The Line Bets: The Basic Wagers in Craps

With more than 40 types of bets, craps is undoubtedly one of the most complex, yet incredibly exciting games that can be played in a brick-and-mortar casino. Most players, however, stick to only a handful of betting options, namely the Line bets and the Pass Line, in particular, since it is considered one of the most fundamental and comprehensible wagers in this game.

Those, who play with the Pass Line, bet that the shooter will win and but the game also allows players to bet against the shooter and make a profit if he loses. This style of play – against the shooter and the majority of players around the table, is known as “wrong betting” and in this case, it comes in the form of the Don’t Pass bet. There are several other wagers that can be categorized as Line bets, although they are not made on the long narrow betting area called the Pass Line.

Overall, learning how to make the Line bets is essential when starting to play craps. They are also among the best options for experienced players since they offer a low house edge and should be incorporated in every successful betting strategy.

What Аre the Line Bets?

The Line bets is a small group of wagers that include the Pass Line and the Don’t Pass bets – the two main bets in the game of craps. Along with them, players can make the Come and Don’t Come bets, which are practically the same but are placed later in the game. Lastly, players can take Odds on these main wagers, betting up to 100 times the size of their original stake.

Pass/Don’t Pass Bets
Come/Don’t Come Bets

Pass/Don’t Pass Bets

Everyone who starts learning the game of craps starts with the Pass Line bet – this is the main bet in the game and it is mandatory. This is why the shooter is required to make one (alternatively, the shooter can place the opposite bet) before rolling the dice.

The Pass Line is a long narrow field on the betting layout, which runs along the outside edges of the table and encompasses all other betting areas. It is also a part of the self-service section of the layout, so players can easily place their chips for the Pass Line bet without requesting assistance from the dealers.

The Pass Line wager wins immediately with the numbers 7 or 11 and loses if the shooter rolls any of the craps numbers, which are 2, 3, and 12. Due to the possible dice combinations for these numbers, it is twice as likely to win the Pass Line bet than to lose. However, the likelihood of rolling any other number is much higher and if this happens, the bet is resolved in the following rolls. Taking multiple rolls into account (3.38 rolls on average), the theoretical odds against the Pass Line winning are 251:244, which means that players have almost equal chances of winning and losing this wager. The house edge here is quite low at 1.41%.

Players are also allowed to bet against the shooter or against the dice with the Don’t Pass wager. It is placed before the come-out roll and it wins when the shooter craps out. Wrong bettors lose, however, is the dice show 7 or 11. A second phase of the game starts if the shooter establishes a point with any of the other numbers. The Don’t Pass bet offers true odds of 976:949 and an even lower house edge of 1.36% for an average of 3.47 rolls. Both wagers pay evenly and players receive a winning that is equal to their initial bet.

Come/Don’t Come Bets

Along with the two main bets in the game, there are also two types of wagers called the Come and Don’t Come bets. They are almost identical to the Pass/Don’t Pass bets with one interesting exception – they are not placed at the start of the game but after the point number has already been established. In addition, players who want to make a Come or Don’t Come bet would put their chips roughly in the middle of the self-service betting area rather than the Pass Line.

These two bets are not mandatory and can be placed at any time. Just like the Pass and Don’t Pass bets, they are rarely resolved in a single roll of the dice and usually, 3 to 4 rolls are needed. However, they are completely independent of the main wagers and the roll after making these bets would become their own come-out roll. This means that sometimes, the main Pass Line bet may be resolved and could you could still have a working Come or Don’t bet.

The rules for such as scenario vary across casinos but in RNG craps, the player is required to toss the dice until the Come/Don’t Come bet is resolved. These wagers also pay evenly and they have the same odds and house edge as the Pass/Don’t Pass bets.

Playing with Pass Line/Don’t Pass Bets

After the shooter establishes a point in the come-out roll, players can place a Come or a Don’t Come bet, or both at the same time. This may sound too complex for those who play craps for the first time, but after a few rounds, even beginners should be able to follow the game and track several bets at a time. These wagers should be at least the table minimum and at most the maximum betting limit of the table.

How to Make a Come Bet?
How to Make a Don’t Come Bet?

How to Make a Come Bet?

The Come bet functions exactly like the Pass Line bet and it can be placed at any time. Chips are placed on the Come field and the roll after this works as a come-out roll for the Come bet. If the dice show a 7 or an 11, the wager wins. If the dice land on the craps numbers (2, 3, or 12), the bet loses instantly. In case some other number appears on this roll, it establishes a point for the Come bet, which remains fixed until a loss or a win:

  • If the shooter rolls the point number before a 7, the Come bet wins (1:1).
  • If the shooter rolls a 7 before the point, the Come bet loses.

