Propositions are craps' longshots

Mar 4, 2010 12:00 PM

by Dale S. Yeazel, Special to GT 

Prop (proposition) bets fall into one of two categories: hardway bets and one-roll bets. There are four hardway bets a player can make: hard four, hard six, hard eight and hard ten.

When a player bets the hard four, he is betting that a four will be rolled 2-2 (hardway) before it is rolled 3-1 (easy way). The same principle applies to the other hardway bets – the number must be rolled with a pair, before it is rolled the easy way.

A roll of seven causes any and all hardway bets to lose. Some players call their hardways "off" on the come-out roll for the pass line, so they don’t win their pass line bet on a roll of seven, only to lose their hardway bets. Unless the player tells the stickman that they want their hardways off on the come-out roll, they will automatically work.

Winning bets on the hard four or ten pay 8 for 1. "8 for 1" is a tricky way of saying "7 to 1." So the bettor wins $7 for every $1 he bets and it’s left up the same way unless he tells the stickman to take the bet "down." Bets on the hard six or eight are paid 10 for 1 (9 to 1), so the player wins $9 for every $1 he bet.

There are only six basic one-roll bets on a craps table:

Seven (also called "big red") pays 5 for 1 (4 to 1).

Eleven (called Yo-leven by casino people since seven and eleven sound so much alike, pays 16 for 1 (15 to 1). Some casinos still pay this bet at the odds that all Strip casinos once paid this bet: 15 for 1 (14 to 1).

Two (unless you refer to this bet as "Aces" you will probably confuse the stickman) pays 31 for 1 (30 to 1). The strip casinos that are still living in the past pay this bet 30 for 1 (29 to 1).

Three (called "Ace-deuce") pays the same as yo-leven, 16 for 1, again unless you are playing in one of the Stone Age casinos that pay 15 for 1.

Twelve (oddly enough if you refer to this bet by the accepted slang term of "boxcars" you may sometimes confuse the stickman) pays the same as a bet on aces: 31 for 1 or in case of time warp: 30 for 1.

Any Crap ("crap check" when bet for a single check, regardless of denomination) is a bet on all three of the crap numbers (2, 3 and 12). If any of the craps numbers is rolled (remember seven is not a crap) the bet is paid 8 for 1 (7 to 1).

All the other fancy schmancy names for prop bets you hear bantered about the table are merely names given to stand for combinations of two or more of the above basic prop bets. In discussing the payoffs for these bets I will only refer to the 16-for-1 and 31-for-1 payoff.

C and E: (any crap and 11). A $2 bet will pay $6 if a crap is rolled or $14 if eleven is rolled.

Horn: (2, 3, 11 and 12). A $4 bet will pay $12 if a 3 or 11 is rolled, and $27 if 2 or 12 is rolled. Remember that since a horn is really four separate bets, it should be bet in units of $4.

World: (or "Whirl.") People have been making this bet longer than anyone has been writing about it. That is why no one remembers what it was originally called. It is a bet on 2, 3, 7, 11 and 12. Since it is a bet on five numbers it should be bet in $5 units. A $5 bet will pay $11 if 3 or 11 is rolled and $26 if 2 or 12 is rolled. Since a $1 bet on the seven pays $4 and still up, the $4 is used to leave the rest of the bet up and the player "pushes."

Horn-High. This is merely a way of spending that $1 you might have gotten in change from making a $4 horn bet with a $5 check. It is a horn bet with an extra unit bet on a pre-specified number. There are of course four different horn-high bets one can make: Horn-high aces, horn-high ace-deuce, horn-high yo and horn-high twelve. I will not be getting into the 12 different payoffs these bets can pay.

High-Low: (2 and 12). A $2 bet on high-low will pay $29. Just because some decided to refer to twelve as "high" and two as "low" don’t think you should refer to a solo bet on aces as "low" or a horn-high twelve as "horn-high high" or the stickman will look at you like you have three heads.

Three-Way-Crap: (no, not "three way any crap".) Is three separate bets on all three of the craps (2, 3 and 12) and needs to be bet in units of $3. A $3 three-way-crap will pay $13 for a roll of 3 and $28 for a roll of 2 or 12.

Three-Way-Seven: (AKA Three-Way-Red). When playing in a casino that pays 16 for 1, for bets on the yo-leven, a $3 bet on three-way-seven will pay $13 instead of the usual $12 for a bet on "seven." So if you are willing to spend at least $3, bet the three-way-seven in units of $3 and you will get paid more.

To make a prop bet: throw your checks to the stickman when the dice are in the center of the table and tell him what you want to bet and for how much. If you have change coming the stickman will tell the base dealer to give it to you.

(Dale S. Yeazel is the author of "Precision Crap Dealing" and "Dealing Mini-Baccarat.")

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