Skip to main content

The Come Bet

S. Stoynova (editor) |

The Come Bet – One of the Best Wagers in Craps

Many unversed players are intimidated by the proliferation of bet types available in craps. The craps layout supports more than 50 wagers, with some being considerably easier to grasp than others. Assuming you are new to craps, the least you can do is master basic Pass Line bets, as these offer some of the best odds of winning in the entire game. This category comprises several common wagers, including the Come bet.

Come bets work similarly to Pass Line wagers, the only difference being players can place them only after a point number has been established on the come-out roll. Other than that, the winning criteria and the payouts for Come bets largely coincide with those for Pass Line bets. Their house edges also overlap as both types of wagers yield a house advantage of less than one percent and a half. In this article, we explain all about Come bets, their house edge, and how to incorporate them into your craps betting strategy.

How Come Bets Work

Craps Table BetsMany inexperienced players are so intimidated by the Come bet (and the Pass Line, in general) that they avoid it altogether despite the fact it is one of the best wagers they can make in the entire game.

This fear partially results from the fact the name of the bet conveys nothing about how it actually works. In comparison, when you hear “Any 7”, it immediately dawns on you what number needs to be rolled for you to win.

The dealer often transfers the chips of Come bettors to a separate betting box, which further adds to the confusion of unversed craps players. In reality, it is not all that difficult to understand how Come bets work, not to mention these are definitely worth placing due to their low house edge.

When Can Players Make Come Bets?

Craps Live Play EtiquetteCome bets resemble Pass Line bets to a great extent but there are several distinct differences between the two. Unlike Pass Line bets, Come bets are placed after the come-out roll once a point number has been established. A small puck is used to indicate when players can make Come bets.

One of the puck’s sides is black and has the word “Off” printed on top. The other side is white and reads “On”. After the shooter rolls a point number, the dealer positions the puck with its white side facing upward on the corresponding numbered box on the layout, indicating Come bets are now available. The puck not only indicates Come bets are presently accepted but also shows Pass Line bettors what their point number is.

Before the come-out roll, the puck is placed above the Don’t Come Bar area with its black or “Off” side facing up. This goes to show the shooter is about to establish a point on the following roll, indicating Come bets are currently unavailable. After a point is rolled, Come bettors must place their chips into the large betting area on the layout that reads “COME”.

When Does the Come Bet Win?

Craps MoneyCome bets are similar to Pass Line bets in that they win whenever the shooter rolls a natural 7 or 11 on the next dice toss. If this happens, Come bettors are paid at even-money odds. Similarly to Pass Line wagers, Come bets lose if one of the three craps numbers (2, 3, or 12) is rolled.

But what happens if no natural or crap numbers hits on the next roll? What if the shooter rolls 5, 8, or 10, for example? Well, if any other number is rolled, it becomes the point for the Come bettors aka “the come point”. The dealer would move your chips into the box corresponding to the current come point number. Come bets win even money (1 to 1) if the point number gets rolled before the shooter throws a 7. If 7 appears before the come point number, Come bettors lose the round.

As you have probably observed yourself, this craps wager often requires multiple dice tosses to settle. Figuratively speaking, the 7 is a knife that cuts both ways. Your Come bet wins if a natural 7 appears on the very next roll, immediately after you have made your wager. Then again, if a 7 gets rolled after your chips have been moved from the COME area to one of the numbered boxed above, your Come bet automatically loses.

As you can see, there is not much to it but many players still get confused by this duality of the rules. The fact the outcome of Come bets is often resolved after multiple tosses of the dice further adds to the confusion. Still don’t get it? Hopefully you will after reading the few concrete examples we provide in the next section.

Several Examples with Come Bets

Craps Come BetsImagine you approach the craps table and see it is now open for Come bettors because the small puck reads “On” and is positioned above a numbered box. Let’s assume you intend to flat bet with units of $10. You must place your $10 chip in the COME area before the stickman gives the dice to the shooter. Number 11 appears on the very next roll and your Come bet is an automatic winner. You let it ride and the next toss brings you a lucky 7, in which case you win again.

Now we shall examine what happens if no 7 or 11 appears immediately after you have placed your $10 chip in the COME area. Let’s assume the next tosses have resulted in the following sequence of rolls: 4, 3, 11, 8, 6, and 4.

Since the shooter rolled a 4 immediately after you made your wager, the 4 becomes the point for your Come bet. The stickman takes your $10 chip and places it within the betting box that reads “4”. The next four numbers (3, 11, 8, and 6) have absolutely no effect on your Come bet. Fortunately for you, the shooter rolled a second 4 on their sixth throw. Your Come Bet won because its point was rolled before a 7. The dealer pays you at even odds, and gives you $10 on top of your original $10 wager.

