows its black side that says “Off”.
They win if 2 or 3 is thrown in the first roll after the bet has been made. They lose if 7 or 11 is thrown, while 12 is considered a push – players neither win nor lose. This little detail has been introduced so that players do not gain an advantage over the casino. If any of the other numbers are rolled, a point is established on the Come/Don’t Come bets. When the roll determines the point on your Don’t Come bet, you need a 7 to be thrown before the point number in order to win. If the total on the dice shows the point, however, you lose.
If the come-out roll, for example, is 5, then you can place your Don’t Come wager. However, the point 5 is not relevant for your bet and you need 2 or 3 in the next roll in order to win. If the shooter throws 7 or 11, you lose, and if the dice show 8, this will be the point number for your bet. Your chips are moved to the area on the table corresponding for the 8. If the dice land on 8, you lose. You will win only if the shooter rolls a 7 before that.
Don’t Come Bet Payout and House Edge
Novices can often make the mistake to assume that the result of every throw of the dice depends on luck or chance. Experienced, knowledgeable players understand that luck is a wrong concept in craps, although every roll is completely random, indeed. It is important to remember that craps is a game of chance and is based on mathematical probability, which is fixed and can be easily calculated. The reason for this is that there are a fixed number of possible combinations of numbers that the dice can land on each time – they are exactly 36.
This is why the odds and the house edge of every bet are well-known. Just like the Don’t Pass bet, the Don’t Come pays evenly, which means the potential winnings from this bet are equal to it. One of the best things about making this wager is its low house edge, which increases the player’s chances of winning. The edge is 1.36%, slightly lower than the typical Pass Line wager. This means that, on average, players are expected to lose 1.36% of their bets over a long period of time. Of course, the house edge does not indicate that $1.36 of your every $100 bet will be lost. Rather, it shows the profits of the casino over time.
This makes the Don’t Come bet a great option for all players who are looking for a way to optimize their game and reduce their losses. Still, people rarely place this wager, as it suggests playing against the table. Those who make it are sometimes called “wrong” players because the majority of people around the craps table prefer betting on the dice to win. If you place a Don’t Come wager, know that you will be probably betting against everyone else. This does not apply to online craps, of course, so if you are playing a virtual version of the game, you will play on your own against the casino.
Free Odds on Don’t Come Bets
Craps players have the option to improve their chances of winning with the Don’t Come bet by laying odds on it. Odds bets, also known as Free Odds bets, are probably the most interesting wagers in this game because they are placed as separate, side bets, but they essentially work as multiples of your original bet. They can be added at any time once the point has been established on a Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come wagers.
When you place a Don’t Come bet, you lay the Odds bet by asking the dealers for assistance since it is not marked on the table. When the point on your Don’t Come wager is determined, you place your chips near the Don’t Come area on the layout and with this Odds wager, you bet on whether the 7 or the point number will be rolled first. If your original bet wins, so does the Odds wager.
Usually, this bet can be one, two, or three times your original bet, but some land-based casinos may attract players by introducing odds up to 100 times the bet size. The Odds bets are typically referred to as 1x, 2x Odds, 3x Odds or 10x Odds. For instance, the point on your $10 Don’t Come wager is 8 and if you lay it with 3x Odds, you will need to put chips worth $30 on the table. If 7 rolls before 8 (the point number), you receive even payout for the Don’t Come wager, plus quite an attractive payout for the Free Odds bet.
The payouts for the Odds wagers vary, depending on the point number established in the roll. When the point is 4 or 10, the payout is 2 to 1 (2:1). On points 5 and 9, Odds pay 3 to 2 (3:2), while on points of 6 and 8, these bets pay 6 to 5 (6:5). This means that these wagers pay true odds, instead of the typical casino odds, which show that the risk is greater than the payout. The true odds here can be seen easily by comparing the probability of winning and losing.
The Free Odds bet wins if the dice roll 7 before the point, which in the example above was 8. There are six ways to roll a 7, compared to 5 ways to roll an 8, which means that this wager is more likely to win than to lose. The odds can be represented as 6 to 5, which is exactly the payout for Odds laid on a Don’t Come point of 8. As we can see the payouts for Odds bets are fair and therefore, the house edge is zero. In fact, the odds are in favor of the player, which is rarely found in other casino games. The higher the Odds bet, the better chances for the player.
Another very important thing to understand is that while with Pass/Come bets, players bet a small amount to win a bigger amount, with the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets, it is the other way round. You need to lay bigger Odds bet to win a smaller amount. The reason is that when you lay the Free Odds bet on the point, you become the favorite as 7 is more likely to win than the point. When the Don’t Come wager is $10 and you lay single Odds, you will win another $10 for the original bet when 7 is rolled. If the point number is 10, your $10 Free Odds bet will bring you a win of $5 and you will receive $15.
Craps Strategy Using the Don’t Come Bet
As explained above, craps can be played with a very low house edge, which makes it a better alternative to other casino games where the house have a huge advantage over players. It also has several bets that could be described as “sucker bets” – wagers where the house edge is significantly higher. The optimal strategy for craps includes placing one or more of the most basic bets – the Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come wagers. The Don’t Come bet, in particular, is one of the best options because it comes with a low house edge (1.36%, although it is 1.40% on a resolved bet) and it can be made whenever you wish once the point has been established.
In order to optimize their game, players can combine the Don’t Come wager with other bets. The most obvious way to do that is laying odds on it, as explained in the previous section. However, there is one essential aspect of this strategy players need to understand – the largest amount of the total wager per round need to be placed on the Free Odds bet. The original bet, on the other hand, should be as small as possible. This is one of the most important tips in craps and it can be applied not only to the Don’t Come bet when it is laid with odds but to all wagers that would be supported with higher odds.
If, for example, you plan on wagering $10 per round, you should place $2 on the Don’t Come and boost it 4x Free Odds for $8. The reason for this is very simple – while the Don’t Come bet offers a 1.40% house edge when it is resolved, the Odds bet has no house edge. The expected loss when placing just a Don’t Come bet with no odds is larger.
Another good strategy where the Don’t Come bet can be incorporated successfully is a combination between a Don’t Pass, Don’t Come and a Field Bet. The Field box includes the three craps numbers – 2, 3, and 12, plus 4, 9, 10, and 11. A winning Field bet pays out differently, depending on the number that is rolled – it pays evenly if 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 is rolled; 2:1 if 2 is rolled and 3:1 is 12 rolled. Using this pattern, players can bet on even more numbers and increase their chances of winning.