The Free Odds Wager in Craps

The free odds wager in craps is a rarity, a wager with no mathematical edge to the house. To make it, you have to first make a bet that DOES have a house edge — the pass line, where the 1.41 percent advantage to the house still makes it one of the better bets in casinos.

After the shooter has established a point number, players may back their pass line bets with an additional wager called “free odds.” Free odds are paid at true odds of winning, so there is no house edge. If the point is 6, for instance, odds are 6-5 against you that the shooter will roll a 6 before a 7. If he does, your pass line bet is paid at even money, but the free odds will bring you $6 for every $5 wagered.

It’s the same if the point number is 8 — you’re paid at 6-5 odds. You’re paid 9-5 on your free odds wager if the point is 5 or 9, and 2-1 if the point is 4 or 10.

Most casinos allow multiple odds — with 5x odds, for example, you’d be permitted an odds wager of up to five times your pass bet.

When I play craps, I keep my pass line bet to the table minimum and save my money for the odds wager. The more of my bet that’s on the odds, the lower the overall house edge on the pass-odds combination. If you’re a $25 player, instead of risking $25 on pass, you’re much better off with $5 on pass and using the remainder to get those true odds payoffs.

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