Let’s finish with one last example so that the rules can better sink in. We shall give you a sequence of rolls but this time, you should try and figure out the bet’s outcome on your own before you read the explanation. So you wager another $10 on a Come bet and the shooter throws the following sequence of rolls: 9, 4, 3, and 7. Did you win or lose?

If your answer is “lose”, you are correct. The shooter established a point of 9 for your Come bet but unfortunately, they failed to roll the come point before a 7 showed on the fourth toss. If your come point was rolled, you would have received an even-money payout for an overall profit of $20.

What Happens When There Are Multiple Come Bettors at the Table?

Craps Casino DealersThose of you who have ever entered a casino have probably noticed how busy (and noisy!) craps tables tend to be. What this means is you most likely will not be the only player when you join the table. What’s more, there is a good chance there will be other Come bettors at the table besides you.

Sometimes it may happen so that there are as many as six Come bettors wagering different sums on this outcome. Respectively, when a point number for these Come bets is thrown, the dealer will then move the chips of the bettors into the box that corresponds to the point. You are probably wondering how do craps dealers keep track of all the action and more specifically, how do they distinguish which chips belong to whom.

For the purpose of preventing mistakes, the dealers would place the chips of a given player in such a way so that they indicate the position they are occupying at the table. So if your position is immediately to the left of the stickman, your chips will be placed in the front right corner of the numbered box, i.e. as viewed from your perspective.

Another important thing that is worth keeping in mind is that dealers will never hand out the chips directly to Come bet winners. Instead, the dealers would return the winners’ chips to the COME section of the table’s layout.

Keep in mind that if you do not retrieve your payout, the craps personnel will interpret this as if you are letting the bet ride on the following roll of the dice. So if you do not intend to play another Come bet on the next roll or wish to decrease the amount you wager, it is up to you to reach out and handle your chips.

Another important thing to bear in mind is that Come bettors are not permitted to take down their wagers after placing their chips on the layout. The chips remain on the table until your Come bet wins or loses.

The House Edge on Come Bets

Craps DiceYou would be amazed at how many people play craps without fully understanding what house edge they are up against. The trouble with craps is that each type of wager has its own odds and house edge. In contrast, the house edge for all bet types in roulette is always either 2.70% or 5.26%, depending on the number of zeros on the wheel. The only exception is the five-number bet on double-zero wheels where the house holds an advantage of 7.89% over players.

Craps players have it rough in this respect, but on the positive side of things, the game also offers some of the best bets you can possibly make in a casino. The Come bet poses a great example as it puts you at a statistical disadvantage of 1.41% only. You can further reduce this house edge but more on this subject in the next section. For now, it suffices to say Come bets will cost you an average of $1.41 per every $100 you wager.

The odds of winning with Come bets are favorable because the number of dice permutations that can result in a win is higher than the number of permutations leading to a loss. There is a total of 8 combinations your Come bet can win with on the first dice toss after the come-out roll. As we explained earlier, you need a 7 (which has 6 possible combinations) or an 11 (with 2 possible combinations) to pocket a payout immediately after making a Come bet. Only four combinations for the craps numbers (2, 3 and 12) can cause you to lose (1-1, 2-1, 1-2, 6-6).

Things get trickier if you don’t win on the very next throw of the dice. Your Come bet becomes somewhat of an underdog after a come point is established. You need the shooter to roll your come point before a 7. The trouble is a 7 has more dice combinations than any of the possible point numbers. Respectively, the likelihood of the shooter rolling a 7 before your point is higher.

That being said, you can play several Come bets simultaneously. Just to give you an example of how multiple Come bets work, let’s suppose your shooter establishes a point for the Pass Line and you put your chips in the COME area. The next dice roll results in a 10 which now becomes the come point. At this stage, you decide to take your chances with another bet in the COME area. The shooter throws the dice again for a roll of 6.

Now you have two come point numbers to look forward to, 8 for the first Come bet and 6 for the second Come bet. Your chips will be placed within the 6 and 8 betting boxes above the COME area. These numbers must be rolled before a 7 shows up for your two bets to win.

Many Come bettors like to play multiple wagers simultaneously because this enables them to cover more numbers on the layout. This way, they will clean up if the shooter manages to roll their come points before rolling a 7. This approach is obviously riskier because a roll of 7 automatically means you lose all your Come bets on point numbers.

Free Odds on Come Bets

Craps Come Bets Free OddsIn the previous section, we mentioned players can further reduce the house edge on Come bets. How is this achieved? Well, craps players can back their Come bets with free odds the same way Pass Line bettors can.

Backing your bet with free odds is among the most advantageous moves you can make in a casino but why? The answer is because this is the only type of wager where the house holds no advantage over players. Winners are paid at true odds which is a real rarity in a casino.

