To Bet or Not on the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come Line Once a Point is Established

 To Bet or Not on the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come Line Once a Point is Established

There’s a long-standing debate among craps players who bet on don’t pass/don’t come: Should you or should you not lay the odds once a point is established?

Laying the odds means backing the original don’t pass/don’t come bet with a wager that the shooter will roll a 7 before rolling the point number again. The player must spot the house true odds. Odds of rolling 7 before a 6, for example, are 6-5, so the player must bet $6 for a chance to win an additional $5. The odds also are 6-5 on 8, and 3-2 on 5 or 9 and 2-1 on 4 or 10.

Since payoffs are at true odds, there is no house edge.

Don’t bettors who oppose laying the odds point out that once a point is established, they have the edge. The danger point is the comeout roll, when they win only on the two ways to make 3 and the one way to make 2, and lose on the six ways to make 7 and two ways to make 11.

Once you get past that, don’t bettors are favored to win. Some players figure they’re already getting a better deal than the no-house-edge odds and skip the odds.

Counterpoint: The overall house edge is lower on the combination of a don’t bet plus laying the odds. Don’t pass and don’t come have a house edge of 1.36 percent. That drops to 0.7 percent if you lay single odds, and continues to decrease where odds of multiple times your bet are permitted.

My two cents: A player on a tight budget who is already betting table minimum is smart to stay within budget, even if that means skipping the odds. But if you’re betting more than table minimum, you’re best off to reduce your don’t pass/don’t come bets to the minimum and putting the difference in the lay odds. Your average losses will be lower and potential gains higher if, for example, you bet $5 on don’t pass and $10 or so in laying the odds than if you bet $15 on don’t pass.

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