The Beginners Guide to Calculating Craps Odds

min read
An aerial view of a digital craps table.
BetMGM Sep 28, 2023, 11:10 AM

Understanding the odds is the key to success in craps. While the game may be simple to play, your strategy depends on your ability to see which bets put you in the best position against the house. Luckily, we’re demystifying the game and showing you how odds calculations work when you play craps in an online casino

A Brief History of Casino Craps

The history of craps is highly contested. It’s thought that Roman soldiers originally invented the game and used pig knucklebones as dice. Alternatively, some believe the game originated from Al Dar, an Arabic dice game that merchants introduced to Europe in the 12th century. The most commonly accepted version of events is that Sir William of Tyre created the game in 1125 during the Crusades. Sir William named the game after a castle called Asart or Hazarth, which is how the game got the name Hazard. 

Hazard became incredibly popular in French taverns in the 17th century, and it soon moved to the streets because of the minimal equipment required. Later, the game reached New Orleans via Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, a wealthy politician and gambler. Craps continued to grow in popularity in the community, and over the years, the American craps we play today became the standard. 

How to Play Craps

A craps round begins with a betting round and a dice roll from the shooter. There are several bets and combinations a player can wager on. In the main game, pass line and don’t pass line bets are placed on the initial come-out roll. Pass line bets pay 1:1, and they win on a roll of 7 or 11. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, don’t pass line bets lose. Don’t pass line bets also pay 1:1; these win if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll. If this happens, the pass-line bet loses. 

If the come-out roll is a 2, 3, or 12, the shooter craps out, and a new shooter is chosen. If the outcome of a dice roll is not one of the numbers mentioned above, the number becomes the point. Players can bet again, and the shooter rolls until they roll a 7 or crap out. 

Beyond the basic game, there are many other craps bets to place with higher payouts. These include the ace bet that a two will be rolled next, an eleven bet that an 11 will be rolled next, and many more. Bets can pay as much as 30:1. 

How Are Odds Calculated in Craps?

To know which craps odds bet is best, you need to understand the math behind the game. First, we need to understand the frequency of dice roll numbers. The shooter in a round will roll two dice with six different numbers. The odds of rolling a number on one dice roll is one of six. If we add another die, we multiply six by six and have 36 possible dice combinations.

The most common dice roll result in craps is a seven, with a one-in-six chance. No matter what you roll on the first die, there is still a one in six chance of ending with a seven. This is because it doesn’t matter what the first dice landed on between one and six; you can still make seven with the second die. If you rolled a six, you need one on the second die. If you rolled four, you need two. This leaves us with the same odds as if we were playing with one die, a one-in-six chance.

The odds of rolling a six and an eight are equal. If the first die is a six, it’s impossible to get a total of six with the second die. If you roll one on the first dice, it’s impossible to get eight. This makes the odds of both bets 6.2:1. 

Now, you can calculate the basic odds for every number in a craps game. Other numbers have higher odds. You have an 8:1 chance of rolling five or nine and an 11:1 chance of a three or 11. Betting on 12 might have a big payout, but you need two sixes, giving you a one-in-36 chance.  

As basic as these calculations may seem, it’s tricky to do on the go while also factoring in the house edge. This is why many players use a craps payout or odds chart to familiarize themselves with the odds for every bet. Before we look at payout charts, let’s discuss the meaning of true odds in craps games.

What Are True Odds in Craps?

The true odds of a craps bet refer to the probability of winning a bet. The house edge is the difference between the true odds of a bet paying out and the actual odds a casino will pay out. To get a clear look, always look at the true odds and the house edge. 

A lower house edge means the player has a better chance of victory. This is why it’s crucial to choose bets that keep the house edge as low as possible in craps games. On some bets, the edge can be as high as 16.9%, which leads to more losses the longer you play. Only the pass line and don’t pass bets pay true odds without a house edge.

Familiarize yourself with the craps odds chart to help make strategic decisions when you bet. You’ll find many generic payout charts and craps odds calculators online, but every casino has its own house edge percentages. The following chart is used in the BetMGM online casino. 

Betmgm Craps Payout Table

If you’re playing craps at BetMGM, consult the following chart to help you with your decision-making and craps come-betting strategy

Bet type Payout odds  House Edge Bet Limits ()
Pass / Come 1:1 1.41% 0.5 – 5000
Don’t Pass / Don’t Come (Bar 12) 1:1 1.36% 0.5 – 5000
Pass Odds / Come Odds 2:1 on 4 or 10 3:2 on 5 or 9 6:5 on 6 or 8 0% 0.5 – 15000
Yo (11) 15:1 11.11% 0.5 – 5000
3 15:1 11.11% 0.5 – 5000
2 30:1 13.89% 0.5 – 5000
12 30:1 13.89% 0.5 – 5000
Any Craps 7:1 11.11% 0.5 – 5000
C & E 7:1 on craps 15:1 on 11 11.11% 1 – 5000
Any 7 4:1 16.67% 0.5 – 5000
Field 1:1 on 3,4,9,10 or 11 2:1 on 2, 3:1 on 12 2.78% 0.5 – 5000
The Horn 30:1 on 2 or 12 15:1 on 3 or 11 12.50% 2 – 5000
Hardway 4 / Hardway 10 7:1 11.11% 0.5 – 5000
Hardway 6 / Hardway 8 9:1 9.09% 0.5 – 5000
Big 6 1:1 9.09% 0.5 – 5000
Big 8 1:1 9.09% 0.5 – 5000
Win 4 / Win 10 9:5 6.67% 0.5 – 5000
Win 5 / Win 9 7:5 4% 0.5 – 5000
Win 6 / Win 8 7:6 1.52% 0.5 – 5000
Lose 4 / Lose 10 5:11 3.03% 0.5 – 5000
Lose 5 / Lose 9 5:8 2.50% 0.5 – 5000
Lose 6 / Lose 8 4:5 1.82% 0.5 – 5000
Buy 4 / Buy 10 2:1 less 5% commission 5% 0.5 – 5000
Buy 5 / Buy 9 3:2 less 5% commission 5% 0.5 – 5000
Buy 6 / Buy 8 6:5 less 5% commission 5% 0.5 – 5000
Lay 4 / Lay 10 1:2 less 5% commission 5% 0.5 – 5000
Lay 5 / Lay 9 2:3 less 5% commission 5% 0.5 – 5000
Lay 6 / Lay 8 5:6 less 5% commission 5% 0.5 – 5000

It’s official, you’re ready to join your first craps table! 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.