How to Use Odds in Craps

 How to Use Odds in Craps

When players get serious about craps, they soon learn that the free odds have no house edge. You must make a pass or come bet at the full house edge in order to bet the odds after a point is established, but then the odds bet is paid at true odds.

One common format is 3x, 4x, 5x odds, in which your odds bet can be triple your pass bet if the point is 4 or 10, quadruple if 5 or 9 or quintuple if 6 or 8.

A few casinos even allow 10x odds or even 100x odds, though you’d have to be a well-bankrolled player indeed to back a $10 bet with $1,000 in odds. Even where 100x is offered, I stay in my 3x, 4x, 5x comfort zone.

But since there is no edge either way on the odds, one player wrote to ask why all casinos didn’t just set the max at 100x odds and let players choose to bet less if they wish.

“The house doesn’t lose money, and players have to make the pass and come bets to get the odds, so the house still gets its edge,” he reasoned. “I mean, if I bet $10 on pass, the house is going to get that same 1.41 percent of $10 regardless of whether I bet another $30 in odds or another $1,000 in odds.

That would be a valid point if all players used the odds as an extra bet and made same other wagers regardless of how much they bet on odds.

But that’s not all there is to it. Smart players reduce their pass and come bets to accommodate more odds. If a player had been taking 3x, 4x, 5x odds while betting $25 on passes then reduces the pass bet to $10 to accommodate some larger portion of 100x odds, then the house take is 1.41 percent of $10 instead of 1.41 percent of $25.

If you’re betting more in odds, you might pass up additional place bets or center table propositions. Casinos use the free odds to compete in attracting players, but they have to balance that against knowing house profits come from other wagers.

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