Craps: How to Play Proposition and Hardways Bets – Plus Good Reasons Not To

How to play proposition bets – and why they’ll lose you money.

In the centre of the craps table is an area marked out for the proposition bets. Proposition bets are bets that the next roll of the dice will bet the number you say it is. In other words if you make a proposition bet on a twelve, if the next roll of the dice comes up a twelve then you win.

Proposition bets can be very tempting. The area marked out for them on the table is a big section in the very centre of the table, often in contrasting colours. The payouts for proposition bets are the highest of any bet on the table. A proposition bet on an eleven or a three pays out at 15-1, and a two or twelve pays out at 30-1. You can also make a proposition bet that the next roll will be any craps pays out at 7-1. There is a proposition bet available where you can bet the next roll will be either a craps or an eleven and that pays out at 3-1 if the roll is craps or 7-1 if the roll is eleven.

With these high payouts, proposition bets sound very tempting indeed. But on a craps table the most tempting bets are usually the worst and the proposition bet is no exception. Although the payouts are high, the odds against actually winning them are higher still.

The disparity between the payout odds and the odds of winning a proposition bet is enormous, thus giving the house a large edge on those bets. In fact, the house edge on proposition bets is the highest of all bets, ranging from 11.1% to 16.67%.

In short, this means that you are going to loose money faster making proposition bets than any other bet on the craps table. The occasional proposition bet can be a laugh, but it will never be part of the game of someone who prefers to win.

How to play the Hardway bets – and reasons not to.

The area marked out for hardway bets are in the centre of the table above the proposition bets. And much like the proposition bets the hardway bets are based on a single roll of the dice.

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The aim of a hardway bet is that a hard number is rolled before the same soft number or a seven is rolled. A hard number is a total arrived at by throwing a double. For example a roll of a double 3 is a hard six. Conversely a soft number is a total arrived at with any other roll. A soft six could be made with a roll of a 2 and a 4, or a 5 and a 1.

You place the chips on the area marked out for whichever hardway bet you wish to make. The only totals available for a hardway bet are four, six, eight and, ten, because rolls of a double 1 or a double 6 are craps. A hardway bet can only be made after the come out roll has been made. The chips stay on the table until the bet is lost (a soft total is rolled of the number bet on) or a seven is rolled.