One of the main things about craps is that it offers quite the array of betting options. This is also the reason why the table layout looks so busy and incorporates different sections with various wagering areas. Although some options may look tempting thanks to their payouts, players should also pay attention to the house advantage of each betting option. For instance, the center section of the craps table offers the so-called proposition bets which seem to offer generous payouts. However, the bets in this section have the highest house edge which means that there are plenty of other betting opportunities which may turn out to be more advantageous.
If we are basing out the choice for stakes on craps on the house edge, then the Free Odds bet is definitely considered the best option to place your money on. This type of bet is also known as “true odds” since it gives the casino no advantage. If you are interested in craps, you will often see experts recommending players to take advantage of this betting option.
You may be thinking that having a casino game with a bet that imposes no house edge sounds highly unlikely to be true. Well, the Free Odds bet is a bit complex and it is indeed ludicrous to believe that the house will simply let you enjoy an easy win. This being said, there is a reason why this type of craps bet is considered very advantageous and we will reveal you all the details you need to know about it in this article.
Free Odds Bet Explained
When it comes to the Free Odds bet there are definitely both advantages and disadvantages. Although many craps experts will recommend you to put your money on this type of bet, you must know that you cannot simply make a Free Odds bet. You must first make either a Pass Line, Don’t Pass, Come or Don’t Come bet.
You will notice that despite the fact that this bet is made in a combination with one of the aforementioned ones, there is no special section for it on the craps table layout, nor will you be able to see the exact payout for the “true odds” stake. This being said, you can be certain that any reputable brick-and-mortar casino will allow craps players to take advantage of this betting option. Even if you are playing online, you will still be able to make a Free Odds bet.
Even though the fact that players must first make a Pass Line, Don’t Pass, Come or Don’t Come bet is considered a tad disadvantageous, many players still make this stake. The reason for this is the lack of house edge which can rarely be seen on a casino game.
Before players can make any of these bets, however, the come-out roll must be any number different than the naturals (7, 11, 2, 3 and 12). This will lead to choosing a point number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10). After the dealer has put the puck with the “ON” side facing upwards in the point box, players can make a Pass Line, Don’t Pass, Come or Don’t Come bet which will also allow them to put their money on a Free Odds bet.
In most casinos, players are allowed to stake 1x, 2x and 3x their initial wager when they are making a Free Odds bet. Sometimes, however, players have the chance to bet 50 or even 100 times their initial stake. This gives craps fans the chance to enjoy great payouts, not to mention that, the higher the Free Odds bet is, the lower the edge of the house is.
- Taking the Odds
|Odds Offered||House Edge of Pass and Come Bets Plus Odds|
|3x, 4x, 5x||0.4%|
As you can see, the edge the house gains over players will shrink as a bigger portion of your stakes is in odds. In order for players to benefit from an even lower house edge, they should consider laying the odds on Come and Pass bets.
- Laying the Odds
|Odds Offered||House Edge on Come and Pass Bets Plus Odds|
|3x, 4x, 5x||0.3%|
Does Free Odds Bet Really Have No House Advantage?
As it was mentioned earlier, the reason why so many players enjoy making a Free Odds bet is the fact that it has no house edge. If you are wondering how is it possible for the casino to make a profit on a bet that gives the house advantage, you should know that it is indeed impossible.
The thing about the True Odds bet is that it really has no house edge itself but it cannot be made unless players have previously made another type of bet. This automatically gives the house a certain advantage but it is considerably lower, compared to other casino games.
Being in a conjunction with one of the so-called flat bets, the Free Odds bet may have a different house edge. In order to have a better understanding of the casino’s advantage under various circumstances, you can take a look at the house edge of the Pass Line, Come, Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets alone. All of these flat bets give the casino an approximate advantage of 1.4% when players have not made an additional Free Odds bet. However, if you decide to place your money on Pass or Come with Single Odds, the house edge will drop down to 0.8%. As it was mentioned earlier the higher the Odds bet, the lower the casino’s advantage will be. This is why if you wager money on Pass or Come with Double Odds, the house edge will decrease to 0.6%.
The casino still has the upper hand when it comes to Don’t Pass and Don’t Come with Single Odds, however, the advantage percent is lowered to 0.7%, while the same options with Double Odds offer a house edge of only 0.5%.
The reason why the Free Odds bet has a house edge of 0 is that the casino pays true odds, instead of odds that will bring the house a profit out of players winnings.
As it was mentioned earlier, each casino may allow a different limit for the Odds you can bet. The maximum Odds that players can place their money on, is usually placed on a sign on the inside wall of the craps table. Even if you cannot see the limits, you can always ask your dealer for the maximum Odds you can wager when you opt for making a Free Odds bet.
Taking and Laying Odds
When it comes to this specific type of craps bet, there are two options that are determined as Free Odds bets. The first one is “Taking Odds” and the second one is known as “Laying Odds”. The first option can be done on the Pass Line and the Come bets, while the latter is possible if you have bet on Don’t Pass or Don’t Come before that.
Although in its core making a True Odds bet is the same action whether it is “taking odds” or “laying odds”, there are a few small differences that you need to learn before initiating such wager.
Taking Odds on Pass Line Bets
Players will have the chance to Take Odds on Pass Line bets. This is possible, however, only if there is a point number. This happens when the shooter rolls any number that is not a natural, i.e. 7, 11 or 2, 3, 12. Betting on the Pass Line means that you are putting your money on the shooter rolling the point before a 7. Simply said, if you opt for Taking Odds on the Pass Line, you are just betting more money on the outcome of the point number rolling before a 7.