Keep in mind Come bets are “contract” wagers, so to speak, which means they cannot be decreased or removed from the layout before their outcomes are resolved. However, the odds you take on your Come bet can be removed or even reduced before the outcome is determined.

Casinos normally limit the amounts on the wagers with free odds because they have no edge over players. These restrictions vary between different gambling venues, depending on their policies. Some casinos in Las Vegas limit odds bets to the table minimum. Other venues would allow you to back your Come bet with multiples of your original wager, capping the free odds wager to 3x the sum you have initially staked. Others would permit you to take up to 100x odds.

So this is how it works. You verbally indicate you want to take odds on your Come bet by saying “Odds please” because only the dealer is allowed to handle this type of wager. The dealer would then take your chips and place them on top of your initial Come bet. The free odds chips are placed slightly off center so that the dealer can distinguish them from your original bet.

Come bets backed by odds also win when the point gets rolled before a 7. The payouts would vary for different points, depending on the number of possible winning combinations. We have broken the payouts in the chart below. These payouts apply only to the Free Odds bet. The original wager still returns even money if it wins.

Winning Point Number PairsPayout on Come Bets with Odds
6 and 86 to 5
5 and 93 to 2
4 and 102 to 1

You can probably see why backing your Come bets with odds is a good idea. If you win with a point number of 6 or 8 where there are three possible winning combinations for each of the two numbers, your odds bet will return $6 for a wager of $5. Generally, the idea is that the more money you invest when taking odds, the more you decrease the house edge on your initial bet.

The Difference between Come and Don’t Come Bets

Come And Don't Come BetsThe Don’t Come bet practically mirrors the Come bet, so it is important for you to understand how it works. We may even say the Don’t Come bet is an extension of the Don’t Pass bet. Both yield a low house edge of 1.36%. The Don’t Come bet is also available only after a point has been established for the Pass Line.

You place your chips in the section of the layout that reads “Don’t Come Bar”. The Don’t Come bet wins even money if the shooter rolls craps numbers 3 or 2 on the next throw. Rolling craps number 12 results in a push. If 7 or 11 occur on the next roll, the Don’t Come bet loses. As you can see, this wager is like the Come bet but in reverse.

Respectively, if any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) gets rolled, it becomes the come point. The Don’t come bet wins even money if the shooter rolls a 7 before the point number shows. These are essentially the main differences between the two types of bets. Keep in mind your chips remain on the layout after your Don’t Come bet wins, so make sure to remove them if you have no intentions of letting it ride.

Players can again reduce the house edge by combining their Don’t Come bets with Free Odds bets. In this case, they “lay the odds” instead of “taking” them. Odds bets are also made in multiples of 1x, 2x, 3x or higher and the more you invest, the lower the house edge on your Don’t Come bet becomes. Winning bets of this type return different payouts, depending on the come point. Check them out in the table below.

Point Number PairsPayout on Don’t Come Bets with Odds
6 and 85 to 6
5 and 92 to 3
4 and 101 to 2

Incorporating Come Bets into Your Betting Strategy

Craps Betting StrategyWe recommend aspiring craps players to stick to the bets that offer them the least chance of losing, i.e. the bets with the lowest house edges. The Come Bet belongs to this category and so does its “twin”, the Don’t Come Bet (which actually has a lower house edge). Different craps experts have come up with different ways of incorporating Come Bets into one’s winning betting strategy.

In many instances, these are used in conjunction with Pass Line wagers and are further complemented with free odds. This is how it works. You start by placing a Pass Line bet and take 2x odds after a point is rolled. After the point is established, you make a Come bet, which is again complemented with 2x odds. This way, you have two numbers going for you. If the Pass Line point or the come point is rolled, you win one of your bets, place it again and back it with 2x odds.

For example, if the shooter rolls the point for the Pass Line before a 7, your Pass Line bet wins, you collect your payout, and make another Pass Line bet. The Come bet will not be affected by the other wager winning and would remain on the layout.

The purpose is to always have two numbers in play on the layout. However, there are two things worth keeping in mind when you implement this betting strategy and the first one is you must ignore throws of 7 and 11 on the come-out roll. When this happens and your Come bet with a come point number still stands, you will lose it but win the Pass Line bet with that 7.

The second thing to remember is that free odds are unavailable during come-out rolls. When the shooter throws a 7 on a come-out roll so that your Pass Line bet wins, the odds you have taken will be returned to you, so do not forget to take your chips off the layout.

This strategy is effective for two reasons. First of all, this is a rather conservative approach. Your chances of losing to a 7 are lower because you play only two numbers at any given time. And second, you reduce the house edge on your Pass Line and Come bets to 0.60% by taking 2x odds. This is a rudimentary approach all beginners are recommended to adopt and incorporate during their first sessions at the craps table.