How to Make a Don’t Come Bet?

The same applies to the Don’t Come wager – at can be made at any time except for the come-out roll of the shooter. Players can place it after the point has been established and the following roll of the dice becomes a come-out roll for them – if a 2 or a 3 is thrown in this roll, the Don’t Come bet wins and if a 7 or an 11 is rolled, it loses. A total of 12, however, is a tie and the bet is pushed. Any other number establishes a point and the Don’t Come wager is locked and working for all subsequent rolls of the dice until:

  • The shooter rolls a 7 before the point, the Don’t Come bet wins (1:1).
  • The shooter tosses the point number before a 7, the Don’t Come bet loses.

Taking Odds on the Line Bets

Once players learn how to make the basic bets in craps, they can try risking a little more for the opportunity to make greater profits. Rather than making a completely different bet that must be tracked along with the Pass and Come bets, players can simply wager on the same outcome they have already put their money on. These are the so-called Odds bets and their size is usually a multiple of the original bet – it could be 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x, but some casinos allow odds of up to 100x.

Pass Line Odds
Don’t Pass Odds
Come and Don’t Come Odds

Pass Line Odds

This wager, also known as “taking the odds”, cannot be made independently from the Pass Line bet – it is allowed only for players who have already made the Pass Line. Moreover, players can take Pass Line Odds only after the point has been established. With this wager, they bet that the dice will show the point number before a 7. The Odds bet can be removed or its size changed before each roll – otherwise, it stays active until either a 7 or the point number is rolled.

  • If the point number is rolled before a 7, the Pass Line Odds bet wins.
  • If the shooter throws a 7 before the point, the Pass Line Odds bet loses.

The payout for this bet depends on the point number and the best thing is that it pays true odds. This means that the house edge of this bet is practically 0%. Since it cannot be made independently from the Pass Line, players would still face a certain mathematical advantage against them. It is impossible to calculate the exact percentage, however. Here is the payout for this bet, depending on the point number:

  • Point number 4/10 – 2:1
  • Point number 5/9 – 3:2
  • Point number 6/8 – 6:5

Don’t Pass Odds

Those who play the Don’t Pass, rather than the Pass Line bet, can also take Odds by placing chips behind the Don’t Pass line. Once again, this wager could be described as a side bet that is made only after the point has been established. Its size varies across casinos but it is usually a multiple of the main Don’t Pass bet – anything from 1x to 5x, 10x, 20x or even 100x.

Players can increase, decrease, or remove the Odds bet at any time. If the point comes before 7 is rolled, the bet loses, and if 7 is rolled first, the bet pays true odds. As you can see, the payouts are the same as for the Pass Line Odds, only with flipped numbers. This means that players need to bet more than they would receive as winnings:

  • Point number 4/10 – 1:2
  • Point number 5/9 – 2:3
  • Point number 6/8 – 5:6

Let’s see the following scenario as an example – we bet on $10 on the Don’t Pass and the dice shows 4, which becomes the point number. We then bet another $10 as Odds behind the Don’t Pass wager and a 7 appears in the next roll. This means that both bets win and we receive $10 for the Don’t Pass bet and another $5 for the winning Odds.

Come and Don’t Come Odds

Players who place a Come or Don’t Come bet can also increase their original wager with an Odds bet that is identical to the Pass Line Odds. The chips, however, are usually placed on the box corresponding to the point number established in the come-out roll for the Come/Don’t Come bet. The payouts and house edge here are also the same as the ones offered when taking Odds on the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass bets.

Odds and RTP of Craps Line Bets

1The Best Bets in Craps

The right and wrong Line bets, as well as the Come and Don’t Come bets, are among the best wagers that could be made in craps. They offer great odds and a very low house edge in comparison with other wagers in this game. Even though the odds still favor the house over players, the house edge clearly shows which bets are good and which ones are likely to lose more than you would want to.

2House Edge

Those who decide to take Odds on their Line bets should know that although this betting option comes with no house edge at all, it is not independent of the Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come bets.

Bet Type True Odds Payout House Edge
Pass Line 255:04:00 01:01:00 1.41%
Don’t Pass 991:49:00 01:01:00 1.36%
Come 255:04:00 01:01:00 1.41%
Don’t Come 991:49:00 01:01:00 1.36%
Pass/Come Odds 2:1- 4,10 3:2 – 5,9 6:5 – 6,8 2:1- 4,10 3:2 – 5,9 6:5 – 6,8 0.00%
Don’t Pass/Don’t Come Odds 1:2- 4,10 2:3 – 5,9 5:6 – 6,8 1:2- 4,10 2:3 – 5,9 5:6 – 6,8 0.00%
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