Although the most common bets at the craps table are place bets on the points and the pass line, you will often see other players tossing chips at the dealer and yelling for a huge variety of bets. Common bets include ‘hardways’ – a roll where both dice have the same number. For example, ‘eight the hardway’ would consist of a roll in which each die shows a four, making a total of eight.
These bets have much higher payouts than the wagers that you will be making, and you may be tempted to get in on the action with the hope of getting back 8x your bet on that hard way 8. However, you should avoid this temptation, as these and many other bets at the craps table are widely considered to be ‘sucker bets,’ played only by foolish players or those who simply don’t enjoy the action of standard, low-risk play.
Hard ways are only one category of negative bets that can be found at the craps table. The beginner will often bet ‘the field’ because it can win on one of 7 different numbers: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12, with higher payouts on the first and last numbers. Unfortunately, this bet only lasts for a single shooter roll and provides the casino with an edge of 5.56%. In some casinos, however, a roll of 12 pays 3-1; this reduces the house edge by half, making it a fair proposition to play.
The field and hard ways are two of the more commonly played ‘sucker bets,’ but any wager besides the pass line, come line, and place bet will cost you more money in the long haul. Besides the point numbers, the player may also make separate bets on 2, 3, 11 (also called ‘yo’), and 12, as well as a hi-lo bet that covers both 2 and 12. The house advantage on all of these wagers is greater than 10%.
It should come as no surprise, then, that ‘the horn’ bet, which covers all four of those numbers, is another losing proposition. Finally, there are two bets known as Big 6 and Big 8, which play exactly like placing 6 or 8, but actually pay out less to the player. These squares have been abolished in many casinos, only to be replaced by other weak propositions.
These bets are all poor because the house edge is very high on them, despite the impressive payouts. You should avoid these wagers no matter how experienced you are at craps because they will increase your hourly losses.