Craps Odds

"Odds" are numbers that describe the probability of an event. In any game of chance, including craps, we can use odds to analyze the game and make decisions. By learning how to understand craps odds, you'll be able to get much more out of this game, as well as all other gambling games.

How To Read Craps Odds

Craps odds are given as two numbers with a colon between them. An example could be "35:1". When reading these craps odds, you say the first number, then the word "to" in place of the colon, and then you say the second number. Here are some examples.

  • 35:1 = "Thirty-five to one odds."
  • 7:1 = "Seven to one odds."
  • 32:29 = "Thirty-two to nine odds."

These odds can also represent the payout. For instance, if a particular bet pays out 30:1, that means you can win $30 for every dollar you wagered! In a fair game, the payout and the odds would be identical, but as we will see, they rarely are.

Odds and The House Edge

Like we said in the previous section, there is often a difference between the odds of an event occurring, and the odds a wager on the event pays out. The difference between these two odds is what creates the house edge. Let's take a look at an example to see how this works.

For a one roll craps bet, you are betting on a specific number appearing on the very next roll. Now there are a total of 36 different, equally likely, dice combinations that can be rolled. If you make a one roll bet on the number two, then there is only one combination (snake eyes) out of the thirty-six that will result in a win.

In other words, there are thirty-five ways to lose, and there is only one way to win; the odds against winning are 35:1. If the casino was playing fair, they would payout 35:1 when you won, but they need to make a profit so they only payout 30:1.

This difference ensures that, in the long run, the casino will make a profit as players make thousands of one roll bets. The actual house edge is actually 13.89%, so for every $100 wagered on this type of one roll bet, the casino should win an average of $13.89.

Craps Compared To Other Table Games

So now that we know how craps odds work, it would be smart to compare the game of craps to other popular table games to see how it stacks up to the competition. For our purposes, we'll just take a look at craps, blackjack, and roulette.


Blackjack depends heavily on a players skill. Counting cards has been made pretty difficult with the introduction of new casino defenses, but there is still a rigid strategy to follow. If you play perfectly, you can cut the house edge down to about .5%, but most players will make a mistake or two along the way. Realistically, even educated blackjack players are playing with about a 1% house edge.


Roulette is the most straightforward table game when it comes to the house edge. Unless you play the slightly riskier basket bet, you'll be facing a 5.26% house edge for all of your bets. There are loads of different strategies, but none of them can blast through the 5.26% barrier.


Craps bets are all over the place mathematically, but we'll assume that you're playing as safely as possible. This means you'll be making don't pass line bets and taking 100x odds at one of the few casinos that will allow you to do so. The payout varies based on the point, but you'll always get fair odds. This type of betting leaves you with a house edge of only .01%.

So in the end, playing the safest craps bets, is mathematically safer than playing any of the other casino games. It is, however, likely that you'll get bored only betting the line bets, and if you decide to give proposition bets a try you'll be playing the least advantageous game in the building.

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