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What is the riskiest bet in craps?

Craps is a dice game that has been popular in casinos for decades. While some bets in craps offer decent odds for players, other wagers are notoriously risky with high house edges. In this post, we’ll break down the various bets available in craps and determine which options are the riskiest for players.

Understanding House Edge

When weighing the riskiness of different craps bets, one of the most important factors to consider is the house edge. The house edge represents how much of an advantage the casino has over the player in the long run. It’s calculated as a percentage, with a higher percentage signaling a more risky bet for the player.

For example, if a bet has a house edge of 5%, it means that for every $100 wagered on that bet, the player can expect to lose $5 on average. While skillful play and short-term luck can allow players to come out ahead, the house edge determines how much a casino expects to profit from a bet over many repetitions.

While no craps bets have a 0% house edge, some wagers are more risky than others. Below we’ll explore which craps bets offer the highest house edges and worst odds for players.

The Proposition Bets

The proposition bets, or “prop bets”, in craps refer to wagers that can be made on the outcome of the next roll or rolls. They allow players to bet on specific dice combinations like doubles or triples. Some examples of craps prop bets include:

  • Any Craps – Wins if a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled
  • ACE Deuce – Wins if a 3 is rolled
  • Any Seven – Wins if a 7 is rolled
  • Eleven – Wins if an 11 is rolled
  • Horn Bet – Wins if a 2, 3, 11, or 12 is rolled

The house edge on these prop bets ranges from about 11% up to 16%, making them some of the riskiest wagers in craps. The main reason is that they offer one-roll bets on dice combinations that are unlikely to be rolled. For instance, there is only a 1/18 chance of rolling a 3 on any given roll, yet the house edge on an ACE Deuce bet is 16%.

While proposition bets can occasionally lead to a big payout if lady luck is on your side, they are not recommended for risk-averse players due to the substantial house edge.

The Field Bet

Another very risky bet in craps is the Field bet. This wager covers the following numbers on the next roll:

  • 2 – Pays 2 to 1
  • 3 – Pays 2 to 1
  • 4 – Pays 1 to 1
  • 9 – Pays 1 to 1
  • 10 – Pays 1 to 1
  • 11 – Pays 2 to 1
  • 12 – Pays 2 to 1

If any of these numbers are rolled, the Field bet pays out according to the above ratios. However, if a 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled, the Field bet loses.

This bet has a house edge of 5.56%, which is lower than the prop bets but still quite high compared to other options. The riskiness comes from the fact that you are betting against the most commonly rolled numbers – 6 and 7. In the long run, the house edge grinds away profits for Field bettors.

Single Roll Bets

There are several other single roll bets in craps that are quite risky due to their high house edges:

Bet Payout House Edge
Any Seven 4 to 1 16.67%
Eleven 15 to 1 11.11%
Twelve 30 to 1 13.89%
Two 30 to 1 13.89%
Three 15 to 1 11.11%

Each of these bets offers a tempting high payout for a very unlikely single roll outcome. While it can be exhilarating to hit one of these long shots, they are not smart bets in the long run due to the substantial house edge working against you.

The Big 6 and Big 8

The Big 6 and Big 8 bets are made on a 6 or 8 being rolled before a 7. If a 6/8 is rolled, the bet pays even money. If a 7 is rolled first, the bet loses.

These wagers carry a house edge of 9.09%, which is lower than prop bets but still quite high. The issue is that 7 has a significantly higher probability of being rolled before a 6 or 8, giving the house a notable mathematical advantage.

The Hardways

Betting on the “hardways” involves wagering that a 4, 6, 8, or 10 will be rolled as doubles before a 7 or the “easy way” version of the number. For instance, a Hard 6 pays 9 to 1 if two 3’s are rolled before a 7 or an “easy” 6 (5 + 1 or 4 + 2).

While hitting a hardway bet pays handsomely, the house edge ranges from 9.09% up to 11.11%. Once again, the predominance of 7 gives the casino a hefty edge. While hardways can have their moment in the sun, avoiding them reduces risk in the long run.

The Basic Game Bets

Now that we’ve covered the riskiest craps bets, let’s discuss the wagers with the lowest house edges:

Pass Line Bet

– Pays even money

– House edge: 1.41%

Don’t Pass Line Bet

– Pays even money

– House edge: 1.36%

Come/Don’t Come Bet

– Pays even money

– House edge: 1.41%/1.36%

Place Bets

– Payout varies by number

– House edge: 1.52% – 4%

These core game bets offer much better odds by avoiding the risky one-roll propositions. By betting with the shooter, players face a much lower house edge and can utilize smart strategies like odds bets and buying/laying odds to further tilt the scale in their favor.


While any bet in an negative expectation game like craps will carry some degree of risk, some wagers are clearly riskier than others. The proposition bets, Field bet, Big 6/8, and hardways all carry double-digit house edges that grind away at bankrolls. For risk-averse players, sticking to Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come with odds is the safest route. With some smart play and discipline, craps can be an entertaining game without the huge swings of its riskiest bets.