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The Captain warns: Avoid these bets with high house edges

By Frank Scoblete


My mentor, the Atlantic City legend, the late Captain of craps, had two words to describe the worst bets in a casino craps game. He called them Crazy Crapper bets.

These bets could be found in the middle of the table such as the hardways, the C&E, the individual numbers such as 2 and 12, along with other poor bets with house edges often in the double digits. There were also bets such as place bets of the 4, 5, 9 and 10; and the field bet.

Today many craps tables will have special proposition bets such as the Fire Bet, the high/low bets and the like. All terrible drains on a player’s bankroll.

The number of bets at craps is overwhelming. Sadly, most craps bets go from bad to absolutely awful. From either type of play, be it the most popular “right bettor” to its opposite, the “wrong or don’t bettor” plays (also known as the darksider plays), you are not getting a good deal.

Yes, indeed, there are some craps bets that are good—in fact, they are excellent. These would be the pass line bet (with a house edge of 1.41 percent, an expected loss of $1.41 per $100 wagered), and the don’t pass bet (with a house edge of 1.36 percent, an expected loss of $1.36 per $100 wagered).

When you give a house edge as a percentage you can translate that into money by using $100 as a base. It doesn’t matter that you don’t actually make $100 bets because if you make $10 bets then you get to $100 sooner or later.

Thus, a one percent house edge is one dollar per $100 wagered. A 10 percent house edge would be $10 per $100. It makes the bets easier to comprehend by doing it this way.

Now, my friends digest this: The any seven (Any 7) bet comes in with a house edge of 16.67 percent; an expected loss of $16.67 per $100 wagered. The Fire Bet comes in with an edge of between 20 and 25 percent. That means an expected loss of $20 to $25 per $100 wagered. Yikes! Why would anyone make such bets? They are actually worse than slot machine percentages.

I could make a list of all the horrible crazy crapper bets and their house edges, and easily hit my word limit for this article. I do have almost all of these in my craps books. My advice in the books and in this article is that those players who make crazy crapper bets are themselves crazy crappers.

Okay, okay, if you are a crazy crapper I am sure in your normal, everyday life you are (I hope) quite sane. You might be crazy as a craps player but you are upstanding and a bastion of common sense in regular life. You are a pillar in your community and a man or woman to be admired for whatever you think you should be admired for.

So much for that. This article is not meant to insult you; it is just an attempt to shake you out of your poor betting choices. You work or did work hard for your money. That money is valuable and should be given a chance to survive many trips to the world of casinos. Is it fun to take a hammering? Not to me.

At a craps table, you are asking for a serious and a relatively quick trip to losers’ lane (make that to losers’ horrible, hideous hell) because no craps player can overcome those high edges for any length of time or any time at all if you make a lot of them on roll after roll. And the more of these bets that you make, the more the casinos’ grinding house edges on those bets will grind your bankroll to shreds.

Any player who is a crazy crapper and who has been making these bets day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year is probably nowhere near even or just a “little down.” How could he or she be? The crazy crapper bets combine themselves into a guillotine to chop the economic heads off of those who make them.

Craps is a great game. I love it. Heck, you get to actually shoot the dice and try to beat the house. You are constantly in the action. However, you have to make those few good bets to give yourself a chance to take home the championship laurels. Why not make those bets?

I know that most craps players do not want to bet the “don’t bets” at the game. I totally understand that. I don’t want to do that either. Yet, the pass line and the come bets are excellent choices. So would betting the 6 and/or 8 be. Those each only have a house edge of 1.52 percent.

Using the odds bets to increase your attack money without increasing the house edge is a great reward for smart play. Take that reward and be delighted with it. Come on, you deserve the best chance to beat the house.

Give up the idea of being a crazy crapper. It’s a dead-end street. All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s website is His books are available from, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.

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