The payout that players who make this bet will receive, depends on what the Pass Line point is. If, for example, the point is 4 or 10, the winning chances are 2 to 1 in favor of the casino. This is due to the fact that there are only three possible combinations of 4 and 10, while there are six possibilities to throw a 7. This is the payouts for taking odds on the Pass Line for points 4 or 10 is 2 to 1.
When the point is 5 or 9, the odds are yet again against you and are estimated to be 3 to 2. This is because the chances to roll 5 or 9 are only four which is still less than the six combinations for 7. This means that you will receive a payout of 3 to 2 for taking odds on the Pass Line if the point is 5 or 9. This being said, despite that the payout for a $5 odds bet on points 5 or 9 should be $7.50, most casinos pay only $7, while the 50 cents are what the casino calls “breakage”.
If the point is 6 or 8, the odds of 6 to 5 are yet again against you. While there are six different combinations for 7, the possibilities for rolling 6 or 8 are only five. If you are betting Odds on point 6 or 8, you are advised to make five-unit bets as this will help you enjoy a proper payout without having to pay “breakage”.
In order to take odds on the Pass Line, you simply place a chip or a stack of chips a few inches behind your Pass Line bet. Any time there is a point for the Pass Lie, you can increase, lower or remove your Odds bet. If you win, the dealer will place your chips next to your Pass Line bet and it is your duty to take your chips off the table. Otherwise, the dealer will assume that you are pressing up your initial bet by simply adding your winnings.
Laying Odds on Don’t Pass Bets
Making a Don’t Pass wager means basically the opposite of betting on the Pass Line. If we take a look at the game at the point of the come-out roll, players who place their money on Don’t Pass are definitely at a disadvantage since there are six possible combinations of 7 which will cause them their wagers. On the other hand, there are only three options of rolling 2 or 3 which will result in their win.
However, once there is a point established for the shooter, the players who have made a Don’t Pass bet have a bigger advantage since they are wagering their money on 7 which have better chances of rolling before any of the point numbers. Since in this situation players have the bigger advantage, the casino allows them to give up on their Don’t Pass flat bet at any point of the game and simply remove their bet.
Since gamblers who place their bets on the Don’t Pass Bar are betting on the shooter not making his point before rolling a 7, they “lay the odds” when they are making this additional bet. Just like with the taking of odds, the payouts of laying the odds on the Don’t Pass bet depend on the point number.
When the point is 6 or 8, the odds of 6 to 5 are in favor of the players who lay odds on Don’t Pass. This is why when this bet is won, they will receive $5 for every $6 they wager.
When you are making this bet, you do not place your chips on top of your initial Don’t Pass bet since this is considered as a “past posting”. The proper way to lay odds on Don’t Pass at craps is called “heeling” or “bridging” a lay.
If you, for example, have made a flat bet of $10 on the Don’t Pass Bar, you can lay your odds by grabbing chips worth $30, place the bottom chip on the craps table layout and stack the remaining chips around the bottom one, you have placed first on the table. This is what “heeling your lay” refers to.
Meanwhile, if we take for an example the case when the point is 4, we can “bridge the lay”. Let us assume that the player has made a flat bet of $10. He/she can then bridge his/her $20 lay by placing his/her chips on top of the initial bet. This can be done since the payout for the lay in this case ($10) is the same amount as the payout for the flat bet ($10).
Taking Odds on Come Bets
When you play craps, you place your flat Come bet directly in the Come box of the table layout. When a point is established, the dealer will move your chips to the corresponding point box. Just as it is with the Pass Line flat bet, you can take odd on your Come bet. In this case, however, you cannot do this by yourself.
When you are making a Free Odds bet on Come, you will have to let the dealer on your side of the table know. He or she will place your Odds bet for you after you have placed your chips in the Come box and tell him/her “Odds on my Come, please”. This will prompt the dealer to place your chips slightly offset your flat Come bet. The chips on the bottom will indicate your initial bet, while those which were placed on top, slightly on the side, represent your Odds bet.
If players decide to place a Flat Come bet, the next throw of the dice is considered as a come-out roll for the specific Come stake. Whenever a point is determined on the Pass Line, it is marked by the ON-side of the puck. The point number for the Come bet, however, is marked simply by the chips of players’ initial flat bet.
Players who opt for the Come betting option have the opportunity to make as many Come bets as they want while the shooter throws numbers different than 7. In fact, you can make a Come bet on all of the six point numbers and even have a flat Come bet in the Come box.
Laying Odds on Don’t Come Bets
The Don’t Come bet is pretty similar to the Don’t Pass one. The only difference is that the flat Don’t Pass is made before the shooter established a point, while the Don’t Come flat is made after the Pass Line is established.
The Don’t Come flat bet is also a self-service bet which means that you need to place your chips in the Don’t Come Bar section yourself. Once the point for Don’t Come is established, the dealer will move your flat bet to the wide rectangle above the corresponding point box. Just like the Don’t Pass bet, you are allowed to lay odds on Don’t Come.
When you want to bet Odds on Don’t Come, you need to get the dealer’s attention, place your bet in the Come box and let him/her know by saying “Lay Odds on my Don’t Come, please”. Then the dealer will either heel or bridge the lay in the same wide rectangle where your flat bet is placed.
Just as it is with the Come bet, players can make as many as seven Don’t Come bets (six for each point number and one flat Don’t Come stake in the Don’t Come Bar). Like the Don’t Pass bet, after a point has been established, players can remove their Don’t Come flat bet at any point of the game. This is due to the fact that in this scenario the odds turn in favor of the player and the casino will benefit if he/she forfeits.