Betting on 7 vs 6 or 8 in Craps

 Betting on 7 vs 6 or 8 in Craps

Newcomers to craps sometimes are confused by the details. It can take a while to sort out the ins and outs of a game with so many different ways to bet.

One such novice player asked me why the one-roll bet on any 7 is said to be such a weak play.

“My friend who got me interested tells me that it’s good to bet on 6 and 8, but bad to bet on 7,” he said. “But he’s also told me 7 comes up the most, so why wouldn’t a bet on 7, paying 4-1, be better than a bet on 6 or 8, paying 7-6?

“I know I’m being a newbie, but why wouldn’t a bigger payoff on a number that rolls more often be the better bet? “

I like questions like that form new players. It shows their thinking about the game and not blindly accepting the do’s and don’ts.

Nevertheless, any 7 is a weak bet. The key is that place bets on 6 and 8 are multi-roll bets while any 7 is a single-roll bet.

When you bet on 6, the only numbers that matter are 6 and 7. If the shooter rolls any of the five ways to make a 6 you win, while you lose on any of the six rolls that total 7. If the roll is any other number, your bet stays in action.

It’s the same way with 8 — five winning rolls, six losers and 25 that don’t decide the bet.

When you bet on any 7, there are no numbers that don’t matter. You win on the six ways to make 7, but lose on the other 30 combinations.

Look at that comparison. On 6 or 8, there are five ways to win and six ways to lose. On any 7, there are six ways to win and THIRTY ways to lose.

That’s powerful stuff. Even with the 4-1 payoff, any 7 carries a 16.67 percent house edge that dwarfs the 1.52 percent on placing 6 or 8.

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